2020 was definitely hard, but there were absolutely still highlights. I can easily look back on last year and see joy in the midst of chaos and hardship.
I know that for some, seeing past the dumpster fire of a year might be hard, but if you really ook, there are a lot of wonderful things that came from last year.
I have long believed in practicing gratitude. I spend time most mornings writing down thoughts in a gratitude journal and am forever trying to see the bright side of things. I know that anytime you can shift into a gratitude mindset, your mood, your heart, your relationships, and everything else really do change.
A new year is already solidly underway but before January comes to an end, I wanted to think back over the highlights of 2020 and show my gratitude for the joys that the year brought.
With all the mess that 2020 brought, I am so thankful for the following:
A shift in perspective.
I think that many can relate to this but prior to the pandemic, my life felt like all hustle. Days were filled with racing and rushing and never-ending lists and appointments and commitments and it was just all so much.
Of course, I never would have told you it was too much. But when things shut down and we were forced into quarantine, everything came to a screeching halt. All of the commitments evaporated.
At first, the pause was nice, like a little bit of forced downtime. And then it was extremely uncomfortable.
In fact, there were months of extremely uncomfortable moments when I didn’t think if I would survive this. And then, surprisingly, I settled in. The new normal happened and the new rhythm happened. And I realized, along with the rest of the nation, that we didn’t need to be so intense all the time.
Slower mornings were actually great. Lighter calendars were actually fantastic. Time to enjoy our family was ideal.
I went into 2020 with my main business goal of growing the education side of my business. I had big dreams. And none of them revolved around a pandemic or online education.
But covid happened and I pivoted. Thanks to technology, I started the Making Lifestyle Work Mastermind and it NEVER would have happened without a pandemic and forced shutdowns.
In 2020 I still reached my goal. I was still able to vastly grow my education business and it is all thanks to us all being stuck at home.
As I learned to navigate the online education space, my goals aligned with what others were craving and it made an almost magical experience for the 20 women who participated.
Thanks to 2020, my education goals are even bigger and more on track than they might have been otherwise. And after spending last year teaching, I am even more certain than before that it feeds my soul.
Is it weird that I am listing gratitude as one of the things I am thankful for? Oh well, I am going for it.
2020 was so hard that I was really able to see, without a doubt, all the things I had to be grateful for. The good became so glaringly obvious. After the “new normal” settled in and the initial panic and anxiety were gone, my heart really shifted into gratitude… in a much deeper way than I think it ever had.
Okay, I had to list something specific, right? I know that many people do not have this luxury but holy cow, this was a huge saving grace to me.
Just a year prior to the pandemic, we had decided to turn a backyard shed into a home gym. We had it outfitted with equipment, gym flooring, electrical, a TV, and a mirror. It is definitely super basic but it was a HUGE blessing in 2020.
Literally, there was not a day that went by that I didn’t thank God for the decision and timing to put in that gym.
Friends with a Pool.
Again, this is a pretty specific item but it really was so life-giving. Some of our best friends live 2 houses away and they have a pool.
Very early on in the covid lockdown, it was decided that our families would be in a pod together. We had the gym and they had the pool so we shared freely amongst our two families. Having a way to escape the Texas summer heat and for the kids to burn off energy was amazing.
Yes, 2020 was supposed to include some incredible trips including a 15th wedding anniversary trip, a 40th birthday trip, 2 photography conferences, and multiple client travel sessions. And of course, all of them were canceled.
BUT, we were still able to squeak in some small scale road trips. And let me just tell you, I have never enjoyed getting out of town more than during a pandemic.
And I LOVE travel. Like LOOOOVEEEE to travel. I have always had vagabond feet and loved to go all the places. I love airplanes and hotels and all parts of travel.
But the very first road trip we took post-shutdown was one of the best trips our family has ever had. Just for the simple gift of a change of scenery.
When the pandemic first hit, I like many other entrepreneurs, worried that my business was over. I worried that I would never work with my precious families again. I worried because the future was just so unknown.
But let me tell you, walking into a client’s home for the first time after things started opening up was a joy like no other. And the gratitude I have had for every session since then is the same. I love what I do. I am honored to get to continue and do this work.
Yes, I hate having to wear a dang mask and not get to hug you or hold your babies but I will continue to do it over and over again if it means continuing to do what I love. I will never again take being a Fort Worth newborn photographer for granted. I will never again take my role in capturing your precious memories for granted.
Honestly, I could probably list a million other little things. That is what happens when you start looking at things with eyes of gratitude… the snowball catches on and they just keep coming.
If you have never tried a gratitude practice, I encourage you to make time. Spend just 5 minutes listing as many things as you can think of. These things can be big or small, it doesn’t need to be anything well written. But do it for a week and see how you feel. If you want more resources on gratitude, Rachel Hollis is a great place to start.
And of course, if you are expecting a baby in 2021 or just want to have your family captured in the most fun and joyful way, give me a holla. I would love to chat about what your session could look like.