2020 Year in Review

Thought 2019 was my meh year. It still probably is. Would like to reset that year, actually. Because then, there would have probably been less losses for 2020, the year sh*t hit the fan.

The losses:

  • One of my closest uncles died of COVID.
  • Arya, my sister’s cat (the one we tried to adopt, but could not adapt to our clowder so she went back to my parents), died of sepsis before Christmas.
  • Many of my friends and relatives would get hospitalized every month.
  • LARO Conference 2020 was cancelled.
  • Many of my colleagues were given early retirement, so I lost valuable people in the work place.
  • Our church wedding, with the venue (including chapel, food, styling, accommodations) already fully paid, was cancelled.
  • Realizing that we should’ve just bought a house outside Metro Manila (Nuvali please) so that we could still get some fresh air, tree-lined views, while still getting all the amenities condos offer.
  • Did not travel at all. Not even for staycation. My uncle’s death made me fear enclosed, airconditioned spaces, that may be housing invisible viruses.
  • I miss dining out, where food would be served with pretty plating. Food delivery is good and all, but nothing beats the experience of food being eye candy as well.
  • I don’t mind living in isolation, but I do miss dinners with my colleagues where we can bounce random ideas off each other. Scheduling online meetings for bonding sessions feels so planned.
  • When you’re teaching, everything is easier to explain face-to-face. (I don’t miss traveling to work, though.)

The Gains:

  • I’ve reached my target body fat percentage since June, and I’ve been maintaining my health pretty well. I’ve only gained 2 pounds max during the holidays and quickly shedding them again.
  • The last of the injected medications from December wore off in April (I bled continuously for a month OMG), and then I got off the maintenance tablets in September.

  • Grew plants. Though only one became a miracle survivor, I’m still happy that it’s flourishing.
  • The cat clowder still has a faction in it (MinaMina, Artemis, and Makoto against Grandma Kirara), but at least they’re now all sleeping on the same bed during the day.

Projects Accomplished

Financial Goals
  • Learned YNAB, which helped me see how much our earning potential was, and how it was wasted on the wrong decisions of 2019. We’ll be bleeding funds until 2022 because of those decisions, but at least it’s a bit controlled now.
  • Learned the real difference between expense tracking and actual budgeting. Became intentional with our money.
  • Achieved zero credit card debt by May of 2020, and sustained it until present. This for me is a huge thing, because I used to forget to set aside funds for credit card payment until I’d be surprised by November when it’s time to clear them with our 13th month pay. Thank goodness, YNAB made credit card handling so easy.

Entertainment
  • I’ve only read 2 books in 2019 and that was the first time I did not hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge. This year, I hit 420% of my 2020 Reading Challenge.
  • Discovered the joy of Chinese danmei, thanks to the Velasco sisters. I grew up on Japanese BL manga and anime, but Chinese BL is a brave new world full of mind-expanding stuff. Probably because the authors never use their real names and tend to write about subversive themes that government would crack down on. 😂 Chinese BL covered so many different topics ranging from supernatural, to martial arts, to history, to politics. Now it feels like many Japanese BL are for babies.
  • Started a MyDramaList account because this is probably the year where I’ve seen the most number of Asian dramas.
  • I think this is my third year playing Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia. 😂

So yeah, my 2020 is more eventful than my 2019 despite it being quarantine (I mean, this is the first time I’ve been so busy with multiple big projects while still managing to consume so much media content), but I’m really hoping this pandemic would just end. Or at least let me go back to January 2019, so I could fix a few errors in our decisions. LOL.

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