I've lost track of how many times I've heard "it's been a terrible year", or "everyone has had a tough year", or "we've all found this year hard" etc etc.  The thing is, it isn't universally true.  I've spoken to plenty of people that have had a great year, myself included.  Yes, events happened that no-one would have chosen, but too much celebration of the negative isn't helpful.  Dealing with what gets thrown your way is a good life skill and essential if you're to thrive.

There are always wars, tragedies, natural disasters, famines, disease and death, but dwelling on, discussing, referencing or raking over them isn't good for the soul or spirit of anyone.  That would be like watching a 24h news channel and no-one does that . . right?

Following my advice and in an attempt to balance the negative noise, here are a list of positives I took from the year:

  • This is strictly for the UK based, but weather.  We had days and days of glorious sunshine particularly in the spring.  Interestingly the additional benefit to this was large amount of cheap energy produced by solar and wind, meaning a record breaking two month period with no coal power stations being needed.
  • Working from home.  Productivity increased, early mornings got less early and suddenly I had and hour and a half extra in the day.
  • Extra cycling.  I normally cycle to work, but there's a big difference between commuting and cycling purely for pleasure.  It meant I could go off road and hunt down some very lightly used tracks around the outskirts of my town and find somewhere completely devoid of humans to simply sit in peace surrounded by nature.  Even better, everyone else started using bikes.  Excellent.
  • Working from the office.  Eventually I went back into the office only to find it mostly empty and oh so quiet.  All the chitter chatter, interruptions, noise, meetings, gone.
  • No excuse needed to stay at home and not feel like you should be somewhere else.  Perfect for introverts everywhere.
  • Staycations and camping.  I love a good camping trip, but this year it was the best way to get away for an automatically socially distanced break with friends.  Calendars were empty, so it was easy to arrange as well.
  • Extra time and space to think, which in my case meant the start of this blog.
  • Stock market performance.  The crash in March provided additional buying opportunity and the subsequent rebound has already recovered all the losses and some.  Usual caveats apply - don't count on a smooth ride.
  • Less spending.  No travelling, restaurants, shopping, fewer journeys all mean extra $/£ in the bank.
  • Music.  DJ's with no parties to attend or flights to catch, suddenly found themselves performing to the world on YouTube from their homes. Electronic music enthusiasts could suddenly listen to almost endless new mixes from a whole range of interesting artists.

Hopefully this provides some balance to the negativity around 2020.  It wasn't all bad!

“Don't seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”  - Epictetus