2020 Reflections

Vancouver beauty and lifestyle blogger Solo Lisa poses with the Urban Light art installation at LACMA.

Happy 2020, everyone! Without meaning to, I've let half of January pass by without posting on the blog once. Our holiday season was pretty quiet and uneventful. We kicked off the New Year with a long weekend in Seattle (yay!) and me catching a cold that I'm still not completely over (boo), so I've just been working and resting whenever I can for the past couple of weeks. Now that I'm on the mend though, I wanted to take some time on the blog to reflect on the past year and the past decade.

Selfie in the lit elevator at Parq Vancouver

Looking back on the 2010s

So much has changed in the last decade! Here are some of my most memorable personal moments:

  • Travelling to New York, Boston/New England, San Francisco, Washington DC, Virginia, Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Paris, with numerous short trips throughout the Pacific Northwest and to Toronto in between.
  • Hitting major relationship milestones with Lawrence, including moving in together, getting engaged, and getting married.
  • Moving to Mount Pleasant and becoming a homeowner.
  • Getting diagnosed with endometriosis and undergoing surgery.
  • Landing a full-time technical writer job; working hard for promotions and raises throughout the years; training, developing, and coaching awesome technical writers; leading a team; and deepening my skills and experiences in content development and strategy.
  • Salsa dancing.
  • Discovering Bar Method and becoming physically stronger than I've ever been in my life.
  • Blogging! It's crazy to think that I've been self-publishing online for over a decade. In that time, I've been published twice in a national magazine, met great people, tried amazing products, and had all sorts of incredible partnerships, opportunities, and perks come my way. I'm so grateful for all the positives this has brought into my life.
Pointing to the Bar Method Vancouver sandwich board that says 'Be nice to your body + mind. You deserve it. Also yes, your butt looks great.

At the same time all of this was happening in my external life, there were a lot of changes in my internal life too:

  • I reached a point where focusing so much of my time and energy on living life online just wasn't doing it for me anymore. At one point, blogging became anxiety-inducing and a source of stress instead of something fun that I was doing for myself on the side. Reminding myself that this was a hobby for fun (instead of killing myself trying to turn it into a viable side hustle) was one of the best things I ever did for my stress levels.
  • I embraced minimalism and the KonMari Method and started shopping much less than I used to.
  • I found a better work/life balance and prioritized cooking at home, exercise, quality time with my partner, experiences over things, and leisure time to just relax and do nothing.
  • I focused on my career more.
  • I took my mental and physical health more seriously.
  • I embraced my introvert qualities.
Standing in Place des Vosges, Paris

Thinking back on 2019

Despite all the highs of the past decade, I started the year in the lowest of spirits. A lot of this was related to my endo and general fertility anguish. Heavy stuff to work through, I know. Therapy helped, as did a magical two-week trip to Paris which opened my eyes to what life could be like sans kids. I fantasized about us working remotely and traveling through Europe, and for the first time in a long time, I was genuinely excited about this alternate reality instead of viewing it as a crappy consolation prize. We returned from that trip feeling infinitely refreshed in mind and spirit—and promptly booked another trip to LA for the fall. The latter trip was also our first time on a cruise.

Travel ended up being the best therapy and the ultimate highlight in what was otherwise a quiet "rest, reset, and regenerate" year. I worked, I went to barre, I started reading more. Lawrence had a pretty intense work year. The two of us spent a lot of weekends just doing stuff like going for brunch and coffee and long walks and taking the Aquabus to Granville Island. While a part of me still hopes the whole kids thing works out, I'm also determined to not let it overshadow the abundance of good things in my life.

Posing on the Santa Monica pier with the ferris wheel in the background
Selfie with husband at Bard on the Beach in Vanier Park

Looking ahead to 2020

In past years, I would come up with one or two key words to guide my goals and intentions for the year, or have a whole list of resolutions that I was keen to tick off one by one. This time around though, my mind drew a blank. All I could think was that I wanted to just be instead of do, so I'm kicking off this decade in a state of contemplative stillness and appreciating how I have the space in my life to do so. After all, who knows what the 2020s will hold?

On the rooftop of the State Hotel in Seattle, with Pike Place Market and the water in the background

3 comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful summary of your last decade. I feel like we had a lot in common that took place over the last decade, and I'm so glad that I managed to weasel myself into your life for that last 1-1.5 years.

    I especially love this line "All I could think was that I wanted to just be instead of do." I feel very similar about this as well. I want to focus on being happy in my life, and having a list of stuff to do doesn't necessarily make me happy. That being said, first thing on my list of to-dos for this decade is Fitness Challenge! See you at the studio :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! And LOL re. weaseling into each other lives because I feel the same about you! I can't wait for us to do the Fitness Challenge together. It'll be so fun.

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