Some Lifeboats in the Sea (Or: How Coloring, Books, and Pokemon Have Helped Me Survive 2020)

This year has been filled with a lot of “can’ts,” hasn’t it? We can’t have the graduations we wanted; we can’t go on the vacations we planned; we can’t even go out to eat without feeling like we’re in a post-apocalyptic novel.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the limitations that simply are 2020. After a while, your comfortable home starts to feel like a prison, and living vicariously through books seems like a cruel joke.

I’ve been feeling that way a bit lately, so I’m sure other are, too. That’s why I decided to make a list of all the things I was able to do in 2020. As difficult as it may seem, there have been some some “cans” among all the “can’ts”–like lifeboats in the tumultuous sea of this year. Writing them down definitely helped me; if you’re feeling a little shackled, give it a try. You might find it helps you, too.

20 Things I Could Do in 2020

(20) Revisit a favorite video game from my childhood.

10 points to anyone who knows what video game this is! (And yes, I currently have the high score!)

(19) Try out a local bakery I’d never visited.

(18) Discover new animes (and actually have time to watch them!)

(17) Read more books in one year than I ever have. (I’m at 205 right now!)

My first batch of books from the library during the pandemic. My husband took care of things like food… but I had the necessities covered!

(16) Organize my dining room, office, and “nerdvana” (a room where I keep my nerdiest collectibles).

(15) Start a blog! 😉

(14) Have time to really, REALLY write!

(13) Go on a really long hike. (With hopefully more to come!)

This tree might seem like it goes on forever, but this pandemic won’t.

(12) Bake! (Including…Bat-cookies!)

Holy sugar, Batman!

(11) Find some zen with coloring.

I sadly did not win the librarian coloring contest… but I still had a lot of fun with these flowers!

(10) Spend time outside: Whether it’s a walk in the country or some time spent on my front porch, sunshine and fresh are just beyond the door.

I loved taking these photos in the spring. Now I’m ready for fall colors!

(9) One word: Games. You don’t have to leave the house to be competitive.

My personal favorite… DC Deck Builders. (And yes… I did happen to win this game.)

(8) Evening walks around town (which also means… Pokemon hunting!)

Still trying to hit level 38. Only about a million points to go….

(7) Crafts! My 2019 vacation scrapbook is coming along nicely.

(6) Phone calls! Even if you can’t see someone, you can time travel to the ’90s when people actually spent time talking on the phone, rather than just texting.

(5) Learn a language! I’ve been trying to learn Japanese (which I’m finding out very quickly is NOT EASY!), and brushing up on the Spanish I learned in high school. Gotta keep that brain flexible, right?

(4) Quality time. My husband and I have busy schedules, but we’ve been able to spend more time together–never underestimate the power of just relaxing with someone you love.

(3) Stargazing–a nice reminder that the world will keep turning is to just look up and see the universe around us.

Maybe technically “moon-gazing” but the sky was beautiful that night.

(2) Laughing. Whether it’s a funny book or just being goofy, laughter is only a grin… a smile… a chuckle… away.

(1) Taking it one day at a time. Sometimes, that’s all you can do. You wake up and decide what this one set of 24-hours will bring: Reading? Nature? Being with loved ones? Learning something new? It’s a crazy year, but we still have one very powerful tool: Perspective.

Remember: Perspective is both a wonderful and dangerous thing. It can make the world around you a million times better, or even a million times worse. Even 2020, when so much seems far beyond us, perspective is something we can use to assert a little control in our lives.

If we stay positive and keep supporting one another, we’ll come out on the other side. We’ve got this!

What are some things you’ve been able to do? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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