New year, who dis?! Lows and highs from 2020

So 2021 is gonna be better than 2020 right? Right? Yes, it will! Because I’m gonna learn from my mistakes, adapt to the changing world, and do things differently. New year, who dis?!

Time to look back on some of my high/lowlights of 2020 and look ahead into this new year.

Number 1: my kitty cat was super adorable

Honestly 2020 was his most adorable year ever (so far). He lay in the sun, held my hand, cuddled on the bed, screamed for food five seconds after he had eaten, started sleeping on his back, discovered his love for the heater, destroyed countless boxes and brought light and joy into days that were otherwise grey. Here’s to Lion, the real mvp of last year. May 2021 be an even cuter year! And now for a million pictures of my baby:

Number 2: feelings were felt

All the feelings were felt. Especially fear and loneliness. I cried so many times! There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed and days when I couldn’t stop working. Much time was spent hiding away from feelings and much more time was spent feeling those feelings and it was all exhausting.

Number 3: toilet paper was a big deal

Things got weird there for a while. I’ll just leave you with these pictures of me and we never have to talk about this again.

Number 4: discounts were given and scope was creeped (again)

AGAIN! I thought I had put processes in place to stop this. Well I did, but I didn’t stick to my processes.  Ugh. When will I finally learn to very clearly define scope of work and stick to those boundaries on all projects without exception? Now. Now is when I will learn and 2021 is the year that zero scope creep will be tolerated and zero discounts on hours for said scope creep will be given. For reals. I worked on a site where my client managed their client so terribly that they entire business literally pivoted to sell completely different products one week before the site was scheduled to launch. And then they were really confused and angry about me saying that it was now actually a whole new project that required a new timeline and quote. It was a nightmare and I will definitely never have that happen again. I had to provide a detailed itemised list of all the out-of-scope work on the final invoice that was argued over for months before being paid. 

The invoice I wanted to send.

What I actually sent.

No more of that. Ever. No matter what.

So for this year I will only provide quotes on projects that have a clear scope from the outset put down in writing and signed into a contract. Launch dates will be extra clearly defined and stuck to like glue. Out of scope will work will be done only if I have the time and if I feel like it and at very high rates. And I will not apologise for it.

Number 5: I drank lots of water (and very little wine)

SO much water! I cut waaaaay back on fruit juice and fizzy drinks so naturally drank more water. I exchanged selfies of drinking water with a dear friend to help us stay connected in an easy way and remind each other to stay hydrated. It was fun and I plan on keeping that going in 2021. Lockdown in South Africa saw (and is currently seeing) prohibition make a comeback to reduce pressure on hospitals by mostly eliminating alcohol related injuries and general lack of social distancing caused by boozed fueled revelry. This meant that I not only drank more water, but drank far less alcohol. Something I would like to continue this year as well.

Number 6: I ate my own organic tomatoes grown from seed

2020 made us all take a hard look at our lives, our choices and the impact of them on the word around us. I know that I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could reduce my waste and increase my connection with my food. At the end of 2019 we (my lover and I) moved into a house with a big garden so 2020 was also the first year I spent living in a home with the space and earth to grow my own food (a dream fulfilled). 

Harvesting our own tomatoes was truly an incredible feeling. Seeing how much time and energy goes into a single tomato plant and what that pant produces to eat meant that I grew to appreciate each and every thing I eat so much more than before. We’ve now got six tomato plants growing, have since harvested red peppers and will continue to do so and have a crop of sunflowers growing taller each day.

Last year was a difficult year emotionally and psychologically and this year looks to be the same. The difference is that now I feel more prepared. I’m feeling more at peace with staying home 24/7 and hopefully work will be steady all year instead of packed to the brim at the end of the year to make up for the quiet spot as the pandemic hit. So hopefully I will have the energy to spend more time in the garden. I’ve got big plans for our 2021 food garden including corn, beans, gemsquash, butternut and sweet potatoes.

Number 7: friendships ended and began

To say that 2020 was difficult is an understatement. My sister-in-law said it best the other day: “we saw people at their worst last year.” When things get tough, people cope. And sometimes those coping mechanisms are not good for ourselves or those around us. Sometimes our ways of dealing are not compatible with others and shit goes bad. So friendships went bad, divorce rates went up and lots of people generally “grew apart” as happens every year. It does feel like more people grew apart last year than other years, but that kinda makes sense in such a crazy time.

Although some friendships ended in 2020, others began. I’ve met a few new friends over the internet last year and we’ve never met in real life. It’s a whole new world! Instagram connections turned into emails and Zoom chats and then budding new friendships. It’s pretty awesome and kinda feels like I’m living in the future because these human connections are happening entirely in the digital space. And if 2020 saw people at their worst and we still got along so well then just imagine how wonderful these friendships could become when we are at our best!

Number 8: A robot now cleans my floors

This truly is the future and I now have a robot to clean my floors. This is the greatest thing to ever happen to me after my dishwasher and washing machine and I could not choose a favourite! Also: Lion has a new favourite box to sit on and the floors are vacuumed every day which feels like living in a palace! Now for a lawn cutting robot…

Number 9: I gave myself a rad haircut

What’s a 2020 high/lowlights list without a DIY lockdown haircut? I present to you the shattered asymmetrical bob.

Felt cute, won’t delete later.

A bunch of other stuff happened in 2020, including building myself a desktop computer, waiting five months for a laptop charger replacement, meeting a niece for the first time, I launched a second biz, pc gaming made a major comeback in my life, I celebrated eleven years with my bestie/lover, we saved up for and bought a couch for the first time ever, I worked with amazing new clients, solidified relationships with existing ones and said goodbye to some incompatible ones. I cried a lot, dealt with some emotional stuff lingering around since childhood, started reading again before bedtime, discovered these chocolate filled wafer things delicious with ice cream, started crafting some super cool things, perfected my iced coffee game and rewatched Brooklyn Nine Nine for the 78th time. I’ll leave you with these random pictures from 2020. 

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