2020 Sucked – or did it? Take this Challenge

As we near the end of 2020, how will you remember it? There have been thousands, if not millions, of reasons to say 2020 sucked and was the worst year in over a century.  You may have personally had to deal with a ton of pain.  While feeling your feelings is important, so is shifting your perspective and not living in a negative mindset.  Finding joy and moments of play can refresh your brain in ways that help you become resilient.  Take this challenge as a stepping stone to reflecting on 2020 in a new light.

Mini Adventure Monday post featuring 2020 Sucks Challenge and John Oliver blowing up 2020 video
Mini Adventure Monday post and John Oliver blowing up 2020 video

1) Find 12 positive events, things, learnings, people, or whatever comes up for you. You could discover a golden nugget for each month. Write them down (on paper, with a writing instrument – not on computer or in your imagination).

2) Find one negative thing that happened to you. Here’s the challenge- can you flip it into a positive?

Mini Adventure Mondays

In the Adventure Wednesdays Explorer Group, I create a “Mini Adventure Monday” post every week.  Members pick a day to commit to having an adventure, and the weekly post is an inspiration.  The responses to this challenge has been uplifting!  People wrote about learning to slow down, to finding creative ways to travel, and learning how to connect with friends and family on deeper levels.

2020 Didn’t Always Suck

Need inspiration for your answers?  To be a good example, I always try the adventures first.  Here are my answers:

Stacey walking with three geese following behind her
Stacey and the geese: Penelope, Mathilda and Chuck.
  1. Tiny living has become a passion of mine.  This year I was paid to learn all about tiny houses on wheels when I had a gig with a tiny house builder. “Tiny House Reality Check
  2. I met a YouTube star through a new friend (Brenda was featured in an episode!) While Jenna was cool, it was developing a friendship with Brenda that I treasure. “Brenda and Just B Tiny
  3. Blue hair? Silver hair? And I don’t live near a big city for a fancy hair colorist…but then I found Fred! He gave me big city talent in a rural town. “Grey Pride
  4. Learned in-depth about cannabis.  2020 offered a rare numerical partnership: 420 (the nickname for marijuana) and 4/20 (April, 2020).  The research for the five blogs I wrote in honor of that month was so much fun (and not from partaking of the wacky weed).
  5. Being interviewed for a variety of podcasts was fun.  Even more so was being discovered by an Australian magazine (Tonic) which published my article “How I Coped with Losing My Job“.
  6. Explored the Oregon Coast. Despite travel restrictions and wild fires that often limited us, we managed to discover this beautiful state. “Switch it up for the 2020 Holidays”
  7. Learned to take my own advice.  When imposter syndrome or the #stayhome blues hit, I remembered my own advice.  Always Be Curious.  How can I do (xyz) differently to see it as a challenge to overcome vs. an obstacle that makes me feel stuck.
  8. The geese!  They arrived as babies in March, and I enjoyed becoming their favorite Auntie.  I even joked that they were my new coworkers to chat with over the water cooler.
  9. Reconnected with a group where being my authentic self is required.  Thanks to Zoom, I could be with my East Coast buds while physically here on the West Coast.
  10. By continuing my entrepreneur education, I discovered a local supportive community.  By summer they whipped up a 10-week program called “RAINmaker Accelerator.”  I have virtually met such a great variety of people. 
  11. Due to the rewards of participating in the Oregon RAINmaker entrepreneur program, I will be able to make a dream come true of creating t-shirts for my biz!
  12. My biggest sanity-saver has been the renovating of the vintage Airstream (Wednesday the Airstream Adventuremobile) that will, one day, be my home and my roving office. 

Flipping the Negative

Stacey in monster face shield

Part two of the Challenge asks you to use your Adventure Mindset and find something negative from 2020 and flip it.  What’s the saying? When you change how you look at things, things change. 

What’s one of the big negatives about the precautions for not getting C19?  The travel restrictions.  Adventure isn’t always about travel, but it doesn’t exclude it either.  My big negative was missing my East Coast family.  I know many suffered from this, even if they weren’t 3,000 miles apart.

Step by step, with the help of my family, we overcame each challenge.  I turned my fear of traveling on the plane into a game, including wearing a funny face shield.  We held a socially distant, outdoor 80th birthday party for my mom.  I took three Covid tests, and used the opportunity to compare how each place handled them (and stayed present to how I felt during them).  I reveled in my digital nomad business and stayed three weeks (using the padding of time in case I needed to quarantine).

Family in pandemic masks with grandma in front and rest posing behind her
Masked celebratory photo for Mom’s 80th birthday

Instead of looking at the travel restrictions as obstacles, we flipped it into a maze to figure out to get me from point A to point B, with some great connections, laughter and love along the way.

Take the Challenge

Why not take the time during the next weather storm or pandemic shut down to review your 2020 year?  Find your golden nuggets among all the rocks.  Inspire others by sharing your answers – here or even over your next video reunion.

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Be inspired by these guest bloggers who have created their adventure attitudes and transformations in their unique ways.

Sometimes to shift your outlook on life, you need to shift your perspective by traveling somewhere unfamiliar, or seeing familiar places in new ways.  It was while I was in another country that I realized – everywhere is someone’s backyard!  I’ve also become a big fan of traveling to one place that is wildly different each year – an event in the Nevada desert called “Burning Man”

Are you dreaming of tiny house adventures?  Start here.  I’ve worked at a tiny house builder, and am renovating a 1975 Airstream to be my home for my digital nomad life.

Your Adventure Mindset Mentor

Stacey Newman Weldon You need more fun & spontaneity in your life, and aren’t sure of next steps or the path to follow.  Let’s connect! You could choose a free 15 minute chat, various courses, or even select one-to-one coaching.

Learn more here:

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  1. Lisa p

    That’s a great list! I’m sure I can come up with 12 journaling this morning. Off the top of my head I’d say I found not 1, not 2, but 3 (and actually 4 for a summer gig as a census worker) jobs during the pandemic after moving to a new place. They are not well-paying but I have lots of flexibility and am getting to meet great people and learn my way around.

    • Stacey Newman Weldon

      Journaling is so helpful! I agree with jobs helping you learn more about an area. I used to feel I learned the neighborhoods of NYC by all my different jobs.


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