2020 – Year End Best Of

15 Dec , 2020 Culture,Lifestyle,Reviews

2020 – Year End Best Of

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

– Ernest Hemingway

As we neared the end of winter early in 2020, and the first signs of spring were sprouting, we discussed how we wanted to define this year during one of our longer walks. The quarantine had only just begin and the first rush of travel cancellations and postponed plans had been grudgingly agreed to. A wealth of free time was now on our hands. We asked ourselves what would we do to not go crazy and we elected on making this a year of self-improvement. Those long delayed “some day” aspirations would start getting daily attention, others at least once a week; but whatever we could manage under a lockdown, would get our time and focus.

We said to ourselves that this moment in our lives was rare, and we could not pass it up. We could look back on 2020, and barring the obvious hole that was left by missing embraces and memorable moments with loved ones, we still had a lot to look forward to. So with that, as the door closes on 2020, I want to account for what was good and beneficial about this year. This is in all respects a gratefulness entry and something I hope to do annually. A positive reflection because we have recorded enough losses for a decade.


Personally, there were many “wins” to celebrate. As of the time of composing this post, I achieved some of the following. I completed 227 consecutive days of 10,000 steps or more; our dog appreciated this the most. I was able to read nearly 60 books; a huge benefit for my mind. I have written hundreds of pages of blog posts, letters, reviews, and creative writing; instilling a new appreciation for anyone who ever put pen to pad. I can pick up a guitar and play with some ambition and new understanding of musical composition. We cooked more meals in one year than we had in all the years prior combined; giving us a new ownership of our health and diet. We both picked up certificates in Data Science and improved our career skill stack in doing so. Lastly the most important self improvement for me as reading and studying Ryan Holiday’s “The Daily Stoic” everyday.

Any one of these positive outcomes could likely have been achieved in a single year. But 2020’s extended window of isolation allowed for a wealth of time to achieve more of them collectively than would otherwise have been. While I am grateful for this opportunity and what came out of it, this year was not all about self improvement. There was also plenty of leisure that brought some great joy and helped pass the time. So below are some of my Top 5’s across a number of entertainment categories from this year. I hope you can enjoy them also and that 2021 brings a lot more of what we were used to but also some room to continue to personally grow.


Top 5 Movies:

The Invisible Man, Tenet, The Way I See It, Lucky Grandma, Extraction

Top 5 TV Series:

Star Trek: Picard, The Mandalorian, Lovecraft Country, The Queen’s Gambit, Westworld

Top 5 Reads:

Caste, A Pattern Language, Atomic Habits, A Promised Land, The Refugees

Top 5 Listens:

Sylvan Esso – “Free Love,” Haim – “Women in Music Pt. III,” Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – “Texas Sun EP,” Serial – “Nice White Parents,” Chris Stapleton – “Starting Over

Top 5 Added Values:

Productive” app for habit tracking and building. Duolingo for language learning. Fender Play for guitar lessons.

Quarterly journals for deep and balanced dives into various topics: Delayed Gratification, Drift Magazine, The Philosopher’s Magazine, and Kinfolk.

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