2020, a Year in Review

Well what a year that was! Not quite the one I was expecting to have that’s for sure. We didn’t get to go on the holidays we had planned but we got to see a lot more of our granddaughter which was more than adequate compensation.

For me the adjustment due to the pandemic wasn’t as great as it was for others. For a start I have been working from home for the last ten years already so when we were locked down and forced to work from home it was a bonus as, at last, I had some company. One of the things I haven’t enjoyed working from home was not having people around me. Lockdown meant I had my wife at home to talk to even if that wasn’t so great for her!

This is the third year that I have done a recap of the year (you can read 2018 and 2019‘s reports). It feels a little bit like a school report this years as in a number of places I “could do better”.

Once again these figures have been culled from a number of sources including Exist, last.fm, Audible, Swarm, RescueTime and a couple of spreadsheets that I keep.

Healthily

Despite exercise being one of the only things that you can do in lockdown and despite the number of laps of the local streets I did pushing a pram I still managed to do less steps this year than last. I spent less time in bed too down 23 days from 98 – where did all that extra time go? I have no idea.

Weight remained static and I ended the year exactly where I started which, I suppose, is fine but I had hoped to trim off another half stone. Maybe this year?

Bookishly

I had been listening to more and more audio books but this year has put paid to that because I have been walking less on my own. It isn’t really very friendly to stick headphones in when out walking with others I’ve found!

Despite this drop off in audio books I actually read almost as many books overall this year as I did last. There were a few highlights in this and, notably, a couple of stand out non-fiction books. The first of these was “Broken Greek” by Pete Paphidis and Liam Newton’s “10cc: The Worst Band in the World”. On the fiction front there were a couple of new releases from favourite authors Martin Cruiz-Smith and Robert Harris. I have also started re-reading the Iain Banks books which I love.

The full list of books I read can be found here.

Musically

Yawn, yawn, same old, same old. But do you know what? I don’t care. I love the music that I am listening to and it really helps me get through the days. Music has always been some sort of therapy to me and has real ability to affect my mood. And I was doing a lot more of it in 2020 – 36% more in fact which, given the amount of vinyl I listened to as well, was no mean feat.

New music was higher this year too thanks in part to a subscription the music label Last Night from Glasgow. I also received a surprise record from my younger son for my birthday who showed just how well he knew me as it was just perfect and I have listened to it a lot.

As this point in the review I would normally talk about the gigs that I have attended but they were almost all completely wiped out. Most have been rearranged for later this year so it will be interesting to see how many of those end up going ahead. I did watch a number of gigs online which was an enjoyable distraction but not the same as being there.

Moviely

I couldn’t be bothered to record any films I watched this year so there’s no data.

Productively

Perhaps unsurprisingly productivity took a bit of a hit this year. Given that for much of 2020 we were all living with the consequences of a global pandemic it isn’t surprising that it occupied my thoughts and certainly many of the conversations I had.

One slight oddity was that RescueTime has marked my use of the Microsoft Teams app as unproductive. I’m not sure if it is being ironic or providing some sort of commentary on the usefulness of video calling but without it I wouldn’t have been able to be in touch with many of my clients.

Once again my life was ruled by the excellent Remember the Milk although my granddaughter is giving it a good run for its money these days! I really don’t know how people manage without a great task management system. I know that I would be lost.

Socially

That my most popular tweet in 2020 was lockdown related is no great surprise but that it was about an abundance of plastic bags was more of a shock. However, tweeting about my very much first world problem did also yield a solution (make carrier bag samosas) and restored my faith in social media which is dominated so much of the time with negativity.

And Finally…

So there it is my 2020 in numbers and graphs. And here, according to Exist, is my average day.