It’s November 2020 and pretty much the only words that have been coming out of my mouth are:

  1. We have a minority woman about to co-lead our country
  2. Wear your damn masks
  3. It’s not about you

I’m just over the moon about Kamala and I’m also in shock that so many white American men and white American women are so angry about Trump getting voted out of the white house.

Maybe shock isn’t the right word, as not much truly shocks me these days…it is 2020, after all. How about: disappointment. That’s more accurate. I’m disappointed in humanity, a little less than half of it here in this country at least. I’m really disappointed that this same group of pro-Trumpers refuses to believe science and put everyone at risk of this disease. People: it’s not about you. We’re all here together; this planet is all of ours. Pain and suffering and happiness and joy: it’s all of ours. Horrific acts effect us all, and glorious acts effect us all. It’s our choice in how we choose to live and to lead.

I don’t want to say much more, because, if you watch the news, you’ll be disgusted and horrified and you’ll never leave your house again.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I digress. We’re getting to the time of year where, every year, I pause a little more and reflect a little more. I begin to go through my calendar of the year and journal about high notes and low notes, about what I enjoyed and what I simply had to get through.

This time of reflection lasts several days if not weeks for me. It’s not a quick 1-hour review. I dig pretty deep into not only what I did but how certain things made me feel. How certain people made me feel. How events affected my mood and made me react in ways I don’t admire. I’ve just barely started, but it was enough to get me to want to sit down and pick up these pages again. So here goes.

A Few Things That 2020 Taught Me

  1. Having a pet makes life infinitely better.
  2. Words could never fully explain how much I’m grateful for the company that I built. So I will pass on this advice: Pick a career in a field that you can push yourself in, that makes you fairly happy, that pays enough to make you feel good about your standard of living, and that will be fairly recession-proof. Your passion does not need to be your career.
  3. Introverts seem to be able to adjust to challenging times easier than extroverts. I’m really thankful that I already preferred being alone to being with others.
  4. I don’t need to practice “yoga” in order to practice “yoga”. Yoga is in my bones, and yours, too. I don’t need a daily one-hour routine in order to live a peaceful, strong, balanced life. Getting out of the rushing from studio to studio rut allowed me to see how ridiculous my little routine had become.
  5. Walking has become my yoga. It’s become my favorite part of every day. My 45-minute to 2-hour jaunts, depending on work days or weekdays: these moments are heaven to me. I’m thankful I accidentally picked a house in the middle of a ton of hills. Activity and physical fitness: we need to love it or we won’t do it. Find that thing you love.
  6. The good parts of life and work and relationships are just past the really shitty parts. It’s the mountain that people give up on. Don’t give up. Careers and marriages: they are hard, and they are wonderful. Getting past the hard times leads to infinitely better days. That’s up to you to get there. 2020 didn’t necessarily teach me this, but I had enough time to reflect on 2020 (and to counsel others looking to start a business) that I think it’s imperative to pass on.
  7. Shipt, Whole Foods via Amazon, Drizzly, Door Dash, and GrubHub were invented at the absolute best possible times. These companies gave me peace during both the dark days and the light days of 2020. Thankfully, I had been using them before this year, but this year, I really fell in love.
  8. Ease is what I am after. Reflecting on #6, if I can spend $10 more yet cut out two trips, I’m all in. I have many friends who think this is a luxury. It’s not really. It’s just how I choose for my money to be spent. And it’s how I choose for my time to be spent. For my time, I’ll give up a lot of money. It’s so much more important to me than hurrying and rushing and digging in bargain bins (and possibly being around someone who refuses to wear a mask).
  9. Sleep is still my favorite state to be in. Better yet, full days of rest with tea and surrounded by books without seeing people: that’s a dream come true.
  10. Homemade soup from any Oh She Glows recipe and thick, crusty bread topped with Mikoyo’s butter is hands-down my favorite meal.
  11. My city voted for Biden. My red city. The only city in Texas that still voted red, year after year. We turned blue. Never underestimate the power of people to speak up for what they believe in. Good deeds spread; decency spreads: we must never, ever forget that.
  12. Our healthcare workers and our teachers should not have to worry about paying their bills, ever again. They should be cared for and respected and valued, and that’s all there is to it. Thank you for getting us to where we are, and oh my, I’m thinking of you in the days ahead.
  13. Not having in-person meetings or in-person events is the best thing to come out of 2020. I wonder how much time we’re all saving. The downside is, Zoom makes me look old and tired. Or maybe, Zoom makes me aware of how old and tired I really am. I hate you, Zoom.
  14. I really miss hugging my parents. I really miss seeing them without a mask on. I’m grateful that we’ve always been close and that I have an enormous amount of great memories; it makes getting through these past 8 months and these next 8 months that much easier.

That’s it for now. Stay safe, my friends.

Love, Jen