Lessons from 2020

I’ve talked before about my life as a recovering anorexic and perfectionist. One huge step in overcoming perfectionist/anorexic thinking came when I began to view failures as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than reflections on my value as a human being. Since starting to think that way, I’ve had many such growth opportunities, but never so many as in 2020.

With all the unexpected challenges 2020 threw at us came an avalanche of failures on my part. Oh my gosh, it was — continues to be — is — the greatest number of failures per day, week, month, or year probably in my entire life. I don’t say this as a way of denigrating myself, but to realistically describe the situation. I thrive and succeed based on routine, but even the words “routine” and “2020” hardly fit in a sentence together. Toss me into a new situation, like pretty much every day of 2020, and I’m pretty certain to fail at something in it. Continue Reading >>

A Day that Will Live in Infamy

Very few days I remember exactly what I was doing when a certain thing happened. I remember what I was doing when I heard on 9/11 that an airplane had flown into the first of the two towers. The days and weeks that followed stand out more clearly in my mind than many others, indelibly etched there by those shocking, traumatic events.

Add today’s attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters to that short list.

Before everything blew up, I was having not my greatest work day — I already cried once — but eventually managed to get on track and start accomplishing some real work. Then one of my coworkers sent me a message saying that protesters had started attacking the Capitol. I turned on NPR. Continue Reading >>

2020 Biking Summary

2020 ride summary: Look at that consistency!

Gosh, 2020 has been a year for riding (and everything). I started the year without biking at all: The first 18 days of January fell into the recovery window of my EIAE surgery. After the doctor cleared me to ride, I promptly quit running and delightedly resumed my regular bike commuting and weekend ride schedule. I felt out of shape, but thrilled with the apparent full functioning of my left leg.

I planned to spend the year pursuing my highest level of fitness since 2016, shooting for PRs and faster overall times. I could hardly wait to try Passport 2 Pain again with two fully functional legs! In a fit of optimism, I signed up for RAMROD, even though I’d likely ride it alone. This was my year! Continue Reading >>

Dismal Ride With a Dash of the Delightful

I don’t often regret my bike rides. Many times it comes to the point where I have to change into biking gear and I really don’t feel like it, but I force myself to change and go out, and by the time I get home I’m glad I did. Today was not one of those days. (If that doesn’t cue you in, I’m going to complain about my ride today. Probably you want to skip this post since I’m venting.)

Today nothing went wrong — no accident, no mechanicals, no reasonable weather complaints (saying “it’s cold” in December seems excessively whiny), not even a flat tire. But before leaving, the kiddo and I spent several delightful hours at the dazzling Tolt-Macdonald Park and we didn’t get home until midafternoon. I inhaled a couple pieces of cold leftover pizza and salad and hit the road. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic Movie Night

Before COVID times, we got together with a group of friends every month to watch a movie, share snacks, and just chat and connect.

Of course, pandemic restrictions have completely shut that down. We initially couldn’t figure out how to get together with people, and we put movie nights on hold along with nearly everything else. But at Christmas, we always watch A Muppet Christmas Carol on our movie night. It’s usually such a joyful evening, with kids joining us as we watch this excellent and familiar movie, sing along, even quote along. Continue Reading >>

Christmas 2020

This year has taught me to expect very little. If it snows, expect a snowball thrown at the window to break the glass.

Even before the pandemic, I’d already accepted that I’m not that person who’s ready with a huge stack of Christmas cards, crispy sprinkle-covered cookies, seasonal decorations, or beautifully wrapped gifts. I’d describe myself as a functional Christmas person. I don’t send cards; I don’t bake cookies; I decorate minimally; and I wrap gifts, but never beautifully. We celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Christ, and that doesn’t need a bunch of extra trappings. Which is good, because trappings aren’t happening. Continue Reading >>

A True Work From Home Moment

Today I had the most epic “the chaos of working from home” moment of this entire pandemic.

Before you can appreciate the chaos of the experience, let’s take minute to envision my typical day working from home. I have office space in our spare bedroom, while Ian retreats to his own man-cave office for the workday. Benji interrupts me frequently, particularly during school days, but also I often get 30- to 90-minute stretches of uninterrupted time when I can focus.

During those stretches, I really appreciate the superiority of my home office compared with my cubicle at work. Most of all, when nobody interrupts me, I work in a fairly quiet environment, not hearing constant distracting background conversations nearly as much as in the office. I play music on speakers, sparing my ears the experience of eight hours of earbuds. Continue Reading >>