2020 in review
2020 looked like it was going to be an amazing year. I was expecting to make a lot of money, start at least one business, and travel a LOT…
Well you know what happened. Covid.
So instead, I got a job. Worked from home. And headed into what might’ve been a short depression. The year turned out really well in the end. But man, what a roller coaster it has been.
Timeline of Events
January I was working hard as hell, trying to keep it together running a small product team at a video infrastructure company.
February I was looking for new gigs and starting to worry about acquaintances getting increasingly hysterical online about this virus spreading around Asia. We still went out and saw friends.
March the lockdowns started. Now Sweden never locked down, but we were asked to keep their distance and wash their hands often. Well everyone not only did that, but most people went full on prepping mode, and quarantined at home. The capitol of Sweden even ran out of toilet paper, for some reason I still can’t understand. The place was a ghost town. I was really worried how this would hit the economy (people don’t have savings in socialist Sweden) so we did cautiously go out a few times and were shouted at by close friends… Despite following all recommendations from the public health authority. It was a strange month.
April was pretty much all closed. We were both working from home, which we usually do anyway, but the city was deserted. We did check into a luxury hotel for my birthday since all the hotel chains dumped their prices.
May finally brought the light back. We had some lovely sunny days during April, but in May it was finally getting Luke warm. I think the entire country celebrated finally being able to be outside, even being able to socialise (at a distance). I also started a job at a huge grocery chain, working on the in-house toolset to manage grocery stores. Turns out there was some confusion about what my role was supposed to be, more designer or more developer. But I didn’t know that until much later.
June was unusually warm, a wonderful summer month! I even went swimming on my lunch hour. We met friends outside, had a champagne tasting and spent some time in the archipelago. Oh, and I bought a hat.
July was full on summer. Since we can’t travel anywhere we took Mondays and Fridays off all of July and hung out with every friend that dared, and ate a lot of gelato.
August was unusually cold. We were at a couple of cray fish parties and I got very tired of video meetings. Actually it’s not the video that I had issues with, just unproductive meetings in general.
September was beautiful. But for us it was terribly sad, as Agnes father passed away suddenly. We spent as much time as we could with her family, but life can never be the same.
October had the last few warm days of the year. I tried to soak it all up. But it’s never enough. We had a beautiful, corona safe, funeral for Agnes father. I also had a health issue, with another blood clot appearing, despite eating blood thinners. Which isn’t great. And required some radical rethinking of my situation.
November was the month of change. To make time to work on my health, and my entrepreneurial things, I quit my job I only just started in May. It was a good job, with a good team. But I didn’t have my mind in a long term change process, and I needed something else. As if on cue, my friend Annelie asks me to join her company for a period to help out with some big technical projects. So I jump in at 80% time. Keeping 20% time to work on my own.
December became the cosiest month since my nephews discovered xmas. We celebrated Agnes’ birthday, every advent Sunday, and Christmas twice. The entire month was a blur of cozy Christmas celebrations.
What I Learned
Like every year, I’ve learned a lot. Too much to summarise effectively. But a few things have really stood out to me.
Alcohol is bullshit. I drink too much. Actually everybody does. We’ve had two sober months this year and I’ve always known I feel better without alcohol, but I didn’t know how big the difference was… It’s huge. So I’ve cut down to nearly nothing, and I’m really happy about it.
I’m old, and scared of success. I’ve been working on building my own projects and products since around the start of the millennium. But I’ve learned this year that I’m spending most of my time preparing and researching action instead of trying things. Well it’s time to change that. I want to create things, and life is ticking away.
How much risk is reasonable? My friend Annelie has a great mental model: how much risk would I take, if I were a Chinese entrepreneur? This really brings me clarity. I’m very under-leveraged. I should take on a lot more risk, and worry a lot less.
Sweden bores me. My best friends are international, I don’t like the climate here, not the natural one nor the intellectual one. So we’ve decided we’re moving to Berlin when the lockdowns end.
Health & Fitness
I put my money where my mouth is and paid an excellent trainer, and it has helped, but I’m also uncomfortably fat right now. I have nothing to blame but boredom.
My health is sadly not perfect. I’ve been getting more blood clots and I’m not a permanent high dose of blood thinners. It’s hard to know what this means. The doctors don’t really want to talk about what happens after something like this.
I’m probably not dying right now. Which is good. But I think this will kill me. And probably much earlier than I would have otherwise died. I need to act accordingly.