2020, what a year to review

If nothing else, this year has been an experience for us all. A learning experience for everyone. I would like to meet the person that when asked (5 years ago) “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, that might have said, in a remote workforce, where marijuana is legal, seeing your family isn’t, and nobody leaves their house, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Off to a great start

2020 didn’t start with a Pandemic. For me, it started with a merger, well the impacts of a merger. The company I work for merged 3 entities into 1 last year( 2019 ). Though, throughout the first several months that didn’t change anything as most people were just trying to understand impacts, and figure out where they fit into this new world. The beginning of 2020 however, meant restructuring, to reduce redundant positions/people, restructuring to better serve our clients. I was one of those redundant positions, at least on paper. It was a few months where the future seemed uncertain and left me wondering if I should dig in, or consider alternatives. See, I work for a company who’s “head office” was now Toronto based, and I’m not in Toronto. Historically, with many of my new colleagues, that means the office I was in, was only an “overflow” office and would leave me in an undesirable situation, of being away from a position of influence.

I decided, with the help of some friends, that I would not simply walk away from this opportunity. This also had an impact on my team, they have seen what being “overflow” does to the people on the other side, so so they had to gain from me digging in on this one as well since they know I will keep their best interests at heart.

Since I’m not speaking of a previous job, you can imagine that my endeavor proved fruitful, and I retained my position. I have since had the privilege to get to know the teams coming in from the other two agencies, and have had some successes this year with them. Things haven’t always been easy this year, but at least they were honest, and the open discussion, is a hope that progress will continue.

It also included planning a surprise birthday party for my beautiful wife, for her 40th birthday, yeah, we’ve hit that number. What might have been a great party, was also the last day we were allowed to do anything, as our region was “shut down” as of the day after the party.

Pandemic hits

On March 13th, I’ll always remember that day, was the first day of everything changing for us. It hit sooner in some countries and states, later in others. For us, March 13th. The quote that hit me the most was “We are all in the same boat”, we may all be weathering the same storm, but we are not in the same boat.

body of water
Photo by Zac Frith on Pexels.com

We may be facing the same storm, however, we are not in the same boat.

Being in the same boat, means you are as well equipped, as prepared for the storm like everyone else facing the storm. Facing the same storm can mean very different things. Facing a storm in a rowboat vs a large cruise liner are very different things. Some people have lost their jobs, their means of support, everything, while others have simply been inconvenienced by not being able to see friends and family. I consider myself lucky and privileged, to have fallen into the latter category, I have maintained my employment, my family is healthy, and we are “okay”.

Some numbers

2020 also had some big personal milestones, I turned the big 40 this year, with no fanfare, no party, just supper with my family, and a nice glass of Scotch, we were in lockdown after all. So I turned 40, it’s not how I imagined I would have spent the year I turned 40, but it happened, and being the optimist of my circle, I’m just kind of going with it.

Lockdown has taught me a few things, the people that you depend on, whether you know you do or not, will still find a way to be part of your life, and still be there for you, and you for them. It is just the natural balance of things, and friendship, true friendship will last.

I’ve also learned to take the time and care for myself, something I’ve never really done, because of excuses(i won’t name any, it’s just more excuses). I’ve heard people on countless online meetings, chats, phone calls, mention them putting on weight since the beginning of the pandemic, I believe I may be the only one to have lost any, 8 lbs this year. I’m two-thirds of the way on my weight loss journey, which I started 2 years ago, which amounts to about 30 lbs so far. The year following my knee injury, I put on some weight, eating my emotions, not being able to move around, I reached a number heavier than I should have ever been.

Strive for progress, not perfection

David Perlmutter

This year it has been about portion control and fewer restaurants. Since I’ve been home, I’m not going out as much for lunch, and since I make something at home, and therefore control how much I eat. I haven’t cut any foods out, since that is not my objective, I have just reduced how much I eat of it. Restaurants for me were an issue because I didn’t want to leave food on the plate, and the portions were just “too big” for any kind of weight loss journey.

Beyond the weight

I’ve also started trying to spend more time analyzing and being aware of what I need to be at my best, organization, and focus. This has come in several shapes this year, including something I never thought would apply to me, meditation, or in my case, sitting there focusing on not doing, just clearing my mind for a few minutes, and then enjoying the clarity that comes after. Allowing my mind to roam away from the current task, and then come back to focus on the small things. It has helped put perspective and given me more control on stepping back, reflecting, and then acting, instead of chasing the current thought down the rabbit hole. I don’t know if this is what it’s supposed to be like, but actively stopping from focusing on a particular task, to let your mind roam, can help reflect on priorities, and give you an objective view on what’s going on.

This has been a long year, a year without the traditional social interactions, and a year for self-discovery.

It has been 293 days since March 13th, the day my region officially went into lockdown due to COVID-19.

My plan is to post monthly in 2021, my first being my goals, objectives, and plans for 2021.

How was your 2020?