Blah, blah, blah, 2020 sucked, but it wasn’t all bad, blah, blah, blah, deep thoughts, etc. Here are some things that got me through that dumpster fire of a year.
MY RUMPL. A Rumpl is a blanket, but like a really good blanket made for outdoor adventures. It is very cozy, very good and very warm. If I made a list of five adventuring items I am deeply in love with, my Rumpl would be on that list (along with this pillow).
THIS TINY TURTLE, who I met hiking in Shenandoah National Park.
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK. It’s my favorite place, and going to the desert to wander around alone in the heat was a perfect escape for 2020. I just wish I hadn’t fallen on my face.
THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT ON NETFLIX. Absolutely did not know a show about orphans and chess would reel me in, but it did. This is probably the thing I binged the hardest in 2020 (other than Tiger King, shut up).
HELPING MY FRIENDS GET MARRIED IN NICARAGUA. I still have to write this story, but officiating a mountainside wedding in Nicaragua for two of my favorite people is a top life moment.
VUORI JOGGERS. They are soft, they are comfortable and I bought three pairs in 2020 and have no regrets. I sleep in them, I work in them, I walk the dogs in them, I go to Lowe’s in them, they are my favorite pants.
SONICARE TOOTHBRUSH. Yes, everyone told me to get this toothbrush but I am stubborn and a poor listener. I get it now.
COOKING ALL THE THINGS. With all my plans cancelled, I spent a lot more time cooking real food in 2020 than in previous years. I’ve been on the bread making train long before 2020, but I upped my nacho and taco game, grilled like my life depended on it, and tried a bunch of new recipes, like bacon and brussel sprout fried rice, taquitos, and tortellini soup.
NEW (TO ME) TRUE CRIME PODCASTS. I started refinishing my front porch over the summer and spent lots of long hours scraping paint, sanding and cursing. I entertained myself with a few newly discovered and newly released podcasts, including Morbid, Crime Junkie, Do No Harm, Missing in Alaska, Park Predators and Relative Unknown.
RUNNING CHALLENGES. I decided early on that virtual racing was not for me. But, as the year dragged on, my running motivation waned. So, in July, I ran the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Then, in September, I went on a streak, running every day for three weeks while I was training in Maryland. Now, I’m in the middle of a 7 Marathon, 7 Continent challenge.
PUTTING MY MONEY BEHIND CAUSES I BELIEVE IN. I’ve been a long-time donor to a handful of organizations for years, and I supported a few more causes in 2020. More than that though, I made a commitment to shop smarter, buy local and put more of my money toward brands with values that align with mine.
ARMY STUFF. I hit 17 years in the Army in 2020 and went to two different schools, one for fitness and one for career progression. Both were great experiences and reminded me how much I enjoy spending time with Soldiers, learning more about my career field and challenging myself.
THIS DOG, HER BROTHER WOLF AND SISTER CAT, who really don’t mind having me home most of the time.
MY LOCAL WINE CLUB. I joined a wine club at a fantastic Richmond restaurant in December and every single wine I’ve had so far has been incredible.
BOULDERING. I started climbing with a friend at the end of 2019, and in 2020, I switched my gym membership exclusively to the climbing gym after they reopened over the summer. I’ve been incredibly happy with my choice.
THIS VIEW AT SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK.
IN FIVE YEARS. Y’all. This book. I read it in a single day, it was great.
MY OWN BACKYARD. I am hashtag blessed to own my home and having dedicated outdoor space was never more important to me than in 2020. I bought a grill, spent hours on my porch reading books and solving crossword puzzles, cooking snacks and just being outside with the wolves.
THE RIVER & HOMECOMINGS. My best friend moved back to Richmond from Portland after a bunch of years away and while her homecoming was not at all what we expected it to be, I am very glad have her back, and to have spent at least one weekend soaking up this view.
NEW GIRL. I have loved this show for years, but it became a cozy blanket of humor for me in 2020.
NOW YOU GO – WHAT GOT YOU THROUGH 2020?