Grateful for 2020

Yeah, it felt weird to type that title. While 2020 will be chalked up on many lists as the worst on record, I can’t say it was that way for our family. We were lucky and extremely grateful for 2020. Here is a quick look back at some of the bright spots in such a dark year.

Hello, Brookie!

We welcomed Brooklyn Hart Benson into the world and a very strange operating room rife with PPE, Covid-19 rules and a cloud of anxiety of all that comes with bringing a baby into the world during a pandemic. It was a joyful day on March 26th. For the record, it wasn’t so joyful in the days that followed after Tara dealt with a bout of post-partum pre-eclampsia and was shuttled back to the emergency room while I was sent home because of Covid rules. Tara was stuck for several days, even the ICU all alone. It was terrifying for her (and me). That was stressful. But it all worked out (thankfully) and now Brooklyn is almost walking nine months later and smiling away.

Bella makes big strides

Bella continues to amaze us and she loves her new little sister. Bella wrapped up preschool and moved into pre-kindergarten and earned a spot at a very good school in Tampa. She loves to learn, loves to dance, loves to question motive and will crush any type of chocolate you put in front of her. She is a dolphin in the water. And with little oversight, she can use her imagination to keep her self busy and entertained in the most dreadful and stressful days while stuck inside during the pandemic.

So proud and ready to move on to pre-kindergarten.

I sold a lot of crap and saved a lot of cash

When we moved into our condo from a house, we had a lot of crap. So we had TWO storage units to house said crap. It took me FOREVER to get rid of enough stuff to whittle it down to just one storage unit – but I did it. In the process, I was working on a series about selling stuff on eBay, Facebook and Craigslist. I interviewed buyers of the stuff I sold. It was shaping up to be a great series. Storage Sell-Off.  Yep, even had a name. And an open. But then Covid arrived and that idea was dunzo. Regardless, I’m down to one storage unit now. If I can only get rid of that one.

We bought our condo

We had spent the last few years moving from a house to a 2-bedroom condo, and then to a 3-bedroom condo. That’s a lot of moving. But over the summer our landlord decided he wanted to sell and we found a way to make it happen. The sale went smoothly and we are now homeowners once again. We had plans to renovate but are finding it nearly impossible to get contractors to take a project (for a decent price to boot) during this pandemic. They are slammed and prices are skyrocketing.

Finished the nursery just in time. Now I don’t have to paint the wall back to white.

I extended my contract at WFLA-TV

It’s great to have a job – especially in this day and age where people are losing their jobs daily.  I extended my contract for a few more years and will continue to anchor the 4:00, 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. newscasts on WFLA and WTTA. We’ve grown to love the Tampa Bay area and to deliver the news to the community each night is a treat. It’s been a rough year for those who lost jobs or small businesses that have closed. I feel terribly for them and I hope they can all bounce back as soon as possible.

Stanley Cup coverage with my partner-in-crime Stacie Schiable.

We stayed healthy (somewhat)

Perhaps the most important achievement is that we stayed healthy. Bella started the year with strep and we all came out of the end of 2019 with mold exposure (that’s another blog post). Tara did get hit with Coronavirus several weeks ago, but has since recovered. I chronicled the experience of being a full-time, stay-at-home Dad. It was all very illuminating. We’re just thankful that we stayed as healthy as we did (knock on wood).

Overall we are extremely thankful for how 2020 treated our family. This was not the case for a lot of families who lost loved ones. I can’t imagine the grief they must be dealing with as we roll into a new year. And today, ironically the day before the new year, Florida has recorded the most cases EVER in the state at 17,192. A new record as vaccines start to roll out.

Here’s hoping the vaccines do in fact reach every corner of the globe and there’s enough to knock this virus into oblivion. We’re all hoping we can return to some sense of normalcy in the things we enjoyed in previous years. Until those days, please stay safe, positive and focus on what you’re grateful for and we’ll be there in no time. ❤️

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About the author

Josh Benson


Josh Benson


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