Over 50s Lifestyle

Reflecting on 2020 and yes, there were some positives

December 18, 2020
Reflecting on 2020

I’m honoured to be part of a Women’s Circle of friends who meet weekly via a Zoom chat. We live in different states in Australia and a couple of our group live on the other side of the world. However, when we attend the meeting, distance is not relevant and I always come away from the meeting feeling uplifted and supported. Women are great at supporting each other and valuing friendships.

Each week, we chat about life but also have a guiding question to ponder and then discuss. Everyone takes a turn to pose a question and the recent question caused me to pause and reflect on 2020.

If you chose a word of the year, how has that manifested for you? If you didn’t have a WOTY were there any goals, resolutions or even vague ideas as to what you hoped this year would mean for you? how did that pan out?

WOTY means Word of the Year. Selecting a word to focus on each year has become a common practice for many. It is an alternative to New Year Resolutions which many of us struggle to continue with beyond the first few weeks of January.

I started selecting a WOTY back in 2016 and this question for the group, was a good opportunity to look back at words I had chosen over the last few years and whether I had actually lived the word with intention. On reflection most, if not all, are sill a work in progress but I am making progress!

When I first saw this question, I thought that I hadn’t chosen a word for 2020 and if I did, I couldn’t remember it.

If I couldn’t remember it, I certainly hadn’t lived daily life with this as my focus.

I looked through the archive posts on the blog and found that although I hadn’t chosen a word, I had chosen a statement – ‘Make it Happen’. I made this a challenge for myself and also the Women Living Well After 50 Facebook Group. Below is a couple of paragraphs I wrote about my Make It Happen focus and the challenge.

My goal for 2020 is to regain my mojo and help others achieve theirs. One habit or goal at a time.

The idea of the Make it Happen 2020 Challenge is to start by selecting just one thing you would like to change in your life OR one dream you want to make a reality and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

We all agree that 2020 has been a dreadful year. There were two major impacts on my life in 2020,.

The first was not being able to see my family during a six week lock down period and then heavily restricted visits to my mother-in-law in aged care. Secondly, the unexpected loss of my dear MIL, Luisa who passed away at the end of October which my husband and I are still coming to terms with.

So how did I go with ‘Making It Happen’?

Putting aside COVID-19, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I did Make things happen during 2020 despite the imposed restrictions. This certainly lifted my spirits as I feel that the year hasn’t been totally wasted.

  1. I achieved my Group Fitness Instructor Certification and gained a position in the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio taking group classes. I love working with the ladies, some of whom are in their late 70’s and 80’s to help them stay active and enjoy life.
  2. I started the Women Living Well After 50 Podcast and made 26 episodes I’m disappointed that I’ve had to put this on hold for a time but will definitely be back with more guests in 2021. I love connecting with Women 50+ who are ‘Living Well’ and sharing their experiences. I’ve learned so much from each of my guests.
  3. I co-founded a Women’s Circle with 5 beautiful women who inspire, support and motivate me to be a better person.
  4. I completed a Yoga Coaching certification
  5. I completed my 3rd Full Marathon – 42.2kms at aged 63 with my Saturday Sisters. My first was at 55, my second at 61 and the time I ran this year was an hour faster than 2 years ago.
  6. I completed a Meditation and Mindfulness Certification
  7. I completed a Sun Salutations course
  8. I completed a certification in Training Seniors and am currently studying Training Women 50+ to add to my knowledge gained in the Group Fitness Instructor course.
  9. I conducted my first Wellness Retreat collaborating with Carol from Harmony & Healthy Yoga.
  10. I ran challenges in the Facebook Group to continue to inspire and motivtate women to live well. These included:

How did my focus for Make it Happen improve my ability to be a Woman Living Well?

The last six weeks have been the most difficult for me to cope with and I have to say I’ve been a little concerned about my coping skills and mental health. I’ve had some days where I’ve felt sadness, resentment, anger and despair which is certainly not my normal self.

Reflecting on the question and how I lived 2020 despite the sadness and loss, especially the last six weeks has helped me enormously. I feel positive mentally. I’ve proven to myself that I can push through in difficult times and that I have resilience and inner strength. I’m grateful to my lovely friend, Jo who posed the question.

I would encourage you to try this exercise to see what you did this year to overcome the COVID-19 restrictions to make things happen in your life. Even the smallest of achievements matter.

