'Tis the season for a review.
2020 was a dumpsterfire of a year. And with the internet engine spinning up the "Goodbye 2020!" memes abundance, it's easy to get sucked into a negative mentality. But a conversation with a friend a few days ago made me realise something...
...2020 might have been my best year yet.
Don't get me wrong, I felt like shit most of the year. I had a serious depressive spell, saw a psychologist, tried (and quickly stopped) anti-depressants and my income dropped by 90%. Oh, and got chubby.
But still, 2020 might have been my best year yet...
Because I have the best personal relationships I have ever had. I got engaged, bought a house, and now have a
baby Coronial on the way.
Ask Yourself Some Questions
The excellent Ali Abdaal posted some thought provoking questions that I'm just going to (cherry pick, and) answer.
If you had to teach one thing you learnt this year (that would improve one’s quality of life) what would that be?
The conversation that sparked this retrospective was with my good friend, next-level designer and all-round Mountain Babe Megan from Tilt/Shift Brands. When we were chewing the fat and I was talking about Monique (💍), Megan pointed out "look what happens when you're not working incessantly".
Up until then all I'd been focusing on was work, and how miserable it had been.
But by having less work forced upon me, I was free to focus on other things. And without a shadow of a doubt the strength of my relationship now is directly related to my ability to devote more attention to it.
So if there's one thing I've learned this year it's that there IS more to life than work, and there IS such a thing as work-life balance, and that all my exes were right: I work too much.
Perspective is Reality
Jack Butcher has a great diagram showing perception is reality that I can't find right now... but essentially, the things we focus on become our reality (profound, right? 🤦♂️). And by simply reframing the same situation, I feel completely different about the year that just passed. Which means stepping into 2021 feeling good about life. Which all of us need right now.
So, how do we continue this revelation into 2021 and beyond? That, I suppose, is the million dollar question.
I have no idea. But I have learned that staying in touch with friends is paramount to being a well-balanced human. Anyone who is reading this and knows me will know I'm useless at maintaining friendships - goal number 1 is be a better friend. I haven't figured out how to measure that one, but do they all have to be SMART? Let me have just this one...
I'm also going to rekindle a long-lost hobby: making furniture. I haven't had a permanent home since I was 18, so it's kinda hard to accumulate tools the size of a car. But seeing as I am now a homeowner with an epic shed, I'm giddy at prospect of making furniture again.
I have my old faithful of reading a minimum of 50 books.
Finally, in January 2020 I had solid 8-pack abs for the first time in my life. In January 2021 I'm really rocking the isobod. Gotta fix that one before it's too late...
2021 is the year of becoming anti-fragile. My income was affected so badly because, frankly, I've been extremely lazy for years. Back in the Benelds days I had products that people bought online, significant software commissions rolling in, training seminars, online training and projects as sources of revenue. As a freelancer I've had just projects. Which as a solo is plenty lucrative but, as I learned real fast, fragile.
So 2021 will see me rekindle my newsletter of old, and start a YouTube channel with a minimum of 50 published videos by the end of the year. I can't promise half of them won't be about my dogs.
And that's it for me for the year.