Random Chitchats

Friday Five: 5 Good Things from 2020!

A lot of grim things happened in 2020. Ain’t no doubt about that and there’s no need for me to list everything out … we’re all perfectly aware already! Instead, I’ve poured myself a lovely cup of tea and this morning, I’m reflecting on the good things I’ve discovered in 2020, however small and oddball!

1.) Aeromatherapy

Seriously? Why has it taken me so long to discover the joys of diffusers? It wasn’t until I did some immunity-building research back in March that I purchased one as well as a stock of aromatherapy oils, including this Clove Cinnamon Lemon Rosemary Eucalyptus Oil blend. (Affiliate link.)

Does it really help boost immunity? I don’t know. But it sure does smell nice.

My husband has also fallen in love with aromatherapy, leaning toward orange, lemon, and eucalyptus scents. Right now, I have peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus fired up in my quest to find just the right blend that smells like Disney World’s Flights of Passage ride. (Not even close but pleasant!)

Oh! And speaking of Flights of Passage … this Coastal Linen candle from Target comes pretty dang close! It smells so good!

2.) Spotify: Getting my money’s worth

About every six months, I consider ending my Spotify premium membership and going back to the free version, ads, and all, seeing as how I mostly used it for running. But now? I have playlists for all occasions that I used daily.

I have a playlist of movie scores to listen to while writing. (My current favorite? We Bought a Zoo byJónsi.) Gaming soundtracks are also amazing because they’re designed to help players concentrate, so I have a playlist of those, too!

Another new favorite is Binaural Beats that “enhances your concentration by traveling through different brainwave frequencies until you reach peak awareness in Gamma state.” I don’t quite understand gamma state, but this does help me focus. Bob isn’t a fan, though, so this one requires earbuds.

And then there’s the Motivational Speeches, good God, they’re awesome! I often listen to them while doing paperwork for our family business or whenever my own voices in my head become too negative. It’s really hard being negative with Lisa Nichols talking in your ear!

There’s more, like Broadway favorites, stress relief, and This is Dolly Parton – which plays often on repeat, and I also have quite the YouTube playlist ranging from Disney World park music, (currently playing,) to live soothing jazz, but I better move on!

3.) TikTok

Yeah, this can be a major time-suck and I fully admit to devoting most of my December to TikTok, leaving me no choice but to take a January break. But there’s SO MUCH to love about TikTok!

The creativity, the entertainment, the ability for a normal gal or guy to become TikTok famous with just the right viral video. (I’m still waiting for my day!) But I love it most because it a.) allows me to gain creative courage in a low-stress way, and b.) the dance!

Oh my gosh, the dances!

I absolutely love learning a new dance routine … which admittedly takes me a LONG time, but is a great fun workout! Once I get caught up with business work and finish my new novel, I’m giving myself the green light to return … but with a bit more restraint this time. 😉

4.) Steam Mops

Okay. I know. This one is weird but I have fallen completely, entirely in LOVE with my Shark Steam Mop!

See, here’s the thing. My husband is a general contractor who’s often on jobsites, my son is a forester who pratically lives outside, and I made the mistake of not enforcing a “no shoes in the house” policy twenty-eight years ago. So my floors are ALWAYS dirty that no amount of Swifter wet mops or Wonder Mops could ever get truly clean.

Huh. I’m starting to sound like an infomercial, here.

But seriously, I can mop my entire downstairs in about fifteen minutes and those floors are CLEAN afterward, baby! It’s amazing!

I’m also a sicko who find it thrilling to see lots of dirt on the mop pad. And yes, I have a sink full of dirty dishes. I had to be snappy with this pic, girlfriend has lots to do today!

5.) Meditation

So this one needs a deep dive post later on because I just can express in a few paragraphs how much meditation has changed my life for the better! In past years, I’ve always dabbled with the notion of meditation, only to become discouraged by never feeling as though I was doing it ‘right,’ that it was only a waste of my time.

But during my social media break, committing to daily meditation using the Insider App has been gamechanger for my mental health and happiness. I mean GAMECHANGER!

I’ve come to learn that there is no right or wrong way to meditate and that it’s okay if my mind wanders often. I just gently refocus and carry on! My absolute favorite meditation guide, Sarah Blondin, has often said things that touched me so deeply, I was in tears! Highly recommend her meditations, podcast, and book! (Affiliate Amazon link.)

Okay, there’s more I could chat about, like the new skincare I discovered. (More on that tomorrow!) It’s time for me to wrap this up but first: what about you?

QOTD: What good things did you discover in 2020 that helped with the bad?

Thanks for reading, and have a joyful day!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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  1. Carol Ellis says:

    I was just wondering about “that inspirational Disney runner” and what your year must have been like not being able to do the park runs! Glad to hear you made the best of 2020 and love the tips you shared!

    1. Aw, this comment put the biggest smile on my face – thank you so much, Carol! I gladly accept the title of Inspirational Disney Runner and I’m looking forward to doing more blogging this year. I’d also love to know what kind of content you enjoy the most or would like more of! 🙂

      1. Carol Ellis says:

        I love reading about training tips, prep for big runs, but also life balance tips, like this article gave. All good stuff, and I’m thankful for you two putting it out there for us! Hope to see you guys at a big race one day in the post-Covid future!

  2. Thanks for sharing Laura! Now I’m thinking about some good things I discovered in 2020:
    1. runDisney – did my first half marathon at the WDW Marathon Weekend in January 2020 and it really helped get me more into running
    2. Joyful Miles – yes after doing my first runDisney experience, I just wanted to recreate it, so I looked for podcasts, vlogs, blogs, etc. on it and so many people recommended Joyful Miles. It’s definitely helped keep me motivated this year, so thank you so much!
    3. Baking and cooking – Since I’ve been working from home, I have an hour back in the day now that I don’t have to commute anymore, so I’ve been using that to actually learn how to cook and bake instead of ordering out food all the time. It’s also helped me save a lot of money!
    4. Game Development – Some online friends and I have gotten together to make a video game, which I’ve never done before and I’ve learned so much in the process.
    5. Virtual Races – definitely have kept me sane with all races being cancelled (and feeling uncomfortable going to the ones that weren’t). Would I rather be in person? Yes, BUT I love seeing the creativity race directors have put into these virtual races to make them just as fun.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your good things, I loved reading your list!! MAJOR congrats for slaying your first half marathon and whoa … what??? You design video games??? That’s BEYOND cool!! I’d love to know the name if it’s done to tell my kids! I’ve learned to embrace virtual races this year as well – congrats for racing at home!!

      Thanks again and I hope you have an amazing 2021!!

      1. Aww thanks Laura 🙂 Neither of the games I’m working on are out now, but there is a demo for one of them called Amelia Darnell: Secrets of Silvercrest Village. I can’t say the name of the other one yet because I signed an NDA (super official lol). Thank you for asking!

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