Updated: Jan 19, 2021
So, I was reading a book recently (Keep going by Austin Kleon) and he referenced writing a "Top 40" once a year consisting of his best memories/favourite things about the year just gone. It is pitched as a good way to stop and make you reflect on all of your achievements and what has made you happy that year, also helping you focus on what you might want to try and continue doing in the next year to come.
As someone who writes in a "one line a day" journal (a diary where you write a short entry in once a day for 5 years), I found the idea of a Top 40 both intriguing and extremely worth doing. As my perspective changes so much over time I find it interesting to journal things such as a Top 40 so I can look back and reflect on the progression of my thought process and the memories I've made over the years as I grow and experience more. I often forget what I did a week ago so doing this activity really got me thinking!
So here it is, my Top 40 memories for 2020, in no particular order:
1. Visiting Hamilton Island, Australia (I finally did it! Thanks to COVID giving me no other choice)
2. Doing a road trip from Perth to Esperance, Australia (this entire trip was so special).
3. Watching Safia and Mansionair perform live at a festival with new and old friends as the sun set over Perth, Australia.
4. Spending quality one on one time with my boyfriend during the lock downs during COVID, this really brought us closer.
5. The alone time I spent with my Mum helping her move house. I heard more stories about my Dad and my family during this time than I have in many previous years put together.
6. Finally making the decision to see a psychologist and it totally changing my life (it's not as scary or as big of a deal as you think it is, nothing will ever be more worth your time or money than prioritising your mental health).
7. Swimming in the ocean at Coolum Beach, Australia on an overcast summer afternoon.
8. Starting an online store for my framed photography prints.
9. Dancing for the first time in a bar after COVID dancing restrictions were lifted.
10. Reuniting with my high school friendship group after 9 years!
11. Hosting a totally over the top movie night with my girlfriends and pigging out on junk food.
12. Treating my boyfriend Michael to a weekend away at Surfer's Paradise, Australia during winter with the intent of snuggling up and watching movies and doing cosy activities like going out for dinner or going bowling.
13. Getting up early to watch the sun rise over the Shorncliffe Pier, Australia with my friend Mikaela one cold winter's morning.
14. Having my sister return home from living in Manchester, England for the last 2 years and finally being able to spend time with her again.
15. Tie dying a bunch of clothing at my Mum's house with my family.
16. Camping just outside of Byron Bay, Australia for a friend's 30th birthday and listening to Triple J's hottest 100 from our own private bar.
17. Having one of my photos feature in Lonely Planet Magazine as well as on their Instagram (I will never forget this feeling).
18. Starting this very website and blog.
19. Reading so many life changing books (you can see some of them reviewed over at @theblondereads on Instagram).
20. Going and playing trivia with my boyfriend over our favourite $10 chicken burger and chips.
21. Watching my sister succeed in her new role (and continue to do so) after coming home from living in Manchester, England.
22. Going for cocktails and playing darts with my siblings and two cousins and it feeling like we were twelve years old again (but with alcohol this time!).
23. Being lucky enough to keep my job and continue going to work during COVID.
24. Witnessing my sister experience true happiness with her new boyfriend and feeling grateful that she had him during her time being in lockdown in Melbourne, Australia.
25. Meeting a friend's new baby and spending time with both her and her family.
26. Watching Euphoria (trust me, it was THAT good).
27. Discovering Tiktok and spending countless hours absolutely howling at my phone screen.
28. Watching the Jacaranda trees come into bloom during spring and seeing them fill the sky with the most amazing purple flowers.
29. Encouraging my inner voice to forgive both myself and others in order to move towards a more positive and productive future.
30. Having my entire family together for a week over Christmas for the first time in three years (both myself and my sister did Working Holiday Visas which meant we weren't all home over Christmas during that time).
31. Mending past broken relationships with friends and moving forward with them.
32. Sticking to eating less meat during the week and being conscious of food waste.
33. Instilling new habits like meditation, yoga, mindfulness, being present plus many more in order to try be the best version of myself.
34. Handling pressure and confrontation a lot better than I used to.
35. The day my sister treated me to getting my nails done and going out for lunch simply because she thought I deserved it.
36. Getting white girl wasted at my Mum's house with my family and drunkenly eating pizza and crying when my favourite G Flip song came on the radio (believe me when I say I was white girl wasted).
37. Spending quality time with my family at my Aunties’ Christmas BBQ.
38. Every damn sunset.
39. Getting a drone and experiencing sheer amazement when seeing what it's capable of.
40. Finding moments of solitude wherever I can to take it all in, read a book or even sometimes shed a tear at how grateful I am and how amazed I am with my life.
What a year it's been! I encourage you to write your own Top 40 list and see what it brings to the surface for you. After writing my list I feel so grateful and content. As one of my favourite motivational speakers Tony Robbins says "when you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears". Here's to an abundant 2021 for you all and many more adventures to come!