Goodbye 2020 - Hello 2021!

Saying goodbye to possibly the worst year ever, and moving into the new year. Thoughts on the past year, and ideas for the next.

    Wow. 2020. What a doozy. Who would have thought a year ago that we'd be where we are today? I'm extremely thankful that my job allowed me to work remotely for the most part, and I was able to feed on my introverted nature to mostly just avoid people, or going anywhere for that matter. I did see friends from time to time, and I did enjoy a few meals outside of the house, but for the most part, it was me, the wife, and all of the pets for most of 2020. Thinking back, 2020 isn't alone out there. I've recently come to the realization that we've said a few years recently were the "worst ever", and looked forward to a better upcoming year. Usually this is due to a large number of celebrity deaths, politics, or economic issues plaguing our lives. 2020 was a bit different though. Coronavirus kept us all on our toes. It forced us to take a look at our lives, and try to minimilize our contact with anyone outside of our protected bubble.

    I'm hoping that 2021 will be a little different. Not just a better year in general compared to the last, but by making a few changes to my world and the wake I leave behind as I move through life. I had some deep thoughts late in the year about things folks start to consider once they reach a certain age. This year, I'll be moving into my 44th year of existence, and while life has been good, filled with love, friends and many accomplishments - for the most part, I feel as if I've accomplished very little in the overall scope of life. If anything, 2020 just showed me how small my overall bubble actually is, and how comfy and cozy I've found myself within it. Looking behind me, I haven't left much of a wake at all - mostly just cruising above the surface of life, trying not to shake the boat, or the world around me. With the new year, I'm hoping to not only rock the boat, but jump out and go swimming for a bit in the ocean of life.

    Usually my "New Years Resolutions" are internally focused: get healthier, get my budget under control, improve myself through hobbies and various other educational pursuits. This year, while I will still be looking toward some of those same goals, my larger focus this year is going to be more outward in nature. While I will continue to invest in myself, and improving all that I can be - this year, I want to invest more in the relationships that surround me, and the world as a greater whole. My goal in 2021 will be to "Change the World". No - by investing, I'm not going to start randomly giving everyone money. Instead, I'm going to try and spend a lot more time and effort renewing relationship, reconnecting with former collegues and friends, and just growing my social circle as much as possible. It's not that I haven't been thinking of all of you - it's just a lack of time and energy that's prevented me from reaching out previously. With the shrunken bubble of last year, I want to do everything in my power to grow that bubble tenfold. That may just include text messages and reaching out via the internet. That may include phone and video calls. And once this pandemic is over, I plan to start hanging out and physically spending time with as many people as I can (budget withstanding, of course). I want to avoid repeating having 95% of my social contact with everyone through Facebook alone.

    But I can't change the world simply through renewed friendships. I've got to do something meaningful beyond just my social circle. My next hope is to go out and do more for the world itself, through volunteering, or some other activities that allow me to use my skills and capabilities to help others in the world. Maybe it will be helping out in a soup kitchen or doing something to help the community. Maybe it will consist of finally getting my YouTube channel off the ground, and sharing my knowledge of software development with the world, or possibly volunteering to teach coding classes for LaunchCode or some other similar organization. Something meaningful to give back to the community in some way shape or form.

    The biggest thing, however, goes to legacy. As a web developer, just about everything I've ever worked on in the last 20 years no longer exists. Works of art, lost to time and progress. Simply building websites for clients and work will not leave my footprint anywhere out there in the world. I'm hoping to change that in a few ways. I want to start doing a lot more content development. This could be, as mentioned above, finally putting time into my YouTube channel. It could include finally sitting down to write that novel I've been talking about for years. Or it could be working on some significant art project to either sell or have publically featured somewhere. All of these are ideas that I've had, but the scope in no where near limited to these alone. I just want something that I can look back at 20 years from now and say "I did that." Not something that was thrown together, or no effort was really put forth into - but something tangible and significant. This one I'm least sure how it will play out - but it's also one I'm most excited about seeing come to fruition.

    So, that's my plan for 2021. Losing weight and getting healthy have always been somewhat large and sometimes overwhelming goals - but I feel my plans for 2021 are some of my largest and most difficult yet. Will they all succeed and pan out, it's really too early to tell, and some of it requires the pandemic becoming less of a problem. Regardless - I'm hoping to put everything I've got into making all of this happen throughout 2021, and far into the rest of my life. It's just sad that it took a worldwide pandemic for me to realize how much I missed spending time and being with people out in the world. With 2021 - that's all going to change.

    Happy New Year everyone - and may 2021 bring good luck and good fortune to us all!