Wrapping Up 2020

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Today is the last Wellness Weekend link up in 2020. The optional prompt is Wrapping Up. I hope you join in on the fun right here.

We’ve all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020. Personally, it started in mid-March for me. Since March, I’ve lived through two waves of the pandemic and two lockdowns in Toronto: The first lockdown from March to June and the second lockdown from November 23 to January 4, 2021 at least.

To wrap up the year, I reflect on what I’ve accomplished and how I spent my days in 2020. Here’s the ten things that stand out for me.

Cycling on the Waterfront Trail.
Cycling on the Waterfront Trail.
  1. Self-care – On the Health front, I’ve done well in 2020. I practice the 3Ws (wash my hands, watch my distance, and wear my mask) to keep myself and others safe from COVID-19. I meditate daily, cycle, exercise, practice yoga, and walk most days. The physical activities and being outside close to nature keep me in good spirits.
Kayaking around Toronto Islands in summer 2020.
Kayaking around Toronto Islands in summer 2020.
  1. Trying new and healthy things – When the gym and swimming pool are closed, I find several body weight training videos on YouTube. I learn new exercises and do workouts at home. In the summer, I go canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. I focus my time and energy more on healthy or useful activities and less on news and social media.
Baking banana bread.
Baking banana bread.
  1. Enjoying home comforts – For the first time in many years, I stay home the entire year without traveling. I keep my home tidy and designate space for my workouts and my leisure activities. I embrace the quietude, stock up on essential items, bake new recipes, and make all meals at home.
Keeping a distance of 2m or the length of 3 geese from others.
Keeping a distance of 2m or the length of three geese from others.
  1. Socializing outside – In the summer when the first lockdown is lifted, I meet with my family and friends outdoors. We practice physical distancing, stay at least 2m (6 feet) apart, and bring our own drinks and snacks to our coffee dates.
Nice park for socializing outside.
Nice park for socializing outside.
  1. Using technology – The second lockdown requires Torontonians to limit contacts to the people we live with and the cold weather makes meeting outdoors less inviting so I rely on my phone, email, and FaceTime to stay connected with my family and friends. The important thing is we are all well.
Visiting the Our Game bronze sculpture.
Visiting the Our Game bronze sculpture.
  1. Continuing cultural fun – During the pandemic, I go almost 100% digital with my cultural activities. I learn French and Spanish on Duolingo, listen to concerts online as opposed to at indoor venues, visit outdoor public art installations as opposed to indoor art galleries, and watch virtual shows or movies at home as opposed to in the theatres.
Toronto's skyline from Toronto Islands.
Toronto’s skyline from Toronto Islands.
  1. Exploring – 2020 is the year when all my trip reservations are cancelled with full refunds. Since I’ve been to many countries, some several times, I feel fine to wait until it’s safe to travel again. The pause of travel this year is an opportunity for me to explore wonderful places in Toronto, and to prioritize my international travel in the future.
Switching from books to e-books in 2020.
Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Pexels.com
  1. Reading – I read a lot of books in 2020. My current count is 111 fiction novels and memoirs from more than 70 authors. This is my best annual reading record to date. A tough one for me to repeat. I switch from books to e-books in the summer. To my surprise, I love this change.
My first entry in the Thursday Doors photo challenge in 2020.
My first entry in the Thursday Doors photo challenge in 2020.
  1. Writing – I enjoy writing 55 blog posts and one guest post in 2020. I’m still having fun after four years of blogging. I’m thrilled when my blog readers find my story and photos interesting or inspiring. The best is when I make you smile.
Grateful for the great outdoors in 2020.
Grateful for the great outdoors in 2020.
  1. Gratitude – I feel grateful every day for many things, such as a new day, my good health, my family and friends, comfortable home, good food, amazing technology, excellent library system, well-maintained city parks, beautiful Lake Ontario, fantastic Waterfront Trail, and more.

I’d like to thank all of you who read my blog and share your thoughts. Your blogging friendships and comments are my awards. I wish everyone a healthy holiday season and a happy New Year 2021.

I’d love to hear your summary for 2020.

Linking here.

