This was the year that I almost died, but that’s no excuse for skipping the annual review. In many ways, this is the weirdest and thus most interesting year I have had since I started publicly sharing my yearly progress report.
My husband had a severe eye injury, we had to put our dog down, and then I got COVID-19. It’s hard to believe that all of that happened before the shutdown.
I haven’t seen my family in over a year now.
2020 has been sad, confusing, infuriating, boring, frustrating - yet on a personal level, it’s been strangely great.
Here are some things that happened in our 2020:
My husband did not lose sight in his eye
I did not die of COVID-19
I got my dream job, despite doing the panel interview with a secondary lung infection
I gave a virtual presentation at work that was featured on our webpage and 80 people came
We doubled our savings
I started donating 1/4 of our grocery budget to the food bank
Also funded the planting of 40 trees
I learned to cut hair, both his and mine
We got our own personal hummingbird who lives three feet from the feeder; we call him Brownie and he is a rufous hummingbird and he is a little savage
We commissioned our first artwork, a piece from a local photographer
Noelie is working on whistling the Addams Family theme song
We saw an owl
My personal goal for the year was supposed to be getting my weight back down and recovering my health, after a year when I got a cold or the flu easily a dozen times. I said I wanted to “get my body back.” Then I got COVID and my whole “body transformation” / “get my body back” goal became a little too on-the-nose.
My career goal was to learn how to do webinars. Another goal that was a little on-the-nose. I sometimes spend over six hours a day on camera having meetings now. I’ve used, as far as I know, every available virtual meeting platform. I know how to make recordings, change my background, and all sorts of other tricks. More to the point, I got a full-time day job for the first time in over ten years, sort of stumbling into a goal 10x bigger than the one I had set.
My physical goal was to get my weight back to 125 lbs. (I’m 5’4”).
Lost 5 pounds, got coronavirus, gained 10.
(Probably five of that was pills)
My home goal was to continue our home automation project, which is related to the book I was writing when all this went down. 2020 was a great year to choose to do this, because two people who work from home for an engineering company are well positioned to automate everything in their place up, down, and sideways. Most of what we did was to organize cabinets and streamline surfaces, but we did upgrade our ailing Roomba for the fancy self-emptying one. It’s rad. Next is the window-washing robot, whenever they start shipping them again.
Our couples goal was to build an app together. That did not happen. What did happen was that my hubby saved my life, nursing me through six weeks of coronavirus. Isolating together and beating a deadly illness has brought us closer than I ever could have imagined. Crossing rivers together in the interior of Iceland did one type of thing for our marriage; 2020 did something else. I would do anything for this man and I already know he would do anything for me, because he has.
Oh, and then I got a job at the same company where he works. Our living room is now a sort of... field office. It’s like we’ve come full circle from when we first met.
My “stop goal” was to stop procrastinating on text messages and voicemail. I still sometimes feel resistance around this, but I’m so busy now that it’s quit being a problem. I simply don’t have time to psych myself out. Also half the time it’s my boss.
My lifestyle upgrade was possibly going to be getting gum surgery, since I maxed out my dental benefits last year and I had to wait. My periodontist (welcome to middle age, chica) - my periodontist put me through several invasive white-knuckle procedures, but he says I don’t need skin grafts yet, so that’s good news. The moral of the story is, if your dentist tells you to wear a night guard because you grind your teeth, pay attention.
Instead of gum surgery, my lifestyle upgrades were actually good. I had the idea of making Noelie a box fort, which rapidly expanded into the four-story folly that she has now. Extremely fun. We put up a plant stand and a hummingbird feeder on the porch. There were others, as I outlined earlier this week, but either of these things would count as a significant improvement over gum surgery, am I right?
My “Do the Obvious” was to plan around constant travel, since my hubby was on business travel over 50% of 2019. We sort of got the exact opposite of that. Very funny, 2020. The Do the Obvious that we actually did was to stay indoors, distance from people, and wear our masks.
My ultralearning project was to learn Dutch. That went to the same place that many people’s 2020 goals went, which was into a puff of vapor. Strangely, I did wind up doing a huge ultralearning project, which was to get up to speed on several software titles for my new job. I had to learn how to use VPN, learn all the new versions of the Microsoft Office software I hadn’t really used in a decade plus Teams, learn to administer our SharePoint sites, learn to use the video editing software, learn Jira and Confluence, and of course all the procedural things like our timecard system. Next year will be much more of the same, as I’m slated to learn a bunch of advanced Excel features, Tableau, data visualization, Microsoft Project, and that’s just first quarter. This place moves fast. (Take notes if you’re looking for a job; I’ve just listed off a bunch of hot skills that you can study at home).
My quest was to start training for the ultramarathon I want to run at age 50. After COVID-19, I may never run anywhere ever again. Hard to say. I am more motivated than I was before, though, because running even a mile would mean I can get my lungs back.
My wish was to get a publishing deal. I fully believe I could have pulled this off. Other people did even though there was a global pandemic, so I can’t even use that as an excuse. Will I ever do this, now that I have a regular-people job again? No idea. I still want to but I don’t see how I could fit it around my current schedule.
I had just finished putting together my ten-year goals for the first time, and I was pretty excited about them. They all seemed so, so possible on January First of 2020. Looking them over after this strange year that we’ve all had, they don’t actually seem completely IMpossible... I think ten years from now, all this pandemic stuff will be behind us. (Maybe we’ll have a different one between now and then, but hopefully everyone will have learned from the experience and we’ll be smarter and more careful). Anyway, in spite of it all, in spite of isolation and our tiny apartment and everything else, we did manage to put in a garden. That’s one ten-year goal, nine years ahead of schedule. Go us.
Personal: Body transformation - lol
Career: Learn how to do webinars - SUCCESS
Physical: Weight at 125 lbs. - FAIL
Home: Automation project - SUCCESS
Couples: Build an app together - NO PROGRESS
Stop goal: Stop procrastinating on text messages and voicemail - SUCCESS
Lifestyle upgrades: Probably gum surgery - SUCCESS+
Do the Obvious: Plan around constant travel - lol
Ultralearning: Dutch language - NO PROGRESS
Quest: 50 for 50 ultramarathon! (2025) - NO PROGRESS
Wish: Publishing deal! - NO PROGRESS
2030 - Ten Year Goals and Resolutions
Personal: Silver Fox project
Career: Published author
Physical: 50 for 50 ultramarathon!
Home: Buy a house to live in
Couples: Camping, hiking, backpacking, and bicycling together
Stop goal: Stop procrastinating in general
Lifestyle upgrades: A garden - SUCCESS
Do the Obvious: Plan around constant travel
Ultralearning: Write screenplays
Quest: Visit Antarctica
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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