Hey 2020… It’s been a slice, but you’re free to go. Bye, Felicia.

Holy crapoly — has. it. been. a. year. PAUSE. Deep breath.

Happy. Thankful. 2020. Hugs. Family. Friends.

Okay…. YOU FREAKING DID IT, and that should be enough to put a smile on your face. You made it through what I am guessing was one of the most bizarre, uncertain, overwhelming and anxious years of your life thus far, and for that, you deserve to be proud!

So, first off, give yourself a freaking high five. Or, if you live with someone, turn to them and give THEM a freaking high five. Or, don’t… totally up to you. Also, I will remind you, my brain goes to 139 places a minute, so bear with me if my post goes in a few directions and doesn’t flow…I’ll try my best.

Second off, can we take a hot moment to remember Tiger King? “Hello all you cool cats and kittens”,… “Oh, hey there Carol Baskin…killed her, husband, whacked him. Can’t convince me that it didn’t happen…” (If you’re over the age of…. no I won’t go there, but if you don’t know what that quote was from, here is a video to loop you in). But in all seriousness, does it not seem like the Tiger King fad was so long ago? I honestly feel like this year went by so fast, but also feels like it dragged on forever…what about you?

2020 was one of the #best years of my life with the purchase of a new home, getting engaged to my sweet love bug and having one of the most adventurous summers of my life. But, it was also one of the #hardest years. I, like many, have a hard enough time dealing with the uncertainties of every day life not in the midst of a pandemic, so slap a global pandemic in the mix, and yikes, there were some dark days. Many of us had to learn to deal with feelings of anxiety and the unknown. We were fearful, and often felt hopeless. Mental health was severely impacted by the the pandemic, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the effect. I try to be a positive human being, but I will tell you, there were days that I was so anxious I felt like I couldn’t breathe, that my body was in so much pain I got scared, that I had out of body experiences, and that I would start balling my eyes out with no clear trigger — which lead me to ordering way more Skip the Dishes than I typically would (which was bad for both my bank account and health). When I am sad, I just want junk food (my go to’s are Canadian Pizza Unlimited, Tuk Tuk Thai or any sushi… YUMMY. Come to mama).

Why am I sharing all this? I am sharing in the hopes that if someone reading this post experienced something similar, they know they are not alone. You are NOT alone. I see you. It is scary being vulnerable and sharing different parts of your life with an outside world, but if it can help one person feel less alone, then I’ve done my part. I am rooting for you. You are brave. You are wonderful. If you are living in Alberta, please know that AHS offers The Mental Help Line (1–877–303–2642 toll free) which is a 24 hour, 7 day a week confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concerns.

Okay, now let’s chitty chat about perspective. I don’t know about you, but this year helped reframe my outlook on what is truly important. There is so much beauty in the meaningful relationships we have built with family and friends, and to be told we cannot see them in person was a blow to us all. To be told we cannot participate in our usual daily out-of-home activities, was a blow. But, it was all in a plan to keep us safe. To keep our loved ones safe in the hopes we can see them in the future. I have not hugged a human other than Ty for 10 months, and I cannot wait to give my family and friends the biggest #bearhug of their lives. I’M COMING FOR YOU!!!! MUAHAHA.

But anyways, back to perspective. I gained a new appreciation and perspective for:

  1. Human touch (missing those hugs!). Finding new ways to spread and show love (I must say the door drop offs were a real smile maker).
  2. Being present. Put those phones away (except maybe to capture photos) and cherish the moment.
  3. Technology (I would bet $100 that we all dealt with at least ONE tech issue over the last 10 months… but also, THANK YOU ZOOMY ZOOM ZOOM, you allowed us to stay connected to loved ones)
  4. Small, local businesses (I know we all tried to support our fellow Calgarians)
  5. Kind neighbours that came together on what was one of the snowiest days of the year to help each other shovel
  6. Nature (I wasn’t the biggest outdoorsey human before all of this, but this year I was encouraged to explore our ‘backyard’ and BOY, was it ever BEWWWTIFUL)
  7. Ty Ty’s cooking (thank you for always keeping me full of delish food)
  8. Golf and softball (thank you for being outdoor activities that we were still able to participate in — you rock!…no really, you actually are awesome). I may not be great at either of you, but I sure am grateful for you.
  9. Finding new hobbies and ways to spend time
  10. Walks around our neighbourhood
  11. Sweatpants — THE REAL MVP (YUP, I LEGIT think I have worn something other than sweatpants a total of 7 times in the last 10 months — comfort over all else, can I get a “YAS GURL”)

I would love to hear what you gained a new appreciation for. Please feel free to share in the comments! The more #positivevibes we can share with the people reading this, the BETTAH!

Well, I think it is safe to say that 2020 was a year for the books. We will never forget it, but we are ready for it to be in our past #byefelicia. We overcame new challenges and grew into stronger individuals. We are ALL stronger than we ever thought we were.

I am sending love to you and your families, and wishing you a happy and safe new year.

Thanks again for reading. The fact that you have taken time out of your day to actually read the thoughts I put on paper makes me feel really happy, so thank you.

Until we chat again.

ehleigh (Eh — pronounced ‘A’, and Leigh is my middle name).