2020 – A Year in Reflection – How did you cope?


2020 wiped us out even if we couldn’t find TP.

2020 was a unique year. If a modern day 2019 Nostradamus had predicted a world-wide pandemic, a circus of a election in the United States, Civil Rights protests at levels not seen since the 1960s, double hurricanes, murder hornets and many of the other bizarre items that I’ve either forgotten or blocked out of my mind, it would have been a short career for that prognosticator.

Too many bizarre things converged in this year just gone by. At the beginning of the pandemic, way back on March 19th of 2020, I posted the image below written by Laura Kelly Fanucci.

You can find that post HERE. I expressed optimism that the time quarantined at home (then estimated to be a few months) might actually teach us to appreciate ourselves and each other.

As I sat down to ponder the outcome of 2020 for me personally, I became curious how others have handled the worldwide situation. Of course, some of the smartest, most insightful people I know are some of you, so I thought i would initiate a discussion of how the past year affected you across five dimensions, Self, Home, Work, Community and Society.

I’ll start by briefly sharing how I fared across these dimensions. Feel free to use the comments to share your results in one or more of them. I look forward to hearing from you.

Self

I started out the COVID-19 period in March believing that the 19 represented how many pounds I might gain. I ate, snacked, noshed and consumed. Around June I went to the doctor and found out that my blood sugar had set an impressive milestone of being out of control, so I began to change things. I modified my eating and my medication regimen and improved slowly until, in August, I ended up in the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. This was more than a sufficient wake up call and I have since greatly changed/improved my lifestyle with diet and exercise. In the year of a pandemic, I didn’t want to check out with something as boring as diabetes. I believe these changes, some five months and 800 miles of bicycling later, are permanent.

Home/Work

For the past eight years, I have traveled an average of 45-50 weeks per year as a consultant. For the past 10 months, I have not traveled for work at all. For me, this was a welcome change. I love being at home and with my family. My hope is that they feel the same way about having me here. Working at home was a dream come true for me with a few exceptions. Instead of working at home, I considered referring to it as living at work. Having clients and team members across multiple time zones (at times up to 7) has resulted in longer work days and none of the solace of being alone in my thoughts when traveling. As a result, my world has revolved around work. In a time where clients are nervous about spending money on services, extra care is being taken to provide quality work to them at the expense of personal time. Personal time has consisted of sitting in a room other than my office.

I do believe that working at home can work and as companies move forward, striking more of a balance will have to be necessary if we are to function in this mode much longer.

I have, however, come to appreciate my family more. My wife has an incredible task keeping the house and her stay-at-home job going. I have tried to help where I can, but I’m a novice (still, after 10 months) at what needs to be done and how.

Community

Being a traveler, most aspects of my local community escaped my attention. I was home on weekends and played piano for one 45-60 minute service at church and that was the extent of my involvement. With the switch to working at home, my hope was to get more involved. I haven’t done this as much as I had hoped, but I have seen the incredible generosity and empathy of those around me grow. Of course, I believe this was always there, I just wasn’t always around to see it.

Society

Well, this is where results have been mixed. When you mix a pandemic with a highly contentious election (circus) and overflowing social unrest, you get varying results. Wearing masks to protect ourselves and each other has somehow, unbelievably, become political. States within the US have varied widely on how to handle restrictions to control COVID-19 with results that also vary widely.

If you use social media as a barometer of how society is doing, within the US, we are a nation that is deeply divided. The division is more than I have seen in my lifetime and I grew up during the 1960s. Political correctness and racism are both ramping up to unprecedented levels. Misinformation abounds. Dishonesty is overflowing while integrity seems to be absent. No matter your political leaning, future generations will wonder how we didn’t hang our heads in shame during this period. At a time that we should all be coming together to combat a common foe, we are politicizing the way deaths are counted, who has more knowledge and how serious the virus actually is. I have theories on how we arrived here, but I don’t want to bring politics into an intelligent discussion.

So, what about you? What is your take on these dimensions or other aspects of 2020? I look forward to your comments.

14 thoughts on “2020 – A Year in Reflection – How did you cope?

