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2020 Was a Garbage Fire… Here’s What I’m Taking With Me into 2021

2020 Was a Garbage Fire… Here’s What I’m Taking With Me into 2021
Carly Jacobs
new year 2021

Let’s be super honest here – 2020 sucked balls. Hard. There have been some lovely moments – the birth of babies, the rediscovery of spending time at home with our loved ones, Biden-Harris 2021 to name a few – but for the most part it’s been hard. Scary, uncertain. Boring. So boring. Heartbreaking. A financial mess.

Do you remember when we all thought 2016 was the worst year ever? Oh man. We were so young. so naive. So unprepared for a fucking global pandemic.

What would this year be good for it wasn’t for the lessons we learned? Here’s what I’m taking with me into 2021. This is just a wee run down – the full shebang is in the episode.

new year 2021

1. Life is very (very) short

2020 has been a year of so much loss and I think most of us have experienced this overused trope becoming a real thing.

I begrudgingly admit those several months of weekends with my little family with no interruptions and nowhere to go really taught me how to properly slow down and spend hours watching my child exist because I had literally nothing else to do and it was quite magical.

2. Be scared and do it anyway

This year my beautiful co-host Kelly retired from the podcast and left it up to me as to what I should do with it.

Rebranding Straight & Curly was and is very scary. This is the last episode of the first season so I did it. I don’t know if I did it well, but I did it despite the fact that I was scared shitless.

If I succeeded – great. If I didn’t, at least I tried and I lost nothing by trying.

3. The kitchen bench is too far away from the stovetop to carry an egg on an egg flip.

Pick up the damn plate and carry it to the stovetop you absolute Gumby. Seriously I’ve dropped about 6 cooked eggs on our floor this year. The distance is far too great.

4. Time is a finite resource

We’ve had our kid at home a lot this year. Even though we never lost childcare, she was sick and had to get Covid tested twice so that meant more days away from our respective businesses than we could logically handle. It meant lots of late nights working when she was in bed and some epic tag-teaming in our house so we managed to get our work done while parenting full time.

I’ve concentrated really hard on looking at these unexpected days with my kid as bonuses. And most of the time, she’s in a fab mood, she just has a runny nose. So we play, and do art and read books and I will not allow myself to feel stressed or guilty for not getting any work done. She’s only little once and I am going to continue to look at those unexpected at home days as bonuses rather than an inconvenience.

5. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

I do not thrive in uncertainty at all so 2020 has been a massive challenge. When will I see my parents again? Will I have childcare? Will I lose all my clients? What about my income? Will anyone I love die from this?

It’s been really awful for everyone but I’ve spent most of this year going ‘Today, I’m okay.’

And there will be days when you say ‘Today, I am not okay’ – but 2020 has drawn a fairly hard line in the sand about constitutes problems versus catastrophes.

5. Jumpsuits are a fashion miracle

I now have like 6 of them and it’s unlikely I will ever wear anything else again. I have a long torso so I size up to a 16 but they’re like nothing I’ve experienced before. Comfortable, practical and so stylish. There’s something so powerful and purposeful about a jumpsuit. Consider me sold and consider you bored of all the jumpsuits I’ll be posting on Instagram.

6. You are loved more than you realise

This applies to everyone. This year everyone has been so aware and so on edge about losing or not seeing their relations that it’s been a big weird love fest with lots of us taking the time to tell our loved ones how we feel about them.

Let’s keep doing it. Keep using our words and telling people how much we love them.

7. If you don’t say anything about what’s bothering you, you’re accepting the behaviour

I’ve become a lot braver with this since my daughter came along but I won’t be silent anymore. Two things come to mind – I actively ask people not to talk about bodies/weight/diets around my kid and I had a valuable client treat me very poorly and I called her out on it.

I don’t deliberately seek confrontation but if there’s something I’m not into, I say it. Particularly when my kid is involved. This is huge for me because I avoid confrontation like the plague but I intend to keep doing it.

8. Social media sucks and I kind of hate it

This is no new revelation but I spend so little time on social media these days and I love it. I publish what I need to publish, I’ll spend maybe 20 minutes on Instagram checking out the people I follow and that’s it. It’s so freeing and it’s done nothing to harm my business. I really recommend you try it. It’s amazing. I still take video and photos of my kid all day, I just don’t share them publicly. I also don’t have my phone near me at night. I like to read or watch TV and crochet and picking up my phone every 5 minutes seriously ruins that vibe.

Here’s an article I wrote that goes into it a bit more. 

9. I am not invincible

To be fair I never thought I was invincible but I’ve been very good at dealing with whatever issues I’ve had in the past – friendship breakups, loss of jobs, when my blogging agency closed down without warning a few years ago leaving me without a massive chunk of my income, mental health issues, family issues – I’ve been able to pull myself through it. I’ve really, really struggled this year as I know a lot of other overly productive people have. That’s not me giving myself a pat on the back because it’s not a healthy trait at all but a lot of my self worth is tied up in how much I can achieve and how much I can get done and this year as obliterated my ability to do much.

I’m not untouchable and I have fallen in a heap this year. It’s a good lesson to learn and one I’ll carry into the future.

Having said all that, things can only get better from here. We’re managing it and one day this will all be a distant memory.

But for now, if you can say ‘Today, I’m okay.’ consider yourself very lucky. If you can’t, please know that one day you will be able to say it again. We all will.

On that note this is the last episode of Poductivity for 2020 – please at midnight on New Year’s eve, cheers a drink with your loved ones if you’re able to and farewell the rubbish year it was and welcome 2021 with a clear and open heart. And obviously, wear a mask and sanitise. And don’t kiss everyone. For the love of god.

Oh also…

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