what a year: 2020 in review

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“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything.”

~Rilke

We kicked off 2020 by meeting friends for a New Year’s Day brunch — a brunch that would be the first of 2020, but also the last and only. And, as it turns out, that brunch was just the beginning of what would become the only for the year: spa day, haircut, seeing a movie in the theater, lunch with a friend, travel, anything in-person with any other human (except my husband).

Not all of this can be blamed on the larger global events of 2020. Just before our collective world was turned upside down by a coronavirus, our little world was turned upside down by some pretty big life changes, namely selling our home in Denver and moving half-way across the country to the Bay Area. We had just enough time to form a few routines and settle into some semblance of normalcy before March, and shelter-in-place turned things upside down yet again.

Like many others, we have chosen to stay on the low-risk end of the spectrum related to doing anything outside of our home for the past nine months. Travel plans were canceled, inside visits to stores are extremely limited, we shifted the majority of our activities to take place outside, and takeout has become the new norm. Has all of this been difficult? Yes. But do we have so much to be grateful for, despite our current situation? Absolutely.

My word for 2020 was courage, focusing on trying new things, making new friends in a new city, etc. Come March, that focus changed, and it all became about improvising and adapting, and pivoting. To shift focus from what I couldn’t do, I did my best to insert “instead” whenever I could. Instead of traveling to Kripalu and writing with one of my favorite authors, I grew my writing practice through other virtual opportunities. Instead of ushering in my 40s in Italy, I celebrated in the woods with my two favorites. Instead of meeting new friends in San Francisco, we spent time getting to know the city herself. Instead of spending money on gas, car maintenance, makeup, clothes, and travel, I increased my savings. And so on and so on . . .

However, I think it’s important to point out that my story is not your story, especially now and with this year. If you’re not coming out of 2020 with a list of accomplishments, that’s ok. Coming out of 2020 in and of itself is an accomplishment. We’re all doing the best we can with who we are and what our lives are right now. And, as we close the books on all that was 2020, I’m hopeful for a better 2021 for all of us.

milestones: sold house, said goodbye to Denver + hello to San Francisco, hubs started new job, third-anniversary of first date, second wedding anniversary, four years at Schwab, 40th birthday, closed out 40-by-40 challenge, celebrated our first female vice president-elect

just for fun: cribbage, Leopold Bros tour, Hamilton, SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical, Chez Panisse, Exploratorium, day trip to Monterey/Carmel, explored with water colors, Al’s Place, tulipwatch2020, virtual coffee dates + happy hours, two virtual beer fests, 30-day song challenge, botanical gardens, road trip to Southern California, dyed hair pink, camping at Big Basin, camping at Hendy Woods State Park, explored Anderson Valley, Sonoma Valley birthday weekend getaway, joined new wine club, SFMOMA, virtual wedding, wreath-making course, citrus garland, Mt. Diablo, birthday celebrations for hubs + pup, exceeded annual reading challenge, countless beach walks, labyrinths, Mt. Tam, Sutro Tower sightings, Shut Up and Write challenges, NYT daily mini crossword, played piano, tried tie dying, Spelling Bee challenge, coffee takeout

growth: completed Career Exploration Fellowship program, learned to navigate the SF public transit system, played around with my DSLR, completed Drawing as Self-Discovery course, completed Everyday Minimalism course, completed Psychology of Leadership certificate program, completed 30 days of haiku challenge, completed RISE program, completed “Sitting in the Fire, Boundaries + Self-sabotage” masterclass, completed Nurture Your Newsletter masterclass, participated in HBR anxiety program, completed Power of Awareness program, 31 days of Metahuman lessons, creative magic virtual session with Liz Gilbert + Rachel Cargyl, registered + began 200-hour yoga teacher training, completed three-day writing course, began blogging course, completed 31 days of gifts program, virtual mid-year retreat, submitted photo for publishing consideration, meditation practice

for me: countless hikes + urban walks, allergy test, walked/ran Golden Gate Bridge, 50-pound weight loss, caught the Peloton bug, joined Schweloton weekly rides, perfect Apple health activity months, celebrated 50th + century + 150th Peloton rides, SF stairway challenge, 75-pound weight loss, reduced time spent on social media, countless Peloton challenges completed, yoga, meditation

career: transferred to SF office, presented on panel for virtual digital Employee Experience Summit, presented at internal comms/employee experience virtual conference, received annual key contributor award, served on ServiceNow Product Advisory Council

community + giving back: joined Associate Board of Ambassadors for American Cancer Society, virtual volunteering through Schwab Volunteer Week, consumed less meat and dairy, continued less waste lifestyle (adjusted due to COVID-19), completed multiple Kynd Kits, many Goodwill donations, KQED member, other monetary donations, voted in two California elections, joined Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, joined City Arts & Lectures, joined The Bookclub of California, Monterey Bay member nights (virtual), virtual graduations, joined local Dems group

tough stuff: shelter-in-place + COVID-19, worked 100% remotely for most of the year, not being able to make friends in our new city, rescheduled/canceled travel and other plans, grieved for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others, orange Wednesday, fires, loss of RBG, social unrest, missing family and friends

2020 by the numbers:

A look back at past years’ reflections:

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