Although the halfway point of 2020 isn’t until the very beginning of July, around this time I like to pause and take a moment to reflect on the first half of the year thus far- and revisit the resolutions I had set for myself to better track my progress with obtaining my goals as we glide into the Summer.
It goes without saying that 2020 hasn’t exactly been what any of us were expecting or hoping for so far. A global pandemic? A national revolution? Murder Hornets? With every passing day it seems things just get crazier, weirder and more unpredictable- so much in fact that many of us aren’t even surprised at how ridiculous the headlines are anymore.
But despite tragedies, trauma, quarantines and protests- there have been moments of joy peppered into the chaos here and there. They’re far and few between as we navigate through what has been an unprecedented and often stressful time for many, if not all of us- but that’s what makes them all the more special and beautiful. They make getting through the harder stuff just a little bit easier.
I’ve been working from home since the beginning of March, which is roughly around the last time I last saw my older brothers, my friends, any of my co-workers, etc. Mandatory quarantines hit just days after I’d lost my best friend during a surgery and just a couple of weeks after the guy I had been dating moved across the country for his job- so to say it was quite a blow to my morale and psyche would be an understatement.
But, isolation here in the Pioneer Valley has given me ample opportunity to focus, prioritize the things most important to me (while gradually ridding my life of the things that were not as important as I’d previously thought them to be) and enjoy solo outings and adventures. And while many people I know have been struggling with quarantine-induced weight gain or excessive online shopping since there really hasn’t been much to do apart from eat and buy things to keep us entertained- these past few months of social distancing have somehow been beneficial to me when it came to getting in shape and saving more money.
As a reminder, these were my resolutions as of December 31, 2019:
- Get Healthier/Take Better Care of Myself
- Budget Better
- Travel/Experience More
- Channel My Passions
With dining out and public congregations no longer a thing (although phased re-openings are gradually being implemented where I live)– it’s been pretty easy for me to avoid spending money at restaurants, the theater, on travel expenses, etc. I’ve been planning and prepping my own meals every day- which means I can more easily monitor what I’m putting into my body and control portions- and any time that would be used for going to the movies, going to shows, lounging with friends, etc.- I’ve been working out. Keeping in motion and stretching daily has been a lifesaver for my sanity. I’ve lost weight and I feel a lot better physically than I did at the beginning of 2020.
And I do admit that I occasionally buy things online- makeup or shoes or what have you- but I consider them little bi-weekly ways to treat myself as the days carry on. Not having to commute into the city every other day, pay for parking, gas for my car, my daily coffee, and all the other work-related expenses I incurred pre-COVID-19 has shown my savings grow substantially. A well-timed raise didn’t hurt, either- but I credit my financial success to quarantine and carefully monitored budgeting with a few splurges here and there.
Really the only two resolutions that I had made for 2020 that I’m still a little stuck on- for obvious reasons- are traveling more and channeling my passions. Both of those things are presently on the back burner as airlines, hotels, theater productions, music venues, art galleries, etc. remain cancelled, closed, postponed- or opening back up at a limited capacity. As much as I would love to catch the next flight to the West Coast, or take a road trip to Louisiana- I have to remain patient and continue to do my part to flatten the curve while we adjust to the new normal.
It’s hard, because I’m very much a “I want to do this now” type of person- but I console myself with the fact that I still have time to reach those remaining goals/resolutions- and things are changing daily- so anything is possible as the landscape evolves and we move forward.
Until then, I’m going to continue working hard, eating right, exercising daily, and saving my money- because I know when I can venture beyond New England again- it’s going to be amazing.
So let this be a mid-year reminder to anyone else who may be looking back on their goals for the year and feeling a little defeated that they may not be where they had hoped by now: Hang in there, everyone.
You’re doing just fine.