This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.
Another year slipped by and what a year, right? Writing the 2019 year end review and looking forward to 2020 I knew not what lay ahead. And I’m glad I did not. I’d rather go with the flow of life and learn as I go.
I’ve been writing year end reviews since I began blogging in 2014. This year that’s still my intention…and yet it was such a different year that I struggled initially with what to share. Typically I offer highlights from the past 12 months. Ultimately, I decided to do that this year too, with a slight twist. For the year that we all experienced shaped our journeys. How could it not?
So here it is, the Year of Curiosity in Review, with thoughts about the year in general thrown in.
Year of Curiosity
2020 was my Year of Curiosity with the key as my symbol and “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana my song. I love following curiosity to see where it leads. It truly is the key that opens doors for me to adventures and new opportunities. With my love for travel, I hoped curiosity would lead me on many adventures, both near and far.
I also noted that 20/20 is a term associated with eyesight. Therefore, the year could bring greater clarity and vision with new things to see.
All those things proved true, however not in the way I imagined.
I certainly saw things I never expected to see: a world wide pandemic, a shortage on toilet paper, the craziest election year I’ve ever experienced, conspiracy theories of all kinds, face masks, people against face masks, people who believe anything they read on social media, misinformation, racial inequality and fear, anger, frustration and loss. Ugliness came to the surface in many as a response to these dramatic and oft time painful shifts.
I’ve shared before that when we get squeezed, what’s inside comes out. I saw that in abundance this year. People turned on each other. Families divided. Friends parted ways. I heard words spew out of mouths that I never thought I’d hear and saw lines drawn in social media posts that created more division. Great clarity did indeed come this year as we all revealed more of who we really are, inside.
This year brought wonderful surprises too. I welcomed a precious new grandbaby, a child long desired by her parents. Finley Grace brings such joy and hope in the midst of chaos.
I saw people go above and beyond, helping others, being light, offering from whole hearts. Others sacrificed their time and resources. Those in the medical community became front line warriors. Opportunities did arrive, for adventures, expansion and for growth…so much growth. My trust in the goodness of God and in those who do good, in spite of it all, deepened greatly.
And in my dark backyard, I witnessed an event in the sky that had not occurred for 800 years. Standing there I realized how small and temporary we humans are. Time marches onward, in circles that repeat and overlap. Humanity endures, learns and grows through struggles, birth pains and sheer determination.
Year of Curiosity in Review
Here are the highlights from this most unusual year!
What a year of growth for the blogs. A simple system that I created, planning out in advance each month’s blog posts and social media posts, proved so helpful. I keep a notebook with the months on separate pages and write out the details for each day. Doing so saves me time and keeps me on track with my goals.
I took a travel writing class in January that I highly recommend, Travel Blogging Blastoff by Pete and Heather Rees. Check out the course here. Although I didn’t get to travel in the way I intended to, due to COVID, I adapted.
Mondays are lifestyle and review posts on Cindy Goes Beyond
What a joy to expand the number of companies and brands I worked with this year. I accept assignments and campaigns from companies I trust and like, while staying open to trying new products. I worked with more than 40 brands and love the experiences. And they seem to appreciate what I offer. Many companies send repeat assignments and make me an affiliate. Check out this post I wrote for Smartr Skin as an example.
I’m happy to report as well that I’ve earned the most income so far, from the blogs this year. I had my first $1000 month from blogging which is exciting and encouraging. It’s onward and upward from here.
Wednesdays are all things health related on Journey With Healthy Me
I like the schedule I’ve worked out, on posting. Three posts a week are much more manageable than the ten a week I used to do, between the two blogs! Wednesday my focus is on Journey. I continue to share health tips, recipes and personal experiences. Pop over to my other blog, if you’ve never visited before. Check out this post, Vegan Ramen Noodles.
Fridays are travel related posts on Cindy Goes Beyond
What does one write about, when travel is restricted? I choose to revisit countries and cities, in my memory and in photos, and write fun stories about those places.
In my notebook I keep a list of possible travel stories and topics and add to those as ideas pop into my head. I’ve not run out of things to write about, nor will I. Read this 2020 post Fun British Phrases and What They Mean.
I also go on at least one road trip a month, visiting places in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. My little travel mascot that I adopted this year, VW Van Ferni, accompanies me. I snap a photo of her wherever we go. Greg often travels with me too. We wear masks, except when outdoors, and follow social distancing as we explore.
A trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee postponed until next year and my solo trip to Edinburgh for the Christmas Market canceled. These local road trips help ease my desire to travel while sharpening my travel writing skills. And I enjoy new experiences in my own area. Check out Philbrook Museum Gardens, Ferni’s debut trip.
These posts from this year are special to me
The following 2020 posts are worth mentioning.
My Favorite Post: Dropping Keys – I enjoy writing all of my posts. This one, however, is my favorite this year and holds a special place in my heart.
Post I’m Most Proud Of: Fix Her Crown Award – this one means a lot to me as it honors women who walk alongside other women and fix their crowns, without calling attention to their deeds. I created the award because my post Fix Her Crown continually brings in readers.
Most Viewed Post of 2020: This gardening post, Growing Clematis Babies, continues to bring in tons of traffic. I wrote it two years ago and yet it’s consistently my top post. So far it’s had more than 60,000 views. My most viewed post written in 2020 is Dropping Keys followed closely by Fix Her Crown.
The Next Adventure
I can’t label this year as bad. Different? Yes. Stressful at times? Yes. Divisive? Oh yes. Full of opportunities, joys and blessings? Also yes. And it did deliver sharp clarity about many things that helped me to cast a bigger vision. I let go of much this year…beliefs, fears, assumptions and people. But I gained some of the most profound experiences of my life. For all of these things, I’m grateful.
Do I feel trepidation about the coming year? After all, the end of the calendar year doesn’t mean an end to COVID or chaos or growing pains or division. However, I feel no anxiety about what’s next.
A new year brings fresh perspectives, amazing opportunities and intriguing experiences. I enter 2021 with an open heart and excitement about my theme, symbol and song. I’ll share more about those in January.
2020, I thank you for the lessons and the blessings. You shaped me and helped me let go of that which no longer serves me. 2021, I welcome you. The Year of the Wild Woman is here.
Check out some favorite products from 2020:
Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.