We are a little over half way thru 2020 and boy has it been a year that none of us would ever imagine would happen in our lives. Who would have ever thought that we would be living thru a pandemic and things like lockdowns, social distancing, face masks and phased re-openings would be hot topics of conversation. And for America, we also have the burden of a country that is more divided than ever, I can’t even imagine what the rest of the world even thinks of America at this moment. That said, it’s been a difficult year for all of us and you might be thinking to yourself, “I’m done with 2020, can we just skip to 2021?”. Or maybe you are like me and hoping to wake up some morning and realize this was some awful never ending nightmare, I mean it sure does feel like that.
It’s more important this year than any other year to try and think positively. This is a difficult task but when you truly think about it, there is always something positive. There are the obvious ones like being healthy thru all this or the ones that make you feel better, like the whole world is going thru this so we aren’t going thru it alone. But what are your specific positives. I think it’s important to first look at the negative things about 2020, all the things you are missing out on, to see how minor they are compared to the positives. We all obviously miss being with family and friends but what plans did you have that were cancelled or changed?
I took the above picture at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival last September while attending a conference for my travel business. At the time I was planning my 2020 travels and knew that Ireland was where I wanted my big trip to be to. I had a trip booked to there planned for this May during the Memorial Day week, which is my favorite time of year for a big trip especially to Europe. This was my biggest disappointment of 2020, I was so looking forward to this trip. Travel feeds my soul and I love exploring new places and I’m part Irish so I was really looking forward to exploring my heritage. I also had 5 other trips cancelled (so far) this year.
Other than Memorial Day when I felt pretty down for missing this trip, I have been trying to think positively by looking at the good parts of 2020.
Seeing an old friend: There were luckily two months in 2020 before the lockdowns started and since I travel a lot, I was lucky enough to take two trips this year. The first one was in January when I traveled to Baton Rouge, LA to run a half marathon in my 31st state (thank god I got at least one state this year!). This quick weekend trip was special because one of my best friends from high school who I haven’t seen in years lives in Baton Rouge. I had a great time being able to catch up and spend the day with her and her kids. In all these months of not being able to see friends that I have seen numerous times over the years, seeing a good friend for the first time in years was definitely a bright spot!
Being at my happy place: Of course no year is complete without Disney. In February I was at Disney for my favorite runDisney event, the Princess Half Marathon. I was dealing with a bout of hip bursitis at the time, but the race was still as magical as always. I go to Disney quite a bit, but I still was able to experience a couple of new things on this trip, I stayed at the fairly new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort and it was just as beautiful as I thought it would be. I also had breakfast at what I now consider the most fun character breakfast ever at Topolino’s at the new Disney’s Riviera Resort. Check out my post on that here https://beyondthemilestravelblog.com/2020/03/01/most-fun-character-breakfast-ever/
It’s pretty crazy to me how quickly things changed after that trip, I got home on February 25th and covid-19 wasn’t even a thought in my head (well other than when I had an awful sinus infection in January and totally looked up the covid-19 symptoms to make sure I didn’t have it). The end of the next week, there started being cases reported in Boston from a conference that Biogen had. It kind of freaked me out but I had no idea that as of the following Tuesday March 10th, I would leave work to work from home after someone in the office building tested positive and still not be back in this office to this day.
Working from home: One of the biggest positives about all of this is being able to work from home (with my adorable coworker who is kind of needy and loving me always being here). I’m very grateful to still have a job while so many others have lost theirs. I never thought I would enjoy working from home full time, once or twice a week maybe, but every day? I work in accounting for my full time job and let’s just say I only do accounting because it pays well and I’m good at it, but it’s REALLY boring so I usually love the social part of being in the office more than the actual work. Over the past few months, things have been difficult in the office and it’s just made me depressed and negative, so being home has greatly improved my mood and made me way more productive when it comes to work. I honestly do not know how I’ll ever go back to that office. But that’s a problem I don’t think I’ll have to think about for a while.
Improving my health: Working from home has also helped me get more sleep, I sleep 7-8 hours every night compared to 5-6 hours before. Another thing I never thought I would enjoy would be exercising at home. I now can never see myself going back to the gym. There is an on demand app for my favorite class at the gym and my favorite pilates studio has classes on zoom. This has made it easier for me to do more cross training which in turn is helping to keep me injury free so I can run more. I might just reach my goal of 800 miles this year even after starting the year with only 27 miles in January due to hip bursitis.
Getting organized: During the spring when the weather wasn’t that great I was able to spend some time getting things organized at home. I cleaned our my closet and donated 4 bags of clothing, I’m trying to use all the trial size toiletries that I have and I reorganized my living room which makes it look a lot bigger which is good since I’m spending so much more time at home than before.
Appreciating my home city: I’ve always loved Boston, but now I have really learned a new respect for where I live. It has been so nice to have so many different areas of the city to explore on runs or walks. Even with everything closed, I felt like I could still “go somewhere”. There is just so much to see outside in Boston, I’ve enjoyed being a tourist and getting some really great photos without the usual crowds of people in them. I’m running different routes than normal and seeing parts of the city and even my neighborhood that I’ve never seen before. I’m not just close to the downtown, I’m also lucky to have a beach right down the street from me. It’s not my favorite beach but it is definitely helping to make summer feel more like summer even if it’s not one of my favorite Massachusetts beaches.
Grateful for modern conveniences: We should all be grateful that this happened in 2020 and not 1980. What would we do without the internet, social media and zoom? It would definitely be a lot harder to stay in touch and make sure everyone is ok. And working from home probably wouldn’t be an option, even more people would be out of jobs and the economy would suffer even more. I’m very grateful for social media, I’ve made new connections thru my blog, twitter and Instagram and have learned so much about different parts of the world from these connections. I cherish these new connections, it gave me a little piece of the connections that I am missing by not traveling. I’m also eternally grateful for things like grocery delivery and amazon. I don’t have a car and taking an Uber home didn’t seem safe, so these may be what I’m most grateful for.
As you can see, there have been many positives to 2020. None of us know what the second half of the year will bring. As states in the south and west reopened, cases have spiked to all time highs in America. Here in Massachusetts, our cases are on the decline and I hope they stay that way but as I listen to 4th of July parties going on around me, I fear we will see another spike I have other trips planned this year including a road trip next month I’d like to go on, but more importantly, I would really like to celebrate the holidays with my family later this year (I do not want to have to have a ZOOM Thanksgiving or Christmas!) and start 2021 off on the right foot. I will just continue doing my part in social distancing and wearing my mask and hoping more people start doing the same. I saw the above message while running one morning, maybe with some Fierceness, Persistence, Patience and Resolve we can all try and unite as one and do our part to contain this virus. One can only hope, right?
Stay Healthy Everyone and keep searching for those positives!