Copyright © 2021 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

66 thoughts on “Wrapping Up 2020

  1. KellyM December 20, 2020 / 7:43 am

    Hi Natalie,
    I stumbled on your blog by accident and have enjoyed your posts throughout the pandemic. Since I was born and lived in Toronto I am familiar with many of the places you write about. Now I live just east of Toronto in a small town but usually come into Toronto by GO Train several times a year. You have given me quite a few more reasons to visit when things open up again. Your posts are always upbeat and that is so nice during a time when everyone seems so sad, disheartened and complaints are everywhere.
    I have been reluctant to get outside and get some exercise – too cold, too wet … blah blah blah. But seeing that you can do it and we are in the same climate has inspired me to stop whining and get out myself. lol
    I wanted to write and let you know that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and will continue to do so. Hopefully, following in your footsteps as you re-acquaint me with the many great places and activities that Toronto has to offer.
    Thanks,
    Kelly

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 10:07 am

      Thank you, Kelly, for your visit. Your thoughtful comment really makes my day! I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed reading my posts. I think Toronto is a wonderful city to explore on foot or by bicycle. I’m grateful that I get to do both this year.

      It’s easy to feel anxiety and sadness caused by the pandemic, social isolation, and all the not-so-good-news in 2020. I try to focus on healthy and useful activities every day. Getting outside for fresh air also helps a lot. This week I spot beautiful wintering birds in the harbour.

      I hope you find ways to enjoy the season safely. Feel free to share your comments when you have a chance. Happy holidays!

      Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 12:32 pm

      Thank you, John and Susan. Stay safe and well. Happy holidays to you!

      Like

  2. Debbie December 20, 2020 / 11:38 am

    THAT’S looking on the bright side of things — well done! Who’d have thought, back when we were studying history in school, that we’d live through a pandemic … and thus, become part of history?? I think we all can do our part to usher this virus away — masks, distance, hand and surface cleaning, etc. — and I’m sure living with gratitude is best for our physical and mental health. I’ve enjoyed seeing your part of the world through your lens, Natalie, and I wish you and yours a most happy Christmas season!

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you, Debbie. It’s easy to feel anxiety and sadness amid the pandemic, social isolation, and all the not-so-good-news in 2020. I try to focus on healthy and useful activities every day. I wish you and yours a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill Weatherholt December 20, 2020 / 11:44 am

    Hi Natalie! I think you win the most productive 2020 Covid award. You should be proud of what all you’ve accomplished. When I look back on my list, although I did accomplish a lot with my writing and helping to care for my mother, many other things fell through the cracks. You’ve made me realize I might need to reevaluate things in 2021. Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the new year.❤️

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 12:46 pm

      Hi Jill, I think you’ve done phenomenal with your writing and helping to care for your mother while working during a pandemic. I hope 2021 will be much calmer and better for all of us. Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the new year, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne December 20, 2020 / 3:05 pm

    I think you did a great job focusing on Wellness in 2020; I’m finding I really want to write a wrap up post about our year too but am having a hard time remembering much of what we did since so many of the day seems to bled into one another. I think I’m going to have to fishing through my old posts from this year and come up with something because while so many people have been complaining about this year my family and I have rather enjoyed our quiet times at home and out in nature. We had to make modifications of course but since we’ve lived a less than typical lifestyle for years our adjustments weren’t nearly as great as most other’s.

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 6:29 pm

      Joanne, Going through your posts from this year is a good idea. I remember reading how you’ve enjoyed time out in nature and at home with your family. Thank you for linking with Wellness Weekend 2020.

      Like

  5. Retirement Reflections December 20, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I continue to admire your energy, your ‘can do’ spirit and your gratitude. Despite the pressures that 2020 brought, your energy, determination and flexibility continue to shine through.
    Thank you for sharing this post with us — very inspirational!

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 6:33 pm

      Thank you, Donna, for your ongoing encouragement. I try to focus on the positives. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family!

