What Worked for Me in 2020

As inspired by Modern Mrs Darcy

2020 was a doozy of a year. The clock flipping from 11:59 pm December 31, 2020 to 12:00 am January 1, 2021 didn’t change much of anything (not that I noticed, because I was asleep), but there is something more optimistic about 2021. We know there is a vaccine, and that all of us will get it sooner or later. We know we can do hard things like online school for months on end. We know we can spend time together, without arguing too much. Without trying to jinx too much it feels as though we are closer to a place of certainty. (I just jinxed it, didn’t I?)

But 2020? Oof. OOOF. That said, there were definitely things that saved my life.

  1. My treadmill. An almost daily morning ritual that was a way to release stress, get the day kicked off to a good start and help me get through lots of podcasts. Somedays it’s a short session, sometimes longer, but it’s always helpful.
  2. Walks with the dog. During the summer and into the fall, until Penelope injured her knee, we took a walk around the neighborhood almost every day. It was a great way to end the day, Penelope loved it and, when not walking with my mom, it helped me get through lots of podcasts.
  3. Book club. We’ve been good friends for a long time now, but the pandemic and stay at home order kicked things into higher gear. We welcomed a new member and started meeting twice a month, supplemented by lots and lots (and lots!) of texting. Having an outlet to stress and connect, and an opportunity to really get to know these smart, interesting women was such a good thing.
  4. Puzzles. I lost track of how many puzzles we did in 2020, but it was a lot. It was also something fun that Eddy and I could do as a family; we don’t have a ton of hobbies that overlap, so it’s nice when our preferences compliment each others. For example, Eddy really likes puzzles with lots of interesting details, like faces, buildings or landscape and I like wide expanses of similar colors, where you really have to rely on the shape of the puzzle or a slight shift in tone to figure out what goes where. We were lucky enough to do several puzzles that scratched both our itches.

A history of profile pictures

I recently had to take a new profile photo, and was thinking about the ones I’ve used over the past 10 years or so.

The above pictures were taken in 2009 by Frederic Chorier. Someone in the WWNG knew him and got us a group rate. Some of my favorite pictures of the kids were taken in a 10 minute session in a super cramped studio in downtown Grenoble. I love the black and white laughing picture of me laughing, and used it for a long time. Fun fact: I still have the glasses and the jacket.

I had just gotten home from a great haircut and the boys were feeling silly. I was also feeling super photogenic, because I had lost about 30 pounds. This photo was taken while we were still living at my mother’s house, I think in 2013. I use this on Instagram and it’s fun to see how small the boys were. I still have this sweater too.

This photo was taken in 2014 or thereabouts, while at the dog park. I like how we all have pops of pink, and how clearly we are related! I use this profile photo on Facebook. Notice the different glasses; I quickly went back to the French ones.

I had to take a new photo when Microsoft updated their badges. This was a selfie in my office on the Advanta campus. I used this as a profile picture on LinkedIn for a long time. I’m pretty sure it was fall 2015.

I was asked to join the board at Temple Beth Am, and all my previous pictures seemed just a little too out of date. I’d also just gotten some new make-up, a fancy new phone and a nice haircut. I took this photo (another selfie) in our living room, about five minutes before I had to run out the door to take Penelope to the vet. Some built-in filters, and voila, a new profile picture!