What I'm thankful for in 2020 (by Tanja)
I remember this time last year, people were so excited about 2020. Not only was the upcoming year mathematically beautiful, but it was also the start of a new decade. You could easily feel the excitement for the hopeful time that was about to knock on our doors.
Boy, were we wrong! 2020 was a year for the books! In the future, the very mention of this number will send shivers down our spines, just as quickly as it'll create palpable feelings of awe in our children and our children's children. But, throughout the difficult days that were laid before us in these 12 months, some moments encouraged me to keep that grip on hope, counting on better days. Not only that; slowly leaving my twenties behind, I've only been trying to count my blessings on both good and bad days, and this tumultuous year, just before my 30th birthday in February, made damn sure I finally learned doing so!
So, here's why I'm leaving 2020 with an enormous sense of gratitude:
Dubo. Although it's unusual to many, I prefer calling him my partner as it far surpasses words like 'boyfriend', 'fiance' or 'husband'. None of them, although they carry a colossal amount of affection, explain how much he really means to me. Five years in, he has truly been my partner in all aspects of our joined life, in business and in private. It would be an understatement to say he makes me a better person, but that's as close as I can get. I am eternally grateful for his calmness which soothes me daily, patience which teaches me to practice the same, kindness which inspires me to do better, and for the deep, immeasurable amount of love he is capable of giving, the kind I can never seem to reach, no matter how much I try.
Health. We don't know if we've had asymptomatic Covid-19. However, both of us have walked through this entire year healthy and energetic, constantly working on bettering our eating and cooking habits, eradicating our allergies, and overpowering our anxieties. Although I know people who caught 'the bug', my closest ones are healthy and happy, which puts my heart and mind at ease.
Loved ones. My parents and friends mean the world to me, and I do my best to show them that regularly. Throughout this year, we've managed to be there for each other, and that alone makes all the difference in the world.
Writing. During the first quarantine back in Spring, I wrote my third book and by Autumn, had completed its 500 pages. Even though I don't know when I'll be able to publish it due to our thin finances, I feel an immense sense of pride for pushing through such a difficult and confusing time, in such a disciplinary manner. Since I'm quite lazy, believe me, this was an accomplishment of a lifetime! In addition, I got a brand new idea for my fourth book which I am currently working on – writing two books in one hectic year sure makes you feel deep gratitude! To be quite honest, I don't think I'd be able to go through 2020 without taking shelter in my imaginary worlds...
Free time. You'd think, living in a gorgeous city like Dubrovnik, I'd be spending all of my time on a beach, but let me tell you, when you work in a region that relies only on summer seasons, you don't get to have days off. So, a wonderful highlight of this wacky year has been loads of free time, which allowed me to go to the beach almost daily, to read more than ever before, enjoy TV shows and movies, and go for long walks in nature. Never before have I had so much 'me-time' and, my gosh, was it beneficial!
Letting go. One of the best things I've learned this year is to let go of people who've, subconsciously or not, drained my energy and made me feel small. I finally learned to accept the fact human nature isn't always well-intentioned, and let certain individuals, memories and traumas go about their course which, thank Heavens, isn't where I'm heading. I'm still learning a lot, but this year, I dare to say I've done a lot when it comes to taking care of myself!
Business. Financially, we might be in the worst place we've ever been, but that sure encouraged us to become more creative! We put all our efforts into our Instagram account and webshop, trying out new things, communicating more with our dear followers, and just coming up with ideas on how to expand our passion. Dubo has a good sense of economical variables, tracking financial changes, and following logical connections, while I'm diving in creative waters, constantly thinking of new possibilities. I'm very, very excited to see where we'll end up with that combination!
Bad days. To be honest, by nature I'm melancholic, anxious, a terrible sleeper, and prone to panic attacks. Now, don't worry - many artists are that way and therefore, often draw inspiration from the dark they're so in tune with. But, having these ugly moments in life made me able to get in touch with myself which, in turn, makes me very much aware of myself and everything around me. I'm very much a person that learns from her own mistakes. Throughout life, and in this year particularly, I was able to have conversations with myself and find answers necessary to live to the fullest. Bad days bring better ones in abundance if you recognize the possibilities, and I must say, that became one of my super-powers!
You. In this day and age, our interests and attention spans are abruptly changing, so I'm in high spirits whenever we post something and get your reactions. I'm very much aware history and cartography will never go viral or gain a celebrity-like status, but with the community we have, I wouldn't want anything else. Your kind messages, questions, inputs, and suggestions make me feel as if we're in touch with immediate family members who share our interests, rather than strangers. One of the most rewarding feelings in the world is having you send us a photo of our products, framed on your wall or guarding your coffee-table, as it feels as if we were invited to become a part of your home!
I'm sure I'd be able to think of more points if I took more time, but these are the ones on my mind as I say my nightly prayers to the Universe. I very, very much appreciate your time, your words, and your support, and feel blessed to be a part of this circle! In hopes you were able to count your blessings or are just about to do so these days, I'm sending you my warmest wishes and hopes that the time ahead of you will be filled with joy, good luck, and strong health.
Thank you for everything!