It is hard to talk about 2020 without mentioning about Covid.
The virus has radically transform the way we live. It erased our plan to visit Australia (would have been my first) in June 2020 and my first speaking engagement in Taiwan planned for Feb 2020.
The lockdown during the initial part of the year was extremely challenging.
With the kids doing home-based learning in the morning, I become IT support during the day as they struggle to get learning done on their iPads. The legacy platform does not always work well on mobile devices.
This is over and above the quiet time I need to do my own work (2 years and going with PeopleStrong).
Running became a frequency since outdoor exercise is one way to get out of the house (that and supermarketing).
Overall I became very domesticated and remained so since the office at WeWork was dropped during the earlier part of the year.
Some other high and low points of 2020:
- My dog of 13 years passed away in June 2020. It still hurts when I think about him. He wasn’t my choice to buy as I did not want to be responsible for another life at that point in time. But he became a good friend and companion. Although the kids arriving over the years robbed him of our time, the kids also grew onto him. Both my older kids also cried their eyes out at his funeral. I am grateful of all the memories he brought to my life. I still miss him and will continue to.
- Family trip to Bali in Feb. This happened a week before Bali have their first case and subsequently went into lockdown mode. We went there with another family from the wife’s side and stayed in a huge bungalow that come with its own pool. My last trip to Bali was just after the bombing and this was back in 2003. I spent 8 days there although not by choice. SQ launched A320 and they were doing test flights to 3 countries. I was going for Hong Kong but only Bali is available. And a 4D3N stretched longer and longer because return dates were limited. This time round we went to quite many places, mostly kids friendly and some instagram-friendly too. Although marred by the traumatic event when a monkey at a temple snatched my son’s glasses and refuse to return (we had to pay the ranger there to give him a treat to give in), it was all fun especially with the water rafting that the kids still bug me to go back to again.
- From hot and humid Bali to cold and chilly Delhi, I was back in India almost a week later to participate in a WorkFest event that the company put together for the first time. Being a Singaporean, winter temperature is always sought after. I even experienced my first bon fire, in an open pub no less.
- Covid kicked in soon after and Zoom calls started to become the norm. I also started to gear up for a better call experience and may have gone a bit overboard. Beside having software like Krisp to fix the call quality, I bought a mic, green screen, reflector screen, ring light
- I got the best Father’s day present ever.
- I got more involved into politics and volunteered to help SDP in Bukit Batok. Although I am still active, the frequency has dropped a lot. The drive from Pasir Ris to Bukit Batok is just too much but still aiming to be visible at least once a quarter.
- During phase 1, I took up drawing and signed up for an online course. It is very therapeutic. Somewhat like meditation since you really got to focus. I hope to continue this just to work the creative side of my brain.
- With all the new sound equipment, it seem only natural to revisit my podcast. And I did just that and have arrived at episode 33
- Exercises went level up as weights at home and outdoor run gave way for (initially) F45 and now cardio workouts at Virgin Active.
- Beyond the three commentaries I wrote for CNA on working from home, Zoom and annual performance review, I also got to write a more personal post for TodayOnline about my experience driving for Uber some years ago.
- Read a total of 25 books this year, on my 26th now although it is a re-read from 2019. A few transformative ones would be Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (I gave up caffeine after the book), the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and How to American by Jimmy O Yang.
How has your 2020 been? Do a Past Year Review like I did. It is definitely more informed, valuable and actionable than doing another new year resolution that goes nowhere.