Morning glories, thank you for popping in for “20 from 2020, remembering and celebrating a most unusual year.” And a big thanks to my friend Carrie at A Stylish Fit for inviting me to co-host this post with her.
Carrie and I have been virtual friends since the early days of the Get Your Pretty On capsule wardrobe style challenges. For a couple of years, we were both members of the collective group of bloggers that was The Blended Blog. We are both military wives, mothers of grown daughters, teachers and Texas girls…although neither of us was born in the Lone Star state. But we got here as soon as we could. Hoping to do several fun projects together in the coming year.
2020. What a year, huh? And I thought 2019 was bad!! I would be the first one to complain and grumble about this year, too. But there have been some very precious moments, some lessons learned. And the pandemic provided me some down time over the past 12 months during which I’ve been able to focus on what really matters in this life.
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20 From 2020
As we close out 2020, and anticipate all the possibilities that come with a new year, it is the perfect time to pause for just a moment. To appreciate how far we have come since that first day in January.
This year provided lots of opportunities for introspection. But there were days when we just had to laugh to keep from crying.
In 2020 we discovered that:
- masks would make great statement accessories: we quickly moved from the standard but more effective blue and white medical grade masks to the far less effective but much more attractive floral satin and calico cotton print masks. I ordered one of these little silk beauties for my first annual online book club holiday mask swap.
- having to wear masks would necessitate a whole new kind of bling: Etsy became the place to shop for masks, crystal face mask lanyards, colorful silicone mask extenders, and macrame ear savers.
- hand sanitizer would become a new fragrance: Local Lather’s ‘hippie lover’ has become my signature Covid scent.
- mascara is the only cosmetic needed during a global pandemic: self-explanatory but I will explain anyway cause I am wordy that way. No need for lip color, foundation or blush because the only facial feature showing above my mask and beneath my bangs is my eyes.
- none of us really knew how to wash our hands: who knew there’s a right and a wrong way to wash our hands? Apparently, we have to sing the alphabet song, count 20 Mississippis while hopping on one foot?
- memes and gifs would help us to laugh to keep from crying: so many of you guys have shared the cutest Corona-virus graphics, memes and gifs on your social media.
- Covid graphic tees could make everyone a comedian: jumped on this band wagon in a big way. Hopefully, in 2021, I will be able to make dust clothes out of all of my Covid graphic tees. Check out a few of my favorites, here.
- doctors appointments and getting gas are reasons to get dressed up: for the first weeks months of the virus, I was overjoyed to have an excuse to stay in yoga pants and tee shirts all day every day. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing, right? Here I am going out for milk.
- we could all learn to trim and color our own hair: or in my case, let my hair and color grow out.
- everyone needs a dog during a global pandemic: within a few weeks of restrictions here in El Paso, our animal shelter was emptied of all its adoptable dogs. Having a dog to walk is a prerequisite for healthy survival of the virus.
As my 93 year-old mother would say about each of these silly lessons learned, they are “more truth than poetry.” I did a 10 on the 10th post earlier in the year about favorite sayings and family expressions. The year that was 2020 saw my mom forget so many of the idioms that gave her speech such colloquial color. Strangely enough, being locked down on Code Red alone in a tiny apartment for months, Mom hasn’t had much reason to speak. Maybe to scream…but not to speak.
On to some of the heavier take aways from 2020.
Covid restrictions went into place in El Paso in May. We were a couple of months behind the rest of the country. But by autumn, we had become the country’s Covid epicenter.
Having to shelter in place or lockdown or stay at home meant:
- cooking instead of eating out: Lauren introduced us to HelloFresh and that became an alternative to eating out. I poured us each a glass of wine and we would make the meals together. Restaurants closed temporarily only to open up with delivery and pick up options. Makeshift outdoor dining opportunities were constructed. A patio for you, a patio for you, a patio for you.
- new ways to entertain ourselves: no date nights to the movie theater, no baseball Saturdays, no I Painted That or dinners out. We couldn’t even hike as the trails and state parks were closed as was our neighborhood park and playground. Instead we began taking long walks in our neighborhood bouncing a ball between us as we walked. I found online painting classes to try. We popped microwave popcorn and watched several TV series from start to finish. Heck, we even froze our gym membership – thank you, Planet Fitness – and began doing Hasfit workouts for seniors at home.
- discovered that there is nothing like a pandemic for giving us time to take care of projects around the house: before we were knee-deep in Covid, I hired Fish Window Cleaning to wash our windows. We had the pool tiles professionally scrubbed. The carpets shampooed. And the chimney, HVAC and dryer vents cleaned. I did my spring cleaning and then when Covid was still around in September, I did fall cleaning!! PC and I took everything out of the garage, rearranged where it all went and put it back in.
- American ingenuity is alive and well: U.S. manufacturing sprang into action at the country’s call for more masks, ventilators and PPE equipment. “Like during wartime – when industrial titans like General Motors, Ford and Chrysler helped to produce airplanes, trucks, tanks, marine diesels, guns and shell – industry is being mobilized and companies across the world are helping to plug shortages for ventilators and other life-saving equipment.” [source]
- necessity is the Mother of Invention: tank tops for summer and long-sleeve tees for winter.
- it often takes a village: to follow mask-wearing guidelines, to adhere to social distancing, to teach our children, to care for our sick, to find vaccines that work against viruses.
- a reminder that good health is one of life’s best blessings: in our extended family alone, we have had not quite 10 cases of Covid. In the family of one of my closest friends, they have lost 3 loved ones to the virus. Many of those who contracted Covid and a majority of those who died from it, had underlying health issues. Good health is a blessing. And something we all need to work toward achieving for ourselves. Eating better, exercising, securing mental health assistance to make a healthier version of US.
- we were reminded that prayer is a powerful thing: family members and prayer warriors gathered outside our hospitals to pray for patients inside. While our medical professionals often began or ended shifts in group prayer inside. The video below was recorded outside a hospital in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Home girls unite.
- there’s always something to be thankful for: although I didn’t share a Thankful Thursday post on my blog each week or even every month, I did write in a gratitude journal almost every night. Gratitude encourages more gratitude.
And Number 20
- a whole lotta babies were made and born: my daughter Brennyn, who is a NICU nurse, can attest to that. Along about October and November, they began seeing a big spike in the number of births at her Ft. Worth hospital. If you count back, those mamas would have conceived early in the pandemic!! Our family was blessed by our very own bundle of joy on 01.08.2020 with the birth of Miss Camila Jean Buendia. Can’t think of a better note on which to wind up this post.
Love that baby.
Sure would love to read what you will remember and celebrate about 2020. What did you take away from this most unusual year? How will you use what you learned as we embark on 2021? Please accept this invitation to spend a little time examining all of the experiences – many new and varied – that this year provided. And then sharing them with us either by linking up your blog post or in a comment below.
Not sure why the Inlinkz message says that but I was able to use it to link up my post.
Thank you for stopping by today. Thank you, Carrie, for asking me to co-host 20 from 2020 with you.
Hugs and kisses and happy new year!!