What was the triumph of the year?
We made it through!

Best trips of the year:

Hiking in the mountains in July (part 1, part 2, part 3)
Also, when I came home, I wrote this post (in Swedish) about one of the many reasons I love hiking in the mountains.

Birmingham Swing Festival + Harry Potter Studio Tour (part 1, part 2) + London in February

Best weekends of the year:

Two days at Vinga with my colleagues; the summer weekend of my dreams (part 1, part 2)

A wonderful October weekend at the cottage with Liam, Lisa and Tove (part 1, part 2)

A cottage weekend in late May/ early June (part 1, part 2)

Best daytrips of the year:

Summer roadtrip in Halland with Liam

Our "extra day" in Åre after our hike was cut short

Sundsby Säteri in the spring

Best parties of the year:
How odd that we (thought that we) "could" have parties and how stupid I feel now that it's clear that we shouldn't have, at all. I can only explain it with that I followed the recommendations we had, and that I didn't know better. Sigh. Anyway:

David's birthday party

A Friday night in the woods

... and a bunch of other fabulous parties and dinners, most of which I have my reasonable women to thank for: Anna's birthday party, Tove's birthday party, dinner at Carro's, Karin's birthday party and a few others.

Special mention for the Saturday party at Birmingham Swing Festival, when I placed second in the Any Swing Goes competition and pretty much lived off of that high for the rest of the weekend. I wrote about it here.

What was your greatest success workwise?
That both my choirs were almost full when we started the spring semester, and that we had such a lovely start to the semester. The atmosphere was just wonderful and I got great feedback on my arrangements.

Which gig was the most fun?

I've only had three (god that feels weird to realise). Two nights at Hülly Blues in northern Germany, and our livestreamed gig in November. All three were so much fun and went super well! But maybe the streamed gig wins just because I have longed for music so much at that point?

Hobby of the year:

Definitely scrapbooking. Being able to gather all of the bright moments in my photo albums has been extremely valuable this year. I get to experience all the fun so many times: first when I look forward to something, then while it happens (and I get to capture it through my lens and my heart), then when I do the post processing, when I make my albums, and when I look through old albums. AND I get the joy in doing something creative with my hands. It's been great, this year more than any other year.

Project of the year:
Rejigging the furniture in our apartment quite a lot in the autumn (including emptying and moving several bookcases) even though we know we won't be living here for much longer. We like it so much better now, it feels warmer and cosier and more like a home. Definitely worth it.

Which music did you listen to?
Ella Fitzgerald, Kate Rusby, Kristian Kristensen, Ingrid Michaelson, Fleetwood Mac, Four Tet and Lizzo.

Three songs of the year:
Kate Rusby: Underneath the Stars
Voces8: Caledonia
Katy Perry: Daisies

Best film you watched for the first time?

Kubo and the Two Strings. Runner-up: The Social Dilemma.

Best book you read this year?
I read all of nine books this year which I think might be an all time low. I've really struggled to find peace and focus to read this year! My favourite was Thorn by Initsar Khanani.

Which clothes did you wear?

Mainly soft pants to be honest! But in early summer I bought my jungle dress at Monki, and proceded to live in it all summer. It was a really good buy.

What made you feel good this year?
The company of my loved ones, whether it was in person, or via phone calls, email or zoom.

More specifically, I need to mention three ways of spending time with loved ones (including myself), that helped get me through this year:

Swimming in the sea, all summer.

Walks. Long walks in nature. Sunny days, chilly days, rainy days. I loved all the walks and I loved that spending time outdoors really became a thing this year (although I wish we would have been without the pandemic that forced it to be a thing).

Board games. So many lovely board game nights this year! I guess the lack of dancing made time for it?

Oh, I guess, four things ... Because, Christmas.

What made you sad this year?
The state of the world. So much injustce. The racism, the sexism, the conflicts and starvation, the colonialism still plaguing huge parts of the world.

We lost Julia this year. And I struggle with the unfairness of people having to leave way, WAY too soon.

And on another level, missing my job, and the feelings of worthlessness that came with that, of failing to contribute to the world in any meaningful way. And just ... everything I (and everyone else) missed out on.

What was the biggest surprise?
Ha ha ha! A global pandemic!

Best buy this year:
Did I even buy anything besides food this year? And aforementioned summer dress. Yes! I bought my Silhouette Cameo in January! It's a cutting machine for my crafting. I'm actually glad I bought it before I cancelled my choirs, because I wouldn't have allowed myself such a splurge later in the year when I was unemployed.

Who meant the most to you this year?

Liam. My family. My Utby gang (what used to be Trevliga Trion med bihang has expanded and changed too much to keep that name, so I just call them my Utby gang now since we most often tend to meet in Utby). My Reasonable Women.

Did you meet any new people this year?

I got to know Erik! That has been such a win. He's a colleague at the culture school where I work as a singing teacher - he's a film teacher. Our walks together have been such a blessing this year.

How did you celebrate your birthday?

With afternoon tea with all my dearest friends.

What do you want to do next year that you didn't do this year?
I miss travelling so much it feels like an itch in my nerves. I hope we get to go to the UK at some point during the year. I understand that that might be too much to wish for ... but one can always wish. And a close second: dancing. It would be so, so magical if we could have social dancing again sometime later in the year. Probably not? But maybe.

What was the best thing about 2020?

Gratitude. In all the crying I've done, there's been an awareness of the privilege that lies in having something to miss. Christmases at home with my family are something to miss. Family and friends I haven't been able to see enough or at all this year are something to miss. Music and performing is something to miss. The work life that I have built up for myself with my wonderful, beloved choirs - having a job that I LOVE, that is something to miss! Travelling, dance life, big parties and events, it's something to miss.

And then, there's the intense gratitude for everything that I did have this year. Health; mine and my loved ones' health. Safety, savings to live off of when I lost my job, a support network which would have helped me had I not had savings. And, maybe most tangibly: all the beautiful things that happened. I mean, just look at this post! I think I've never been happier than now that I take as many photos as I do. It's such a reminder of how beautiful my life is, when I don't always have the ability or the energy to remember by myself.

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