I want to share 20 Happy Things from 2020. If you’ve been around a while you’ll know I love a happy list! And given that this past year has been a *challenging* one I think there’s even more need to celebrate the things that make us happy. So let’s dig deep and find the good in 2020…
20 Happy Things from 2020
1 Releasing Find Your Happy
I’m so proud of myself for creating my journalling workbook and putting it out into the world. You can read more about it here. And I’ll definitely do a happy dance if you buy a copy!
2 Learning with the kiddo
My son spent 5 ½ months at home this year due to the worldwide pandemic. I feel very lucky that I was in the position to drop commitments in order to focus on him and his learning. That unexpected time with him was a gift and I will cherish the memories of us solving complicated maths problems and arguing about spelling!
Ah Reggie. My gorgeous, damaged greyhound. He came home with us in January and it’s like he’s always been here. He was scared of most things and full of quirks – it’s been lovely (& sometimes frustrating) getting him settled in and getting to know him.
4 The Rainbow Fence of Dreams
It has its own hashtag and it makes me smile – especially on the grey and miserable days! It’s my rainbow fence in my back garden. Painted mostly by me with a little help from the husband and kiddo. Reggie supervised.
Putting pen to paper has definitely helped me this year. Journalling, writing blog posts (not as many as I’d like), taking notes, planning, trying my hand at pitching article ideas – I’ve enjoyed it all. I love writing.
That leads on nicely to the next one. I bloody love stationery. I own far too much but I am getting better at using it rather than admiring it and being scared to use it!
I wasn’t new to Zoom and I have been a fan for a while but it feels like it’s been a saviour in the craziness of 2020. We thoroughly enjoyed participating in a regular music quiz via Zoom during lockdown. It kept us connected with loved ones. And I have even taken yoga and other classes with it.
I am a lifelong learner and I’m so happy when I’m scribbling notes and absorbing new information. I managed to do so much awesome learning this year – mostly virtually. Here are some of the things I learnt/courses I took:
- Pitching to Publications course with Fiona Thomas as well as some of her webinars and workshops
- The Freelance Summit with Emma Cossey and lots of awesome speakers
- Various Grow & Glow training such as – productivity, building a personal brand, pitching, content planning, goal setting
- Freelance and pitching webinars with Jenna Farmer
- Sewing lessons with Beautiful Things
- Mindset work, Year End Reviews and 2021 Vision Boarding and Goal Setting with Sophie Cliff, The Joyful Coach
- And more!
My monthly subscription to Spotify has earnt its keep this year. Music is so good for turning my mood around and also for letting me wallow when I need it. I have so many playlists and use it to listen to podcasts too. During lockdown my husband, the kiddo and I took part in the 30 day song challenge and now we have a family playlist of 90 songs that hold meaning for each of us. Check out my Find the Good Everyday Playlist here.
10 Getting Outside Every Day
Reggie has certainly helped with this one – expecting his daily walks regardless of the weather. And the time spent outside was so valuable particularly during the lockdown periods when we weren’t going back and forth to school or going anywhere else!
I’ve heard that a lot of people completely disregarded their planners and diaries this year and that’s totally understandable. I felt something soothing in continuing to make daily to do lists and update my trackers so I carried on. For most of the year I used my trusty bullet journal but since September I’ve been using a Happy Planner (including Planner stickers – insert lots of heart eyes!). I really enjoy sitting down at the weekend and planning out the following week. But I do miss the daily lists of my Bujo… I might try some kind of hybrid planning system for 2021.
12 Online Communities and Groups
Online communities and groups played a massive part in keeping me feeling connected this year. I love the community on Instagram and enjoy the regular chats with some lovely people there. I’m still a member of Grow & Glow and enjoyed their regular calls and training sessions through the year. And I joined the Freelance Business Lounge back in June and the twice-weekly group coaching calls have been super helpful for my mental health and my productivity!
13 Being near my Mum
There have been many times this year I have dreamt of being back in New Zealand where they have managed the pandemic much better than the UK (helped by closing their borders). And I feel lucky to have lots of wonderful friends based in New Zealand.
(If you don’t know – I lived in NZ between 2005 and 2016. My son was born there and I have dual nationality with NZ and the UK).
But I’ve also been so grateful to be in the UK and near my Mum. We are her bubble and I found it comforting to know I could go to see her, do her shopping for her and other jobs she needed done while shielding.
14 Finally getting Netflix!
We were so late to the party on this but we finally have Netflix. I haven’t made it as far as the Tiger King yet but I am working my way through The Crown and love it! It’s great that we can each have our own favourites list. The trickiest thing is deciding on something for the 3 of us to enjoy!
15 Baby Yoda
My husband (who is likely to be rolling his eyes at my use of the name “Baby Yoda”) is a Star Wars fan so we watched the first series of The Mandalorian back in March when it was released in the UK. We’re currently working through the second series and I just adore Baby Yoda – such a cute character! I’m tempted to buy Baby Yoda fabric and make myself a dress!
16 Cadbury’s Giant Buttons
I love them! Perfect for sharing while watching a movie!
Where would I be without lists? They fit well with planning, writing and stationery too! As you probably know – I love a happy list and it’s fun encouraging others to write their own. This year there have been:
- To do lists
- Things I enjoy about Lockdown
- Stuff that was put on hold because of the pandemic
- Things I’m looking forward to when the pandemic is done
- My 38 @ 38 list – having this list of fun things to do really helped me to keep seeking joy this year!
- My 39 Before 40 list
- This 20 Happy Things from 2020 list!
18 Books & Reading
I’ve always loved books and reading – they (like a lot of things on this list actually) could easily make the top 20 of most year’s happy things! Some favourites this year have been:
- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
- The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
- And a lot of romances on the Kindle app on my phone!
19 The Dishwasher
We finally got a dishwasher late August after over 4 years without one. It’s made such a difference. I’ve been able to put the time saved from not washing up multiple times a day to better use! And it’s helped my hands and wrists which tend to flare up with aches and pains (thanks Rheumatoid Arthritis!)
20 Documenting Life
Once a scrapbooker – always a life documenter! I enjoyed taking part in Day in the Life and Week in the Life this year and it will be interesting to look back on those projects in years to come. I’ve also collated a video full of 1 second videos from each day this year using an app called 1SE. I did it a couple of years ago and it’s fascinating to see which parts of daily life have stayed the same and which have changed. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to take a snapshot of daily life I’d recommend giving it a go!
It feels so good to have written my 20 Happy Things from 2020 list. I wonder if they’ll be any more additions before the year is out?
What are your happy things from 2020?
If you want to write your own Happy List check out these posts: