2020: A Year-end Review

In a normal scenario, I have probably thought about or have probably came up with 20 highlights for this year. But then, 2020 is an exceptional year – totally different! Today (15 Dec) is when I am starting to draft my countdown to new year (in IG terms) / year-end review (in blogging terms). ha! It’s hard. I don’t think I can come up with 20 highlights for the year! So I am just going to do some sort of reflection… (because I have the time haha!)

We (Phil and I) started the year with so many plans – travels to Canada, Japan, China were all booked (the flights at least!) and we were so looking forward to a lot of adventures ahead of us. Thought 2020 would be a great year.

January and February, as usual, were quite busy at work. I was expecting for another deadly busy season but by the end of February, I thought it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated – i.e., I didn’t cry a single tear. We still managed to squeeze in a long weekend trip to Seville, Spain on the 3rd week of February for Phil’s marathon.


Great! (Or so we thought….)

<Had to take more than a week break before I continued with my 2020 reflections :p>

As I continue writing my 2020 reflections, I chanced upon some photos and videos from February – I realised that Phil and I had attended a concert during Valentine’s Day in London: Bowling for Soup and Simple Plan!


Why does it feel like this didn’t happen in 2020?! Ugh good old (normal) times!

PS: My #runningplaylist since February comprised songs they played in the concert!

March came and after Phil’s marathon in Seville, I started running more regularly. I had a goal: To run a total of 400km this year (because 20×20, ugh push mo yan!). I also wanted to see how far and how long I can run, so I kept on pushing myself every time. Pandemic happened and all the more I was determined to run as a form of exercise (because I was over-snacking!).

In April, I did the ‘HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY β™‘’ route; it somehow motivated me to run during days when I just want to lie on the sofa. In May and June, I managed to do 2 half marathons! πŸ™Œ It was thrilling (and tiring!); of course I wasn’t fast but I was resilient haha!

first anniv run

With the rate I was going in April and May, I would have completed my 400km by the end of June. But work started to get crazy(ier) in June and so I only managed to complete the 400km at the end of August. Still, I am happy about it!

As of date of writing (31Dec), Strava says, I ran a total of 521km this year and I think, on my own terms, that’s a lot. πŸ˜‹ I plan to go out today for my final and only run this month so I can hashtag #finishingstrong, but we’ll see. It’s a bit cold outside πŸ˜….


I never got to beat my 2019 5k and 10k PB paces, but that’s okay. It wasn’t the main goal anyway, lelz. ✌

So I have this thing of mini panic attacks and being anxious over petty things, because sometimes I overthink. With the pandemic and the related stress it brought, it felt like my anxiety just rose to a higher level. I could just be imagining the feeling or I could be actually super anxious, who knows?

Anyway, one of the things I did in April (start of lockdown) to destress and manage my anxious feelings was getting back into painting. I haven’t held my paintbrushes in over 5yrs, so it was kind of refreshing!


And boy, painting materials were either out of stock or unreasonably expensive during April! 🀣 Good thing, I still have some supplies at home, so I got by just fine.

These are some of the paintings I did – mostly of places we planned to visit this year. Painting was a good stress reliever. I’m not good at it, but it did give me positive vibes. So? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

My daily (nightly) painting sessions only lasted for a week though. I moved on to a different hobby/distraction quite quickly. Lels.


The lockdown and travel restrictions meant cancelled international travel plans for us. Back then, we probably took roughly 15 flights in a year, on average! Since lockdown v1, I stayed at and worked from home whilst Phil is on 50-50 office-home work arrangement. We only went out for walks in a nearby park and for runs. By the end of July, the situation was wearing me out – I was terribly missing the outdoors, missing being out and about! And I felt like it was driving me mad. πŸ˜…

We really only started exploring nearby places during the weekends in August and early Sept, after crying my heart out begging Phil to drive to somewhere haha! I get why we can’t travel but sometimes I get so irrational, sorry! ✌


The longest outdoor trip we had this year was up in the #PeakDistrict and #LakeDistrict after the stresses of Sept. Being back in the mountains hiking was liberating! πŸ˜ƒ


That’s it and then we were back into lockdown again in early Nov and now into higher restrictions. Oh well.

2020 has also been a year when most people (at least those that I see in my social media newsfeed) have resorted into #homebaking. I am no exception.

It was a year when I tried baking not just my usual cookies, cupcakes and cakes but also tried our Filipino favourites pandesal and Spanish bread. Riding the bandwagon, I know right, FOMO much! 🀣 (Note: It’s only this year I realised what FOMO stands for, so might as well use it!)

Anyway, here are some of my baked goodies this year! Definitely one of the culprits for my weight gain that I had to take on the #30DayChallenge, which, by the way, resulted in my lowest weight ever since maybe high school? (Also one of my #2020highlights!) 🀣


I am looking forward to more baking (and eating). And maybe someday, I will have my own coffee and cake shop! 🀣✌

And although 2020 has been rough and tough, there were still wonderful milestones that we got celebrate for and with our friends and family: wedding and new babies.


My year was full of virtual catch ups and quizzes, online gaming and more regular video calls with families. Despite the challenges, I am glad that we got through it and are still managing fine.

That’s it (because I ran out of things to say and am running out of time today)! haha As usual, can’t find a proper ending for my YE essay! But I hope you all have some good memories from 2020 and get to make more in 2021. Happy new year and stay hopeful!  β™₯ 

PS: Thank you to all the essential workers / frontliners for the continued dedication!

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