A Reflection On 2020

What a year it's been.

2020 has been a bad year for us all. We’ve each had our own personal battles going on on top of a shared storm that has uniquely challenged each of us. I don’t wish to dwell on the bad, we’ve all had ample time to live it, it just seems fitting to address it since it engulfed so much of the year.

Hidden among the chaos of this year were pockets of positivity and growth. The Earth as a whole had a chance to recover during the shutdowns in April. People began looking into new hobbies during their newly found time (mostly talking about the increased interest in making sourdough bread). Some took advantage of the break to refine personal or professional skills. And others were compelled to continue their normal routine; many of whom, unfortunately, didn’t have a choice. In a way it was exciting to see the rapid changes that were going about; some good, some bad. Personally, I was lucky enough to get a little bit of a reprieve and was able to focus on my well-being.

In the earlier parts of the year my focus turned more on getting caught up on media I had been procrastinating on seeing. For the month of April it was a mix of movies, video games with friends (Jackbox games really helped with morale and keeping in touch with friends) and jigsaw puzzles. When things began slowly opening back up I rediscovered my love for parks and walks through nature. Kate and I began trying to visit as many parks as we could during our free time.

A golden flower with dramatic clouds in the background.
Black and white leaf.
A group of purple flowers sprouting from a branch.

From May til Octoberish we checked maps for places to go and trails to hike. Many of which were hidden gems located close to home that became instant favorites and others were day trips to the more outer reaches of Ohio. Hands down, our favorite discovery from last year has been Clear Creek Metro Park. This beautiful park is located just a little North West of Hocking Hills and offers a plethora of wooded paths with relaxing scenery. A couple of the paths are a little more advanced, but if you’re looking for a less popular hiking trail that can remind you of the beauty this state has to offer, I’d highly recommend it.

Kate sitting on top of an overhang in the woods.
A passage through a thick autumn woods.
Kate standing on a nature trail during early autumn.

Outside of hiking and work I was able to put a little bit of additional time towards some other personal projects. I finally took the steps towards learning how to make a website from scratch using Jekyll, which felt like a big step since most of my prior work had been in Wordpress. I focused on learning some new ukulele songs and started incorporating percussion on the instrument while playing. Discovered new tunes that really helped keep the spirits up while working from home(Dreamland by Glass Animals was a bop.) And watched a ton of tutorial videos on Illustrator to learn a handful of new tips to tricks to speed up my workflow.

2020 was a crazy year. It feels like I didn’t have the opportunities to do nearly as much as I have in the past. But, looking back on all the projects (both work and personal) I’m pretty happy with what all I’ve accomplished with everything that’s been going on. I hope that you’ve been able to make the best out of this last year. If you’ve been struggling, just remember that we all work at different paces and that it’s ok. For some, the hardest part of the day is getting out of bed. Just focus on taking the tiny steps to move forward and feel free to celebrate each of those steps, even if it feels small.

Kate leaning against a stump in the woods with dramatic lighting.