My 2020 End-of-Year Review

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Hands up who had survive a global pandemic and economic meltdown in their goals for 2020? I know I didn’t. That said, I’ve had a mixed year, but overall it was good. I know that sounds bad when my mother died, school sucked, and my paid work was inconsistent. I learned a lot about lots of things, including myself. There were other things too, but sorry: you don’t get all of my life on here.

But it’s now time for the fourth annual end-of-year review post. Fourth! Wow, is this my longest commitment? Let’s not answer that and move on to the questions.

What’s the most interesting thing you learnt this year?

This may be the first question, but I answered it last. I even phoned a friend. Well, I messaged Nelle. She suggested something about contagion vectors. While true, the pandemic prompted lots of science learnings that are definitely interesting, there’s so much more out there.

So I went with learning that octopus are jerks.

Really, they are. They are highly creative, intelligent underwater jerks. Check out this video of a punching octopus.

Here’s the research that says it appears octopuses do it out of spite.

Did you finish all of your tasks this year?

I finished them last year? Was I drunk or half-asleep when I wrote that? I finished grad school, albeit at a different university and with what that university is referring to as a “lesser degree”. I wasn’t learning much that wasn’t covered in my undergrad and timetables weren’t conducive and there were a lot of factors for switching things around. I’m glad I did. I have an official academic transcript saying course complete, but they aren’t conferring any degrees until the next ceremony, which is probably April.

The biggest task I need to finish is re-certifying for Google Analytics. I keep getting distracted with things like this blog. I also have six books marked as “currently reading” that I should finish. Should, because I may have requested the first in The Witcher series from the library AND just started Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. But they are soo good.

What’s your favourite achievement of 2020?

Last year it was meeting my tiny but just achievable GoodReads goal. I met it again this year (same tiny goal and read slightly more). I think my favourite achievement though is deciding to drop back to the “lesser degree”. While I placed so much focus on school and made it a huge part of my life, I’m proud of myself for recognising it wasn’t working and it was costing me more in time, money and stress than I could get benefit. So it’s gone and I am much happier and learning more useful things.

What are your goals for 2021?

Let’s focus on reading goals for 2021. I know we’re all like to think the bad is constrained to 2020, but that’s impossible. So, let’s go back to my old reading goal of a book each week.

For a recap on last year, I missed both goals. My academic focus changed to passes not GPAs, and an injury has put a stop to me running, possibly forever.

Biggest Realisation?

2019’s realisation was my strength. I think for 2020 it has to be realising what matters and what doesn’t and that a lot of things fit in the doesn’t matter pile.

Favourite Book?

Must it be only one? Lobizona by Romina Garber was amazing. I loved the mix of fantasy and human world with the Latino culture and Argentine mythologies mixing. Then there was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I’m scheduling the review for next week, but I’m at the stage where I know I’ll love anything that woman writes. Even a shopping list.

OK, I stopped at two but Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland gets a special commendation.

Least favourite book?

Reading Swiss Family Robinson in 2019 made last year’s nomination for worst book easy. I still shudder. I’m looking over my GoodReads list for the year; may I choose my strategic management text? I read a few good books that I didn’t enjoy, but it feels unfair to declare them worst.

Are there any books you started this year you need to finish?

I must admit the two from last year are still unread. There’s also a re-read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in progress. I should finish a content marketing book and The Last Wish (the first in The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski) should arrive in the Libby app tomorrow. Technically, I haven’t started that one, but I may finish it by New Year’s Eve.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

No, but I also haven’t been looking. Any suggestions?

Have you already made reading plans for 2021?

I did earlier in my goals: 52 books for 2021. I want to add more business and economics books (not academic texts, useful books) so there’ll be more variety.

OK, there’s the end-of-year review for 2020. Here are the last few years so you can laugh at how wrong I get it.
2019 End-of-Year Review
2018 End-of-Year Review
2017 End-of-Year Review

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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More about Bianca

Bianca Smith is often asked which of her homes she prefers: Melbourne or Seattle? She thinks both have their benefits, Melbourne for coffee and Seattle for poke. Both are bookish. However, she's in Melbourne reading away. Bianca is a digital marketer by day and reads mainly young adult and fantasy novels.

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