This is my final reflection on how I did with my 2020 goals overall. It’s a gross understatement to say that this year turned everyone’s lives upside down. Everyone I know dealt with deep hardship this year and sadly, many Americans lost their lives due to COVID.
1. Find a morning prayer routine
I started off with the Catholic Morning Intention, but I was totally forgetting on the weekends.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.
But then by May, I switched it to the prayer below, known as the Memorae. The Morning Intention kept feeling forced & I wasn’t connecting to it.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
So far, I am still going strong. I have a mirror cling from Studio Senn to help me remember while brushing my teeth although at this point I have it easily memorized.
So much St. Michael the Archangel prayer from August – November! At first it was for my third lost pregnancy and then it was for the soul of the country & for Joe Biden.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
Read more: 2020: My Political Stance
2. Travel internationally relatively cheaply at least once
Well I had high hopes that this was easily, easily going to get done this year. When I made this goal I was chaperoning a spring break trip to England & France and then we were also going to Ireland & I was studying abroad in Oxford. As everyone in the world knows, 2020 was like passing kidney stones the size of boulders so it all got canceled. This goal was a no go.
But we did travel to Georgia for 4 days of winter break. . .at this point that might as well feel out of the country for us!
3. Finish our master bathroom renovation
I seriously thought this was going to get one month 1 – we had BARELY anything left after out full demolition in 2019. And then when COVID Stay at Home Orders hit I was like “yes! Will has to get this done NOW!” Oh boy was I wrong. The bathroom IS done now, but it wasn’t until December that it got there. Oh well! It is finished.
*Note: I still want to add a rug to “finish” it but for all intents and purposes, it’s done.
4. Work out at least twice a week
I can’t say I was super satisfied with this goal. On average, over the whole year, I did accomplish this goal, but I was not as consistent (nor as motivated) as I would have liked. First off, COVID just threw my awesome momentum into the trash but then I got into a good groove while staying at home. Secondly, going back to school under COVID was demoralizing and terrible to say the least. Exhaustion just hit hard and it really wasn’t until November that I felt like getting back into working out and then December hit and my butt was not feeling it.
So technically this this goal was “successful” but I still have a lot of work to do to make it consistent.
Build a bookcase for our library
hahahaha this was a reach & I knew it. But then when COVID hit I was optimistic we could maybe get it done. Will shot me down real hard by June. Roll it onto next year’s goals???
6. Do not purchase new clothes unless I get rid of something first
I was actually really good at this! I absolutely love shopping for clothes but I try not to spend a fortune on it & this goal kept me in check from just blinding buying things. All in all this is what I purchased this year:
- A workout top at Dicks for $8.47
- One new pair of leggings from Strong Physiquez (highly recommend!!!)
- Mid-calf boots from Macy’s (30% off!!!) for about $90
- 2 bras
- Lots of stuff from Jane.com:
- Teal maxi dress (started to pill kind of quickly so now it’s more of a house dress)
- Ivory tunic-sweater
- 2 midi skirts with pockets (I got it in two colors, grey and yellow, a few months apart lol)
- Black midi skirt with buttons & pockets
- A jersey-material pencil skirt
- A cranberry-colored maxi skirt with pockets
- A DOPE shirt in memory of RBG
- A good amount of stuff from TJ Maxx:
- White midi wrap white dress
- A red top to go to the club with while in London that is still appropriate for a chaperone (although it was never used for that purpose)
- A midi black dress
- Random $10 dress
- Blue & white striped ruffled blouse
- Two things from Belk.com:
- A midi beige skirt ($24.50) – ironically I then got rid of this dress in November (too frumpy)
- A quarter-button up grey tunic blouse ($6.48)
- A few things form Oldnavy.com:
- 2 tank tops
- Black t-shirt dress
- TOTAL: $53
- A t-shirt from a Catholic company, Brick House in the City, because she has been doing AMAZING social justice work on social media in alignment with the Black Lives Matters protests
- $54 dollars worth of underwear -__-
- A pj t-shirt
- Masks do not count. . .but I bought plenty of those!
Most of this I got some cash back from Rakuten – read more about it here: Passive Money Making
And here is the stuff I got got rid of to balance it out:
- 7 crappy t-shirts/tops that don’t fit
- 2 ballet flats past their prime (by a lot a lot)
- A pair of heeled boots I really should have never bought in the first place
- 2 bras
- A super cute yellow peacoat I got from a friend YEARS ago and have NEVER EVER worn
- 4 worn out/ill fitting/unworn dresses
- A pair of nice Banana Republic pants that, upon putting them on for the first time in a year, did not fit me at all
- 2 old tank tops/undershirts
- Navy “paperbag waist” pants
- Tossed old crappy underwear
- A romper
- 3 skirts
7. Reduce our grocery bill by $100 a month (it’s like $800 right now!)
I did not think I was going to do well on this goal. But I’d call that a mild success. $700/month on groceries (my goal) would be $8,400 and I made it under that. Now, there is total room for growth & I am going to definitely add a challenge connected to this for 2021.
