Dec 30, 2020

2020 - Review

 Continuing my annual ritual of reflecting on the year gone by, I sat down this morning to think about my 2020.

Early in Jan, K had been on a business trip to the US. He bought a gift for D - a cooperative strategy board game that all of us can play together as a family. Little did we know that this game would become a reality for all of us on the planet in 2020. Yes, the board game is called Pandemic. In the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we played this game of Pandemic so many times, taking up roles of a Quarantine Specialist, Contingency planner, Medic, Researcher, etc.

Just like everyone else, I faced times of uncertainty and stress this year in various contexts, but as I look back, there are aspects that I'm extremely grateful for.

Similar to the previous years, let me start off the review with my reading list. Given the various other priorities and responsibilities, reading took a backseat this year. This reflects in the number of books I have read so far. As always, I have listed down only the books I have completed, not the books half-read or in progress.

  1. When coffee and kale compete by Alan Klement
  2. Ultimate grandmother hacks by Kavita Devgan
  3. Authentic content marketing by George Kao
  4. Authentic business by George Kao
  5. Inna naarpadhu iniyavai naarpadhu by Dr. Sivaraman
  6. Many lives, many masters by Brian Weiss
  7. Ayurveda - The Science of Self Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad

Except for a short weekend trip to Chikmagalur in early March, there weren't any travel/trips for the rest of the year. BUT we did a lot of imaginary vacations and trips, thanks to D. She turned our home into a new planet, forest, airport, cruise, a spaceship, and more.

One of the courses on Coursera that I enjoyed this year is "The Science of well-being". Well structured and lots of relevant takeaways. Again, this is the ONLY course that I managed to complete this year. There are other courses that I either stopped midway or in progress.

From a professional standpoint, 2020 started with me working as a product management consultant for a data analytics startup. It was an interesting experience defining the long term product strategy, but had to be cut short in May due to Covid. I was hoping that I would get deeper into machine learning this year but something even better happened. I went deeper into self-learning, reflection, questioning, and introspection. 

This shift happened thanks to OMW (Online Minimalism workshop). My intention verb for 2020 was MINIMIZE. Early in March, I just stumbled upon a post on Instagram from Durgesh Nandhini. I didn't know much about the scope of the workshop. Since MINIMIZE was my intention verb for the year, I just went with my intuition and signed up. The last 10 months have been an enriching learning experience on so many aspects of life. I may not agree or follow everything that's being discussed BUT what made a difference is that I started to question more and I kept an open mind to listen, understand and interpret different points of view.

Questioning helped me connect with the magic power of Universe when answers started coming to me from unexpected people and sources. Trusting the universe has been one of my major realisations of 2020.

This self-reflection and questioning mode also made me analyze and articulate on various topics related to wellness. It was a special year for my blog (and Instagram account) as I pivoted over to sharing my perspectives on holistic wellness (and not just food).

Speaking of my blog, 2020 is the year I have written the maximum number of posts in my blogging journey since 2004. Writing almost every morning has become a ritual these days and I so look forward to it. 

Here's a list of 5 posts that are my favorites. 


How to slow down? 

How to stop seeking external validation? 

5 step process to follow during do-nothing moments 

The biggest spy 

2020 is also the year when I started doing online workshops on a couple of topics related to food. It was an interesting exercise, putting together the content for the presentations, designing the ppt and poster. The 2-hour workshops are one of the channels when I'm in my flow and I talk non-stop on packaged foods and nutrition labels. At the end of those 2-hour sessions, I feel so energized. Though the registrations were few (<10 per session), I kept at it for 6 months. I'm not sure if I would continue these two workshops in 2021. I might try something else, no plans as yet.

From a self-development perspective, I started many new habits this year. 

Thanks to Corona, it was home-cooked food completely for 10 months. I invested a significant amount of time in cooking, with minimal use of available ingredients especially in the months from March to May. 

Without a house-help for 6 months, it was quite a task to manage other household chores such as washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, etc. But we somehow managed by sharing the workload.

Complete home-cooked food, along with the other positive habits helped me reduce 3 kgs and most importantly, lose those stubborn inches around the tummy.

This year also blessed me with a few new friends with similar wavelengths, with whom I could easily connect to and can converse for hours at a stretch. 

2020 is also the year when K started to cook. He made many innovative and complex dishes that I would normally hesitate to try - ice-cream, malai kofta, shahi paneer, pesto pasta to name a few.

With education shifting online this year, D's online classes began at the end of June. There were many challenges initially, but she has now settled into a routine. 

From Oct, elderly care also got added to our list of responsibilities. Appa had to undergo a medical procedure and he stayed with us for a couple of months. My in-laws are now staying with me and they also have some health issues to be addressed.

There were many challenges this year, but what kept me sane was the focus on improving my habits and routines - things that are under my control. I'm extremely grateful for the fact that 2020 helped me experience slowdown and focus on my priorities.

Here's wishing everyone a very happy, peaceful, and joyous New Year 2021!

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