2020 has been a year. Some (most) of us would even say it has sucked and in many ways, it has. An economic and global health crisis. A contentious election. Racial divide. General uncertainty. However, if you look closely, there are still some positives to be found. So I give you…


1. Zoo Cams

If you are anything like my family, you have been riveted by all the zoo livestreams. We have watched a litter of cheetah cubs, black footed ferrets, and even a baby panda cub be born and grow up before our eyes. Check out all these from the Smithsonian National Zoo!

2. Cocktails to Go

Even in puritanical Texas, they are throwing us a bone and loosening up the liquor laws. You can get cocktails to go from restaurants, and there are even margarita trucks making the rounds. What a time to be alive.


3. People are opting outside

When outside became our only option, I believe people realized how much they have missed being in nature. COVID has not been good for much, but it has contributed to people putting down their screens and getting outside.

4. Christmas came early

I used to be a strict “no Christmas before Thanksgiving” person. Then came 2020, and I was humbled. Time and space have largely lost their meaning anyway so it if it makes you happy, put up the tree. No one will be judging this year.

5. Girls are more educated than ever before

A UNESCO study released this year found that girls around the world have greater access to education than ever before. Now this is one 2020 trend I’d like to see continue. 

6. Mother Earth is getting a breather

The shutdowns hit us hard but one silver lining was the literal clearing of the air. Pollution levels decreased, water started running clear again, and animals were able to reclaim some of their habitats.

7. Hamilton on Disney+

Do I need an explanation? Thank you, Disney. Even my 3-year-old wants to sing along.

Hamilton on Disney+
©️Inside the Magic

8. Homes for all the fur babies 

While there is still a long way to go in animal rescue (and there may always be), 2020 saw lower numbers of pets in many shelters across the country. Maybe people finally had the time or they realized the physical and psychological benefits of pet ownership. Whatever the reason, let’s hope this keeps.

In the same vein…

9. Surviving the storm

Ricardo Pimentel sheltered over 300 animals in his Mexico home when Hurricane Delta hit the Yucatan Peninsula. A great reminder that good people do still exist. 

 

10. The end of election season

I mean mostly. Depending on who you ask. OK, it’s at least not AS much in the news, and we have a little breather before we are bombarded with the next election cycle. Kinda.

But if you need a little restoration of faith in government officials, look to Utah because…

 

11. Rivals in Utah election ran a joint campaign ad

The two candidates for governor ran an ad focused on unity and coming together regardless of party line. May every politician take note. We are much more alike than we are different.


12. Candy Chutes

I was touched and surprised by the creative ways my neighborhood showed up to give the kids a safe and fun Halloween. The best part? The elaborate chutes they built to deliver candy and maintain a distance. An added bonus?  Halloween was much more inclusive for kids with special needs who may not have been able to enjoy the holiday much before. I am here for the candy slides. Let’s have them every year, and let’s work to make things fun for all kids. 

13. Ew, David.

2020 hasn’t given us much but it did give us some closure with the Rose family. Not only did we get a satisfying end to the show but the show itself got the love it deserved when it swept its categories at the Emmy’s.

14. “Chris Nikic, you are an Ironman!”

If you need to feel inspired, watch Chris Nikic finish his Ironman race in Florida, becoming the first athlete with Down Syndrome to complete the grueling event.


15. Some Good News

Thank you John Krasinski for sharing good news for us when we needed it most. I know it lifted my spirits and always gave me a reason to smile.



16. Home Ec 101

2020 gave us plenty of time to hone our domestic skills. Many of us tackled DIY projects around our home, gardened, and baked ourselves into gaining the “COVID 19.” Did you know how to make a sourdough starter before this year? Me either. Also, full disclosure, I am not sure I do now. I do know my yard looks pretty good though.

17. Space jams

When there were no sports to sustain us, Space X said, “Hold my beer.” They gave us the first launch of NASA astronauts by a private company. If you were feeling bad about America’s prospects before, that was a much needed boost of patriotic awesomeness. 



Speaking of Sports…

18. Sports have somehow, improbably, made it.

In spite of everything 2020 has thrown at us, we’ve seen the NBA, NHL, and MLB crown champions. The NFL season is limping along. We may see a Super Bowl yet.

19. Redefining Essential

2020 has given us a chance to recognize and thank the many people who fly under the radar but sure make our lives easier. I hope we always thank the food service workers, the cashiers, the delivery drivers, and the custodial crews that keep us fed and clean and well-stocked on Amazon Prime “necessities.”

20. Love was not canceled 

Babies were born. People found love. Life went on. 2020 threw a wrench in a lot of plans, and big life events looked different than before. But the big stuff – the important stuff – found a way.

Am I going to miss this year? Um, no.

However, I feel like to give this year the proper (and can’t happen soon enough) send-off it needs, its important to acknowledge the reasons 2020 hasn’t sucked. If you can add anything I may have missed, please comment with it below!

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Jamie is originally from a small town in Texas. She and her husband met while students at Texas A&M University and have been married 11 years. He is in the Air Force, and they are currently stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have been lucky to be stationed overseas previously, allowing them to travel all over the world. Jamie enjoys animal rescue and is a fur-mom to three adopted dogs and three adopted cats. She is hoping all this will prepare her for the arrival of her first human baby, a little boy. Jamie enjoys running, travel, reading, home decorating, and drinking wine.