I had a lot planned for last year.
We’d just moved to Zürich, and were getting to know the place. I’d found the good coffee, and I was on the hunt for decent Thai food. We bought some furniture, we didn’t have ceiling lights (now resolved), we’d figured out how to buy bin bags (it was a challenge) and I missed fish and chips. I planned to work on an open-source project, buy a TV, and jump in the lake a lot. I planned on buying a snowboard, and come winter 2020–21, learning how to use it properly.
Then… well, you know what happened.
I’ve been oscillating a lot, the past year. Some months were good. I exercised regularly, kept sensible hours while working from home (and I’m very grateful I have a job where I can do that), and practiced being a reasonable human being to the people who were forced to interact with me over fucking video chat (yes, fucking video chat). I did jump in the lake once or twice, and we found some excellent paths through the local forest that we could meander through on the weekend.
And then there were other months. The lost months. The months of always-on, low-level grumpiness, where the highlight of my day was eating more cheese while the cat judged me. The months of sitting until my back hurt, then complaining my back hurt and sitting some more to “rest” it. The months where an entire week would go by without me having a meaningful conversation with anyone past, “Do you like your coffee?”
So no, I didn’t accomplish all I set out to in 2020. I didn’t snowboard. I didn’t work on my highly secret open-source project. I didn’t get swole.
Last month, I turned 32. Like any round number, it inspired reflection on the past few years. And I realised that while I didn’t achieve a bunch of arbitrary goals, I did accomplish one thing without even noticing.
Possibly for the first time in my life… I feel pretty good.
Sure, not everything is amazing, and there’s lots more to do. I still want to learn to snowboard (without falling a lot), and I still want to work on my secret project, but I know that I can and I will. I don’t have to worry about them all the time.
I have a lot going well for me in my life right now, and it’s fun to celebrate that instead of always getting stressed out about the next thing.
Say one thing for 2020: it taught me how to be content.