|One of my favorite photos from 2020, taken mid-day in autumn in downtown Portland.|
I have not done a good job of documenting the extraordinary time that has been the last two years. Between the pandemic, the U.S. election, the great social reckoning, and the Russia-Ukraine war, I have also been juggling an explosion of work and the ever-expanding duties of motherhood, but I want to capture this moment in the pages of this blog, like I’ve been doing for over 10 years. In fact the 10-year-anniversary of this blog came and went without me noticing
2020 was just such a year. Up until the pandemic hit and we were in the worst of lockdown, my journaling has been sporadic, a sort of “whenever I feel like it” activity. But then by April 5th, 2020 I made a new routine for myself: to wake up on Saturday morning, drink coffee on the porch and write the highs and lows in my diary.
“I think during this strange period of quarantine I will keep track of my lows and highs, and try to write at least once a week. Keeping a format like this will motivate me to write and to record this experience in a systematic way.”
I revisit the pages of those entries now as I write from an airplane en route to Dublin, my first flight in over two years. It feels so distant and yet we are still not out of its clutches, even though my plane ride feels unbelievably pre-pandemic with no masks.
Writing the highs and lows each week allowed me to capture things as they were happening, and despite not going anywhere, so many many things happened. The lows of course, were the lockdown, the quarantine, the dreams put on hold, the depression, the deaths, Donald Trump’s fuckery, and (for me) the weight gain.
But strangely, there were so many highs too. My business tripled (and the next year in 2021 it tripped again) and I started pitching my novel to agents and got 4 requests for full manuscript. While so much was ending, so much was also beginning. I really grew into my role as a consultant.
So here is 2020 in numbers:
1 International Business Trip: Ethiopia, pre-pandemic in February 2020, just before things got bad
2 Domestic Business Trips: Chattanooga, Leavenworth, also February 2020
3 Average number of miles I traveled in a day after lockdown
4 full manuscript requests I got from agents for my novel
5 Trips cancelled: Dublin (went in 2022), Tokyo (still closed at the time of writing), San Francisco (I presented virtually), Washington DC (I presented virtually), and Santa Fe (going in 2022)
6 miles walked each week
7 New clients in 2020
8 lbs gained during quarantine