Every year during the first week of January- I sit down and write a post about the year that was and the dreams for the new year we are just starting.
Of course, 2020 was a bit of a bear of a year. It was a year that we were all pretty happy about ushering 2020 out the door to welcome in a fresh start ( okay- drop kicking it out the door might be a more accurate way of saying it)
Between all that went on in 2020- including all of us becoming hobbits and staying home- I am not even sure how to sum that all up other than – what in the world was that? Except maybe good riddance.
My daughters favorite teacher Coral- who happens to be my favorite too- used to say to all of the 1st graders when there was a hiccup or issue-
‘This is just a pebble in your path.’
I have thought about that so many times when it comes to different bumps in the road and slower roads that are a bit more ‘pebbly’ than usual. I would think that Coral might say 2020 looked more like a boulder in the path- and 2021 is starting out a bit rocky- but that we have got this. As I look back at the year that was every year- I try to look for the bright and good which can admittedly be harder when you look at a lot of 2020. But if you look back- maybe there is more that you can be grateful for than you realize at first glance.
2020 reminded me of where I was when I started my blog.
I was in a place in life where things were changing and I was feeling lost not knowing how to navigate the path that I was walking on. I needed a place to land and escape from time to time. That place was my blog.
I remember how strange I thought it was to sit down, write about something and hit publish. But what happened was incredible. Those blog posts became an escape. And when I didn’t have anyone to sit down with and visit with in person at the time – I would connect with all of you here and I felt this huge sense of community and togetherness. I found friendship and support and love here and it was such a welcome spot to be during that difficult time. And that was a very similar feeling to how I felt last year.
But this time, it truly was about more. We all needed that place to escape to. That light and frivolous chatter about pretty things and great adventures waiting to happen. About craigslist scores and dreaming about the day when we could all sit and gather and hug each other again. And might I say- when we could sit and see each others smiling faces without fear.
While writing those blog posts and styling those photos and working on projects to get lost in a bit of distraction – I also wanted to create a soft place for you to land to get lost in for a bit too. And from the notes and comments and emails I got throughout the year- it seemed it helped many of you to find a little distraction too.
So when I look back at 2020- I am grateful.
For this blog and little place on the internet that has once again supported me. And that also gave me a place to be able to create a small bit of sunshine to share with you and hopefully help buoy you this year as well.
For you being here this year and your friendship and support. We have all been in this together- and you being here has been such a gift for me. Thank you.
For my husband and my family and staying healthy and safe this year. For the ability to be able to continue to work throughout this year with the amazing companies and partners I have. I am so grateful for them. I know so many – including several people in our family- who have not been able to work.
2020 randomly also brought a lot of other change and projects. On the family front- my husband retired from Law Enforcement at the end of February. A week later- we were in lockdown together in California. We have joked that it was a good thing we still like each other after all these years haha.
My daughter got engaged in Lake Tahoe- (and there are some fun things coming with my boys this next year also that I am excited to share -including my oldest son moving back to California in the next couple of weeks.)
We spent a lot of time playing with those wee goats and me- I spent a lot of time holding my chickens. They are surprisingly therapeutic to hold and pet for hours- I highly recommend it. 🙂 And we have taken Sweet Pea on extra amounts of walks. We put in that expanded veggie garden and created a quiet oasis to enjoy while at home. We also moved French Country Cottage to a new refreshed blog platform and my second book Inspired Gatherings was born and went out into the world in May.
From exciting next chapter plans for our personal lives to business plans to travel and family fun. Those best laid plans? Well, you know how that went.
I didn’t ever imagine that I would be releasing a book about how to gather- when we were all in a worldwide no gathering situation. I mean- I know that I have impeccable timing- but that was some really impeccable timing there. haha. Inspired Gatherings launch was a bit rocky(thanks 2020) and I will be honest- it took the wind out of my creative sails for a bit. But even so- with the wonky bumps in the launch road- I am beyond grateful to my publisher for the opportunity to write another book-and so grateful for all of your support of it.
Christmas in July
One of the saving graces for me last year (and really every year) is working on holiday so much earlier than I normally would. When July rolled around- I found some creative mojo again when I had several video projects to create that involved Christmas trees and decorating. I can’t tell you how much it helped me to put up those trees and create something inspired again- even in July.
2020 was a year that showed me more than ever that we are all in this together. Even though we are apart and connecting in ways that are different than usual- we each came together and helped each other navigate a really wild and rocky path. We found strength together even hundreds and thousands of miles apart- and that is no small feat- that is a huge blessing.
Every year I start out feeling excited about what we can do- but this year, I am looking at 2021 with an even bigger sense of possibilities. Those big plans that we had for 2020 travel with fresh projects and adventures- well, maybe 2021 will be the year they kick into gear and we get some big gusto behind them. The courses and ideas I had for the blog last year that I just didn’t get finished- they are back on the calendar with a set of fresh eyes and ears working on them.
Working ahead on videos and projects and gearing up for some exciting things- and I am taking the next steps and working towards some big goals and dreams- business and personal. Being more intentional about the work I am doing and plan to be doing has brought new opportunities into my path- and has been like a nod from the universe that it is the right path to be on.
And I am looking to create even more community here. More ways that we can connect and support each other every day. From groups to workshops to Q & A on Instagram and Facebook Live- I am going to try a few different things and see what fits best. I am learning more and would love to know more about what you enjoy here and want to see here too.
So here is to 2021 and an AMAZING year for all. A year full of health, opportunities to create the life you want to live. I am so excited for a fresh start full of blank pages and possibilities and wonderful adventures just waiting to happen.
And because this is pretty much how I feel about 2020- I shared this reel on Instagram and facebook- thought you might enjoy it too. Hopefully the music will play too – if it doesn’t you can go watch it on FB or instagram
Happy New Year everyone.