Adam Stoner / 2020: What happened?

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Episode notes

These monthly updates are essentially diary entries that I share with you. Behaving as a sort-of time-capsule, these little bulletins have proved to be even more valuable this year, candidly capturing what made 2020 so unique. 

Read the full update at adamstoner.com/rewind

The global effects of COVID-19 are undoubtedly devastating and this year has been tough for many. 2020 felt like a never-ending churn of catastrophes for much of the year but it wasn't until I slowed down that I took stock of what I mad managed to achieve.

2020 was the year that: 

  • My four-hour round-trip commute no longer consumed a healthy percentage of my time or paycheque. 
  • I managed to get out and adventure more than ever before despite two national lockdowns that shuttered nearly everything.
  • The world shrank as I both spoke to more people but also had a healthier relationship with the social internet. 
  • I started to really enjoy and take pride in the work I was making.
  • I spent not an insignificant amount of time around people I love for the first time in almost half-a-decade.

I realise how very fortunate I am to consider the only downside of 2020 lockdown hair that would rival the frontman of an 80s pop group. I am grateful for that.

Read the full update at adamstoner.com/rewind

And so here we are... a day away from 2021 and another trip around the sun.

The New Year is always dangerous. It provides an imaginary finish line. Most leaders have reached this imaginary finish line short of ideas on what to do next. 

With the UK's transition period for exiting the European Union ending at the stroke of midnight, with the vast majority of the UK population still to vaccinate, with more contagious forms of coronavirus undoubtedly making their way through families post-Christmas, and with uncertainty on what modern commerce looks like in a world of Zoom calls and same-day home-delivery, the reality is that we're not even out of the starting gates yet.

Together, we've clocked that a subtle economic, ecological and social rebalancing needs to take place; it falls on civilians to rethink the way we operated and to turn the ashes of our old world into something new. 

Mulling over the changes to come, I am reminded of a poster sat on the wall of my secondary school classroom. It featured a quote from John W. Gardner who served under US President Lyndon Johnson.

History never looks like history when you are living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable.

If we’re ever going to see the change we want, 2021 is the time to push for it. 

Ready for the real challenge?

See you next year.