As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect upon a year that was quite unlike any other I had ever lived. As unique as my year might have been to me, though, I’m pretty sure most people would also be able to say that about 2020 in their lives. Here are some memories that stand out at this time of writing before I go finish off a bunch of things on the year.
- Travel, or lack thereof. In not being a winter vacationer type, I did not travel before lockdown hit where I lived on March 15th. With travel restrictions after that, I did not go anywhere even remotely far this year. How far is not even remotely far? How’s about under a 10 km radius? I can probably even squeeze that to a 10 mile or 16 km diameter, looking on the map! I knew I never went far, but I didn’t even think it was that near! Now, for those “far” trips, 8.5 km from what Google Maps tells me, I literally went four times this year! Otherwise, I pretty much stuck to a mere 4 km radius from my home for everything! No wonder I only took the bus 17 times this year despite not having a car by choice! I pretty much walked and ran everywhere I went, though my lack of marathon training this year, without marathons to run, meant I didn’t even have to run far to need to go far from my home! I’m shaking my head at all this, but perhaps most at the fact that I was able to lead a happy life despite all that!
- No shitting around. My general lack of travel, and great control of my bowels, also meant the only place I ever did a number two was in my own loo. Wow! I’m going to have to get myself foreign toilet trained again next year! I might be over 14 months now from the last time I did a number two in another loo, which would have been on vacation in October 2019! That’s going to be quite the experience, for my first number two in a foreign loo, whenever that comes! I’ll have to keep track of this stretch to see how long I can keep it!
- No spending money. I had committed to spending money on fewer days than when I did not spend it in 2020 (i.e. less than 50% of days). However, little did I know I would be greatly helped by the pandemic. Unlike some people who continued to spend in lockdown, or under other COVID-19 restrictions, whether or not they actually had money to spend, I did not. I did not so much that at one point during the year, I only spent money once every 10 days! Loosened restrictions, especially where I lived with very low case numbers, meant I ended up spending money on 18.4% of days, or 2 out of every 11 days. However, I can tell you I will likely never spend money on such a low percentage of days in my life again as long as I am healthy enough to be getting around in the world. I also lived on the disposable income (remaining income after taxes) or someone making minimum wage in my province, with an average of $1 to spare per day! Averaging $6.33 per day for all food and drink aided that, with lots of home cooking aiding that. And all that happened when I had far more to spend at my disposal. I lived that lifestyle by choice, in other words. Yet, like that travel radius limitation, or rather, despite being in conjunction with that travel radius, was able to lead a perfectly happy and productive life!
- Vocabulary learning productivity. I was ruthlessly productive in 2020 in many ways, from cooking to learning. However, for me, the ultimate symbol of that productivity will have been in the 4400+ words and terms I learned, and recorded definitions and additional details about, from a huge variety of sources on many, many topics! You can check this Twitter feed for posts from 2020 for the list and where I learned them (definitions kept elsewhere). That’s just over 12 terms per day, if you were wondering. As for why I don’t have an exact number of words at time of writing? That’s because I have a bunch more I need to get around to before 2020 ends, and I didn’t want to be writing this article in 2021. As for what I’ll do with all that? Making a “smart phone” book out of it in 2021 is what I’ve decided, along with trying to sound smarter by using what I can of that list in my future communication lol.
- The best of the rest. I could write lots about quite a number of things in 2020 I’d like to have documented, but I want to finish this before the 2020 clock hits midnight, and I have a bunch of things I also want to finish in the year, not the least because some of it is constrained to 2020 like my vocabulary learning for the year. Here are highlights of what I deem to be the best of the rest of my 2020 year:
- Slept more than I ever did, in adulthood, at least, at 7.57 hours per night avg resting, and usually sleeping better than previous years.
- Slept more consistently than I ever did, in adulthood, at least, with 7.5 hours or more hours of rest per night on about 4 of 7 nights.
- Listened to more podcast time than I ever did. I don’t have a time for this, which I will track in 2021, but I got my habit to listen to at least 30 minutes of podcasts six days a week, on average.
- I wrote or did some activity related to writing, like reading about it, on 4 out of every 5 days, on average, which I will aim to improve to over 9 out of every 10 days in 2021. And yes, I know I shouldn’t type numbers smaller than ten or eleven, but I did it by choice.
- I learned how to self-publish real books and e-books on Amazon (and the latter on Smashwords) as my new life skill! For that, I even wrote a book, something I’ve been meaning to do on quotes I had written for myself to live by over the years. I even made Stars I Put in my Sky to Live By a designer style book despite the relative lack of control with e-books. Download a free sample to see why. I’m personally very enamoured with it, even though I didn’t exactly advertise it or anything. Its time will come when I become famous. 😉
- I learned pretty much all that Khan Academy had to offer on the visual arts as my topic to learn a lot about in 2020. Now, to put that to use in painting in 2021 as I failed badly at it in 2020, being too judgmental of my early work when I should just accept how bad it would be and go through them to get to the next level. It’s not like I have a choice since I’m no “natural” at it. In other words, I can’t “enter” at a “decent” level. I have to do lots of practice that will be terrible in quality to improve. I need to ignore that judgment and move through them as if a necessary part of the path, and I’m ready to do that!
- I learned how to type without looking on a Colemak keyboard for the future of my hands and fingers in typing a lot in the future. I hit 49 wpm sustained for a high after two months’ daily training, and have the free software set up, both, at home and work, for when I have the time, like when I write because I don’t actually average 75 wpm that I can do on a QWERTY, in thinking for writing words that make it to the page. It’s also nice to know my mind and fingers still have the mental and physical dexterity to do this in my late 40s!
- I had meaningful human contact (5+ minute face to face conversation) on 2 of every 3 days, but only 1 of those 2 were days when I had conversations with people outside of work. Again, I was able to lead a happy life despite this, although it was aided by a conscious effort to be changing social circles, mostly abandoning old ones, that just didn’t have much in common with me any more. My interests had changed. Theirs hadn’t. They’re not missing me. I’m not missing them. Warm logical move. Nothing more. Nothing less.
- I posted on my Facebook profile on only about 2 days a week, compared to almost daily in the past couple of years, as I started to walk away from it with the deliberate changing of social circles. I mostly only keep it now to stay up to date on about a dozen people’s lives, having far more news and arts content in my feed than people’s posts. I disengaged online as well as in real life. No wonder I was so productive! And yet again, all the happier for it!
- Finally, I entered into a fake relationship on Facebook so nobody would worry about my gradual “disappearing act”. It’s not really a lie to them. It doesn’t really matter to them other than a moment of happiness for me upon learning of the change in June, but at least I know that should many of them think about me, they won’t have doubts if I were doing all right. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many Facebook friends so happy for me lol. I make it a point to tell them should I see them in person and they ask, explaining why, so that I don’t have to look anyone in the eyes and lie to them. However, to give you an idea of how distant I am to most of them, outside of family, I’ve seen all of 3 of them in person in 2020 (1% of Friends list), and it never came up in conversation with two of them, and I was with a female friend on both occasions. Let them think and maybe judge what they want. That’s how unattached I am with them to be doing this, for context.
So that was my 2020 in summary. Truly a year for the ages in my life! Just a few hours to go now, with chores to do mostly, before I start off 2021 sleeping to try and sleep more than in 2020, and intermittent fasting to improve my great health even more! Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a healthy, safe, and flourishing 2021!