2020 with toilet paper

The Ups and Downs of 2020 Told Through One Woman’s Amazon Order History

2020 has been a year to remember.

Or perhaps a year to forget.

Or a year to sing the Sound of Music goodbye song to in hopes that a musical number will lighten the mood.

Looking back, our family was very lucky this year by all accounts and I’m super grateful. At the same time, on behalf of so many folks around the world, I’m not sad to wave goodbye to this year’s dumpster fire. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!

A Very Amazon 2020

To manage through the challenges of 2020 and keep me and my two small children out of stores, I found myself heading to Amazon for the essentials and not-so-essentials pretty often this year. We were working and schooling from home for many months and so my co-dependent relationship with Amazon.com went next level…

Because of all this Amazon shopping, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at my order history for the year and see if my purchases told the story of 2020 I thought it might. Join me for a little walk down 2020 memory lane, Amazon-style, and laugh, cry, and judge your way through my year. It might look very similar to your last trip around the sun, it might look totally different, but in any case, I hope you enjoy the memories, and I hope you get a kick out of your order history too! I’d love to hear what you find.

January

New Year, new naive me!

As 2020 kicked off I did what so many people around the world do, I bought sneakers. Let’s go fitness! Set big goals! Pretend you have an entirely different personality than you did in December! Woo hoo!

I also used a gift card to buy a KAVU bag which was my favorite purchase of the entire year. If you are past the diaper bag stage but your children still want you to carry snacks, water bottles, and one million pinecones, then this bag will be your new best friend.

February

February started out as a month full of love and blind optimism.

I bought Galentine’s Day cards for the wonderful women in my life, birthday presents for Jack including a Storm Trooper costume, and Valentine’s Day presents for my family including this adorable and inspiring coloring book for Norah.

As a precurser of awful things to come though, our neighbor’s cat also died in February and Norah was gutted. Judy the cat was her favorite living being on the planet, her family included. To ease Norah’s pain, I bought a stuffed cat toy that looked just like Judy. Well played, Amazon. Well played, two-day shipping.

I also bought a massive pack of toilet paper in February which I did not anticipate to be the best purchase of the month… Nay, year.

March

Oh, March… remember March?

March 2020 will forever be etched in my memory as the time I went from “What? It’s just like the flu, we’ll be fine” to “Oh dear God I had no idea what I was talking about…” really quickly.

Mid-March, my Amazon history shows enthusiasm though. Foolish, foolish enthusiasm. I bought chalkboard paint, markers, and one million sheets of paper for my kids to color. I was going to be a homeschool teacher, dammit! Let’s do this! We can do hard things!

April

As we made our way into April, I realized we were in this thing for the long haul. This wasn’t a two-week experiment in seeing if working parents could deal with the impossible. It was a “sink or swim, I don’t know how long this will last, God-speed” situation.

Leaning into the work from home life, in April, I bought a webcam and a keyboard. The spare bedroom had become my office/the place my children would barge into regularly while I was on calls but at least I had a keyboard?

My mom’s Amazon order history this month included two Kindles for the kids because she was more realistic than I was about how to parent children during a pandemic.

May

As we limped into May, I had been staring at my own face too much on Zoom apparently.

Amazon order history that month included an eyebrow pencil, lipstick, under-eye concealer, and a ring light

I’m so vain, I bet I think this pandemic’s about me, I’m so vain…

Luckily I didn’t make May only about me, because gross… The order history also includes presents for Norah’s upcoming 4th birthday and some of our new favorite books on the bookshelf. Like a lot of other parents I knew, our family needed to have more discussions about race, injustice, and differences and books gave us a place to start.

June

By June 2020, Glen and I were beyond tired.

The chalkboard I had painted in March was now sitting in the corner of our living room mocking us. The chalkboard paint that I thought I might use to paint other things for the children to draw on mocked us even harder. Who did I think I was? Joanna Gaines mixed with Mary Poppins?

Working full-time and having the kids home full-time wasn’t sustainable but here we were, sustaining it. Somehow.

