I think we can all agree that 2020 blows. When I made the list of things that I wanted to do in 2020, I had no idea that COVID19 would laugh and basically change all of my plans. I gave up on the travel related aspects of the list, but I thought that there were a lot of things that I could still accomplish.
Well, COVID has other ideas. I had been accepted to a conference for September, which would have allowed me to cross number 2 off the list, but unfortunately, that has now been cancelled. I know there is still time for me to get accepted to another conference, but I was a little sad about losing that one.
The good news is I have some that I can cross off the list. The meal prep is still going strong, and whilst I have not lost any weight yet, I do feel stronger and have lost a few inches here and there, so I am hopeful that I can still eventually lose some weight.
The first one that gets crossed off the list is number 13: Celebrating passing my viva. I didn’t actually celebrate passing the viva, however, I did celebrate graduating. Two of my favorite people came over for tacos and chocolate cake and we had an enjoyable evening eating and chatting and stuffing our faces. I also celebrated by buying myself a couple of pieces of jewelry. Those were for me to have a tangible reminder that I survived the process and almost came out the other side a better person. I am looking forward to next summer when I can hopefully celebrate with my family.
The other activity that I am crossing off the list (although I am going to keep going with it) is number 7: Make a dent in my student loan. This one is actually an unexpected positive of the pandemic. I’ve had numerous trips cancelled, I’m saving lots of money on travel, and I had been stocking money away each month to pay towards my yearly rail pass. Since I am not going to have buy that for awhile (if at all this year), I took a good chunk of the money in my savings and put it on my student loans. To date, almost $6,000 has been paid back. This means that I am very close to completely clearing three loans. Once those are cleared, I will only have to pay back the loans for Cal State Fullerton.
I’m extra proud of this one because all of that money has been mine. There has been no financial assistance from my parents so far with this loan. All of the money that has gone to these loans has been money that I earned and saved. My mom really helped me pay off my MSc a couple of years ago, but I did not want her to have to keep supporting me. The US Government has told me that I will not be debt free until 2035. I’m hoping if I can live cheaply, do a bit of a better job saving (there has been a lot of depression shopping at the moment) and continue to make large payments, then I might be able to reduce that number significantly.
So the list as it stands now (the bold one are the ones that probably won’t be happening due to the pandemic):
- Visit 3 new countries
- Present at an academic conference
- Solo author a paper
- Lose the 20lbs I gained in the last year due to bad choices and stress
- Do yoga at least twice a week
- Write at least one new post a week that has nothing to do with work
Make a dent in my student loan
- Finally get my UK driving license
- Participate in No Screen Sunday and stay off my phone and all social media on Sundays (starting today because I have not done it at all this month)
- Keep the toxic people from returning to my bubble
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Go camping
Celebrate passing my viva
- Improve my Spanish proficiency
Meal prep to help balance my diet (and to help with number 4)
- Get on an academic committee
- Officially change my name on all my documents without crying
- Go a full 48 hours without being negative
- Don’t cancel plans with friends once I’ve made them (especially not the day of)
- Finally get my artwork from California to Scotland (although not through FedEx)