2020 Reflection

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“I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted.  Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have.” – Unknown

As I sat down to write this post, I thought to myself – “What the heck am I going to write about today?”. I’m so ready for the holidays and for some time off. The past week has been crazy and crazy busy. Come to think of it…well, it was just like the rest of this year. So this is my year in review.

As the year got off to start, I had many many plans and intentions of accomplishing certain things. I’m sure you did too. I was ready for new goals, new places, and was ready to welcome new changes. Little did we know that a global pandemic was on the horizon. I had signed up for my first Fincon and for the Financial Freedom Summit. Both postponed, and either cancelled or went virtual. May other conferences and events followed suit as the year progressed. I had planned for international travel in the spring. Also, cancelled.

I had an ultimate goal to run the Honolulu Marathon again. It would’ve been my first full marathon, three years after tearing my hamstring. I’ve ran shorter distances like 10Ks and half marathons. I had thought that running full marathons were behind me. Yet, I decided to run one more with the encouragement of friends who were also planning to run the 26.2 miles as well. I would’ve run a number of races leading up to the event. Each being, significant tests and milestones in themselves. If you don’t know, the Honolulu Marathon is held in December. Unfortunately, it was similar to other events and everyone holding out hope for events to go on as planned. The result was those too were scrapped, moved, or went virtual.

I was thankful and grateful to have the ability to work from home. Many people did not and still do not have that option. Personally, it was a scramble to help get teams working remotely from the comfort of their homes vs working in an office. Social distancing became a thing, and will still be a thing even after mass vaccinations have taken place. At least in the short term. That’s just my opinion. Office environments have been remodeled to include more space but ironically, also more barriers. The office cubicle has made its return to replace the modern open seating arrangements. The productivity of a remote workforce is now tried and proven. In the past, productivity of working from home, was always met with doubt and concern. It was also a paradigm shift for me as a manager to manage a remote team. It was a lot easier to coordinate and collaborate in the office. Having quick and random conversations were easy to facilitate. Luckily, I work with a great team and it’s not an issue. We adjusted and settled into new norms. The difference being more calendar adjusting due to folks dealing with things at home. Children and distance learning, for example. Kids or spouses running around in the background during meetings was an often occurance. We get it, it’s ok. Everyone’s patience and flexibility was tested this year.

Working from home allowed me to spend more time in Hawaii. It also helped fast forward my plans to live in Hawaii. I can say that I took part in the Great California exodus of 2020. It didn’t matter where I worked, since everyone was remote, and it was easy trade off to stay on PST time with the rest of the team. The exodus was also public for many folks like Joe Rogan, and Elon Musk. Companies like Tesla and Oracle are also moving their company headquarters out of California. Being able to spend more time in Hawaii enabled me to change my lifestyle to be healthier. Running and hiking outdoors was still possible, along with various water sports I took up. For example, I started kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. I do surf, but I started that years ago and I’m still not good at it. Living a healthier lifestyle along with the island vibes of Hawaii allows me to be well rested. In turn, I’m more focused. I have found a good rythm.

Along with covid-19, this year also brought a lot of people anxiety and sadness. Systemic racial injustice was a huge issue. Of course, it was chaos in the streets and many people acting out after their emotionally charged triggers were set off. It also split the country with the many movements and politicians using it as ammo for the presidential election campaigns. It was a lot of drama. California was up in flames for months this year. The air quality index was beyond bad and people were forced to stay in their homes not only because of covid but because of all the smoke and particles in the air. Geez. All of these topics have easily warranted days of discussion anywhere in America. Boy, what a bat shit crazy year it has been.

That brings me to our current time, a week and some change before Christmas. I’ll continue my personal challenge of reducing the amount I spend on food each month. If you haven’t read the 2 posts in that series, you can do so here. We’ll do a check on how I’m doing with that at the end of January. I also recently heard and awesome and inspiring story of a big island man that worked aggressively to pay of 50K in student debt. It’s stories like his, that encourage me to keep working and dreaming. He also has a youtube channel.

The next couple weeks I’ll be heads down focused on a class and certification I set out to do a few months ago. It’s go time baby! I got 2 work related certifications already this year. I plan to also focus on some other online courses over the next few weeks. Heh, that’s also worth a mention – there’s a plethora of online course nowadays.

Mental health and burnout is real. Probably more so this year. With that said, it’s worth mentioning that, for some, measuring and managing individual productivity carries along some bad stigma in this already stressful year. I know everyone reacts different to events and various stimuli. It’s cool. We’ve made it this far, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel with the promise of vaccine distribution.

For next year, I’ll also need to research and come up with a social media strategy for this site. I can only hope that the Honolulu Marathon takes place next year but in the interim I’ll focus on things I can control. Like keeping in shape and getting race ready in case it does happen.

Well, I think that’s all I got for today. To everyone reading, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Holidays!

How did your year go? Learn any lessons you’d like to share? Have any goals for next year? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

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