Best of 2020

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It’s still November, and the year isn’t over. But as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, this year kinda sucked.

So here are some of the things that clearly did not suck in my 2020. Maybe there’s still more to add, but I wouldn’t take any one of these things away.

Best Album = “Lock-in” Fat Freddy’s Drop
Okay, if you know me you know I’m a sucker for these guys. But this is a really good live album any way you slice it, and I wanted to include it here so you’d have a soundtrack for the rest of this post ;)

Best Purchase = Synology NAS
For a while this blog was just about me trying to get my tech together. Getting off of Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. Getting onto Linux, Nextcloud, FreeNAS. Well, my friends, the simple answer to everything was $1200 away. And had I known how much time and effort and expense it would take me to still not get the results I was looking for, I would have put that thousand bucks on a credit card in a heartbeat. If you want your own automated data backup, your own webserver, your own music/video server, your own email/calendar/contacts host, your own VPN, your own video transcoder, your own data deduplication, your own collaborative document sharing platform, your own cloud…look no further than the commercially available Synology platform. I am seriously impressed. And a bit ashamed that it took me so long to give in and go this direction. I got the DS920+ and four 5TB hard drives in a RAID 10 setup in July, and I haven’t looked back. Best purchase, hands down.

Best Investment = Palram “Bella” 8×20 greenhouse
Okay, well then there’s my greenhouse. I had to give this a different category because it’s a renewable resource, not a one-time expense. Though it was an initial and a significant one-time expense. I have the ability to grow my own food now. I don’t have any extensive skills or knowledge yet, but over the next year or two this will change. Growing your own food was one of those pandemic-response kind of actions that truly has no downside. No matter what happens in the world or doesn’t, I’ll be very happy to grow some of my own food. I grew up being barefoot in a garden a lot of the time. It’s happy-making for me :) It’s also a critical life skill in case of emergency. And where I live in Utah the growing seasons (we have two) are both pretty short. This greenhouse can extend both ends, and maybe someday even handle the middles. I’m feeling great about the investment I’ve made in my future! And I’m already enjoying the rewards.

Best Decision = Plant-based diet
I’ve written a bit about the diet change I made at the beginning of the year. It was a challenge at first, sure. But it was MUCH less of a challenge than I expected, and has had far more benefits than I expected too. My new relationship to food is flexible, yet solid. It has simplified my life, improved my body, decreased my risk, and increased my awareness. Man, why didn’t I do this years ago?

Best Surprise = full-time employee (for someone else’s company)
I didn’t want to do this. This was one of those “kicking and screaming” kinds of things that took me 9-months to warm up to. But I am so very, very grateful to be where I am now! Working for ConvaTec in the role I’m in ain’t easy, and it’s not nearly as sexy as I talked myself into thinking it was when I accepted the offer. Still, as someone who hasn’t had a full-time employee job since…um, ever? This is pretty sweet. I haven’t met one of the 10,000 people I work with in person — and that might not ever need to happen. I’m no longer on the entrepreneurship roller coaster, getting penalized at every financial turn. I’m still learning a ton and growing by leaps and bounds, and though I’m not entirely in charge of my own schedule, in practice I’m more in control than I’ve ever been. With less hassle. This is not where I saw myself heading at the beginning of 2020. By the end of this year, I’m glad I didn’t know and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Best Trip = Yellowstone
Yeah, okay this one is kinda easy because I didn’t go many places this year. But I’d never been to Yellowstone before and especially after the weirdness of 2020, going someplace where the epic geology and stunning nature just don’t give a f*** was a fantastic thing to do. The excuse for this trip was my partner Denise’s birthday. I made sure she had a very nice birthday. but I had an incredible time myself :)

On this Thanksgiving day, it’s a great time to reflect. What are some of your best “bests” for this year? Put’em in the comments, I’d love to know.

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