A hindsight look at 2020 and looking towards 2021

2020 was a lot and I think all of us can agree. Natural disasters, almost starting world war 3 in January, political unrest in the US, Brexit, I mean the list goes on and on and on. Also COVID-19 which has consumed every waking day of the year since March for many of us. That’s not what this post is about. I just want to write about my year and 2021.

Overall the year was pretty shitty for me:

  • I didn’t get the promotion I wanted
  • I lived alone for the majority of the year with my dog
  • I burnt out so hard I had to take the end of November and all of December to recover
  • I didn’t get a lot done at work for the year that I wanted too
  • I didn’t get to see my friends that often if at all
  • I got deployed to help the suppression of the protests that went on this Summer with only 2 or 3 weeks left in my National Guard contract, despite my politics being so far to the left now that I wanted nothing to do with it.
  • I got to be stressed out about politics for the whole year and still get to be stressed now that Biden won!

I’m not the only one for some of these but hey this is my blog I can complain here. In many ways to me 2020 is a lost year, a year of collective trauma, and one I hope not to repeat too far into 2021. It wasn’t all bad though and it’s easy for me to get caught up in the negatives, so despite 2020 being an absolute abysmal year there were some good things that happened and I should list them do that I can get better at being positive rather than defaulting to negativity (more on this later).

  • I got to see my dog Bukka all year
  • My brother got engaged in January and married in June so I now have a sister-in-law
  • I’m finally out of the US Military and being able to tell them you can’t pay me enough to come back (not that I would if they could) was absolutely satisfying (for reference they’d have to make me Lt. Colonel/Colonel in order to match civilian pay and there’s no way they’d make an enlisted soldier at the rank of specialist a Colonel).
  • I made new friends despite gesturing everything going on
  • Work was generous enough to give me paid time off to recover from burnout this year
  • I finally got a therapist again, only took me 12 months
  • I’m eating better and sleeping better now while keeping my apartment clean so that I feel better and don’t have my living space look like burnout feels
  • I still got to enjoy RustConf despite the pandemic. It was a blast.
  • The scope of my technical mistakes grew and as a result I learned a few good lessons the hard way.

So not all bad. Could have been worse. I mean to be honest without the dog and anti-depressants keeping me afloat I’d probably not be typing these words right now. With all that what’s up with 2021? What are my plans?

Well rather than new years resolutions I’ve instead decided on a theme. The idea being goals might not be achieved because who you are 6 months from now might not even want that goal and also setting standards for yourself you can fail is just setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead you should have a theme to guide you. You can’t fail a theme and any positive gains are good.

My theme for 2021 is “The Year of Change” for now I want to change my thinking to that of a growth mindset and improving myself, but who knows maybe a year from now change will mean something completely different for me. I’ve also chosen themes for the various seasons to be done in 3 month blocks:

  • The Winter of Self Love
  • The Spring of Acknowledgment
  • The Summer of Giving
  • The Fall of Accomplishment

My brother got me a real nice journal for Christmas that I plan to use. I used to bullet journal a lot and it helped me but I just stopped one day. This year well I’ll just keep trying and if I miss a day or two it’s not the worst thing in the world. Here’s a link to the journal if your interested. I also like that it has a triangle on it to mean Delta, the symbol of change. I think it’s pretty fitting.

2020 sucked and to be honest even with a vaccine on the way 2021 isn’t probably going to be great for the majority of it, but I’d rather enjoy the little things I can along the way instead of being miserable about the things I can’t change. Not easy, but any progress is progress.

Fuck you 2020, here’s to a year of change for the better.