Thank god that’s over

So it’s a new year.

I’m seeing tons of retrospectives on the year 2020 on my social media sites. Yes, the year was rough and disappointing in so very many respects. The biggest for me was postponing my retirement for another year as I attempted to navigate tying up loose ends and finding ways to salvage projects that were interrupted in response to COVID-19. While I was disappointed that I needed to put off retirement, I will end up increasing my pension and leaving more “cleanly.” Those are not bad things.

Most importantly, I learned that it was okay to let some things go. 

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While most can agree that 2020 will go down as one of those “dumpster fire” years, there were also some good things that happened that I’m grateful for as we dip our toe into the new year. 

  • I lost weight, mostly on its own. It was only 25 lbs. since March, but it is 50 lbs. less than when I was working out with a trainer in 2018 and nearly 40 lbs. less than when I did a bike tour in 2019. This loss occurred during a particularly challenging time and with no dietary restrictions. I think that it will likely be long lasting because the changes I made are sustainable, long-term. I feel like I’m re-balanced in this aspect of my life.
  • I started swimming consistently and got a little fitter and faster. I have lots more potential for increased speed as I add in things like flip turns and starts to regular workouts. 
  • I’m in a better state of fitness to start bike training in the spring for our tour in the summer. 
  • I was able to get my damaged bike frame replaced! There were cracks in my relatively new carbon frame and the company honored its warranty. I only paid $75 for the rebuild. 
  • I moved my blog in fits and starts. I now have a better idea of where I want to go with this and plan to discuss more about life transitions in the future. I came across a book “The Passion Paradox” that mirrors and validates some beliefs I have about “following one’s passions” — and being able to step away from them when it becomes time to do so. This has helped change my perspective on retiring early.
  • I reached some financial goals for my retirement account. I’m hopeful that the upward trend continues or is at least maintained. 
  • I moved further toward my goal of retiring in 2021. No matter what happens with the manuscripts and reports, I will retire before December. 
  • Two projects came to a close. One voluntarily, the other by slow death. Both situations are going to be okay. 
  • We got a new rescue dog — one that needed rescue after he sustained a gunshot injury at 6-months and had two surgeries to repair the damage. He’s doing well now and has recovered. We have learned that training a teenaged-dog is much more complicated than training a younger pup. But we are in it for the long haul. 

So despite a disastrous year in general, I made progress in places that were really important to me. Like most of us, I’m not in the place that I expected to be, but it’s not the worst situation.

Please let 2021 be better for all of us.

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