2020 Review: Expectations, Reality, & What I Learned

January 1, 2020.

What an innocent day, looking back. I started off the year hiking House Mountain just outside of Knoxville, then shared my recap of 2019, that included hopes and goals for 2020.

Woman standing on the edge of a mountain
January 1, 2020: House Mountain solo hike

On that day, Covid was simply something happening in China. I had no clue how it would affect this year. No one did. On a lighter note, I also had no clue that I’d meet my now husband on Facebook Dating just days later. Read more about that here.

Man and woman hugging
Me & John
February 2, 2020

So yeah, along with the rest of the earthly population, my expectations for 2020 and the reality of living 2020 were vastly different.

Truthfully, though, I’m not upset about it.

Yes, I had my share of disappointments, challenges, and sadness. In 2020, my grandma died, my dad was hospitalized with Covid, several trips were canceled, and more. All hard stuff.

But, I also met John, married John, bought a house, visited twelve states (not including Tennessee), started a new job, and my newest nephew was born. All joyful experiences—most of which I didn’t see coming on January 1, 2020.

Woman at the top of Angel's Landing with arms outstretched
March 2020
Angel’s Landing, Zion NP, Utah
with my friend Kara
Bride and groom just married
June 27, 2020
Nick Levine Photography
Woman and man hiking near Box Canon sign in Ouray, Colorado
July 2020
Colorado honeymoon
Red brick house
Our new home in Knoxville, TN
Woman holding a newborn baby on a couch
October 2020
My new nephew, Lincoln!

This year taught me so much more about trusting God, and I’m grateful for that! If I’m being totally honest, I started the year thinking I was doing pretty well, giving God my plans—as I’d been learning to do over the past few years. But giving God my plans every single day? That was a struggle. Is still a struggle. Will always be a struggle because I’m human. This year absolutely humbled me to acknowledge my reliance on God’s strength and wisdom every single day.

Overall, 2020 tested my optimism. My mindset. My contentment and joy. At times I was sad. Frustrated. Unsure. I complained. Got angry. Etc. Though I gave myself grace for feeling those emotions, I also didn’t allow myself to dwell in them. Instead, I chose to redirect my focus on God and trust Him with my feelings and my life—one day at a time.

Despite its challenges, 2020 was a life-changing year in beautiful ways I didn’t expect. And today, on the cusp of 2021, I’m even more determined to live each day with hope and zeal instead of fear, dread, or doubt. My goal for 2021 is simply this: to treat each day as a gift, be content whatever the circumstances, and live fueled on God’s strength—not my own.

Flipping a calendar page won’t magically change the reality of any situation; but, what can change is mindset. I sincerely hope that, as we all bid farewell to a challenging year, a powerful, collective hope will abound for each new day of life we’re given.

Happy New Year from the Mullers ♡

Woman and man with helmets and climbing gear, standing on the edge of a cliff face
Woman and man taking a selfie in an airport
Man kissing woman on the cheek on a hiking trail

One thought on “2020 Review: Expectations, Reality, & What I Learned

  1. Pingback: Simple New Year’s Resolutions—Progress Over Perfection – adventure and the girl

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