      Like

  6. Gary A Wilson December 20, 2020 / 4:29 pm

    Hi Natalie, Great year-end wrap up! Hey, I’m reading a new (to me) book by Mark Helprin titled ‘Winters’s Tale’. In your wide reading, maybe you’ve read some of his work and have an opinion. I’m just starting this work (~20% through) and am loving his voice and mood and how he unfolds his story.. If you’ve not read him, I’m ready to offer that he merits consideration for producing a very compelling and entertaining story.
    I hope you’re having a great holiday season.
    Blessings.

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 6:35 pm

      Thank you, Gary, for your book recommendation. I’ll check to see if I can borrow it from my library. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Like

      • Gary A Wilson December 20, 2020 / 7:09 pm

        Ah – my sense is that a library should almost certainly have or can get it via an inter-library share program. I hope it proves to be a great read.

        Like

  7. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 December 20, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    You’ve had a great year, Natalie because you haven’t let COVID stop you. I’ve enjoyed reading your monthly updates and immersing myself in your beautiful photos of your walks around Toronto. Best wishes to you and your family and may 2021 be happier and brighter for us all. xx

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 6:39 pm

      Thank you, Sue, for your kind comment. I’m grateful that during both lockdowns here, city parks and trails are open and Public Health officials encourage people to go out for exercises. Getting outside to cycle and walk has kept me in good spirits. Best wishes to you and your family at Christmas and in the New Year 2021!

      Like

  8. dprastka December 20, 2020 / 6:18 pm

    You are so inspiring and your wrap-up for 2020 made me SMILE!! We all need to do the things that we can to make our lives more enriching and fun. Life is too short to wallow in sadness and self pity, a smile a day keeps the doctor away! I always say!
    You’ve done so much and thank you for sharing. I Love your blog and all that you post. Here’s to a wonderful 2021! Merry Christmas!! ❤️☃️🌲❤️

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you, Diana, for your kind comment. I’m happy my Wrap-up post made you smile 🙂 I agree with you that life is too short to wallow in sadness and self pity. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennifer Jones December 20, 2020 / 6:53 pm

    Hi Natalie I’ve enjoyed reading your posts during 2020 and following your adventures as you get out and about. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year. Looking forward to catching up in 2021

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 7:15 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer, for your warm wishes. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading my blog posts this year. Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

      Like

  10. leannelc December 20, 2020 / 7:25 pm

    Hi Natalie – Merry Christmas to you and your family. I think your Wellness overview sums up a pretty great year – despite the spanner that covid threw into the works. Your final point – gratitude – I think is the key – looking at all we have, rather than at what we’ve lost. xx

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 7:46 pm

      Thank you, Leanne, for your holiday wishes. I agree that the key is to look at and be grateful for all we have. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and a happy New Year!

      Like

  11. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid December 20, 2020 / 8:15 pm

    I’ve enjoyed following you (but not in a stalky way) this year and think you’re a poster girl for how to live lockdown like a boss! I love how you fill your time with such meaningful activities and are always trying something new. I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas and that the new year brings peace, health, happiness and an easing of restrictions!

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 8:22 pm

      Thank you, Sammie, for your kind comment and warm holiday wishes. Fortunately, during both lockdowns here, city parks and trails are open and Public Health officials encourage people to go out for exercises. Getting outside to cycle and walk has kept me in good spirits. Good Internet service makes indoor, online activities enjoyable. Best wishes to you and your family at Christmas and in the New Year 2021!

      Like

  12. csuhpat1 December 20, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    Such a very nice list. Even though 2020 was the year of COVID, sounds like you got a lot accomplished this year.

    Like

    • Natalie December 20, 2020 / 8:26 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I try to focus on what I can do. It makes me feel better.

      Like

  13. Deborah December 20, 2020 / 8:53 pm

    Wow Natalie, that’s a lot of books. I thought I read a lot!!! And I love your positivity overall. Despite everything that’s happened you’ve certainly made the best of the year.

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 9:41 am

      Deborah, I read a lot but rarely write book reviews which take time away from reading 🙂

      Like

  14. Julie December 20, 2020 / 10:12 pm

    Wow, it sounds like you’ve had an incredibly productive year especially with your reading count. To be honest, I thought I would read more when I started maternity leave a couple months back. But in reality, I spent most of my time learning how to care for a newborn and all my reading is happening before I go to bed like I’ve always done.

