Taking Inventory of 2020

oh, will this horrible year never end?

Obviously the year has sucked big time for the world, so I’m not really going to dive much into that. I entered 2020 hoping for things to look up; I was expecting to end 2019 on a high note, having just gotten engaged to the love of my life, but just days after I popped the question, I got the terrible news that my brother had passed away unexpectedly.

I don’t want to rag on the global events of 2020; it’s been done plenty by now, I’m sure, and it’s really remarkable just how many notable and globally traumatic events happened this year.

I’m not a fan of gratitude exercises as a general thing, because I mostly see them being used nowadays as a way privileged people try to come to terms with the fact that they are unfairly advantaged (not to mention these kind of threatening “you could have it much worse” undertones that you can read between the lines of expressions of gratitude).

I don’t want to dismiss the entire year as a loss, though, because there is more to it than that. But here are some highlights, both good and bad, for me personally from 2020:

  • As I was sending off my 2019 tax documents to my accountant in February, I cheekily told him it would be the last year I would be filing single. That… didn’t pan out. Still engaged, though, and currently I think there’s about a 50/50 chance that one afternoon we’re going to make an impromptu run to city hall and tie the knot.
  • I gave a talk at Empex LA, my second time speaking at the conference, and the talk was about something I’m deeply passionate about: the case against the existence of truly massive technology companies (or even just massive companies in general). After months of being mostly confined to home, it still strikes me as wild that that trip to LA happened this year.
  • After returning home from LA, I had a lovely Valentine’s Day dinner with my valentine at a great little restaurant called Mae in Portland. It was one of the last times we dined out together before the pandemic made dining out difficult.
  • We got into gardening! We weren’t amazing at it, but it was a nice thing to do outside and I was able to grow some delicious tomatoes. We also have a delicious raspberry bush, and we had some volunteer potatoes from the year prior.
  • I read a lot more this year than usual. I finished a few books that I had been meaning to finish for years.
  • I practically resurrected icanthascheezburger by actually posting to it this year!
  • I hit my year-mark at GitHub! I low-key was pretty sure that i was going to get found out as an impostor and get fired by the time I hit the year mark, but in fact they seem to like me, so I’m hoping they keep me around!
  • I joined a gym and was actually really starting to enjoy going! Then the pandemic hit so I froze my membership until the pandemic is behind us. Working remotely now, it’s actually really nice to have an excuse to leave the house on a daily basis for something that isn’t food-related.
  • Health overall was a major struggle for me in 2020. I’m thinking about it differently now than I did at the start of the year, and I experimented with a lot of new things. I actually took a sizable leave of absence from work just to focus on health by itself.
  • We had a little work done in the house that finished up just in time for lockdowns to begin!

I’m ready for 2021. I’m not really thinking much about new years’ resolutions; I’m always on the lookout for ways to make things better, and I don’t need a time of the year as a reason (though it is admittedly a great time to try out new habits if you want). I’ll be spending more of 2021 thinking about what I can do to make the world better. I’m probably going to give money to organizations that provide direct financial assistance to people who need it, because a lot of people are hurting. I will look for more independent creators to support. I would like to make a few things and share them with the world.

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