Whichever way you look at it, 2020 is a year that will be remembered for generations to come.
For many people, there has been loss, insurmountable challenges and heartache.
While for others, amid unexpected twists and turns, there has been much joy, love and some opportunities.
Here is a glimpse into some of those magical moments and reflections as shared with the ABC.
A leap year proposal
But away from the engagement celebrations, the pandemic was gripping the globe and grinding the aviation industry to a halt.
Mr Freier’s work changed from month-on, month-off to two months off at a time without pay — and he considered himself one of the lucky ones.
“I could have been one of the guys that isn’t gonna work at all for another year,” he said.
“And just taking more time to be with people instead [of] [running through life 15 minutes at a time, which is all we tend to afford people these days.”
Mum is six months clear of melanoma
By her own accounts, Debbie Butler’s year started off “pretty rough” when she was told that melanoma had spread from her lungs and ribs to her brain.
She underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery and immunotherapy treatment that led to “significant swelling” of the brain, an inability to drive, and memory loss.
“I tried to tell my sister that there are elephants at the zoo and I kept saying, ‘You know the big animal with the long nose, is it a camel?’ and she’s going, ‘No, no that’s not a camel … Oh, do you mean the elephant?’ ‘Yes, I meant the elephant’.”
“I couldn’t find [the words for] lots and lots of nouns, my kids’ birthday, I couldn’t tell you the months of the year.”
Because of the pandemic and precautions with oncology patients, she faced some of the most terrifying moments alone.
“When I went to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane for the Gamma Knife radiosurgery I had to go on my own,” Ms Butler said.
“So I was going in and I was having a frame screwed into my skull, going into a machine that was going to shoot Gamma beams into my brain — on my own.”
There was concern the cancer was progressing because she was so sick, but then her body responded to treatment.
“I’m really happy, the chances of this treatment failing now is sitting at around 5 per cent.”
Ms Butler faces another 18 months of treatment but in the meantime feels blessed to spend Christmas with husband Adrian Crennan and seven-year-old daughters Hannah and Gemma.
“It’s certainly something that’s a relief to all of us and makes us very happy,” she said.
Young family cherishes time together
If it were not for the pandemic, Duncan Thomson — a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) worker in Antarctica — may well have missed the birth of his second child.
But history did not repeat for this Sunshine Coast family, and when the couple’s second child Eli was born in April Mr Thomson was there.
“My husband couldn’t go back to work because of COVID … so he’s now been home since March,” Ms Thomson said.
Ms Thomson said it had been an “amazing” time, affording their eldest child the longest period he had ever had with his FIFO dad.
Sharing the sprinkler with … geese
Usually renowned for their unfriendly personality, the geese on this Julia Creek property where Libby O’Meara and husband John Schulz were caretaking were anything but.
“The geese are in very close proximity, sharing the sprinkler and that was just a lovely sight to see and … they’d get all wet and their wings would go.”
The couple jumped at the chance this year to look after the property and its menagerie of animals — including pigs, sheep, horses, cattle, turkeys, geese and chickens — but it meant battling temperatures of up to 45 degrees.
The six-week adventure — more than 1,600 kilometres from their Sunshine Coast home — came on the back of the birth of grandson Darcy, a coastal Queensland holiday and returning to Australia from riding New Zealand’s Otago Rail Trail just as the pandemic unfolded.
Pandemic ‘worked in our favour’
Rob Post, 44, and Kate Harris, 35, from Queensland’s Scenic Rim region ended up living together and fell in love because of the pandemic.
“It’s kind of worked in our favour because we sort of were stuck in the same vicinity and we couldn’t travel,” Mr Post said.
“We basically hung out every day and did some local walking that we were allowed to do.
After coming out of a long-term relationship, Mr Post turned to hiking which ultimately led the pair to meet on Christmas Day last year.
“I started hiking just for the mental health side of things,” he said.
“I always loved the views and the challenge and an adventure so it kind of fit in real well with where I was at in my life, and it just so happened that I met Kate along the way,” he said.