2020 In Review

This was a good year. Different, for sure, but it was a good one.

In fact, it was so good that I felt compelled to write a review of it, something that I didn’t do in other recent years. So, without further ado, let’s see what went well, what went not so well and what went great.

What Didn’t Went Well

I started the year in full preparation for a 24 hours running event, the first race of this type in Valencia. Alas, as the event was scheduled for April 26th, it had to be cancelled, because of the pandemic. So, I didn’t get to run another 24 hours and, for a while, I was quite frustrated. I was so keen to maintain myself in shape, that I even ran on the roof of my building during lockdown, hoping the event will still happen, until the last second.

Luckily, I got something even better in terms of covering large distances, but more on that later on, in the What Went Well section.

Another thing that didn’t go well was the writing part. I had two failed writing challenges. One on the blog, in which I intended to write every day for 250 days, and the other one on a book I’m (still) working on, during November NaNoWriMo.

Each of these challenges failed for different reasons. The blog one was set up for the wrong reasons, so to speak, during some weird and toxic interaction I started during lockdown. The book challenge simply dwindled, as more important stuff took over. I don’t feel any remorse or regret for any of these. I’ve been doing tons of 30 days challenges, or even 12 months challenges, so I know that if it’s not finished, it was probably not meant to be.

What Went Well

There are 2 main things that went so well, that my life changed at the roots. One of them is Camino de Santiago, the other one is starting to play the guitar.

I wrote about Camino de Santiago quite extensively on the blog, but just to make a short recap: after lockdown ended in Spain, in June / July I realized I need some outlet for my unused 24 hours race training, and also a little bit of relief for the isolation. These two causes asked for something really serious, in terms of movement and overall challenge. So, I went on a one-two punch Camino (meaning I started a longer version, that I had to abandon, and then regrouped for a shorter one, which I finished very well).

I know for a fact now that I will do another Camino very soon. It was a very unexpected experience, in a good way, one for which I’m very grateful.

The second main thing that went very well is my guitar practice. After coming back from Camino, I started to study guitar and didn’t stop until this moment. Also, there is no sign that I will stop soon, because it’s way too good for me, at least for now. At this moment, it doesn’t matter too much the progress I make (as long as there is some) but the consistency of the practice. For the last 4 months I practiced around 1 and half hour every day.

Relationship Status

I started the year in an open relationship and I end it as a single / independent. But there’s a caveat. What ended really was that specific type of relationship, not the actual presence of that person in my life. In an unexpected, but beautiful way, that “open relationship” morphed into friendship, or, for lack of other words, an enhanced presence in each other lives that I find very fulfilling. And for which I’m deeply grateful.

I also experienced other more or less romantic interactions this year and the lessons I learned were deeply intense and very useful. I almost feel like I graduated a really difficult chapter in this area and that I finally came to a place of equilibrium. Definitely know better how to set up and maintain boundaries. Also, when ending something that’s not good for me, I got better at doing this without inflicting too much damage – to myself or to the other person.

Work Status

This year was filed with quite a few challenges in this area, but I’m happy to report – without going too much into the details – that it was all for the best. Each challenge came with a lot of frustration, but at the end of each frustration-filled interval, there were a lot of benefits. Again, I’m finishing the year in a much better situation that I was in at the beginning of it.

Health And Fitness

I didn’t expect this to happen, or at least I didn’t expect it to happen so thoroughly, but this year marks a very nice improvement in my health and fitness area. After Camino de Santiago I lost about 10kg and I was able to maintain myself at that level ever since, without too much effort. People who used to see me every day until the beginning of lockdown barely recognized me after Camino de Santiago. I think I’m at the level of my high-school body now, which, after decades of struggling to avoid being fat, is an incredible achievement.

Another improvement in this area is a change in my routine, which now includes a morning cold shower. I do this consistently for more than 3 months now, every single morning. Now, here in Valencia, for at least 9 months per year, this cold shower won’t qualify as a challenge, but mostly as some sort of necessary pampering, simply because it’s so hot during those months. But for the remaining 3 months (December through February) it can safely qualify as a challenge and I can really feel that, especially during the last month.


2020 was a pivotal year. In a sense, it was the last one from a long cycle. In another, it was the first one from another cycle. Every ending comes with some grieving, and every beginning comes with some anxiety.

Both grieving and anxiety are parts of life and they each play their role.

This year I decided not to avoid any of them, to experience fully every potential disappointment, to dive in in any experience, no matter how risky. I also decided not to give in, now to wallow in sadness, when disappointment plagued some of these experiences. I just let it flow and did the best I could to manage it.

Some days were obviously better than others, but now, hours before the end of it, I can say it was a good year.

Different, for sure, but it was a good one.

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