Lifestyle Blogging

2020 Wrap-Up: Challenges and Gratitude

blm stay safe masks crystal jo unsplash

Photo by Crystal Jo on Unsplash

This will be an unusually short post for me. I just wanted to share some final thoughts as we head into the holidays and close off this most historical of years…

The challenges of the year that was

Well, we’ve nearly made it to the end of 2020. It’s been a challenging year to say the least. Even during the worst years of my life, I’ve never said, “Glad that year’s over!“ But that’s exactly what I’m feeling right now.

Though my family and I have weathered the COVID storm just fine, 2020 has done me in. I’ve really struggled to feel okay when so many continue to suffer. How can I feel good when others are hurting so much?

I’ve also been supporting a loved one through a challenging time… and it’s not been easy. This most recent turmoil has me wishing for a quick, peaceful end to the year of Corona and Trumpism. (Sorry, I try not to get political here, but I had to say it.)

Still, as bad as it’s been, I’m not one to dwell on negativity for long. 

Gratitude to the rescue

I recently read a post from Maria at Handful of Thoughts about gratitude and it reminded me of all I have to be grateful for. Maria’s post prompted me to take a step back, breathe, and see all that’s right in my life right now.

Everyday, I’ll try to keep this quote from Maria’s post in mind:

“Shifting to focusing on gratitude… helps keep the energy positive and not frustrated. I can focus on what I am grateful for… instead of focusing on what is not going my way.”

Instead of fretting about all the sadness in the world, I’ll focus on making the best of the remaining year. This includes practicing gratitude everyday and finding ways to share our good fortune with others in need.

Taking a short break

With all the inner contemplation I’ve been doing, I’ve decided to make this my final post for 2020. (But I’ll still be around, so keep commenting and reaching out—I’m just taking a break from publishing new posts until January.)

This will give me more time to go in-depth with some upcoming posts (including my 2-year blogiversary update) catch up on household projects, and enjoy the holidays with my family. 

In the new year, watch for another of my semi-regular update posts to share how we celebrated the holidays this year.

My holiday wish for you

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Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

This blogging break is also for you—to give you a holiday break from me and my blog! I hope you can take some time to nurture your real-life relationships (even if it must be done virtually this year) and enjoy some well-deserved downtime.

It’s been a tough year for all of us. Let’s acknowledge that and give ourselves permission to forget our troubles for a little while. Take pleasure in the little things and focus on all there is to be grateful for.

I wish you a peaceful, joyous holiday and a happy, healthy New Year. Enjoy your time off—I’ll see you back here again in 2021! 

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  • Reply
    Maria @ Handful of Thoughts
    December 9, 2020 at 6:55 am

    Thanks for the mention Chrissy. It warms my heart to hear that posting is helping others. Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season.

    • Reply
      December 9, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Maria—I wish you the same. I hope you enjoy your winter break (this year, more than any other year, teachers more than earned the time off)!

  • Reply
    Chris @ Mindful Explorer
    December 9, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Enjoy the break, strengthen the bonds with your family and also remember that it is ok to have bad days. Without embracing both the down with the up, we don’t truly appreciate the larger picture of our life. Whats happening south of the border, what is happening in the province next door or even in your city is beyond you so focus on you and the family (and of course us readers lol)

    All the best to you in this crazy journey called life…it is finite so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

    • Reply
      December 9, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Chris—that’s such a healthy way to look at the bad days. Along with practising gratitude, I’ll remind myself of this. Thank you. (And my husband surely would thank you too—he thinks I worry way too much about things I can’t do much about. You’re both right.)

  • Reply
    December 9, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Enjoy the break Chrissy! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

    • Reply
      December 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks Bob. Same to you and your family!

  • Reply
    Reverse The Crush
    December 9, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Enjoy your break, Chrissy! I have traditionally taken it easier in December with the blog. I have kept up my normal pace recently since I have more time off. Nevertheless, I hope you have a happy holidays!

    • Reply
      December 9, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Graham—it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who slows down in December. But it’s perfect timing this year if you’re posting more… now I’ll have more time to read all your new content! I hope you have a happy holiday as well. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 9, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Love your thoughts on being grateful even in tough times. It’s such a powerful idea that can have real life consequences and changes the way you see the world.
    Can’t wait for more of your content nexg year Chrissy!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Jeff—thanks for sharing your positivity with the world as well. I wish you and your family all the best this holiday season. (I’ll be sure to stop by your blog during my blogging break!)

  • Reply
    December 10, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Wow does this resonate Chrissy. I think most of us who have not been directly affected by COVID yet (either in terms of getting sick ourselves or losing loved ones) have much the same thoughts : how can I feel so down when my life, in relative terms, is so good? Yet, this pandemic has taken a toll on us in so many countless ways. You’re right that all we can do is focus on the good, spend energy on things that we CAN control, keep our heads held high, and share as much positivity and kindness with the world around us as we can. Enjoy your break, you deserve it 🙂


    • Reply
      December 10, 2020 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Elise—I know many others feel the same as you and me. There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance and it creates an ongoing, low level of stress.

      It does help to focus on the good—including getting outside to appreciate the natural beauty around us (as you and Adam well know)! I always feel so much better after a walk in the woods with my boys and Mika.

      Thanks, as always, for your support. If I don’t connect with you again this month, I wish you and Adam happy holidays and a healthy new year!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Not gonna lie: a (mostly) consistent practice of writing down one thing I’m grateful for every day this year has made a huge difference for me. It wasn’t always easy — like you said, lots of sadness in the world — but it was worth it. Definitely planning to continue that into 2021.

    Happy holidays, my friend – hope your little break is everything you need right now <3

    • Reply
      December 16, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Tara—it’s lovely to hear from you again. I really like your gratitude practice of writing one thing down everyday. I find that putting pen to paper is a very effective way to create new thought patterns and habits. I think I’m going to steal your idea and start doing this myself!

      Thanks for the holiday wishes—same to you and your hubby!

  • Reply
    Jordan @ FIRE Your Own Way
    December 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Cheers to gratitude and moving on to 2021!

    Enjoy your break from publishing. Hope you manage to do some things for yourself that you enjoy. Look forward to seeing the blogiversary update in the next year!

    • Reply
      December 19, 2020 at 12:59 am

      Hi Jordan—thanks for the kind words. 🙂 It’s been a good break so far! I’ve been very productive behind-the-scenes (but unfortunately, a lot of the productivity was dealing with issues that cropped up… site going down, Google Analytics disconnecting and not collecting any data for a week… sigh!)

      Happy holidays to you!

  • Reply
    Impersonal Finances
    December 22, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Enjoy the break–and the holidays–and I look forward to reading more next year! Come on 2021, we set the bar pretty low for you…

    • Reply
      December 24, 2020 at 12:44 am

      Hi Impersonal Finances—thanks for reading and commenting. Happy holidays to you!

      And yes, the bar is about as low as it gets… I’ll be happy if we can just return to a small semblance of normal!

  • Reply
    Thrifty Hustler
    December 27, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Happy holidays to you and to your family Chrissy 🙂

    • Reply
      December 28, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you, Thrifty Hustler! I wish the same to you and yours.

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