Wow, we made it, here we are, it’s the end of the year. I can’t help but think of how many haven’t made it to this point and it breaks my heart. What an incredibly hard year and one that I think most of us are glad to see the end of for so many reasons. I’ve been thinking, as the year draws to a close, how did I make it? What things helped me get through this year? I thought I’d talk about them for my own memory, but also because maybe they can help you get through the end of this long winter, the light is coming back, the vaccine is going in people’s arms, we have to hold on a bit longer and I’m focusing my energy on doing just that.
I know, this feels very cliche to say, especially since I’m going to talk about Adriene as so many have been doing over the past few months, but I started 2020 by doing the Yoga with Adriene 30 days of yoga and then I kept going. I was on the mat pretty much every day in 2020.
Now, to be sure, I didn’t always do the entire practice, I didn’t always move a lot, some days I laid down with a bolster under my spine to open my chest and took 10 deep breaths and called it good. Adriene, with her monthly calendars, made it easy to not have to think, I could hit play and do it. And so I stopped and took a moment, at the very least, every day. In this of all years I’m feeling proud of that. It saved me many days and gave me the energy to log on to start my work day or do whatever I needed to do that day or it gave me the peace I needed to rest and sleep at night.
I know some folks had a hard time with reading during all of this, focus at times was difficult for me as well so I shifted what I was reading to something that required less focus. I read the adventures of the Moomins, finished off Wilson’s run of writing Ms. Marvel, read mysteries that were entertaining and light, and when I felt ready started to add back in books that required more attention and focus. I found being online hard this year, especially this past fall, so books became my safe place. I’ve written about all of them, if you have any interest, over in my reading section.
Newsletters and RSS
I lumped these two together because I think in some ways they are very similar. Many folks started or kept going with newsletters this year and I think I subscribed to quite a few more. I find that both of these formats are people thinking more deeply and writing longer form and I enjoy that so much more than what’s going on in social media.
I subscribed to Drawing Links by Edith Zimmerman and it’s great, I love her drawing style and the fact that she often writes about every day things, pointing out the interesting in what she sees around her. I discovered Chris La Tray, a poet, writer, bookstore owner, and I’ve so enjoyed his thinking. Matt Thomas reads the entire Sunday New York Times and emails out the most interesting links and I’ve loved this! I find that I miss paging through a paper because it’s so much easier to discover the hidden gems in the sections and this newsletter feels like he’s finding those for me. Finally, one of my coworkers writes a super thoughtful newsletter about creativity and writing and it’s been wonderful. There are more, I could keep going, but these are the latest gems I’ve found that make their way to my inbox.
As for RSS, a few folks continued to impress me and I’m grateful to all those who have their own sites and write regularly. Robin Rendle is a favorite with his thoughtful and often times thought provoking writing, Simon Collison’s stream is lovely, and Kottke keeps on keeping on (I think this maybe be the feed I’ve been subscribed to the longest that has kept going the entire time). I’m grateful to these folks for bringing their thoughts, ideas, and interesting links into my life as they often times got me to think about things other than the horrible news of the day.
This year was hard, harder than I ever thought it would be when it started. So many people experienced a worse year than me, they’re ending it without someone they love, it’s been heartbreaking to watch all the suffering. I’m more grateful than I can say that we’re nearing the end of the tunnel, maybe, but I also wanted to take a minute and give some shout outs to those that have truly made my year better. Take care friends and hopefully we all have a better 2021.