2020 resolutions revised: Incredible plot twist and the new normal

What an incredible 2020! One year ago nobody would have expected this, and now the whole world has normalized this “new normal”. A bat flu has crashed all world economies and united mankind for the research of a vaccine to overcome this new virus. I guess nobody had a pandemic in the apocalypse bingo for 2020. Nevertheless, I tried to make the most of this rollercoaster year and instead of grieving, I tried to accept what we’ve been given. In spite of the pandemic, interesting things happened at many levels. Following last year’s resolutions format (in text not in bullet points), I’ll review them as text as well.

During the month of January Corona was a thing in China but very few people were worried about it. Chinese people had the biggest hurdle, they could not go home for their new year. I celebrated the lunar/Chinese new year with some (Chinese) friends, prepared Chinese food, and watched Chinese TV. Nice evening indeed. During this month I also had farewell parties and packed my things to go to Australia. I got my climbing license (and forgot about it until now, I will probably need a refreshing course next time I climb). I created the website but didn’t do any work on it besides putting content in.

I lived in Perth (Australia) during February, March, and April. The flight was long and tiring but at the same time exciting. The workplace was nice, although a little empty (they were transitioning to new offices). I got to deepen my Keras/Tensorflow (and PyTorch later) skills but not as much in-depth as I wanted. After the first, or first and half months of me getting there they started implementing lockdowns and banning activities. However, before that, I managed to do many cool things! I got licensed in scuba diving and visited several diving locations, Rottnest island among them. I went surfing regularly on Saturdays, I didn’t become a professional but I managed to stand on the board regularly. It was a quite tiring activity. More than 90min of intense sport at once I would not recommend it. I did not join the toastmasters but I visited the immediate surroundings of Perth. I did quite a lot of socializing and dancing. Lured by the other activities the business idea died here.

In May nothing happened except that I flew back to Denmark to my new apartment in Copenhagen. My stay in Australia was completed, I could not travel within Australia so I went back to Denmark and “enjoyed” the danish lockdown. Surprisingly after landing, I saw some friends outdoors, some of the traveling rules or PCR tests were not yet implemented. Still early corona times. Summer arrived (June, July, and August). That training I had planned didn’t happen. People still were undecided about many things and I also choose (and became a late registration) not to join open water swimming. In September I didn’t buy the bike, and it’s probably not happening for a while now.

From October to the end of the year I didn’t train much. Lockdowns and regulations evolved all over Europe, nothing could be taken for certain. I went home during the summer and I choose not to visit friends during the fall. I did improve my bouldering skills to a decent level. We’ll see how my overall fitness holds now after the current lockdown.

I also had year-round goals. From the books, I had planned to read I completed some but not all. I managed to keep the quality of my inputs and outputs. I had little failures with Linkedin and TV shows at the end of the year. I improved my diligence for less appealing things, but there is still room for improvement. Although I joined yoga once a week during autumn, I did not meditate or stretch daily. But I managed to write here regularly 🙂 After checking now, I realized that this blog went back to more reflexive and deep philosophy posts (even though readers seem to appreciate other topics).

Life follows always its curse, and one cannot plan everything. On the unexpected side, I made a few new but good friends, in climbing, running and swimming but also at work. I finally finished and published the Harvard manuscript (we started 4 years ago?). I got co-authorship in two other papers in the Danish group where I do my PhD and my main paper seems to come to fruition. The method seems robust, the idea is interesting, and the results are good. I aim to send it to a journal soon enough. My Australian work is taking longer than expected but it also seems to be progressing, so I’m happy about it.

I finally managed to settle my US taxes, so in the following weeks, I’ll close my bank account there. I started learning lock picking. It is interesting to know the concepts and have some basic skills but I’m not good at it. I also learned the theory about mushroom cultivation and next year should be the practice year. Because of the increased home office and lockdowns, I tried new recipes (cakes and proper food). I even dared to bake a turkey for thanksgiving which turned out to be delicious. I made different kinds of wine and I even brew beer. The beer was a bit of a failure because I killed the yeast due to the high temperatures of the liquid but I saved it with baking yeast. Just before Christmas, I did turron and neules (typical Christmas sweets in some Spanish regions).

In conclusion, I consider I aimed for the stars and I managed the circumstances quite well. The adventure happened within the possible limits. In spite of what could have been, it has been a quite amazing year.

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