Part 1: Looking Back on 2020

Part 1 of 2 reflecting on the year that has passed, and my hopes and wishes for what is to come in 2021.

We have reached the final days of 2020. It is honestly hard to believe because this year as I’ve said before, at times has passed so incredibly slowly and seems to have been never-ending. I think the monotony of not doing much of anything, not going anywhere, not traveling, and not seeing friends and family has made each day so similar to the next that time almost seemed not to pass. But here we are, somehow, at the end.

2020 has been quite the year. It has had so much struggle and strife. All over the world we have been connected by this global battle against COVID-19 and for many people this has meant huge losses: loved ones, jobs, homes, physical and financial security, and even a sense of hope for the future. I want to note that this year has been harder felt by people who experience marginalization whether by systems of economic inequality, racial inequality, gender based discrimination, or global inequality. Being a white woman living in Canada, I have not experienced the same degree of hardship as have many others and I want to acknowledge that.

This year has been a hard one in my personal life. My work capacity was reduced by the pandemic, I have struggled with my mental and physical health, and most notably I have been wrestling with some difficult life questions. Big changes that have forced me to question how and where I want to live, what my life will include, what I want my life to look and feel like, and even who I want to share my life with. I will admit, I don’t have all the answers yet and I probably never will, but I feel I have made progress some of which I hope to share with you all in the future. These explorations haven’t all been negative, even if they were incited by negative circumstances, in fact I realized they are opportunities for creating positive and sustainable personal growth. And that is giving me hope.

I did have some wonderful and memorable moments this year. Some of my favourites were: naming and bringing home our baby Juniper, spending extra time with our two older fur-kids, watching them all play & bond, celebrating 2 years of marriage with my husband, giving each other haircuts in the kitchen, overcoming challenges at work due to the pandemic, and lots of other quiet moments spent together at home. There is always something to find joy in, even in the bleakest of times.

Another significant, and probably the most positive part of this year, has been this blog. It has been a huge journey to start and create this space on the internet. I have taken the time to discover what I want to write about and the kind of community and content I hope to create. I have been experimenting, getting familiar with the platform, and searching myself for what it is I want to say.

And on the extra tough days and weeks, this blog has been a refuge for me. A place where I can express how I feel and connect with others who are feeling similarly. I have so many dreams for the future of this blog. I feel more motivated than ever but also feel I know more of where I am going, and I am very excited to share it with you all.

I am also amazed at what I have been able to accomplish: I built this, me! I have stuck to it and kept up (mostly) with posts despite at times despairing about my progress. If you had told me a year ago I would have gotten this far I’m not sure I would have believed you. Like I said in one of my earliest posts, if there is something you have been waiting or hesitant to do, don’t wait for perfection go do it (it might even turn out better than you’d hoped)!

And I am building and growing a community of some really cool people while doing something I love! Thank you so much, every one of you, for taking part in it, it really wouldn’t exist without you. Your likes, comments, shares, support and feedback has helped me to know what directions to move in and has encouraged me to keep going. So, thank you!

Overall 2020, as I’m sure many of you also experienced, was a tough year. It is easy to feel like there was nothing positive that came from it, or maybe even that it was the worst year of your life yet. While I want to acknowledge and not take away from the struggle in this past year, I am working to not let it impact my hopes, dreams, and wishes for next year. I am trying to take what good there was, and leave the rest behind in 2020.

Be sure to come back on Thursday for part 2 where I share my thoughts on New year’s resolutions, and my goals for my personal life and HBLogs for 2021!

Write soon,

Hannah B.L.

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