To deal with the full-body tired, I went to Amazon and bought blackout curtains for my children’s rooms. Maybe just maybe we could sleep our way through this…

July

In July, I lost my mind. Totally lost it. Gone, poof, goodbye!

We were working from home, the kids were back at daycare part-time, and we were just starting to get our feet back under us. Seemed like a really good time to add more chaos into the mix right? RIGHT!?!?

Amazon order history in July included dog toys, dog food, and a dog bed.

Sure, fine, yup, okay, lean into the crazy… We were getting a dog.

August

August was spent on 456 Zoom school board meetings with administrators doing their very best and parents freaking the freak out.

Glen and I were two of those parents, but at least we weren’t one of the parents getting all angry on the Zoom calls. None of these administrators are personally trying to derail your life, Steve… I promise.

To prepare for whatever the school year had in store for my new kindergartner in September, I bought 10 more kids’ masks, a backpack, a lunch box, and preemptive first day of kindergarten tissues. So many feelings…

September

In September, I did what any normal, rational person would have done in the middle of a down economy full of uncertainty. I quit my job.

I realize that sounds like a bonkers move, but I had planned this for a while and I wasn’t about to let a global pandemic keep me from pursuing my new career as an entrepreneur. (I mean realistically, I almost let it keep me down several times, but still. I made it)

So from Amazon, I bought a refurbished computer on which to run my work from home business. It was an expensive, but important investment and definitely a highlight of the 2020 Amazon story.

PS. If you’re thinking about carving a new path for yourself in the year ahead, give me a buzz. Many of my coaching clients went this route in 2020 and it’s been awesome to see what they are doing with their talents!

October

Enough seriousness, let’s get back to the ridiculous. As we ventured into October the order history began to get even more varied which I didn’t think was possible.

First up, matching adult and child full-body superhero suits for Halloween because we didn’t know what Halloween was going to look like but we wanted it to be festive.

Then a pet-friendly vacuum because despite our best intentions, this dog does indeed shed.

Next, a unikitty for Norah because I bribed her to do something. Maybe stay in her bed overnight? I honestly don’t remember.

Then onto shipping supplies and Sharpie pens because in the midst of all this I published my first book and had over a hundred copies to sign and mail. That was very cool.

And there were also some funny socks that I added to cart for Glen’s birthday, but really they were for him AND Norah because our 4-year-old likes to raid her dad’s sock drawer when getting ready for school. I like to think this act of rebellion is her way of controlling what she can control in a bananas year, which I support fully.

November

November kicked off Christmas shopping in what appears to be a one for me, one for you situation.

Robes for the kids. Shelves for my office.

A Queen poster for Jack (the kid loves Queen and he’s not wrong) and leggings for me.

We carried on like this for much of the month which honestly is fine. I needed new leggings (with a pocket no less!) and the shelves really do look nice. #TreatYoSelf.

December

As the Her View from Home meme so aptly puts it, “Here comes Amazon, Here comes Amazon, Right down my driveway.”

Christmas presents started to roll into the house day after day in December including the gift I give everyone and their mom, literally, the One Line a Day Journal, a Queen coloring book (yes, more Queen stuff), a skateboard, Belinda Baloney coloring books (shameless self-promotion), and glitter because I temporarily blacked out.

We also picked up Santa beard face masks in order to continue our tradition of doing a Santa Shuffle 5K with our friends. They live across the border in New Hampshire so the eight of us met at the state line and jogged in place while wearing Santa masks. Yes, that’s a real thing that happened this year. Very 2020.

Key Takeaways

Here’s what I’ve learned from this walk down Amazon lane.

  1. Amazon has everything. From chocolate coins to curtains, hand soap to phone chargers. I’m a big proponent of shopping small, but I’ve got to hand it Amazon for convenience.
  2. Amazon drivers are everything. Front line workers crushed it in 2020 and we’re so grateful for you.
  3. You can’t buy happiness. However, you can buy new throw pillow covers and that’s pretty close.

Through it all, the ups and the downs, the crazy and the calm, we made it through to the end of 2020. Now we’ll head into a new year, with credit card bills, an extra pack of batteries just in case, and very hopeful hearts.

Wishing you and yours a happy and HEALTHY 2021.


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