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  • Writer's pictureAnna Read

2020 - I'm Not Even Mad: a Year in Review

Oh, 2020. I’m not mad at you! While 2020 was full of challenges and unknowns, it was really an incredible year for me. The biggest takeaways for me I think were learning how to be resourceful, asking for what I needed, and not being afraid to step outside of the norms I've set for myself (aka my comfort zone). We really can be our worst enemy sometimes. :)

I started the year off digging into new software (Airtable, Asana, and OneNote) to advance my technology skillset, received a scholarship to finish out my time at UAB, and conquered our first major home project with my sweet mother-in-law and husband (replacing some of and repainting our deck/fence!). That was a labor of love and the makings of a wonderful memory with my MIL that I'll always cherish. We had way too much fun with this project.

I started a podcast with one of my good friends, finally broke into the nonprofit sector (a goal of mine for a while!), and finished my undergrad degree, 12 years in the making. (My Blog post about graduating can be found here) Geez, that felt good!

Back to the podcast for a minute -- thanks to my good friend Josh, we were able to start a dialogue about the systemic racism that exists in our world. Starting that conversation for Josh wasn't easy, and I am thankful for his bravery. I'm hopeful 2021 will be a year of action and healing. Thank you, Josh, for answering my endless questions, educating me on our different our worlds look (although they shouldn't), and always being down for my crazy ideas.

Summer brought so many wonderful memories with friends, neighbors, and family. Outdoor Bible studies, pool parties, and lots of neighborhood happy hours from our driveways. Some of my favorite days looked just like this:

I discovered, (much to my husband's delight), how much I love yard work and I built 3 gardens in our backyard! They aren't huge or super impressive, but they are something I am proud of. Gardening was truly my escape from the Covid crazy. In the height of lockdown when I got frustrated, I just went outside and took my frustration out on a privet hedge. If you know what that is, you know they deserve it. (Photo of me vs. privet hedge below-- Anna - 1 Privet - 0)

This fall, I was asked to speak at TWO international Executive Assistant Virtual Conferences and, as I mentioned earlier, was reminded how great it is to be pushed out of your comfort zone. Thank you, Lauren Bradley, of Join the Officials and Lucy Brazier of Executive Secretary Magazine.

Other 2020 Highlights:

One of my close friends from high school moved 5 minutes away, and it has been so nice having her around again. Friends that have known you forever are so special.

Work has been incredible. I love what I do, who I work with, and the organization I work for. I am excited to see what we'll accomplish in 2021!

Charles and I had planned to go to Disney World this December for his 40th, but obviously, COVID had other plans. Instead, I threw him a small surprise party. His reactions were my favorite and Disney World will have a hard time topping the fun we had that night.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were so chill this year. I'm at a place in life where I really appreciate my family. Being the youngest of four is a lot of fun, and my family is wonderful. They keep me on my toes, make me LAUGH, and always have my back. My nieces and nephews are brilliant, kind, thoughtful, and hilarious. The Nerf Gun War of 2020 will forever go down in history as one of my favorite memories.

Not sure how my nephew escaped these photos!

This year has been so truly packed that I wanted to write this blog post so I don't forget how great it has been to me. Details can get fuzzy as time goes on, and I wanted to get as much on paper while it was fresh on my brain. You know how that goes. :)

So, no, I'm not mad at you, 2020. I am sad for those who have lost loved ones, friends, or colleagues to this terrible disease. My heart hurts for the amount of loss so many have experienced this year -- job loss, loss of life, loss of home.

However, I hope that 2021 is full of new beginnings, vaccines, and pathways to healing (physical and emotional!)

So here's to 2021! Happy New Year, Friends! :)

2020 Favorites:

Binged: Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, Good Girls, Schitts Creek, New Girl, Bosch, Justified, and Love is Blind.

Obsessed with: Lilly Pulitizer Kerah tops, these clip-on earrings, Brumate, and Not Your Father's Root Beer.

On Repeat: Body (Can't help it!), Willow, Bad Guy, and Sucker.

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