  1. Welcome back, my friend!! I have been more of a hermit than I used to be, but have been healthy except for my Degenerative Disc Disease in my back & neck & my Diabetes. I have been Blessed with being able to be with my family whenever I want to. I have lost a cousin & my old female Pug just before Christmas. I have not lost anyone I know personally to Covid. I know several people who thought they had it, but tested negative. (As of 2020) My husband’s nephew & nephew’s wife have tested positive this week & are in quarantine at home doing well. All in all, 2020 was ok for me. We did get a new pool & pop up camper, so I was able to get some exercise in going up & down pool ladder & swimming, & going in & out of the camper to go into house for potty & food. Looking forward to spring when I can “move back into” my camper in my driveway!
    God Bless you, my friend!

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    • Sounds like you survived and coped pretty well. I think it will be hard for me to go back on the road when and if my company decides to push forward with it. I’ve enjoyed being at home. Have a great 2021. Look for more writing to come from me, I hope.

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  2. It was one for the books and we aren’t really done yet if today’s news is any indication. I find I like people less in general, but my inner circle moved up several notches. That’s a sign of internal isolation, but there you have it.

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  3. What a great article 🙂 I think 2020 taught human existence a few lessons and maybe it was just reminders. What a ride in a good way. I enjoyed being at home and work remotely. I am sure it was a year that no one will ever forget.

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  4. We are truly a nation in turmoil and trouble. I have no words to say about that. As far as managing in 2020, I did okay. I stayed very busy and still continued to take care of grandkids so other than no toilet paper on the shelves (which I will never understand) not too much changed for me. I got offered a publishing contract in April and that pretty much consumed the rest of the year. I don’t know what is going to happen to our country. The division is so deep, I see no way to repair it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Don.

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    • It has been a trying first week of 2021 so far, but hopefully, like a good thriller, this is the climax before the resolution and things will calm down. My theory on the toilet paper is that the shortage was caused when people had to suddenly stay home and cook for themselves rather than eating restaurant food…just a theory. Congratulations on the contract. I’m trying to breathe new life into my writing and marketing of my completed books. It’s a challenge as always. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. An interesting perspective Don.. we have worked from home for the last twenty years and being online is a great part of that. Although we live in Ireland my family live in the UK and rather than see them a couple of times a year it has been weekly Skype calls every week. Brexit and Covid have dominated our headlines but of course the political situation in the US has been of concern to everyone. Glad you have taken your health so seriously as it is easy in Lockdown to fall out of good habits. We went dry the year before and only shopping once a week meant if it was not in the house we didn’t eat it.. I tried very hard to leave the supermarket without the chocolate etc. I will share in the Blogger Daily on Monday and ask people to come across to leave their thoughts.. Have a good weekend.. Sally

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  6. How was my year? Well… The anxiety and stress of all the stuff going on in the world started to get to me from the start, and then got worse when a whole load of personal stuff got thrown on top and the world went even more crazy. The personal stuff included my Nan and great-aunt dying within a month of each other (in August and September respectively) and a landlord related situation that’s a complicated story but ultimately boils down to us ending up moving home twice in six months… During a pandemic. I struggled to keep my anxiety under control, only just kept my physical health under control, and the combination of how I was struggling mentally/emotionally and all the time I was spending packing, unpacking, repacking, and doing everything else involved in moving – with the added complications caused by doing so during a pandemic – meant I only just made my Goodreads reading goal (which I usually easily pass) and writing time didn’t exist after about June. I only managed to publish a book because it was so close to being ready before the pandemic hit, only did actually reach my Goodreads goal because I forced in extra reading time to do so at the end of the year, and only kept up my blogging schedule through sheer determination (which I only did because it became vitally important to me to do so for some reason I can’t explain, but which I think is linked to the urgent desire for something normal to cling to).

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    • I’m sorry to hear about your losses and the stress of 2020 for you. I can relate. Let’s keep each other on track this year. I’m really working hard to commit to writing and blogging to help alleviate some of the stress that built up during this tumultuous year. Of course, the first week of 2021 has been interesting.

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      • Thank you. Yes, I read about your year… I’m sorry you had such a bad time in 2020. Also, yes, it’s been an interesting start to 2021. Here’s hoping we can get that writing time in to help us cope better with whatever the rest of 2021 has in store. Like you said, let’s keep each other on track. 🙂

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  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 11th January 2021 – #Spaghetti John W. Howell, #2020 Don Massenzio, #Unfinished #Books Jacqui Murray | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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