2020 – a bit of a review of a bollocks year

2020 has largely been an utter shit show, Covid has basically meant that pretty much everything has been delayed or closed at various points in the year so normality has been very much disrupted to a pretty awful extent. As it stands I thought I’d discuss what I’ve been doing with my year to try and essentially make it through and how I’ve been doing mentally over the course of the year as it feels like something that’s worthwhile to discuss.

I think the big thing has been work, I’ve been working from home since about February and I’ve been grateful to have had the work to maintain some kind of structure to my days. It’s been insanely busy all year and it’s been way too easy to work longer than normal and I’ve not really taken much holiday as there’s not really been much point due to not really being able to go anywhere so it’s been exhausting at times which hasn’t been great overall. You’d think I’d have learned this lesson over the years but the unique circumstances of this year have meant that’s all gone out the window to some extent.

This obviously had some impact on my mental health, depression thankfully hasn’t been too bad compared to how it’s been in the past but it’s taken a few serious knocks over the course of the year. It’s just very easy to do when you’re largely in the same place pretty much constantly and you’re limited on what you can do where you’re used to just being able to go wherever you want whenever you want. I’m genuinely grateful to be living with my folks as it stands as I dread to think how things might have gone had I been stuck on my own the entire time.

I’ve been finding stuff to do to keep myself busy away from work. I’ve play a shit load of computer games this year. Highlights have the Final Fantasy Remake and Assassins Creed Valhalla (though I’ve hit a game breaking bug 120 hours in which is infuriating), these have helped keep my brain occupied. The think I’ve played most this year has been Animal Crossing though, because a game about doing chores on your island every day is such a break from real life. However making friends with all the animals on your island is absolutely delightful, so much so that I’ve invested around 

I’ve also used the time to watch alot of TV shows, it’s been nice to finally get round to watching some stuff I’ve meaning to get to for ages like She-Ra and the Dragon Prince, those were great successes. I’ve also watched the second seasons of Altered Carbon and the Mandalorian which were both excellent, there’s been various other things along the way too as there’s alot of good stuff coming out. I also had the enjoyment of getting my dad into things like Bosch while he was on furlough which my mum also got into as well.

I’m not sure if it’s down to how some of the things I’ve watched this year have resonated with or just the nature of being stuck at home but I’m definitely more emotional than I have been historically though probably still nowhere near what a normal person would consider to be healthy. I’ve discussed in a couple of other blogs what essentially opened this particular Pandora’s box but it’s definitely not gone back to how it was before. This actually feels healthy progress for me after years but I’m still not sure how to deal with it all, I figure it’s only a matter of time until something turns me into an utter sobbing mess though.

I’ve naturally watched an absolute fuck ton of films over the course of the year, though very few cinema trips which has been bizarre as usually I’d got a few times a month. I’ve obviously used the time I’ve had to watch lots of films I’ve not watched before which the streaming services have helped with immeasurably, though I also didn’t realise exactly how many films I own that I’ve never watched. I’ve a lot of really good stuff this year and to alleviate boredom and for shits and giggles I’ve also watched more than my fair share of utter bollocks, that element has largely been a terrible idea but it has had the upside of giving me things to rip to pieces.

This film watching has also got me writing much more this year, I appreciate that alot of what I’ve written about has been film. The seeming side effect of this is that I’ve been having more ideas of things to write about than I have in the past so I’ve made a point of making notes for these ideas as I’ve gone along so that I have a starting point to work from. It’s been oddly reassuring to be getting ideas to the point where I have a backlog of things I want to write about as usually it’ll be me wanting to write but struggling for ideas which just sucks the fun out of it for me and keeping it fun is really important for me.

I’ve also read quite alot this year, comics and graphic novels have made up a large proportion of this as I bought alot books early in the year, things like Nightwing collections and Batman stuff I’d not known about before and that’s been pretty great. What’s definitely been a highlight has been the books though, I’ve naturally checked out a decent amount of stuff that falls well within my comfort zone as I know with some certainty I’ll enjoy it. I’ve had a few recommendations this year though such as the Stephen Fry Greek mythology books and a couple of others I’ve already written about and I’ve absolutely loved them, they’re not things I’d have ordinarily picked out for myself so I’m very glad I listened to my friends, I’d definitely do so again.

I’ve basically become partly feral over the course of the year, I’ve not had a haircut in over a year and I’ve shaved maybe 3 times all year so I think it’d be fair so say that I look like a bag of shit, it’d be slightly less bad if I could grow a proper beard rather than the patchy mess that actually grows but what can you do. I’ve also essentially spent the year wearing shorts or tracksuit bottoms with hoodies it’s genuinely going to be a struggle when I have to start wearing jeans on a daily basis again as I don’t need that sort of discomfort in my life.

I managed to get down to Newquay for a week in October which was needed, it was essentially the first week off I’d really had up to that point so I was pretty run down and shattered. I went down with big plans of doing lots of things but when I got down there I just couldn’t be bothered to do much so it turned into a weekend of going out wandering for a bit then just going back to the apartment to veg out and read or watch something. It turned out to be exactly what I needed, it was nice to just be able to slow down and recharge without having anything to sort out for a change. Obviously next time I’d like to do the whole getting out and exploring and finding awesome places to visit but this was a nice and well needed break.

On the whole the year has mostly been shit, there have been some up sides aside from those mentioned above such as getting to see a decent amount of my nephew which has been cool as he’s turning into a proper cheeky little boy now and is alot of fun. Hopefully next year is going to be a significant improvement on this one, but it looks like the start of the year is going to be much the same as this one which sucks. Hopefully it can’t be as soul crushing as this year has been over the course of the whole thing but I guess we’ll see how it goes.

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