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Unemployment, furloughed, and all the fun things that got canceled is my review of the 2020 dumpster fire. Typically, the days are long and the year is short but 2020 burnt all those expectations to a crisp.
As I ponder the ashes of 2020, it included many challenges but I am warmed by the possibilities of 2021. Even if it is boring compared to 2020.
That would be considered a success!
I enjoy stability. Typically, I build stiff routines into work and my personal life, which opens up space to try new things. Usually, this includes exploring new places and food.
2020 threw all my wooden expectations into the dumpster and lit it on fire.
Work-life became disrupted when I quit a less furloughed job and went into a more furloughed job. As I was transitioning, I ended up on an extended unemployment because of delays in paperwork and general Corona disruption.
My personal life could not extinguish the flames because of the consistent upheaval to my work schedule. I tried to build a firm structure of daily routines but they were torched by all the work and personal life changes.
Exploring new places and food experienced the most damage. Tough Mudder, Space Camp, and visiting humans outside my home, were all canceled because of safety restrictions and other Corona fueled concerns.
I had to find a different way to cope with the plethora of instability.
It was hard and uncomfortable.
There were times of anxiety, crying, and grumpiness. I typically experience some degree of these emotions but this year I had anxiety over things like toilet paper shortages and bare shelves, tears were shed over daily loss, and I was cranky about doing the right thing when so many weren’t.
It’s easy to wallow in these feelings but I try not to. I’m a ruminator. I have to be careful about what I think about otherwise my mind will play a never-ending loop of pain.
Instead, I had to redirect my mind and energy to what I could control – myself.
I started writing even though I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t particularly like it. But somehow, I talked myself into a blog. Writing has been incredibly rewarding with a bit of frustration too which is a good sign of growth.
I picked up drawing. I started a daily drawing habit and have been impressed with the results. It has become a rewarding way to express my creativity.
Investing has been the sketchiest part of this year. I had zero experience outside of a retirement account but since I had plenty of time and no place to travel with my travel money, it became fuel for my finances.
2020 was challenging on many levels but I experienced a lot of personal growth. Most of that growth wouldn’t have happened without the 2020 dumpster fire.
As much as I appreciate the fuel for growth, I am glad to be walking away from 2020 with my career, finances, and health intact.