Every year has its ups and downs. Yes, 2020 had the ups and downs of entire millennia rolled into one but I am going to look past that and focus on some smaller ups, things that made the year just a smidge brighter. These are some of the things that brought a smile to my face in 2020.
Best Post of 2020
I’m so glad this post still resonates with so many people. In my post, Things people with congenital heart disease want you to know, I talked about some of the misconceptions normal heart people have about the rest of us. While this post was written a couple of years ago, it is still hugely popular and I’m glad I could share this information with you. And to the young woman who recently emailed me, I am compiling the perfect list for you. Welcome to the ACHD family.
Best Knit of 2020
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My principal cowl has to be my favorite cast-on of last year. I’m using the Honey Cowl pattern from my cozy cowls round-up. The pattern is super simple to learn and thus remember (so I’m not constantly looking where I am). I chose Blue Sky Fibers extra in colorway Java. This is some of the squishiest, softest, cuddliest yarn I’ve ever touched. Granted, it’s still a WIP, but I have confidence I’ll finish this one.
I have a lot of apps on my phone, a fair number of them are mental health apps. It’s pretty uncommon for me to be taken by an app enough to rave about it but I’ve found one that simply soothes me. Self-care and mental health are two things I’m learning to pay more attention to. 2019 was a huge wake-up call for me in terms of making sure I put my own care first. I found the app Healthy Minds while on a search for meditation and mindfulness apps. What I really love about Healthy Minds is how it is a learning tool.
The creators use the study of neuroscience to teach more than mindfulness and meditation. The app is in-depth and walks you through the four categories important for retraining your mind. I’m learning how to rewire my brain in positive and healthy ways. Healthy Minds is completely free. I’m receiving science-backed instruction and tips without any other cost other than my time. It’s almost like this app believes in positive mental health.
The Deliberate Freelancer is a podcast created and hosted by Melanie Padget Powers. I can’t remember how I found her podcast but like me, she is a content marketing writer. Her podcast is authoritative and friendly. She touches on the topics that freelancers, especially writers, care the most about; setting rates, sending LOIs, creating a work schedule… I have her podcast set to auto download when a new episode is released. This way I can listen no matter where I am and never miss a podcast.
Despite 2020’s dumpster fire performance, I have a lot of good memories from last year. Some of them are sappy and sweet and then some are ridiculous. I want to focus on the ridiculous because I need more ridiculous good memories. I think we all do, don’t you?
Last year, my daughter sweetly bought me a used Nintendo 3Ds (something I have wanted because I’m secretly six years old) and she also bought me Animal Crossing New Leaf. However, I have wanted a Nintendo Switch. since they came out but their popularity made buying one, either online or in-store, nearly impossible. When I was finally able to buy one for myself online, I got the Animal Crossing New Horizons bundle. Then, Heather got one of her own too. Tried as we did, we could not play together online. Our networks didn’t want to connect. It didn’t matter what I did, nothing worked.
One day, I had an idea. I packed up my Switch and drove 20 minutes to town. I ran some errands and then parked at the grocery store, turned on my Switch, and connected to the store’s WiFi. Would you believe that shit worked? After months of doing every possible thing short of a satanic ritual to connect my Switch to a network so Heather and I could visit each other… and all I had to do was go to the grocery store?! Needless to say, there was much happiness, memories were made, and of course, hilarity ensued.
Since that first day, Heather and I have had many awesome adventures together on our islands, much like our IRL adventures.
Sometimes, we even do our water exercises together.
And yes, I will continue to drive to the grocery store and visit with Heather in our little virtual worlds if that’s the best way for us to get some BFF face-time.
Your turn, what are some of the highlights from your 2020?