2019 in review
2019 promised to be a year of celebration and positive change. It turned out to be tumultuous in the extreme. This has .been among the hardest, if not the hardest, year I’ve even experienced. Strangely, it also contained some fo the happiest moments of my life.
I’ve never cancelled so many trips. I’ve never had so much cause to celebrate. And I’ve never been this close to death, both literally and figuratively.
Timeline of Events
January started with the most extreme event. I was rushed to the emergency room, diagnosed with a blood cot around 30cm (a foot) long. And I don’t believe I would’ve gone to the emergency room if Agnes had not insisted. I tell her she saved my life, but she doesn’t believe me.
February was uneventful and a bit scary.
March disappeared in prepping for the years big adventure.
April we went to Tokyo for 10 days. To see the cherry blossom, celebrate my birthday, and fulfil our shared lifelong dream of visiting Japan. I also took the chance to propose. Luckily she said yes. And suddenly the year didn’t seem so bleak any more.
May brought the first wave of summer northern Europe, we hung out on the balcony. Took extra long walks with the dogs. Saw more friends and even visited Berlin together for the first time!
June was spent working hard, visiting outdoor bars, and rushing up to the northern parts of Sweden to prep and then celebrate Swedish midsummer. Despite a lot of bad planning, we had a great time!
July was vacation time. Desperate to rest up from a stressful first half of the year, we tried to do too much and ended up tired like never before. We also spent a ton of time watching old movies on our balcony and people watching on rooftop bars. So it was not a bad time.
August already started turning cold. Spiff, our dog, had a terrible month health wise. We spent a lot of time in the archipelago, enjoying the last of summer.
September turned out beautiful. So we spent more time in the archipelago, with Agnes’ parents and their new puppy. I also joined the bachelor party for my dear old friend Douglas. Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to our little dog.
October was mostly about work, Stockholm was already cold, but beautiful. Oh and Douglas got married, which we celebrated in style.
November went by in a blur. Tons of work. We did manage to hang out with my parents a bit though. And on the tail end, we saw the years first snow.
December was a month of celebration this year. Agnes turned thirty, which we celebrated at least three times. We also went full on Christmas mode and loved every moment of it. Oh and I published my first book.
What I Learned
It’s hard to even know where to start after a year like this. With so much death, and so much celebration, I should’ve learned a ton of things I guess.
Truthfully. I haven’t had much time to think deeply about things. So I think I learned less this year, than last year.
I did relearn, or unlearn, a few things of note:
Life really is short. Every time you talk to someone, it may well be the last. So don’t rush it, brush it off, or force yourself through it. Every Christmas is the last Christmas like it. Really listen. Do the thing properly or not at all. And hug your loved ones.
Focus means doing the boring thing. Fun and stress are distracting, and yourself is the easiest person to distract. Do the boring thing. The slog. What is meaningful long term is what you’ll look back at as meaningful.
Take risks. This is the only way we grow. Rest, yes. But don’t get comfortable. Nothing happens when you’re comfortable.
Health & Fitness
No photo this year. Because of the blood clot I’ve trained a lot less this year than I would’ve liked to. I’m also the fattest I’ve been for many years (which is stil pretty thin). And this is affecting my mental state way more than I like to admit. It’s strange how discretely vanity builds up in ones own self image.
I have on the other hand started drinking way less, and slowly becoming more mindful of how I’m dealing with stress. So the year is not all wasted. And I’m looking forward to training harder in 2020.