In 2020 I didn’t complete as many tasks as last year, partly because I accidentally wrote over my todo file back in June and then wrote off the rest of the year as one ongoing stream of mitigating circumstances. When we first went into confinement it was as if those few weeks were just struck from the calendar, and I see the rest of the year in a similar way.
Looking again at what I had planned, what did I successfully complete?
- Co-wrote a book chapter, and it was published! I haven't seen it in print yet because I didn't get sent a free copy, and I refuse to personally buy it on principle.
- Settled into an apartment in Leicester, with my own landline phone.
This is not a particularly impressive list, although it can be rounded off with some unexpected achievements.
- Scanned and OCR-ed almost the entire run of Challenge magazine. I learned all about ISSN registration, British Library legal deposit, and other technical things involved in archiving a magazine.
- Completed a few of my own little projects: graphs of coronavirus cases, a map of public toilets, messing about with neural nets.
- Helped various people with their academic work and other projects.
This is supplemented by things I failed to do, but which don’t matter anymore.
- Didn't go to Bulgaria or Russia, but I did visit two new countries: Portugal and Venezuela.
- Didn't present at any big academic conferences, but I did a short talk at a small online student conference.
- Didn't date anyone this year, but I made a bunch of new friends and was comfortably okay with not being in a relationship.
- Didn't finish Black Mesa - wow have I been failing to complete this game for an entire year? 2020 would've been a perfect year to blast through some video games, and for some reason I wasn't up to it.
- Successfully re-wrote my MSc thesis... and even though it passed (yay!) I still have a bunch of comments for further stuff to revise. I haven't made the new version public until I'm absolutely sure it's acceptable. Maybe this is one to deal with next year.
Finally there are the things I failed to do and which I should have done.
- Almost forgot about the idea to backup my old tweets on some kind of custom web page. I spent a long time investigating it before discounting it as too ambitious.
- My second website project was more or less finished, and immediately made redundant, left sitting in a directory on my laptop. I can't really count this one as a success.
- Never got round to writing a 'simple introduction to gentrification' text, and it turns out it's surprisingly difficult to write an easy explanation of a badly-defined phenomenon. This is one to come back to in 2021.
- Didn't really do all the sport and exercise I should've done, to the point where I'm generally out of shape.
- Didn't learn any artistic printing techniques.
- Still didn't learn to drive.
This time last year was definitely a low point. Things are still not great, athough I’m much more personally optimistic about the future.