Happy 2021! Can you believe the whole year of 2020 just went past us like that?
To feel like I did things this past year, I decided to follow Rowena’s 5-week How to Unpotato challenge, which is basically a series of themed reflections to wrap up the year and get us ready for 2021. It’s my first time doing a proper year reflection that’s not just random thoughts on a journal – and I’ve been liking it a lot!
I won’t share my whole series’ answers here, but I thought it’d be fun to share my answers for Week 2: 20 Things I Loved in 2020. Feel free to tag along and think about your own answers as you read this, let’s begin!
5 Favorite Things I Own From This Year
I rediscovered my love for candles this year, sparked by a gift from an intern of mine (hi Joy). I’ve tried plenty since, but the hand-poured De-stress candle from Wood Pollar is my absolute favorite still.
Even though I’ve abandoned this hobby since the summer, it got me through some peak tough covid isolation time earlier this year. Plus, this hobby showed me a way to express some creativity and gave me a sense of accomplishment when I needed an extra boost. Also, to really push my grandma brand, I started knitting 2 weeks ago too. I’ll see if it turns out to be my new thing.
I’ve never been big on skincare (evidently) but this cleanser screams self-care and feels really nice to use at the end of a day.
Best purchase of 2020 that led to my reading re-discovery. Need I say more?
5. H&M black jean jacket.
A random purchase that turned into my go-to jacket. I have no idea what I used to wear before I got this lol
5 New Experiences That Brought Me Joy
1. Lamma day
First time at the island with Matt & Ivy. It was a spontaneous decision that turned out awesome. Amazing weather, great existential conversation, and felt like I was transported to a holiday somewhere else. I loved it.
2. That last hike and bonfire
Recently, I had my first ever (??) bonfire at the end of a company hike. I remember feeling warm and nostalgic afterward.
3. Cooking as self care
For the first time in my life, I enjoyed cooking and trying out new recipes this year! Everything from the many Korean foods to tortilla soup, homemade tacos, congee, mushroom chicken soup (ty Athena), mug cakes – so many meals so many happy days.
4. Bubble bath
Not my first one in my life but man it’s been years since I had one and this year I had the chance to do them at the few staycations we had. Really should do this more often because it is the ultimate ZEN
5. Online class
Again, with covid being in the way, I tried out a few online classes this year as a way to spend time productively. From a random philosophy class to PM to now language, it’s been fun learning when you just want to, not just for grades.
5 Memories I Shared With Others
1. Birthday in quarantine
Though it felt a bit lonely and sad at first that I couldn’t see ANYONE in person on my birthday this year, I loved the many zoom calls (including from big family and Indo friends) and the K-drama box my coworkers put together
2. More video calls than ever
Zoom fatigue is a real thing, but I appreciate all the catch-up calls, events, and online game sessions we’ve had.
3. Innovative dinners at home
With restaurants being partially closed and mostly limited, I’ve had some really fun time trying to dishes (taco day, budae jjigae, thanksgiving, air fryer date)
4. Dinner dates
Shoutout to my used-to-be-go-yo dinner buddy, Matt, I got to try so many new food spots (back when they were open). Blue Supreme, La Camionetta, Shady Acres, Honky Tavern are just a few of my recent finds.
Turns out pretending to be rich and live in a hotel, even for just a night, is really really nice, especially after a long week.
5 Moments With Myself / Lessons Learned
1. Nighttime routine.
I discovered a new sense of stillness and relaxation since I started my nighttime routine with a kindle, a lit candle, and fairy lights. I’ve relied on this routine as a calming way to end a (typically) busy and stressful day, and I love my 100% sleep score.
2. COVID lockdown….
led to more time alone at home, with many hobbies picked up, and dropped. Surprisingly though, I managed quarantine alone just fine!
3. New career interest?
This year, I learned what it’s like to want to pursue and learn something. I’ve just been following the current, but this year I discovered one thing that appeared more interesting than the rest. It was (and is) scary, and challenging, and I feel way over my head, but also – I find myself voluntarily reading and studying on it, so I’ll continue in this path as long as I can.
4. On dating and relationships
… to be ok and less antsy about finding someone. In the past, I felt like I was against a clock or that I was in some race. This year, I could say that this urge is no longer taking over my brain as much as it used to (but I definitely should still spend less time on the apps, help)
5. And finally, to accept and learn to work with my obsessive, intense, emotional, planner self.
Here’s to hopefully a lighter and more fulfilling 2021 🙂