2020: the year that never was

Here we are in the first week of January. The memories of another Christmas have been packed away and the dust has settled on another year. And what a year it's been!  It has changed us, challenged us, frustrated us and really made us question the status quo. In some ways, it has forced us to seek new friendships, find different ways of doing things and connect with our inner selves. 

In my first post of the year I would usually share the highlights of the previous year with you but there's nothing worth mentioning about 2020. It was a year of cancelled trips, thwarted plans, isolation and introspection. But it was not all bad. So many people had it so much worse. We kept our jobs and our sanity, our son was able to follow lessons from school and the quiet time meant that I was able to break my personal reading record.

2020: the positives

So let's take a look at some of the good things that 2020 gave us:
  • we went from working from the office to working from home literally overnight
  • our employers realised that work still got done even if we were not physically present in the office
  • using MS Teams became a daily occurrence and we were able to see some our overseas colleagues 'face to face' for the first time
  • a large number of local business finally bit the bullet and went online
  • we focussed on the things that mattered
And personally:
  • with nowhere to go, I spent most of my vacation days at the beach and managed to get a nice tan for the first time in years
  • I kept the promise I made to myself at the start of the year to decrease my time on Facebook. It was hard, at first, as I was quite addicted to it, but, by March I decreased the time I spent on it to 5 minutes twice daily. I am glad to say that I have stuck to that regimen.

My most read blogposts of 2020

These are the posts that my readers found most interesting during 2020:

In which I shared the work of (mostly) local artists and artisans in an effort to support small businesses in the run-up to Christmas 2020.

In which I talked about a lot of things but especially about being out in the open (pre-COVID 19),        reducing plastic and a strange version of the flu (high fever accompanied by a dry cough that wouldn't budge for days) that my son got at the end of January.

In which I talked  about a coastal hike that we took from the memorial dedicated to Sir Walter                Congreve to a precariously-balanced arch at tal-Hamrija.

In which I reminisced about several places we have visited in the past. Parts 1 and 2 are here and        here respectively.

In which I shared the books I read between July and September.

In which I talked about an unexpected, but very welcome, downpour.

In which I talked about barbecues, recipe books and nail polish.

In which I shared a delicious and easy recipe for roasted chicken cooked in a Mediterranean style.

In which I wrote about the first hospital that was ever built on Malta. If you're new here and want to learn a bit more about Malta, the posts in my Malta in a Minute series are a good place to start and take just one minute to read. This post had also featured in last year's top ten list.

In which I talked about blogs written by mature women that I love to read.


Goals for 2021

As you all know by now, I hardly ever make new year's resolutions but I do try to set some goals for myself. Here are a few that I hope to tackle this year:

  • Improve my photography: after years of talking about it and trying to understand the intricacies of modern digital cameras by myself, my husband has enrolled me in in an online course taught by professional travel and street photographer Mark Hemmings. The course is called Digital Camera Mastery and it's perfect for beginners like me. Thankfully, you learn at your own pace so I won't have to face deadlines I can't keep.
  • Get out of my comfort zone and do something new on the blog: now that I have upgraded my blog and am excited about blogging again, I would like to bring my readers something new and was thinking of occasionally interviewing fellow bloggers or interesting people I know in 'real life'. Watch this space.
  • Continue making baby steps towards greener living: this is something very close to my heart and, although I made a few switches last year to reduce the amount of plastic that we use in our home, there is still a lot more that I can do.
  • Worry less and live in the moment more: if 2020 has taught me one thing it's that life is unpredictable, that we cannot take what we have for granted and that we can usually get by with a little help from our family and friends. I'll try to keep that in mind in the coming months.
I hope you have all had a good start to 2021. If there is anything in particular that you are interested in and would like me to write about, let me know in the comments section and I will try to make it happen.
Location: Gnejna Bay, December 30, 2020
Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Your new blog theme is beautiful. Your photos are already gorgeous. I look forward to seeing what the online photography course brings.
Wonderful post, you flow through the year look back with such ease. 2020 feels better than it was.
Wishing you and yours a healthy, safe, happy, and creative 2021

Loree said...

Thank you @Salty Pumpkin. I hope I manage to improve my photography.It has always been something I wanted to do.

La Contessa said...

ARE YOU TELLING US THE BLOG THAT I WAS IN WAS YOUR NUMBER ONE POST OF THE YEAR?!!!!!

I AM TICKLED PINK!!!

IT IS FASCINATING VISITING OTHERS AND I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR NEW IDEA!!!INTERVIEWING OTHER BLOGGERS!!!BRAVA!

YOUR PHOTOS ARE STUNNING.......WHY DO YOU FEEL YOU NEED A CLASS?!!

I Must get OFF THE COMPUTER AND SCRUB OR POLISH SOMETHING TODAY!

THE SPIDERS ARE TAKING OVER AS WELL........I HAVE SPIDER WEBS EVERYWHERE!I have a hard time EVICTING THEM!!!

LOVE TO YOU!
XXX

Loree said...

Yes indeed, Elizabeth, the post you're featured in was number one during 2020 and it's one of the most read each week.
I'm mostly taking the class to understand better how my camera works and use a few more settings. Glad you like my photos. Thank you.
Haha, good luck with the spiders. Maybe Banksy can eat them for a snack.

Mary said...

Such a great post dear Loree - you covered so much of interest.
Your photos are gorgeous - glad you are enjoying your classes although there probably isn't much to learn as you already captured the beauty of Malta so well. I loved my brief visit to your island - just wish the ship could have stayed longer and we could have met up!

Your words here -"Worry less and live in the moment more" really hit home with me. I'm really bad about concerning myself with what has passed, and what is coming, and feel I need to learn to 'live in the moment.' So I am working on that this new year. We can't change what has gone that's for sure, so trying to erase negative memories and just get on with today best I can!

Happy New Year to you and your family.
Hugs Mary -

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Happy New Year! I love reading blog "round-up" posts, it is a great way to catch up with things I might have missed.

I think you did the right things staying off of Facebook, you probably saved your sanity. Covid is hard enough without adding to the stress with all of the other stuff.

I am looking forward to seeing and hearing about your photography class, I have to take one myself becauseI never use my camera.

Have a great week.

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Sincerely, Loree. Theme by STS.