Goodbye 2020 #Yearinreview

goodbye 2020

I write this post on the final day of a year none of us could have imagined. I am in a new apartment after finally finishing the move yesterday. Usually, I spend the last week of the year reflecting on the year gone by. This time, however, due to the energy spent moving, it’s only been today that I have had time to reflect.

I started 2020 with the intention to “be open and embrace possibilities”. Needless to say, that was forgotten once lockdown hit in March. But really, how bad was 2020 for me personally? It only makes sense to reflect on the year that was.

Work in 2020

When 2020 started, I was a month into my new job in Sydney. I was still finding my feet but, also really liked my team. Then, in the second week of March, we had to pivot and start working from home. As an organisation with flexible work practices, this wasn’t new but the fact that we didn’t know how long it could go for, made me very anxious. Anyway, we adapted to working from home indefinitely and I was challenged on many levels. I had to hold it together for my team while also taking on added responsibilities. Luckily for me, I work with the most awesome people and my manager was fantastic too. But then, in September, I was told my role along with other team leader roles across the country, was being made redundant. I agreed to take a junior role temporarily while continuing to look for other jobs. I also applied for a national role within the organisation and after a gruelling interview {which I was certain I’d bombed!}, I got the role and started a new role at the end of October. To say it’s been a rollercoaster of a year work-wise would be an understatement. That said, I do really like the organisation I work for and I’m glad I didn’t have to leave!

Reading in 2020

Although I started 2020 with reading challenges in mind, once lockdown hit, my concentration levels were very poor and I decided to quit all challenges except the Goodreads challenge. I had set a goal to read 46 books and ended up with 81 {82, if finish my last book in the next few hours!}. I didn’t post book reviews on the blog this year but chose Instagram instead. However, I did do a round-up of my top 5 fiction, nonfiction and YA reads for the year.

Writing in 2020

I didn’t write as much as I would have liked this year. I managed to submit a couple of short stories with no result or feedback. I tried to start NaNoWriMo but it also happened to be around the time of starting the new role which meant I didn’t have enough brain space for writing. I did however, get an honourable mention for an essay I submitted for YeahWrite’s Super Challenge and for that, I am truly grateful!

Relationships in 2020

2020 was all about social distancing. But for me, it also made connections more important than ever. I tried to make new connections in my local area while also focussing on the friends I already have. Some bonds were strengthened and some new bonds were formed. During a year where everyone was under pressure, I learnt there were some people I could rely on no matter what. For them, I am truly grateful. My parents and my sister managed to check-in and support from afar. It’s disheartening to not know when I’ll see them next. I dated a bit on and off but then took a break when my mental health deteriorated. Dating is tough! But I guess given my intention for the year, it made sense to give it a shot.

Health in 2020

Given Covid this year, physical health was on the top of everyone’s minds. Fortunately for me, physically my health was good. I am also fortunate to feel at my strongest physically as the year comes to a close. My mental health, however, didn’t fare too well this year. While I thought I was coping, mid-year, the black dog hit. It took a massive spiral for me to eventually reach out and ask for help. That involved telling a few trusted friends and also making sure I found a therapist. I started with weekly sessions {yes, it was that bad} and fortunately, from October went down to monthly. I’m in a better headspace than where I was mid-year but also very mindful of how much hard work it has taken and how much hard work it’s going to continue to take to get better. I am super grateful to have found a good psychologist and more importantly, to be able to access one.

Lessons from 2020

2020 has been a challenging year. And yet, there were lots of lessons I learnt. I learnt to take it one day at a time. I learnt that it’s important to have connections that are meaningful and deep. I explored my neighbourhood and took joy in nature. I learnt that while I missed live gigs, I could still lose myself in the comforting music of my favourite artists. I learnt I could still pursue the joy of reading at a pace that suited me depending on my mental state at the time. I learnt to continue to enjoy the little things – smiles from strangers, daily coffees, chats with the baristas, cat cuddles, smelling the ocean. I learnt I am capable at pivoting massively in the workplace. I learnt what it’s like to work for an organisation that’s not toxic and that it’s going to be hard to work anywhere else after this. I learnt I need to prioritise myself and look after my mental health and my needs before I can help others although this is still a work-in-progress. I learnt I need to ask for help when I need it and that connections and empathy from others make the biggest difference. I learnt I need to give and be there for others too.

So yes, 2020 hasn’t been a great year. And still, there has been a lot to be grateful for.

2021 is not going to give us any miraculous changes. But surely, if we could survive 2020, we can survive anything, right?

How was 2020 for you?

Do share!

***Linking with Vidya for her monthly Gratitude Circle***

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  • Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out
    1 January 2021 at 4:18 pm

    It’s been a challenging year for you, but you have done great! Congratulations!
    Wishing you a happy and healthy new year

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  • Deborah Cook
    2 January 2021 at 12:15 pm

    I’m not sure if I knew about the work saga but I love that you enjoy working there and have a new role. Congratulations! I also appreciate your honesty about depression. I tend to joke a little about mine but don’t open up much about it on my blog yet know how helpful it is when others do.
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    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      2 January 2021 at 1:04 pm

      September-October was a bit of a roller coaster with work. Couldn’t discuss anything publicly for a while either. But yeah, thankfully things worked out. As for the depression, I guess I’ve limited how much I do talk about it now compared to the first time it happened in 2015. But I guess I also believe in wanting to be authentic here but with boundaries and that my life is not just the highlight reel everyone sees on socials.

  • Joanne+Tracey
    2 January 2021 at 1:44 pm

    It was certainly challenging in many ways, and yet there were also bright spots – but hindsight is a fabulous thing and grants more perspective than you see when you’re in the middle of it. I truly admire your openness regarding your mental health – it’s something we have to talk about.

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  • Soumya
    6 January 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Congrats on the work front, Sanch! So glad you didn’t give up on the company.

    I expected my reading to fare poorly too because I just couldn’t focus in March and April. Then things improved and ended up reading more than twice of what I had initially planned. Just like you, I stuck to Instagram for book reviews and did not review much on the blog. Writing took a hit too as other things like mental and physical health took precedence.

    Take care of your mental health, Sanch. I know I don’t have to tell you this, but that is all we need to focus on. Look around you and the people you talk often to. Even if you get a hint of toxicity, cut them out! They take you down more than you can think. I’ve been doing that often this year and it has helped me immensely. Hope it works for you too! I’m here if you ever want to talk about anything <3

    Wishing you a sorted, healthy, happy new year!

    Much love!
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