2020: The Year-End Review

Stasis, suspension, and treading-water.

In summary, that’s how 2020 felt. The COVID-19 year. Not a really great year.

But I’m not going to belittle that point in this year-end review. I’m going to keep it positive. I’m grateful for surviving this year without trauma (a blessing, given how traumatic the year was for so many folk). I have a strong sense of gratitude.

Best Overall Moment of 2020

Family stability.

Raising adoptive children with challenging pasts means choppy waters as you navigate them to adulthood.

2020 was the first year without any major crisis. Maybe the kids needed the extra bit of bonding (where we couldn’t leave the house), maybe maturity, maybe the magic combo of therapy + meds finally settled.

I’ll take it.

Best Project

Redoing the Chalet. A good pandemic project. With plenty of room to social distance while floating in the trees.

Best Professional Moment

I am immensely proud that Abre met the challenges of 2020 head-on. Being a startup in a crazy COVID economy is a rollercoaster ride. Being an EdTech startup even more so. Being a company that deeply cares about students, teachers, and staff made the struggle real.

It was hard. Our team committed and delivered.

Best Books (Non-Fiction)

Best Books (Fiction)

Honestly, 2020 was a bit of a bust when it came to fiction books. Nothing really hit a home-run. This was very much my fault. Too distracted by current events and short reads.

That said, a few that I enjoyed.

  • A Little Hatred was my first book by Joe Abercrombie. I loved his writing style and plan to work through all his books this year.
  • An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir was a fun rollick and a good fantasy series.
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow was a delightful story using magical realism.
  • The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsy is one the better science fiction writers currently. I can’t wait for his next novel.

Best Shows

The Leftovers. No question.

We finally subscribed to HBO (I know, pandemic time). This series completely captured Renee and me. By far one of the best TV shows ever made.

Normal People also captivated our attention.

I enjoyed season one of True Detective. A good story with great actors.

Best Concert

We attended one virtual concert this year, so it’s the winner! It also was quite good.

Darlingside. And the release of their new album.

Best Vacation

Young State Park of course! We still made it happen.

Best Date Moments

Renee and I managed to grab some wonderful dinner dates despite the world of Covid. Our favorite date moments involved (and continue to involve) getting lost at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (dinner, coffee, bookstore…be still our beating hearts).

Memorable Papi Moments

With Diego

Little man and I like to bond over movies. We had a fun afternoon where we were the only 2 people in the entire movie theater watching Tenet. We walked confused as heck, but enjoyed the action!

With Monica

Hours and hours of driving lessons! Seeing your eldest daughter gain her driver’s license is a parental milestone. Between getting her license and starting a job at Kroger, I am so very proud of her.

With Kelly

Headspace cuddle time. Kelly is our cuddler. And she likes meditation (is meditation cuddling a thing?).

Bring on 2021

That’s the wrap on 2020. Next up, a post on 2021 goals!

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