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 9:44 am

      Thank you, Julie, for your visit and comment. Taking care of an infant is 24/7. Kudos to you for continuing your reading habit during your maternity leave. Enjoy the holidays!

      Like

  15. midlifestylist December 21, 2020 / 2:29 am

    Merry Christmas Natalie, I hope you have a lovely celebration. I enjoyed reading all your positives for this year. It looks like you adapted well. Regards Christina

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 9:47 am

      Thank you, Christina. I try to focus on the positives. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

      Like

  16. Debbie December 21, 2020 / 5:23 am

    Hi Natalie, I have enjoyed visiting you again this year and always find your posts upbeat and fun. Happy holidays to you 🙂 #lifethisweek

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 9:48 am

      Thank you, Debbie, for your kind comment. I’m glad you find my posts upbeat and fun. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Antoinette Truglio Martin December 21, 2020 / 8:06 am

    You are an inspiration, Natalie. Have a wonderful holiday. Looking forward to sharing an awesome 2021 with you.

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 9:50 am

      Thank you, Antoinette, for your kind words. I’m humbled to be an inspiration. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Like

  18. trentpmcd December 21, 2020 / 1:35 pm

    Despite no international travel, you had a good year. We shared a lot of similar activities – staying active no matter what and staying safe (I like that “3 Ws” idea). Technology and outdoor socializing were the norm for a lot of us. Keeping sharp mentally and culturally are always a must! I hope you have a wonderful 2021, with all of the good that you were able to get from 2020 plus the extras of travel and spending more time with people face to face 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 3:34 pm

      Trent, Thank you for your warm wishes. The pandemic has taken normality from our world in 2020. Staying active and safe is what we can do until the pandemic is deemed over. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Gloria December 21, 2020 / 2:26 pm

    I think we’re all glad to say goodbye to 2020. You did well though, achieving all you did. Happy 2021!

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 3:35 pm

      Thank you, Gloria, for your visit and comment. Yes, ten days count down to New Year’s Eve. Happy 2021 to you!

      Like

  20. Dr Sock December 21, 2020 / 3:01 pm

    Natalie, for a person who has such a passion for travelling, I am amazed that you were able to pivot to staying home for a year and exploring your home city. It speaks to your upbeat and practical approach to life! All the best to you and your family during the holiday season.

    Jude

    Like

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you, Jude, for your kind comment. Health and safety come before travel for me in 2020. I’m optimistic that we’ll all be able to travel again in the future. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Like

  21. restlessjo December 21, 2020 / 3:52 pm

    It’s been a strange one, for sure, but you’ve adapted to it extremely well, Natalie. Thanks for sharing so much positivity and all the best for 2021 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you, Jo, for your kind comment. We’ve all had to adapt during this pandemic. I try to focus on the positives. Happy holidays to you and your family! See you on the blog again in 2021.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Jo December 21, 2020 / 5:14 pm

    I look forward to your wrap-ups each month and continue to be inspired by the balance you bring to your life – a balance that I’m sure you work at. Thank you for your connection this year – you’re posts always have an upbeat feel that I love. Here’s to 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 21, 2020 / 5:54 pm

      Jo, Thank you for your kind comment. I’ve enjoyed our blogging connection, too. Happy holidays to you and your family! Here’s to 2021.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. msomerville2014 December 22, 2020 / 2:44 pm

    Great summary of your year, I have enjoyed traveling along with you through your posts. Great lot of reading too! Holiday blessings, Natalie, Merry Christmas. Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 22, 2020 / 5:09 pm

      Thank you, Michele, for you comment. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com December 22, 2020 / 8:30 pm

    Have enjoyed our wellness journey together and look forward to getting back on track in the new year. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the baking I did today. Ha!

    You are an inspiration with the many ways you stay active, both physically and mentally. You have certainly done some reading this year. I always look forward to seeing what you have been reading and watching. Always on the look out for suggestions.

    The photos you share that chronicle your life are lovely. It has been many, many years since I was last in Toronto. Would like to visit again and see all of the sights in person that you have introduced me to virtually.