- January: $637.66
- February: $596.58
- March: $843.54
- April: $1,110.11
- May: $585.80
- June: $524.18
- July: $790.33
- August: $783.52
- September: $671.69
- October: $840.13
- November: $1,099.52
- December: $499.89 (bad reflection because a week was on vacation & I do not count that)
Grocery TOTAL for 2020: $7,958.88
8. Finish decorating the living spaces in our home
I mean. . .yeah kinda. I don’t know what “finished” would look like but we really made huge strides here. Spending so much time at home due to COVID really lit a fire under out butts. Here are some of the things we accomplished:
- All brand new kitchen appliances (our dishwasher broke & we decided it was time to upgrade)
- Put baseboards in the house (they’re not all caulked yet though)
- A triptych canvas of Will’s photo of Chichen Itza over the family room couch
- Built a front door bench & Will made a padded seat for it
- Sold stuff on FB Marketplace that I had been holding on for far too long
- Will made a few sets of shelves from pallet wood from the study & master bath
- Replaced all the door knobs & hinges
- Used faux marble contact paper to cover the nasty kitchen countertops
9. Read and/or listen to at least 30 books
I have a post that is a more depth review of the books I’ve read but this is a straight list. Yeah I definitely got this goal. 🙂
- The Catholic Journaling Bible
- The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs To Know by James L. Gelvin
- Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah by Brant Pitre
- It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America by David Cay Johnston (audiobook)
- Every Sacred Sunday Year A: 2019-2020
- Why?: Explaining the Holocaust by Peter Hayes
- The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (audiobook)
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (audiobook)
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Evans
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (audiobook)
- Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Fulton J. Sheen by Blessed Fulton Sheen
- My Life in France by Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme (audiobook)
- The Szyk Haggadah by Arthur Syzk
- I Like Being Catholic: Treasured Traditions, Rituals, and Stories edited by Michael Leach and Therese J. Borchard
- Tipping Point: How Little Things can make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (audiobook)
- Religion in the Handmaid’s Tale: A Brief Guide by Colette Tennant
- Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions 100 Answers by Mike Aquilina
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (audiobook)
- The Habit: A History of the Clothing of Catholic Nuns by Elizabeth Kuhns (Kindle ebook)
- Ship of Theseus by J.J. Abrams & Doug Dorst
- The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts by Karen Armstrong (audiobook)
- Why French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano (audiobook)
- Catholic Customs & Traditions: A Popular Guide by Greg Dues
- The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (audiobook)
- Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Alphonsus Liguori
- Seasons of Celebration: Meditations on the Cycle of Liturgical Feasts by Thomas Merton
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (audiobook)
- Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say About You-Know-What by Maggie Anton
- Inferno by Dante Alighieri and translated by Mark Musa (rereading)
- Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper (audiobook)
- Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri and translated by Mark Musa
- Paradiso by Dante Alighieri and translated by Mark Musa
- A Future of Faith: The Path of Change in Politics and Society by Pope Francis with Dominique Wolton (audiobook)
- Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
- The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
- No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous by Teri Turner
- Cooking with the Saints
10. Blog at least once a week (or 52 times over the year)
I wasn’t as consistent with my blogging this year. I wanted to publish every Tuesday & Thursday along with having more AP Art History posts. It’s just hard to keep up when school starts, especially this year, we spent so much time on the computer at work that that was the last thing I wanted to do at home.
I am not about to spam this post with a list of all the blog posts I have written (check out the archives for that).
11. Transform part of my backyard into some kind of garden
With COVID Stay at Home Orders I realllllyyy thought this was going to get done & we even drew up plans but Florida is freakin hot in the summer & by the time the weather cooled off, we were back in school for a grueling year. I will be rolling this on to my goals for 2021 though.
However, in a small small victory here we did plant terracotta herb pots & 4 of my plants are still alive (the oregano suddenly seized and died during a brief freeze).
12. Practice yoga at least once a month
I made this goal with a really low bar because I figured if I could do at least once a month I’d be happy, but my real goal is once a week. I definitely would have not reached that goal so I’m glad I made it accessible but next year I’d like to do more even though I didn’t really accomplish the once a month thing this year.
My favorite site for at home yoga is Doyogawithme.com – I pay for the $5 a mont subscription to support them but there are plenty of free starter classes too.
13. Cook a meal 100% out of my pantry at least every other week
Yes yes! I am 100% satisfied with my accomplishment here. COVID stay-at-home orders shockingly helped me get better at this a lot and now I think I have a good set of tools and creativity now to continue on this path. I just have to remember to schedule a day each week for leftovers/pantry cooking.
14. Apply to (& get accepted) to one summer program
Although my programs got cancelled last summer, I did accomplish this goal by getting into a program at Oxford, getting accepted as a virtual AP Art History Essay Reader, and attending a 3-day virtual conference on Indian Dharmic Traditions.
15. Host someone over for dinner at least once a month
Well thanks but no thanks COVID. This did not happen, however in the same vein, we started hosting weekly Friday nights drinks with neighbors & friends so I think that counts in a COVID world.
16. Write a letter (& mail it!) at least once per month
I really thought this was going to be an easy goal to accomplish, but I utterly failed. I think my problem was not scheduling this goal. I would completely forget about it until about the 29th each month & then couldn’t be bothered. I do love mailing letters (& receiving them) though so I’m sad I failed on this.
17. See at least 5 artworks from the AP Art History 250 Curriculum
Like my international travel goal, this was SUPPOSED to be super easy peasy but COVID cancelled everything.
18. Have a cheap date with my hubby at least once a month
Ummm if you stretch the meaning of the word “date” then we accomplished this. To me a “date” is any intentional time together, doesn’t have to be a fancy dinner, so yes we accomplished this. . . somewhat.
19. Get at least a 65% pass rate for my students in AP World History
Oh we blew this out of the water!!! Holy smokes! My kids had an 89% pass rate & that’s with essentially losing Quarter 4 due to COVID and a completely new testing virtually, at home, thanks to COVID again. I am thrilled.
20. Vote Trump out of office (!!!!)
The goal that I MOST wanted was achieved and man we did it!!! I feel so over the moon happy & gloating! Not that I think Joe Biden is perfect or all of our problems are gone but damn it feels good to have participated in the removal of a disgusting sexist, racist, narcissistic, bigoted, xenophobic jackass from the White House. Can’t wait for inauguration day!