A different perspective on the year 2020

I know a lot of people are saying how horrible the year 2020 was. Sure, that’s easy. If you are stuck on a deserted island, the easiest thing to do is talk about how terrible it is.

But instead of complaining about being stuck on an island, let’s see how you built a crab-trap with bamboo. Let’s see the hut you built with palm fronds and coconuts.

It is not the circumstances that define our success, it is what we did with them.

There were a lot of examples I saw from the people on FUD this past year that were marvelous to me. There were so many of them, and I don’t have all of the stories, but here are just a few that I can recall.

The first one was early in the year when the pandemic was just getting ramped up. Her marathon got cancelled and I talked to @LarissaW about it. She was upset and I suggested she wait a few months and see how things would shape up later in the year for a marathon. But she decided to go ahead and do it as planned, on the same date, and run it by herself (with occasional company from her parents and a few occasional phone calls too). What she did was incredibly inspirational for me. It totally set it up for me in terms of what I would have to do this year. After seeing what she did, I went after it the same way. A huge tip-of-the-hat and hugs to Larissa for setting my mind right for the year as far as racing.

Another beautiful thing I saw this year was from @daisymae. When the pool got shutdown, she immediately went after something else. She took up running, and went after it with the same vigor as she goes after swimming. Yes, she got hurt and it did not have a great ending. But the fact that she immediately took the circumstances and worked with them was truly inspiring to me. I have total confidence that she will heal and recover and get back to something very soon. There is no doubt, because that’s who she is. She’s a fighter. And 2020 gave me one more opportunity to see it.

Before things got totally crazy with the pandemic, @TiaG put Samson in an outdoor camp with soccer, hiking, biking, and other activities. Wearing a mask and playing soccer and continuing to enjoy life and not be limited - I think that was beautiful. It meant more hearing about it this year than just normal camp in a normal year. I loved that.

When hockey got shutdown for him, @John58 started working more on his house. I saw the pictures, a giant mountain of rocks he moved and then leveling the foundation of his house. He is like a modern-day Paul Bunyan or John Henry. He is super-human. Not sitting around waiting for the pandemic to end, he got to work on something else. That was inspiring.

I loved discussions with @ClaudnDaye. His focus was on keeping his little ones safe. The pandemic was not going to harm them. The most important thing to a mother bear (or father bear in this case) is to keep their little cubs safe and protected. I think it was beautiful to hear about and to just be reminded of that perspective from time-to-time. It was helpful for me this year to be reminded that the most important thing I can do is keep my family safe.

Besides his creative solution to the toilet paper “famine” earlier in the year, people may not be aware of this, but there is something that @Sam did this year that was amazing. It was awesome! He got the highest score of anyone on an exam he had been prepping for. Congrats Sam!

I loved discussions with @T1Allison this year as she dug in on home-schooling. When things return to normal, her boys will be ahead of their peers. Academically they will not be missing a thing. Again, it is worth pointing out that seeing things like this during these difficult times really highlights what is truly important. And it is beautiful to see examples like this illustrating a parent’s love.

These are just a few of the things that come to mind from discussions I have had with people here, and posts I have seen here. There are so many more here, but I need your help to highlight them all. Please tell me what made 2020 inspirational or beautiful or wonderful for you. What is it that you did this year that you might not have done in any other year?


Seeing how all my children were able to adjust to the new changes in their lifestyles and proving that they can still do well in school no matter the environment or situation they find themselves in. Seeing how awesome my wife is in helping them all excel in their studies and how much she extends herself to take care of us all. I know it’s been tough on my whole family but they’ve dealt with it like champs and they haven’t had all the depression I’ve heard other kids having with not being able to “see” their friends. They still play games online together and hang out…just electronically. Honestly, even before the pandemic, my kids didn’t “hang out” with other kids much…they tell me it’s not something kids do much anymore…they text and game together.

I’m also happy that the Department of State also had the ability to see people could work remotely and hopefully this will result in contract changes once the pandemic passes allowing at least partial telework for folks. :slight_smile:

I’m happy for all the inspirational messages here on FUD and this community as a whole and my conversations with a really good soul, @Eric. Being able to bounce things off of Eric and others has really helped me ensure I do my biggest “family duty” correctly…not only care for, but teach and watch Liam grow into his own little man, capable of independence and very interested in understanding Diabetes.

For us, 2020 hasn’t been bad at all honestly…w/o the pandemic, I have to drive to / from work every day…and my commute is 1.5 / 2 hours EACH WAY…so yeah, I hate that people are dying, but I love the ability to telework.


Thanks Eric, you have a great knack for keeping things fun and inspirational! Necessity being the mother of invention, I spent the year on solo productive projects that normally I would not have attempted. I have been working at a snails pace on “quarantine projects”.

