2020 in Review

Credit goes to James Clear for the formatting of this review. I read his post recapping his 2019, and thought this would be a good way to focus on my 2020. I started this post in Q1 2020 in an effort to capture the good and the bad throughout the year, then promptly forgot about it and am now looking back on the last year.

The focus of this will be:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

What went well this year?

I read a TON

I was able to read/listen to 65 books through 2020 – a new high for me in terms of the annual goodreads challenge. I thought this was going to be a real struggle this year with my commute time being reduced to virtually zero with COVID-19 resulting in almost all of my work projects being completed remotely.

SANS Technology Institute – MS Information Security Engineering

This was a good year at chipping away at my grad school requirements. I was able to obtain the GCCC, GCUX, and GCPM certifications, as well as close out a round of NetWars Continuous and the Situational [incident] Response project. I am working on my final research paper as 2020 comes to an end. I am aiming to close out all requirements by the end of 2021 – the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight!

Physical Fitness

With almost zero travel for the year, many excuses for avoiding workouts related to travel also disappeared. I was able to get a total of 439 workouts in, along with a shift in focus back towards heavier lifting, which brought about a few “PR” lifts. I put PR in quote since these lifts (Bench/Squat/Deadlift) did not beat out my all-time PRs, but I am also no longer a 300 pound football player with the “job” of being in the best shape possible. I came in much closer to these college-year lifts than I had expected, which was a great way to cap off 2020.

I also had my first attempt at the 4x4x48 challenge. Run 4 miles, every 4 hours on the hour, for 48 hours. I bonked out pretty hard on the last two legs of the run. This was “fun” in the way the Ragnar runs are – retroactive fun.

What didn’t go so well this year?

Contributing to this blog

I flat out ignored this blog for several months this year, occasionally working on some draft blog posts, but ultimately publishing very little. This also went for the Stumbling Through Security podcast.

Time Management

Seeing as this is finally getting posted in the middle of February, you can see this is still an area I am working on. Before the pandemic hit, I was spending an average of over 60 hours a month in the car commuting to clients – I have gotten that time back where my commute is simply going to my home office, but I seem to easily fill all of this “found” time. Towards the end of the year I have made a concerted effort at identifying what really matters, and what I can simply let go of the stuff that seems important up front, but really is unimportant.

What did I learn?

Enjoy the downtime. We had a ton of time at home this year, and I’ve tried to make a real effort to enjoy the downtime. There were almost no work travel trips for the entire year – a career first – and that meant a ton of extra time at home with family. This lead to way more walks around the block, way more small moments at home that were really great. This is one thing I am really hoping I can make a mainstay of life moving forward.

Let’s also hope my 2021 write-up is a bit more timely.

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