Will I have a WOTY for 2021? Will You? – Watch this space…

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Christina Henry December 18, 2020 at 08:41

    Hi Sue, I agree it has been a hard year but even then I can still find positives. It’s totally understandable that you are feeling so many different emotions while you are grieving. It was a very positive thing to do, to list your many achievements this year. Good on you, always an inspiration. Take care, Christina

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2020 at 15:44

      Hi Christina, you are certainly an inspiration with all your health issues this year on top of COVID. I hope you are feeling better and looking forward to 2021. Best wishes for you and your family for Christmas and 2021 xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris December 18, 2020 at 13:08

    I loved reading of all the positives and things you made happen despite the dreadful year Sue! Congratulations for pushing through and also for being honest about your mental health and your coping skills. Having just lost my own mother-in-law I too am on that journey of working out where life goes without Ruby in it anymore. I look forward to hearing what your WOTY will be as I’m sure you’ve got something in mind. The Womens Circle sounds like it’s been a real winner for all involved!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2020 at 15:47

      Hi Deb, I know I haven’t felt positive over the last couple of months but because that isn’t in my nature. Taking the time to reflect on what I did achieve during the year has certainly helped. I was so sorry to hear Ruby had passed and perhaps you and I can work together to support each other through these sad times. I love my Women’s Circle and wouldn’t trade any of the group for the world. I’m very lucky.

  • Reply Michele Somerville December 18, 2020 at 13:37

    There is a quote that I love, from Socrates, I think: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” So Kudos on this reflection. It sounds like despite the season of COVID and sadness, and change, you have accomplished quite a lot. Congratulations. I had two resolutions last year, and I considered both of them important when I wrote them. I did not get anywhere near keeping the one, and the second one, I quickly forgot what it was. I have chosen a WOTY for 2021, pretty sure it chose me. Will try to write about it after Christmas so I can post on New Years. Christmas blessings, and a good and healthy New Year. Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 18, 2020 at 15:52

      It has certainly been a roller-coaster ride this year Michele and for most of it I felt we weren’t too badly affected. Unfortunately, the year hasn’t ended well with the loss of my Mother-In-Law, however, I’m looking to 2021 to put a line in the sand and start anew. Love and best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year xx

  • Reply suzanne December 19, 2020 at 05:20

    Sue, you continue to inspire and uplift. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments, your loss, and your outlook on the future. Let’s hope that 2021 will put this year firmly in the past.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 20, 2020 at 17:10

      Thank you Suzanne for your lovely comment and hopefully 2021 will be a much better year for us all. Take care xx

  • Reply Toni Pike December 19, 2020 at 18:26

    Your achievements have been stunning this year Sue – I hope you’re able to have a relaxing Christmas break. love, Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 20, 2020 at 17:09

      Thank you,Toni. I’m sorry to hear about your Christmas plans being up in the air due to the Sydney outbreak. Sending love and hugs to you. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au December 20, 2020 at 12:11

    Sue, 2020 seemed to energize you rather than slowing you down. I think you made the most of every moment that you were at home and it produced some amazing results. On the other hand, I know that family is our lifeblood and when we’re cut off from them during a pandemic, or when we lose them to age and passing away, it hits us hard in the heart and other achievements pale a little in comparison. I know you’ll come through this stronger and with your positive mindset, you’ll be rocking 2021 – looking forward to your new #WOTY xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 20, 2020 at 17:05

      Hi BBB, I started to go downhill after Luisa died at the end of October but after writing my reflective post last week and listing all the positives I had achieved, I’m realising that I’m on the way back and I am so fortunate and grateful that my 2020 hasn’t been nearly as bad as many others in the world. xx

  • Reply Michele December 21, 2020 at 11:55

    I Hi Sue, you certainly did Make it happne this year! I congratulate you on the podcast, am sure that must take a lot of effort. Covid and the quarantine have been terrible, but there have been good things this year as well. I believe that when life slowed down, we had more time to be introspective and to think about what really matters to us. That will serve us well in the long run if we choose to live more deliberately. I wish you and your family a very Merry Chirstmas from the United States.

  • Reply Donna Connolly December 21, 2020 at 14:27

    Wow, Sue! You definitely did Make It Happen (and beyond).
    You are always such an incredible inspiration (and an awesome friend).
    I look forward to finding out if you will have a new word or statement for 2021.
    I wasn’t planning on having one myself, but I think that a P(hrase)OTY has found me!

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