One of my friends was asking on Facebook what good came out of 2020 and I was going to reply to her question, but then I thought, "Hey, I should write this up somewhere for posterity!" So, here we go...
I had started writing something up in mid-August about the pros and cons of sheltering at home. Looking at those now, four months later, they are still mostly true actually. Jason and I have been working from home since about mid-March. I had one client I saw a few more times on a monthly basis, but we have since moved to 100% remote work, so I haven't not left my house for work in months. This has been a huge plus for me.
I've broken things down into categories! Who doesn't love categories?
- Not killing each other - Jason and I have managed to be together 24/7 for several months now and haven't killed each other! This one feels pretty major actually. So, I'll say this is #1 with a bullet.
- Great jobs - We are both so fortunate to be able to do our jobs remotely. Not everyone can and I think my stress levels would have been over the top if I had to be out and about with people this whole year.
- Good friends - We are also fortunate to have a core group of friends to be in our Covid bubble. There is a lot at stake when you're in a bubble with others. There is a lot of trust and I'm happy we can trust our friends to make wise decisions. That said, as the saying goes, "Trust, but verify!" So, even though we are in a bubble, we are still wearing masks while around others.
- Bullet Journal - I started bullet journaling in June and I love it. Here's a brief video that describes what it is and how it works. It has helped me manage my stress this year, by keeping track of everything I need to be doing. I bought a new journal for 2021 and after I finish this post, I'm going to start prepping it!
- Bread maker - I finally started using the bread maker my mom gave me YEARS ago. The loaves of bread are fairly ho-hum, but we've been using the heck out of the dough cycle to make rolls, garlic knots, and focaccia bread.
- Zojirushi rice cooker - We purchased a 10 cup Zojirushi rice cooker. We have been using it pretty regularly. I love that it has a timer to cook rice. I can set it up in the morning and not have to worry about forgetting to turn it on at the right time. The rice turns out really well in it too.
- Instant Pot with Air Fryer - I had a 6 quart Instant Pot, but I let my brother take it when he moved out last year. I went ahead and bought a replacement one, but this time, I bought the 8 quart Duo Crisp, so it has an air fryer lid that came with it. We've been using this at least once a week since we purchased it. It makes dinner a breeze. Our favorite recipe is air fried salmon, which we make almost weekly.
- Eating out - We have still been patronizing our favorite restaurants, getting take out a couple times a week.
- Meal Planning - I've been better about meal planning. This has been a little more critical to do, especially since we've been using Instacart (referral link!) for all our groceries. Pre-pandemic, I could walk to our local grocery store and pick up last minute items all the time. I'm not going in grocery stores, so it helps to plan ahead.
- Stable job for Jason - Jason had the same job for all of 2020! Woo-hoo!
- 100% working remotely - I successfully moved most of my clients to 100% remote work. One client wanted me to still go to his home office, but I declined, so I think he found someone else to do the work. Totally fine with me as he was one of my smaller clients and one of my BFFs who was working for him no longer does. She was part of the draw of me going to his office every few months.
- New clients in 2020 - After a few months of less work during the first few months of the pandemic, things picked up and I got several new clients during the pandemic. Overall, my revenue was up about 25% from 2019, which was up 50% from 2018.
- Even more clients - In just the last two weeks, I have three new clients that are going to start up with me in January and February 2021.
- Value Pricing with Mark Wickersham - I joined the Value Pricing Academy with Mark Wickersham. Before I joined in mid-2020, I was billing all customers hourly. I've been taking his course and shifting my whole mindset and business to use value pricing, rather than hourly. I think this will be a real pivoting point for my business.
- No COVID-19 - We didn't get Covid during 2020, so that's a huge win!
- Down 10 lbs - I'm down about 10 pounds from this time last year. I think a lot of it had to do with using Noom for the first two months of 2020. I just cancelled the subscription because I haven't really been using it since the pandemic started in mid-March. I got too far behind and then it just felt overwhelming to try to "catch up" with all the articles and participating with my group.
- Physical - I skipped my annual physical in 2020 because I normally do it in late March, which was in the early part of the pandemic and I was just too freaked out mentally to be able to go. I have an appointment scheduled for mid-January 2021, so hoping that nothing has developed since my last physical almost two years ago.
