15 Surprisingly Positive Things That Happened in 2020




If 2020 was a person, it would be the kind that kicks you in the stomach before ever uttering, “Hello.” 

We probably don’t need to tell you that it was a rough year. It was also one that produced a lot of good. From making commute times obsolete, to creating space to slow down and refocus, our team made the most of this incredibly chaotic season. And some even came out on top with new additions to the family and good habits they want to keep up for years to come. 

We asked our staffers what positive things came out of 2020 and this is what they said. 

Headshot of Ryan Sperry

“I'm thankful for all the time I've been able to spend with my wife. In our first year of marriage, we've experienced so many ups and downs in the world, but if we can make it through 2020, I'm confident we can make it through anything.”

—Ryan Sperry, Director, Media & Insights

Headshot of Haley Giangreco

“I went from saying ‘Yes!’ to every single project to learning the importance of saying ‘No!"’ That has been a huge realization for me as someone who values keeping busy in my free time. I’ve made room for things that really spark joy or are good for the mind and soul. Being at home has created space for self-care that I didn't know could be possible. Energy has become something that I'm more aware of, specifically how it affects me and other folks. Spending a lot of time solo, or with my small pod, has made me infinitely more aware of what was draining me before and how I want to reprioritize my social time in the future. It's also encouraged me to get outside, be in the fresh air and enjoy nature! I've been loving every bit of the seasons and really noticing when they change which I attribute to the change in pace.”
—Haley Giangreco, Visual Designer

Headshot of Ashley Mason

“Usually, I would be running all over the country for weddings and family trips, but this year I took smaller trips close by—and I got to enjoy how beautiful upstate New York is. I saw my first sunflower field, jumped off a dock into the most pristine lake, and visited more waterfalls than I can count. Now I'm actually excited to plan PTO around some of my new favorites next year.”
—Ashley Mason, Senior Copywriter

Headshot of Abbey Leonardi

“This year I learned to let go of what I can't control and to be kinder to myself when things don't go the way I planned. And surprisingly, life didn't stop in 2020. I adopted a kitten, got married, went on a honeymoon, and bought a car!”

—Abbey Leonardi, Media Strategist

Headshot of Tegan Jenner

“Knowing I would be spending more time at home gave my husband and I a good excuse to finally finish our basement into usable space. We created an area for at-home exercise, and a decked-out crafting studio where I've spent countless hours sewing masks, making Christmas ornaments, and designing clothing patterns.”
—Tegan Jenner, Senior Data Analyst

Headshot of Amy Moore

“My sense of self, privilege, and the ethical standards I hope to bring to our world are at an all-time high. More than ever in my life, I feel politically charged from listening to town halls and seminars, watching documentaries, and donating money to numerous causes that deserve justice and support. I am listening to the needs of my body and mind in order to stay sane in ways that will help even post-pandemic. Oh, and I got engaged!”
— Amy Moore, Senior Photographer

Headshot of Hannah Nelson

“Don't be shocked if I show up in joggers once the office opens again. This year I invested in high-quality sweatpants and sweatshirts. I bought many pairs because you cannot try them on in-store and realized I kept a majority of them. It might not have been the best decision, but as I sit here in my sweats, it feels pretty joyous.”
—Hannah Nelson, Marketing Coordinator

Headshot of Becca Bellush

“Working remotely has given my family a lot more time together in the morning. We get to have breakfast as a family sometimes and my new baby VV has time to play. She also can wake up without being rushed out the door and we rarely need to wake her up, so she's better rested in the morning.”

—Becca Bellush, Director of Client Services

Headshot of Roemer Johansson

“I crushed my reading goal halfway through the year! Last year I read 50 books so when setting my goal for 2020, I upped it to 65 books. By July, I had surpassed it due to all the extra time from quarantine! As of now, I'm on track to read about 120 books for the year. I am thankful for all of this extra time spent introverting. I also got engaged, but the books are much more exciting.”
—Roemer Johansson, Copywriter

Headshot of Tom Kemper

“If the pandemic has done anything positive, it has woken me up. I now have the space to take a step back and really focus on the things in front of me. I have exercised more this year than in the past ten. I've started and finished more personal projects. I've taken the time to do simple things like cook a delicious meal, create morning rituals, call my family more often, or avoid online time-wasters like Netflix or YouTube. It's odd, but by cutting off the outside world, I feel like the things I have chosen to do in my inside world have been much more rewarding.”
—Tom Kemper, Senior Visual Designer

Headshot of Jill Duff

“I feel grateful for this time to feed my brain! As much of a downer as 2020 has been, it's proven to be an upper for my mental wellness. I'm now in the habit of listening to Brené Brown's podcasts while walking (most) mornings, I've really gotten into the body positivity community, and I've finally read some books co-workers suggested to me years ago.”
—Jill Duff, Senior Copywriter

Headshot of Howie Reitz

“My highlight for this year is the birth of our 6th grandbaby, Annabelle, on June 16th. The bonus is that date was our 41st anniversary too. It was super exciting for our family, plus we get to babysit a couple days a week while Mom is working from our basement. We also did manage to spend a few weeks in Hawaii before COVID hit, but that seems like such a distant memory.”
—Howard Reitz, Controller

Headshot of Kristen Jones

“Positive aspects of 2020 for me were things like being 'forced' to slow down on life and not being on the go so much. It was a nice adjustment to be less spread thin across commitments and extracurriculars. Being at home more inspired me to do some house updates I had been putting off and also work on my cooking game!”
—Kristen Jones, Strategic Account Director 

Headshot of Leire Bascaran

“I had my little chunky baby and I helped my kids develop a connection with nature by taking them to neat parks and trails around Rochester. My oldest son Ander likes it so much that he asked if he could dress up as a tree for Halloween.”

—Leire Bascaran, Co-Founder and Chief of Strategy

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