    Happy holidays!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 22, 2020 / 8:43 pm

      Leslie, Thank you for joining me on our wellness journey and your thoughtful comment. It’s a pleasure to bake and savour freshly baked treats during the holiday season. I’ve enjoyed our blogging connections over the years. I hope you have an opportunity to visit Toronto in the future when it’s safe to do so. Wishing you and your family a beautiful Christmas and a happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Denyse Whelan Blogs December 23, 2020 / 3:13 am

    I am impressed by your summaries and how you have taken on board what has to be done to live safely and well in your city. Big congratulations in order! It can be tough changing routines and you seem to have done this seamlessly.

    Thank you so much for your blogging friendship, linking up as you have in 2020 and looking forward to more in 2021 when Life This Week begins…the link up I mean on 4 Jan 2021 with “Word of the Year” as an optional prompt. Stay safe and well, and see you soon…Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 23, 2020 / 8:39 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for your kind comment. We all have to adjust our life this year due to the pandemic. I try to focus on the positive. I look forward to linking with Life This Week in 2021. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie December 30, 2020 / 9:14 am

      Thank you, Lisa, for your comment. I look forward to reading your summary. Have a great day!

      Like

  26. Christie Hawkes December 31, 2020 / 8:22 am

    What a lovely wrap-up Natalie. As always, your photos are beautiful and inviting. I’m glad to hear that you and your family are all well. It sounds as if you’re making the most of your time in lockdown. Here’s hoping the vaccine has us safely back in public by this time next year. Happy 2021!

    Like

    • Natalie December 31, 2020 / 9:12 am

      Thank you, Christie, for your visit and comment. I’m making the most of my time in lockdown for sure. I hope you and your family are all well. Happy 2021!

      Like

  27. Terri Webster Schrandt January 3, 2021 / 11:28 am

    Your 2020 was quite amazing, Natalie! I’m so glad you linked up with Sunday Stills, or I would have been sad to miss this. I must have been on my break when you published this. I’ve always been inspired by your physical activities as well as your beautiful photography (here we are kindred spirits, for sure)! Once this pandemic is over and we can travel again, we hope to visit various spots in Canada. It’s nice to be within a two-hour drive from Spokane and I’ll be itching to explore the north! 111 books? Amazing! I enjoy e-books (and audiobooks) too! Take good care of yourself and hope your 2021 is off to a wonderful start!

    Like

    • Natalie January 3, 2021 / 1:06 pm

      Thank you, Terri, for hosting Sunday Stills. We sure share similar interests in physical activities and photography. Both fitness and photography save my sanity during this covid-19 pandemic. When you get to visit Canada from Spokane, I’m sure you’ll love the scenery of Canada’s West Coast and the Canadian Rockies. Happy 2021 to you and Hans!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Lisa Coleman January 10, 2021 / 12:07 pm

    Very nice year in review. Being outside in nature kept us from going insane. We love to hike and we are birders. We love to kayak, however we didn’t get our inflatable river kayak out in 2020. We have oyster beds mostly so that’s a no go. We did spend a lot of time at the beach over the summer. We had to cancel our travel plans last year too. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of Toronto. 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie January 10, 2021 / 5:25 pm

      Thank you, Lisa, for your visit and comment. I’m grateful to be able to go outside every day. We share similar interests in hiking, bird watching, kayaking, photography, and travel. I just started hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share blog party on January 8. You’re welcome to join in any week. Happy 2021!

      Like

  29. kirstin January 11, 2021 / 10:03 am

    I love your list. I tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time this summer and really liked it alot. I agree that physical activity and getting out in nature definitely is good for our spirits. I started using Duolingo but haven’t been good about keeping up with it. :/ I want to try some of the virtual experiences I’ve been seeing. Wow nice job on the books. I didn’t read quite that many, but I was still having to work so not a whole lot changed for me. I’m going to check out your book list, and following you for sure.

    Like

    • Natalie January 11, 2021 / 10:39 am

      Thank you, Kristin, for your visit and comment. There were some bright spots in 2020. I’m glad to hear you tried and liked SUP. I’m not on GoodReads so if you’d like to follow my blog, click on the blue Follow button on the top right of my Home page or follow by email. Happy 2021!

      Like

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