2020: A Retrospective

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.

Vladimir Nabokov

This year, for myself, has been one of change. My daughter was born, we moved house, a global pandemic has made us stay in that house, and I, like many others, have had to transition to working from home more often than before.

Firstly, my daughter. I never would have thought that I could bond with someone as much as my wife, but hormones and her incredible drive to work out how things work have driven her deep into the centre of my heart. It has been an absolute joy watching her grow and explore.

Secondly, the house. We have bought an old farmhouse that was my wife’s families and have begun the (most likely decades) long process of modifying it for our needs. I’ve learned the importance of roofs and damp proofing, and I think the workshop and micro grid infrastructure will have to wait its turn as we work through the home equivalent of Maslow’s Hierarchy.

Thirdly, the pandemic and the changes it has wrought. I have been in the privileged position of living in the countryside, owning my business, and having that business be in packaging and supply chain. As such we did not need to furlough anyone, had plenty of space for walks, and managed to avoid life draining commutes. While many people have not been able to meet our daughter, it has given her a wonderful year of structure with which to explore the world with. The extra time I have been able to spend with my family has made all the the problems balance out, and I hope this pandemic will permanently alter the workplace expectations of millions.

Finally, although not signposted in the introduction, I’d like to revisit self learning with a growing toddler. As the number of naps have reduced, and as the number of critical jobs for the house and her development have grown, I’ve found that the time I have free for learning has been completely overrun. I do have free time, but it is normally at 10pm when everyone is asleep, I can’t do jobs because of the noise, but I’m to burnt out to think! So as an experiment this coming year, I’m going to put aside 1 hour at the weekend, between 10-11am for learning. My daughter is normally asleep at this point and having a known quantity to work with should keep me focused. Additionally, any learning that is “work” focused, will be done in work hours. I will keep the Learning site page up to date with progress.

Reader, I hope your 2020 avoided tragedy and has allowed you the time and space to breath, plan, and enjoy the coming years.

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