What Did I Learn in 2020 and Basmati Rice

2020 in retrospective. 2020 and file 13. Maybe 2020 and Area 51 almost sounds better!

You see, what I want to express in this blog post is more of the … What did I learn in 2020 and how did I manage to go forward?

And honestly, the only thing that comes up to mind is my Basmati Rice. The one that took me 3 months or so to learn how to cook. True story. Before I finally mastered the art of cooking this fine dish…That rice was lethal. I mean it. You could have easily put a nice dent in a window with this hardened mush….
Obviously, no Martha Steward here!

That said. I’m stubborn, and yes, it did take me a good 15 tries or so – but finally, I got it. Add to that another 10 tries give and take, and it’s now close to perfection.
Now, I know you didn’t come here to read about my adventure in learning how to cook rice. Or did you?
Stick around, you’ll see what the rice thing is all about.

2020 for me started full of inspiration, gusto, and positivity. I had a lot on my plate and wanted to do so much more…

January to March 2020
During that period, I started to work on an Accountability course I wanted to offer. This was a full membership set up, 9 parts courses, with Zoom meetings, PDF downloads, social media, and name it…

I have had this idea for quite a few months and had decided that that was it, I was finally putting the course together, and voila.

Now, I can hear some of you saying…”Like what do you mean you worked on this for just about 3 months?” Yes, 3 months, because guess what? I was blessed to work with some of the best clients out there. So here goes. My agenda was full, and the course was created in my spare time.

Now, what did I think of my course? I know I’m biased here, but I loved it. I honestly did. This was my first try at creating such an offer from scratch, and may I say, I thought it rocked…

Who knows, I may just offer the course after all…

March 2020
From January to March, I was part of an accountability group. We would meet once a week on Thursday for an hour or so and update each other on our ongoing projects, or propositions of projects.

I loved it as it kept me accountable. Helped me to move forward and the camaraderie was close to none.
Then all hell hit.

Pandemic. Lockdown & disbelief.
As a result of these changes, our little accountability kind of lost its purpose. Our meetings become more of ‘what was happening’ in our respective towns and how we were coping with it all.

I was grateful for this. As it felt good to be able to talk and share how we felt and what we were going through…

Projects –
Pretty much from the start of the Pandemic, I put a stop to all ongoing personal projects. Reason? Sudden loss of interest. I had a few ideas floating….but that was it.
I was trying to catch up on what was happening with the outside world…and that right there was enough.

April 2020
The weekly accountability meeting was now a one-on-one meeting with a client, and my interest in personal work-related projects had gone to zero.

What kept me busy during these few months, was my client work, working on updating my website, and an uncanny growing interest in my pantry. Yes, my Pantry.

As I explained, at the start of the year, as I was working on my Group Accountability project, I was also working on a new setup for my website. Pictures, theme, content, everything was to change. And if you’ve ever built a website, you know that these changes, don’t come in one shot.

It’s a work in progress. Its inspiration. You may be looking to create a certain look and once you start, your creativity is different. Colors don’t have the same hue, pictures you have on hand are not ‘saying’ it anymore. Your content is not your voice, and maybe you just have too much to say…

It’s a work in progress like they say and it’s fragile.

Well, what do you think happened when the Pandemic hit? I dropped everything. When back to my site. Made sure it was working properly. And that was it. I would log in on weekly basis to update the plugins, and nothing else.

The inspiration was gone. My last blog post To Panic or Not to Panic was posted on March 25, 2020. And that was it, the inspiration was gone.

May to August 2020
When I go back thinking about it all, it’s all a bit of a blur…Every day was now a new adventure. I called adventure because eh, one must remain positive. The morning news pretty much set the day, with updates at noon regarding COVID from our respective government regarding: Federal and Provincial.

The world I knew was turned upside down, and little did I know, it would never come back to what it was before.

Family Zoom meetings. Shuffling new projects. Terminating others. Serious pantry stocking ‘a la prepper’ and buying a new freezer.

And that was it.

April and May brought on some serious stress headaches, plus add to this a destroyed sleep pattern.

I was taking it one day at a time. And trying my best to keep it together for the one that depended on me. May it be work or home.

The headaches finally disappeared somewhere around June and my sleep patterns somewhat came back to normal around July or so.

I was getting used to the new normal.

That little space in my condo became my focus during these months. As I explained in my Pandemic. Groceries & Squirreling Away blog post, my ‘thing’ now was stocking up.

Now yes, I could have gone and bought whatever was out there. But no…not me. I took the time to research, made lists, asked… became more conscious of what we ate.

Reinstalled the ‘Sunday’ supper (question of a sense of normality) and yes, learned how to cook Basmati rice!

There was a new normal out there, and I had all intention to become the master of this new reality.

September to December 2020
During these changes, one big change came through… My father.
You see, my father was living in a retirement home. As the Pandemic hit, they closed their doors, and visiting hours became fewer or not allowed at all for quite a while.

Older people get easily confused. And that’s what happened to my father. He did not understand what was happening, and his mind closed down. He became depressed. The orderlies would call, and we would have video meetings.

Bless his soul, my father was an electrical engineer, and now going blind. He could hear my voice…was interested…but somehow more interested in the piece of machinery that was carrying my voice!

Made me smile. That was my father.

Unfortunately, that did not last, and as the days progressed, he lost his taste for life. They would call me regularly and Dad, and I would talk a bit…but his mind was not there anymore. I knew he had given up and it was only a matter of time.

And… I could not do a thing about it.

In October he was transferred to our local hospital, and from there… well, went downhill. Again, I knew too well that it was only a matter of time. I could not visit because of the Pandemic and…being born with Chronic Bronchitis…
Well, me visiting was totally out of the question.

I had to let him go. And every day that was on my mind. There was still so much I wanted to tell him. I wanted to hear his sarcastic comments, his laughter… I wanted to tell him that it was going to be ok…

The last time we spoke he said: See you soon…

My father died in November of COVID.

COVID caught while his stay at the hospital.

I’m a big Christmas person. It’s my favorite, favorite holiday. And this year, it was empty.
Christmas rolled around without the usual fanfare and the plastic happiness it brings.
The Pandemic had done its tool and my father’s death had brought in an emptiness.
I took my vacation early this Christmas season and kept the couch down watching some old black & white movies.

My brain was not into it.

That was 2020 in a nutshell.
Loss of people you thought were your friends. Loss of people that were your friends. Loss of family. Loss of innocence…

What did I learn?
How to cook basmati rice to perfection and not trust to ones you think you should.

I also learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought.

A lot stronger.