- Garmin Instinct - My brother gave me this smartwatch for Christmas about a year ago. It was the perfect gift. It's something I would never have bought for myself, but turns out, I love it! I wear it basically all the time and the data it provides helps me realize when I'm over-stressed or not rested enough. I love tracking things in the app. And I just got sidetracked and checked out all the Garmin smartwatches and I think I'm still good with my Instinct. The ones with the full color screens are cool, but my watch has a ton of awesome features and it only has to be charged every two weeks.
- Peloton - This has been the shining star of the last third of 2020! We ordered it in late August, it finally arrived in late October. Before buying the bike, I had never taken a spinning class. This was part of why I had been resistant to trying this out. But then our friend Renee got one and loved it. So we decided to try it. There is a 30 day money back guarantee, so I figured that if we didn't like it, or weren't really using it, we could return it. Needless to say, we have been using it! And not just the bike. I love the strength classes in the app too. This really deserves its own post, so I will leave it at... We've used it a lot since purchasing it and looking forward to doing even more rides in 2021! I logged 2,000 minutes of workouts/classes in 2020. Not too shabby! If you are buying a bike and want to save $100 on shoes or other accessories, here's my code: DRM9WH
Socializing and Hobbies
- Hanging with faraway friends - I've been playing Die Crew every Tuesday with the same group and it's been great. Especially since three of them aren't living near me at the moment! It's been great to reconnect with everyone Zoom and Discord.
- Continuing Wednesday night gaming - I'm still playing games every Wednesday night with my usual crew. It's nice to have consistency.
- Thursday night trivia - What used to be my in-person Tuesday night trivia morphed to Thursday night trivia with Nikki and Paris, hosted by the always fun Steven.
- Rotary - I tried to attend as many Rotary meetings as I could this year. We kept it alive and even had a virtual wine tasting event in November! It was super fun. I miss seeing my fellow Rotarians, but it's been nice to hang with them, even virtually.
- Virtual Puzzle Events - Sadly, the annual NPL convention was cancelled, but instead we had Conline and then Conline2! We also moved our Puzzled Pint meetings to virtual as well, so it's been great keeping up with everyone each month via Zoom.
- Letter Jam - Nathan made an online version of Letter Jam!! It's been so fun and we've used it quite a bit.
- Tiger King - watched via Netflix Party Chrome extension... seriously, didn't EVERYONE watch this?
- Love is Blind - watched via Netflix Party Chrome extension with Nathan and Chia
- Kim's Convenience
- Schitt's Creek
- Queen's Gambit
- Wonder Woman 84
- Mandalorian season one - still need to watch the second season
- The Boys
- The Vow (documentary)
- Fake Doctors, Real Friends - Scrubs podcast with Zach Braff and Donald Faison, where they have one podcast episode per Scrubs episode. I'm still pretty new on it, but I just LOVE TO DEATH
- Britney Runs a Marathon
- I'm sure there is more, but those are the ones coming to mind.
- Diana is pregnant! - One of my friends is pregnant! Currently on bed rest, due in early February. But she's my age and had not had much luck in the first several years of being married, so thrilled to soon have a baby in our group! But also, she moved to Arizona (sad trombone!).
- Shane bought a house - She and JJ bought a house in September! Sadly, it's still an hour away, but at least it's somewhat nearby! Once the pandemic is done, looking forward to actually seeing it in person.
- Two person cookie party - My normal cookie party was cancelled due to Covid, so on December 18, Nathan and I baked several hundred cookies while masked and then drove them around to deliver them to various friends and clients. It was a very exhausting day, but we kept the tradition alive!
- Alt BGG.con - We rented a house with our bubble and had our own gaming convention. I was sad to miss BGG.con, but glad we could keep this tradition alive as well. The two really exciting things from this were: a saltwater pool at the house, which I utilized just about every day, and going to Cortina's multiple times to pick up food and snacks.
- Three(!!!) cabin trips - Nathan and I made THREE trips to the cabin! It was SO nice to get out of town and just be in a quiet space! It's so peaceful there. And the birds. I miss the birds so much! I sometimes watch this video when I want to see them. The chickadees will literally eat out of your hands.
- Paris had a heart attack - Fortunately, it was mild and it happened a week before Thanksgiving, so it was before the insane surge of Covid cases so he was able to be seen and treated quickly. If you could time a heart attack, he did it just right.
There may be more, but for now, this will do! If I delay in posting this, I'll forget and next thing I know, it will be 2022! This was fun! I'll have to post more in 2021. Happy New Year to all!