2020: The Year of Hidden Blessings

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As the year 2020 comes to an end and the dust settles, I find myself reflecting on the last 11 months. This is a year I’m sure not many of us will be quick to forget. But it was still a great year, one filled with hidden blessings. Yes, I said great!

By default, I would say I am an optimist. I am also a history lover, mother, medical/surgical nurse and as of this year, a COVID nurse.  These are just a few insights, thoughts, and realizations I have come to recognize as the blessings of 2020, over the last year. 

Appreciate the little things, sometimes they aren’t little.

Whether it be toilet paper, a family gathering, a smile, a warm embrace. Coming home from a long, agonizing, sometimes heartbreaking shift to my children wrapping their arms around me for a big hug. In a world where right now, outside of your own four walls, the best practice is 6 feet apart, hugs mean so much to me, even more than before. I feel like throughout this year, those little things have become the big things. A new appreciation for the things I never thought much of, or the things I may have taken for granted. 

Be an old soul at heart.

I crave the simpler things and times. This year has forced all of us to resort back to some of those ways of life. When I heard one of my favorite musicians was putting on a LIVE concert in October at an old drive-in, I ordered the tickets the day they went on sale. From sitting on top of my husband’s truck, spaced 6 feet apart from each vehicle in the full parking area around us, the wind was so cold my face burned, I still had an amazing time! It made me wonder why drive-in movies theaters were so scarce these days. I’d rather listen to a rock concert or a movie, with a cooler full of my favorite beer, that doesn’t cost $8 per can, wrapped in my favorite blanket, while being outside, looking at the stars anyway! Just one of the hidden blessings of 2020 is enjoying the simple things.

Child in a garden hidden blessings of 2020Since buying my home 6 years ago, we’ve always had a garden. Some years, it was mostly just weeds, depending how busy we were that spring and summer. This year, in an attempt to decrease our reliance on, therefore decreasing our trips to the grocery store, I did some re-landscaping and planted a large garden. By luck (as I am lacking a green thumb), our garden flourished! My kids looked forward to picking corn, potatoes, tomatoes and bringing them inside to help me prepare a meal or sharing our hard work with our chickens.

I also had a new found space to go to unwind. 2020 brought me the blessing of new place where I found I could go to relax and find peace. I thought, why did it take me this many years to do this? We spent probably 200% more time in our backyard this year than any year prior and it was so nice! A few meals we enjoyed were completely sourced from our backyard! That is something I was really proud of this year and am already looking forward to expanding our garden next year.

Enjoy Nature and Be Flexible

We did spend a lot more time at home this year but we also made an effort to get out of the house and enjoy nature! I had planned our annual big vacation the winter prior but made the hard decision to cancel and start from scratch in April. We packed our bags in late July and headed West, instead of South and drove to the Badlands, (because I figured it would be fairly easy to social distance there). We spent the next week exploring the landscape of South Dakota and Wyoming, taking the driveable tour of Custer State Park and climbing the base of Devils Tower. It wasn’t a day on the beach in Gulf Shores or a street dance in New Orleans as we had planned, but we still had a blast! Sometimes the hidden blessings of 2020 come because of the willingness to be flexible.

Being thankful for technology

I spent a lot of time this year, as many probably did too, making my house more of a home, (and a school). I’m still working on the school part, as my dining room table has been dual purposed as a place to enjoy a meal and learn sight words since March, but we are making the best of it as I hope you all are too!hidden blessings of 2020 mom and daughter painting

I think to myself how lucky we are to live in an age where your assignments can be sent to you virtually at home and a teacher’s hard working face is just a couple clicks away for a virtual class session or to come to the rescue of a struggling parent.

A huge blessing of 2020 technology is we live in a time when a vaccine can be developed in a year. When looking at history, the average vaccine has taken fifteen to twenty years to develop with the quickest to date being the mumps vaccine which took four. We live in a time where science is greater than ever, we have a ways to go but have also made great progress in a very short period of time!

What are your hidden blessings of 2020?

As we continue to make sacrifices for our families and for the general well being of those around us, staying home more, missing social gatherings, I know it isn’t easy, but I refuse to look back at this year in a negative way. It wasn’t the year I’m sure any of us had imagined, but we survived, we lived, we grew, we laughed and loved. We learned how to reappreciate the little things and live simpler. I hope this helps you look back and appreciate some of these things too.

XOXO Jen.

 

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