Thursday, December 31, 2020


2020 has been an especially hard year for me. I know it's been a challenge for everyone, but I am so ready for things to change. I've been struggling quite a bit lately, so this week I've been really, really trying to focus on some of the good things that happened to me in 2020.

 2020 was the year I discovered yoga.


This year I was diagnosed with problems between my L4 and L5 vertebrae. I've had back problems for a long time, but 2020 was the year things came to a head and I had to see an orthopedic doctor. He told me I needed to strengthen my core muscles, and if I did that there was a good chance my back would improve. He suggested yoga and I took his advice seriously. Fast forward eight months of practicing yoga three to five times per week and now I am mostly pain free - which is a wonderful thing.

In 2020 I finished two quilts.

The first was a cat quilt I made for my youngest. It was a request when their bedroom got redecorated - inspired by our tuxedo cat, Minnie.  I machine pieced and machine quilted this one during spring lock down.

I also completed a queen-sized quilt I started way back in 1998 (but whose counting.) I started it to commemorate the millennium, but it got packed away; then I had kids and it never got unpacked. I finally dug it out and finished it during lock down last spring. It was about 90% done, but it was nice to cross that quilt off of my to do list. (It's machine pieced and hand quilted.)

I got to spend more time with my teenage children in 2020.  

Most teenagers pull away from their families and start to focus on their peers. The pandemic took that away from my kids and kept them home. And while they did spent time interacting with friends online,  they also built forts in our living room and we played Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza and Monty Python Fluxx. We watched every 80s movie we could and laughed at the special effects. We crafted and designed T shirts and made pasties (so many pasties.) We laughed and we cried - together. I ache for their loss because they've missed out on so much,  but the extra time I got with my kids is something I will treasure forever.

In 2020 I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary. 


I lucked out in the husband department. My husband is a wonderful man and I can't imagine my life without him. In some ways, the pandemic brought us closer together. We went on more walks in 2020 than I think we took in the past five years - combined. Every single day I am thankful he's part of my life.

We remained employed in 2020.

As a teacher and the director of the Island's Department of Public Works, we were both deemed essential workers. Teaching over Zoom certainly wasn't my favorite, but it was doable. My husband wasn't thrilled to move his office into his Fallout Shelter (his man cave) so he could work from home, but it beat the alternative. 2020 could have been so much worse.

In 2020 I stayed healthy.

Believe it or not, in 2020 I walked over 1,300 miles and averaged about 35 minutes of exercise per day. I may not be an Olympic athlete, but I'm pretty darn healthy. Every day when I get out of bed I try to be thankful I get another day.  Some days it's been hard. Some days it's felt more like it's another day to get through, but I just keep trying to be positive and grateful. Grateful for another day with my kids, another day with my husband, another day at school, another day on Mackinac.
But I would be lying if I said I want another day of 2020. I'm done. I'm ready to say good-bye to this year and welcome in 2021. I need a new year. I need a year of healing and a presidential president, a year of vaccines and diminishing death rates, a year of less stress, and a year full of hope for a brighter future; a Covid-free future - a happy future. I think HOPE has to be my word for 2021. Sometimes, I felt like I was in survival mode this past year, like I just needed to get through the day, or the week or the month; like I couldn't stop moving because if I did, I didn't know if I could start up again. Tonight I am full of hope that 2021 will be a better year.
I hope 2021 is a bright year for you, too.
Happy New Year.


Gemma's person said...

Be safe,be strong, love anew, family is everything.

Jennifer said...

I went to Mackinaw island years old with my husband and daughter and rediscovered the beauty and magic the island has. I came home wanting to know more about island living and that’s how I discovered your blog. Your willingness to share your pictures and life, always comes across as grateful and appreciative. I know you know that you are blessed, but you are also a blessing to people that read your blog. I hope this year is the best year for you and your family 😊

Bridget said...

I am hoping that I make it back to Stonecliffe in 2021 (yet to be seen) to celebrate our anniversary. (ok only 15 years but still!). Like you I am thankful that I had all the extra time with my kids this year. Time I can never get back. My kids are schooling remotely so 2020 showed me I was smart to not go into teaching! LOl :)