Like so many, I could never have imagined how incredibly different my world would look from January to December.
Wow, 2020. You really packed a punch.
In January, I was happily working a job I loved with the best team of people on the planet. I sent out the very first MittenGirl newsletter to my brand new mailing list. Goals were set. I was ready to make 2020 the best. year. EVER.
By mid-March our office was closed. I picked my daughter up from preschool for what would be the last time, and we started the parenting-while-schooling-and-working-from-home game.
In June I was furloughed from my job.
To keep myself occupied during the summer, I took on an idea that had been floating around in my head for a while and began working on my first cocktail book.
In August my daughter started her much anticipated first day of kindergarten on an iPad in our basement. And in October I published my cocktail book.
Now it’s December.
Last month, I was permanently laid off from my job.
And I’ve sold 60+ printed copies of my cocktail book that I originally intended to be digital only.
I’ve also decided to focus my 2021 efforts on blogging. Can I make it a business? Pay my bills working an unconventional job? I'm more than ready to bring on a new year of focus, energy, and possibilities.
Change can be terrifying and exciting all at once.
This website has been taking up space on the internet for 5+ years. But only since September 2019 have I focused in on my content, and committed myself to the consistency and work it takes to build a blog into something special. That effort has led to some encouraging statistics.
Since that first newsletter in January, I've doubled the size of my mailing list.
From 2019 to 2020, I’ve seen an 800% increase in pageviews and a 900% increase in visitors.
I had more website traffic in the first 4 days of December 2020, than for all of December 2019.
I’m doing something right here, and I want to keep it going. Let’s see where it will lead.
This year I’ve written more personal pieces than ever before. And they’re some of the most popular posts on my site. It makes me SO DANG HAPPY when someone reaches out to say “I shared this with my sister/coworker/friend because this is my situation too, and this is how I feel.”
I get needing to have someone else say it in order to recognize those feelings in yourself.
Years ago, when struggling to understand what would later be diagnosed as postpartum anxiety and depression, I started Googling how I was feeling. I came across a link that led to a blog that led to an article describing exactly how I felt. I sobbed reading that article.
For the first time, I didn’t feel like it was just me or something I needed to “get over.” It gave me courage. It gave me the words I needed to talk to others about what I was experiencing.
One person sharing their experience did so much for me.
So I’ll keep posting lots of recipes, but I’ll keep sharing the personal stuff too. The articles that some will think of as “too much.” Because for someone else, it might be just what they need to know they're not alone.
And I’ll keep working on cocktail books, and making yummy food, and shaking up drinks, and taking lots of pictures.
Saying "Goodbye 2020" is easy. Heading into the unknown of 2021 is daunting, but I'm ready.
2021's mantra will help push me along:
If you’re still with me, thank you. For the support, the encouragement, the time spent reading this post. You matter so much to me and I appreciate that you’re here.