2020, As Told By the Things I Bought in Quarantine


2020 was a *mumbles unintelligibly* year. We all stumbled through the highs and lows, through new hobbies and distractions, through grief and loss and isolation. 

Looking back at my bank statement was like looking through a time capsule of every month of this last year. So here’s the tale of 2020, as told by the things I bought each month of quarantine. 

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In January, I bought a ticket to England for the wedding of my dear friend. And man, oh man, if only I had known that it would take me months to get a refund after that wedding was postponed and the trip cancelled, I would have been less organized. 

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In February, we still weren’t really aware of what was coming for us, but we were trying to prepare. I distinctly remember buying travel hand sanitizer and telling my roommate that we needed to start using it more, and him making fun of me for using the words “incubation period” in a real sentence. 

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In March, I bought a Dutch oven because — and this is a direct quote I told my sister before purchasing — “Making bread will be a fun way to pass the time in the next few weeks inside.” 

Anyway, I decided to make my own bread. BREAD! Like a peasant woman from the 1500s whose husband was always off working on the farm. In reality, I have no husband and therefore continue to consume the bread mostly on my own. 

This is my favorite, so-easy-even-I-could-do-it recipe from Girl Versus Dough. No sourdough starter or waiting for it to rise forever or whatever lies your over-achieving friends told you (sorry, guys, I love you but it’s all too hard). 

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In April, my little sister and I spent our first holiday without our loud and boisterous family. Even though she’s 20 and we haven’t done an Easter egg hunt for years, I bought Easter eggs and candy and hid them around the house for her. 

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In May, I bought a watercolor kit when I decided that I needed a new hobby that wasn’t burning bread in my new Dutch oven. 

Then, I bought an embroidery kit when I decided to be an overachiever. I actually got pretty good at both, thanks to classes that I took through Brit +Co and a lot of YouTube tutorials. 

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June was the month that I decided to “fix my anxiety” by buying a weighted blanket. No, really, my thought process was, “Ah, yes, it is this heavy blanket that will fix my anxiety, not therapy.” Then I started therapy. 

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In July, I bought a standing desk converter after finally coming to terms with the fact that I probably wasn’t going to see my desk at the office in 2020 and should therefore stop working from bed. 

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I hit a real low point when I bought myself a ring light because I convinced myself I could become TikTok famous and then got too scared to really ‘do’ TikTok. How does Reese Witherspoon make it look so easy?

In other news, does anyone want a ring light? 

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In September, I invested in a whole tea set because I convinced myself that I was going to “become a tea person.” Cut to: Me shoving a quadruple espresso down my gullet within 45 seconds of waking up every morning.

Oh, yeah, I also got an espresso machine, if that wasn’t obvious from all the espresso. 

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In October, with the sad reality setting in that it was about to be winter, I got a Hatch Restore clock. I was convinced that it would fix my seasonal depression that definitely 100% had nothing to do with the pandemic still happening. 

This is around when I finally got that plane ticket from January refunded. 

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November was the month that I purchased not one, not two, not even seven but nine new sweaters on sale to wear on Zoom. One of which looks remarkably like Drake’s in “Hotline Bling.”

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I bought a kettle bell in December. I have no real reasoning for this one. It just felt like something that I should do for myself even though it feels dangerous to be swinging one inside my apartment. 

This is your reminder to let yourself do (or not do) and get (or not get) things that make this period of your life feel even a bit more bearable. Like all of this stuff that I’ve acquired that is now scattered around my living space, I hope you bring that tidbit with you into 2021. 

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