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  • Writer's pictureAliya

2020 Edit: Plants, Parks, and Priorities

It's almost New Year's Eve. While I don't have the unbridled enthusiasm that some may have for the arrival of 2021 (hello, raging pandemic for months to come), the end of a year is always a good chance to reflect and learn and be grateful.

In that spirit, here are just a few things that I'm thankful for in 2020 (family and friends not included):


No restaurants, museums, theme parks, or even Target runs were a go this year, but when I needed to get outside the walls of my house and see trees, plants, birds, and ponds, parks have been an absolute game changer. Today at the park, the kids and I stared at butterflies for an uninterrupted 5 minutes (unheard of!). And on Saturday mornings when I have a 2-hour window to myself, I usually end up at a park with an audiobook playing over my headphones, people watching from a distance. Yay, outside!


I'm a plant lady now. Staying at home has unfurled a strong desire in me to surround myself with plants. And now that I'm home 24/7 and not in an office, my plants are flourishing with a now-healthy diet of sunshine and constant attention. I definitely jumped on the garden-bandwagon at the beginning of quarantine; however, I'm saddened to report that my outdoor plants - including a dwarf pomegranate tree and a promising cucumber plant - are no longer with us. But! All of the indoor plants are alive and well.


Shows that have successfully distracted me from the 2020 stress include: Ozark (Netflix), Chopped (Hulu), Love Island UK (Hulu), The Crown (Netflix), Fargo (Hulu), Schitt's Creek (Netflix), and The Righteous Gemstones (HBO Max). Honorable mention: I am waiting with bated breath for Coming 2 America (Prime Video) and I will absolutely throw a party for one at my home when it is released.


I've been home with two small kids since March, and have not stepped foot in a grocery store since things started shutting down. I realize that my use of Instacart is a privilege that not every person has access to. I'm grateful that it allows me to keep my family safe while still getting the essential groceries that we need every week. It's expensive, but I'm thankful that I'm even able to use it. I am also so thankful for the delivery people that are out there in the stores day in and day out helping families like mine. Essential workers are heroes! (Tip your delivery people well!)


I continued seeing my therapist throughout 2020 via Zoom, and while the virtual therapy was an adjustment, it was well worth it. It wasn't easy trying to squeeze in therapy appointments in during nap times and between work obligations, but it was definitely a priority. To state the obvious, mental health is so important and being mindful of where you are mentally and focusing on ways to be kind and caring to yourself is paramount.

What are you thankful for in 2020?


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