Hindsight is 2020
It’s the last day of 2020 (now Jan 1, 2021), and I was just thinking about how this year has gone for me and the rest of the world. I’ve thought about how the world has endured so much because of covid-19. I also thought about the good things that happened this year. Can we say that 2020 was a bad year for all of us?
I don’t think so. This year has been tough, but to say it was overall bad, to me, is just letting the negativity take over. I know 2020 has been rough. It hasn’t been easy at all, that’s for sure. Here are a few things that I’ve experienced in 2020 that are on the not so good end.
- In May, I was bit by a dog while delivering packages for my job, and it hurt like hell. The dog’s teeth broke the skin and drew blood. My manager was not very helpful when I reported it, and he didn’t even follow up with me after to see if I was healing okay. That’s alright. I did everything I needed to do and found out that there was no rabies risk. I’m all healed up now with just a small scar and maybe a little PTSD when I come across an intimidating dog.
- In June, I got into a car accident. A woman ran a red light from my right while I was turning left just after my traffic light turned green. My car was messed up pretty bad but I was injury-free. She had car insurance which made things easy for repairs. My car was fixed within the next month while I drove around in a rental. No biggie. Nobody was hurt and life went on.
- In July, I went on my first mountain biking excursion with my good friend Kyle. I had a really fun time pedaling in all the rough terrain. It was everything I expected. It was super challenging, but the most fun I had in a while. About 1/3 of the way into the trail, I flipped head first over my handlebars and slid headfirst down a hill. I had quite a few scrapes and it was just a little bit bloody. I got back up, brushed off the dirt, and we started pedaling along again. I finished the ride that day, but the next day I was extremely sore – AND I had poison ivy/oak on my forearm. This lasted for weeks but it finally went away. I haven’t mountain biked since, but I look forward to going again next summer.
- At the end of August, I was fired from my delivery job for low productivity levels as a result of having issues breathing on a hot summer’s day with a mask on. I could blame it on covid-19. I could blame it on the high heat. I could also blame it on having a deviated septum. I did blame it on all of that, but my manager could not care less. After I clocked out that day, my manager confronted me as I was walking to my car. The conversation didn’t go too well, and he terminated me from employment. I didn’t like this job very well, so I would say he did me a favor as I wasn’t strong enough to quit and move on anyway.
- Then September came and my grandpa was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. This was the most horrible news of all. My family was devastated. Life just isn’t the same anymore after hearing this news. But, we are all surviving and taking care of him the best we can to this day. News like this forces us to be extremely grateful for every moment we have left with grandpa. He doesn’t have a lot of time left according to the doctor, so we have no choice but to accept his fate.
- In October, things got a little worse. My whole family contracted covid-19. My mom, aunt, grandma, grandpa, and me. My aunt and my grandpa had the worst symptoms while my mom and grandma, who have COPD, had the most minor symptoms. Grandpa was the only one who was hospitalized, but he made it out! Grandpa, with pancreatic cancer, survived covid! He did, however, end up with some blood clots, but with medication, those have gone away. My mom and I lost our taste and smell for a few weeks, but it’s back now, and we are doing well.
There we have it, a shortlist of the worst things that have happened in 2020 for me and my family. We could all do without these experiences, but I’m certain that it has all made us stronger overall. Now, here are some good things that have happened this year for me.
- At the start of the year, I sold my motorcycle which helped me pay off 1 credit card and a small chunk of another. I’ll miss the bike but I am striving to be debt-free. I have a long way to go, but this was a huge step for me.
- At the end of 2020, I paid off my Apple credit card to avoid a $500 interest before the zero-interest period runs out. This is another huge step for me to becoming debt-free.
- I moved into one of my grandpa’s houses during the summer to help lower my monthly expenses. Grandpa offered this to me over two years ago, but it took me until 2020 to realize that this was the right move for me to turn around my life
- In December, I had surgery to fix my deviated septum which helps me to be able to better breathe through my nose, FINALLY! After years of having issues, and then this whole face mask thing making things so much worse, I got it done. It took being fired from a job that led to being on unemployment that freed up time to get this done. I’m healing now, and I’m excited to be able to breathe better.
- I started this new blog! After two years of contemplating it, I finally decided to learn how to do this. I’m so excited about this new adventure. I wasn’t sure what to start with for my first post, but here I am recapping my 2020.
- I took my bipolar medication all year. I made a conscious decision back in February to start taking my meds again to prevent myself from having a third manic episode during the summer. It was a success! I did not become manic, but it was not just the medication.
It was my every day efforts to pay attention to my mood. It was a reminder to take the medication that I had set on my phone every night until it became second nature. It was the meditation I did more than I ever have in any given year. It was the healing through making art that kept me sane. It was the meticulous planning and focus on paying down my debt. It was that tough decision to move into one of my grandpa’s houses to lower my monthly expenses. It was the almost daily personal checking in with myself through journaling.
I made my mental health my number one priority this year. At no time in my life in the previous years did I make my mental health my main focus. When I made the intentional effort to put my beautifully bipolar mind at the forefront, I survived a dog bite, a car accident, a mountain biking accident, a job loss, covid-19, and the sad news that my grandpa’s life was going to end a lot sooner than expected because of pancreatic cancer.
And most importantly, I did not lose my mind. I did not become manic at any point, and I was able to go through all of these experiences with a whole new mindset. I was able to respond accordingly without reacting impulsively which usually leads to me making the circumstances of my life way worse.
I made it through 2020. Some of it was good, some of it bad. I endured a lot, and I am prepared to go through 2021 with the same mindset. I know this year will be another tough year, and I know that it will have its unique challenges. I am prepared to go through these challenges with this new blog. Happy new year! I hope you have a better year than in 2020.
What are some of your experiences with 2020 and how did you cope? Comment below.