2020 in review

…and I’m so thankful for that “in review” part.

2020 was our lost year. Most days, I feel like I’m still stuck back in March.

In 2020 we missed out on vacations and socialization and time with friends and family. We spent most of our days at home. Our lives were upended in the strangest ways, from not being able to buy toilet paper, to gaining and losing a second income within the span of four months, to schooling our kids from home.

The year was marked by the sacrifices we made to stay COVID-free, and in that, it was a success. It was hard and weird and tiring, but we’re here. We made it. We’re the lucky ones.

It doesn’t feel triumphant, because the pandemic isn’t over, and the staggering losses we personally avoided are still all too real. It feels weird to talk about the books I read or the art I made (or didn’t, more accurately) or the funny things my kids have done in light of that.

But the good things are there, and recognizing them is part of how I survived this pandemic with my sanity intact. I have an amazing family. I have a great job. We’re in a good place to weather this storm.

Some of 2020’s highlights, in no particular order: Spending time at the lake. Watching Hamilton. Bonding over Animal Crossing. Building LEGOs. Lots of walks. Christmas lights. “Fancy” dinners at my mom’s. New comfy clothes. Rewatching The Office and The X-Files. Weeping a little at Kamala Harris’ acceptance speech. Walking along the canals in Amsterdam. Leveling up my development skills. Pandemic baking. Being swept up by new books. Saying a fond farewell to my therapist of seven years. Watching my kid learn to ride a bike.

Despite the tumultuous year, I am leaving 2020 in a good place. I’m not setting any specific resolutions, but there are a couple areas I want to meditate on.

I want to continue to find a clearer sense of direction at work. I need to remember that staying engaged means challenging myself, even when it feels uncomfortable. I need to remember to look at the big picture and keep my professional goals in mind regardless of what I’m working on in the present moment.

I also want to spend more time in nature. I notice I feel better on the days I get outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes and regardless of the weather.

And I want to draw more. I did very little creative work in 2020; the pandemic threw me off track and I never really recovered my rhythm. But I picked up my iPad and have been doodling nonsense since the start of 2021. Maybe this year it’ll stick!

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