2020 was a wild, bumpy ride of a year, with many curves, dips and turns, and some wild storms to weather along the way.
I did no in person runs in 2020, it was the year of virtual runs. I’m going to be honest; I do not like virtual runs. They are not the same as being in person, with friends, finish lines and free banana’s! They are very hard mentally for me to have the same excitement, or even get out the door for a “virtual run”. It was almost like a training run with a medal waiting at home for me. I had runs that were to happen, but just couldn’t due to the boarders being closed (Chicago Marathon, Pittsburgh Marathon weekend and onwards).
In March, the world came to a halt, I found myself working from home, and facing a whole new uncertainty. Everything changed and nothing was normal. Work became the front and centre of my life, as it almost consumed me all day and night, there was no work-life balance. We as a country and province did not really have an understanding of what “covid” actually was so everyone was staying inside and following the rules.
I just went to being on autopilot. Every day was just floating into the next, as I was not leaving my Condo. I was unaware how much my own mental health was slipping; I was falling into depression, all without realizing it. I was suffering anxiety attacks and I was to the point of not being able to sleep. It just came crashing down in August and I needed to take a break from work/life, from the direction of my doctor. I did not realize I was not putting me first. I never knew or acknowledged I was broken.
The fall I started to take back my life and make a “new normal”, with setting more lines for the balance between work and home (it is hard to do when work and home are the same place). I still struggled with the balance.
Roll into the Holiday time, Toronto being on lockdown it was not a very festive time. I celebrated my birthday in Covid, which 10 months before December, I never thought I would not be able to hug my friends and see my friends. Social Distancing was the new phrase we all learned to say. We all learned to wash our hands 1000 times a day.
I closed off 2020 with a negative covid test, but never leaving my condo for 2+ weeks as I was purely exhausted, had trouble breathing, congested, loss of my voice and sounded like a 90 year old smoker with being winded. The holidays were missed and I don’t remember much, even now I still am suffering lung pains and congestion. I have stopped having naps, so I guess this is a positive.
I missed the gym in 2020. I am a treadmill runner especially in the summer and the winter; it’s a more controlled air environment. So the summer I mostly did walks around the neighborhood. My condo did not open their gym or the pool due to covid. (my condo currently has a no visitor policy in place).
2020 taught me who I am, how strong I am and how much of a warrior I can be. I’ve learned a lot of who I am as a person, when I have a breaking point, how to take the time I need for myself. Learning to unplug is a huge one for me. I cried a lot. I did a lot of reflecting on my balcony. I am a big believer that our mental health should be discussed, there is nothing to be ashamed of, with having bad days and having really really bad days. We survive all of our bad days.
I did cut my coffee down to maybe just 2 coffees a day, from my normal 5-8 a day.
2020 showed me who is a friend for just pure friendship and who is someone who only is a friend when it benefits them. 2020 taught me to slow down, well it forced me to slow down and to accept that I can’t always control all things within my life and this is ok.
I learned its ok to have my “give a shit button” to be broken once and awhile. It’s ok to say “no” to people who always rely on me, and need my good expertise in things. No is a very acceptable word.
So with the end of 2020, I was happy to see the year depart. I still am deprived of hugs (I am a HUGE hugger), but I am looking forward to what 2021 will bring both.