Coincidentally, during winter 2019/20 I bought a fixer upper house that had last seen better days about 50 years ago and needed modernization to become a downsized retirement house for my wife and me. The plan was to spend some time prepping and then hire contractors to do the heavy lifting and the skill work for the transformation. Then the pandemic hit…

It took forever to get a design and permits for the work, which were approved in October. While I waited from March to October, I spent time this summer doing everything possible completely solo. I guesstimate that I hauled 12,000 pounds of dryrock, etc. to the dump in my little pickup. Removed all the old wiring and plumbing (we are changing the floor plan) and spent weeks sanding soot and dark stain off the vaulted ceiling. Basically took it down to bare studs.

With the way things are for the foreseeable future I decided not to hire anything out and try to do everything solo to complete the house. I call it my quarantine club…too bad there’s only one member! This month I am framing new walls. which started with levelling the house. It’s been a learning experience, I never did anything this extensive before. I have also learned how to do things solo without going nuts. That not going nuts part is more difficult for me than I imagined it would be, my entire life was spent as a “teamwork makes it happen” type of person.

The pile of rocks project was finished early summer at a mountain cabin in the Cascades, with the intention of flood proofing a slope below a small patio. It was actually finished last summer but there were some permit issues, which required modifying the rock pile (covered in topsoil and bark mulch and native plants) and submitting tons of paperwork. Normally the County expects people to hire consultants to do all that paperwork, but thankfully the pandemic gave me plenty of time to slog through it myself, solo. Received my approval letter Oct. 20…It was actually more difficult to get the regulatory approvals than it was to move 30 tons of rocks by hand and it makes me quite proud that I obtained approval despite all the red tape. This was always intended to be a low key landscaping project, not an opportunity to pay big bucks to consultants.


The bright side of 2020 for me was I only had to work 48 days at my real job…


Sorry I had to ask Eric to make my reference vague as I’m not entirely sure how much I was permitted to say about it… but to summarize in safe terms… I had the professional opportunity of a lifetime… I was in a competitive selection process against 20+ professionals from around the world who all thought they were the best in the world in the specific field in question… and I not only came out #1–but by a landslide margin— to my own surprise… it was a bigger deal than I can explain here. You’ll just have to take my word for it. At the end of the process lies about a 4.5x pay increase.

I’ll tell you unequivocally what was not an excuse made: I have diabetes. GTFOOH


Wow, very impressive! ! I’m not surprised you came out #1. So glad it means a nice increase in pay, too! 2021 is looking pretty good!:slight_smile:


I’ve tried out different hobbies like embroidery, trying different recipes, and now I own more than 30 houseplants. I’ve tried to become more self-sufficient and have lightened my hair and given multiple haircuts to family and friends and even myself! I wouldn’t have done any of this if not for the pandemic.


This is the second post I’ve seen today that reminded me that our outlook on our circumstances is dependent on how we react to them; what we do in response. It’s been a timely reminder for me after a hard year (covid aside), and while I’m still struggling to look back on the year at all due to painful memories, I know there was plenty of good in there, so thank you for that reminder - and it’s fun to read about all of the positives rather than the negatives we hear about every day. :heart_eyes:

One minor thing I did this year that I wouldn’t have had the time/energy to do otherwise was really branch out in my GF baking (stress baker stuck at home :laughing:). I feel like overall I had more time and energy for things that actually mattered because I wasn’t just keeping as mindlessly busy as I normally would have.


I have become a little more confident cutting my husband and son’s hair due to necessity this year…and I did cut my own hair out of sheer desperation back in July. Thankfully it turned out ok. :laughing:


I forgot to mention…I’ve also become the family barber!!! Bald / crew cut anyone? lol. Luckily I have all boys in the house and they are OK with my screwups.


Haha! This is definitely something I am NOT unlimited at. I let my husband be the barber in the family, lucky for me, long hair can go indefinitely without a cut…


I unfortunately had just gotten a pixie cut shortly before things shut down, so by July it looked…yeah. :laughing: Long hair is a plus in these situations for sure - my daughter’s hair is both long and slightly curly, so she just needs an inch taken off every few months to keep it healthy, and if it’s not perfect, you can’t really tell because of the curl.


For some of us hair cuts aren’t a concern …lol


I’m bald also but there are definitely hair cuts and even more work with the close razor shaves. Lol… That is unless you’re just naturally bald!


lol…more natural by the day!

Happy Birthday!!


Thanks. Liam is 7 today!!


Yeah, my last haircut was in January, so it’ll soon be a year. It’s annoyingly long (for me) and the ends are frizzy, but I just put it back in a ponytail, and it looks okay. I’ve never been a big fan of haircuts, I do them out of necessity, but I’ll admit, it’s one of the little things I’m looking forward to.

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Awesome, Happy Birthday to Liam!!! I was 8 when I was diagnosed so he will have a few years on me (in 40 years).


Happy birthday little man!

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Happy Birthday to little, Liam!! :birthday:

@TiaG, same here, my last cut was last January. Braid and clips work pretty well:-)