Looking back on 2020

2020 was an interesting year to say the least. You’ve probably heard it phrased a dozen different ways from a gross number of people. So I won’t try to describe it more, except that I’ll use it as an excuse for being 3 months late. It’s also an excuse for why I won’t do the usual by the numbers format I did the last two years.

This time, I’ll just list the highlights (ups and downs) of the past year, and the things I’m looking forward to this year.

A timeline

Jan 2020

Feb 2020

Mar 2020

Apr 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

Aug 2020

Sep 2020

Oct 2020

Nov 2020

Dec 2020

Things I discovered and learned

  1. Teaching can be frustrating at times, but always rewarding.
  2. Study groups can actually be fun, especially when there are few other ways to socialize.
  3. AirPods Pro, Macbook, and the complete Apple ecosystem is just seamless.
  4. The Joy of \(x\) Podcast by Steve Strogatz
  5. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (and, later, Branden Sanderson)
  6. The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
  7. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

For a complete list of books I read in 2020, visit my Goodreads.

Some specific goals for 2021

  1. Run a half marathon.
  2. Upload 12 guitar videos on YouTube.
  3. Write 10 short stories (at least 1000 words each).
  4. Read 20 books.
  5. Start actively working on a research project.

Some broad goals that may or may not ever happen

I re-discovered a lot of things I like. Here are some goals along that vein, but not important to lead a healthy, productive, happy life.

  1. Write a fantasy novel.
  2. Busk.
  3. Play music at some sort of event like a wedding. (The difference between this and busking is that, here, someone considers me a good enough guitarist to hire me)
  4. Put on an art show with paintings.
  5. Publish an album of photographs.

Despite being unable to do a lot of things, a lot of things did happen for me, to me, and around me this year. Whether or not we want it to, time continues moving forward. We can either choose to live in the moment, or pine for what could have been. We can either change our ways to adapt to the times, or let our old patterns drive us into extinction.

This is my biggest takeway from the last 12 months. Hopefully someone out there is inspired by what they read here.