Brace yourselves. An onslaught of “20/20” vision jokes are about to unleash themselves upon humanity. Expect an eyeful of visual humour, with reflections on the old year, gazing into the future, and myopia about how trite the metaphor is. Will 2020 have a blind spot? Will we be seeing double? Will we focus? Will the year rush by in a blur? Will these questions ever end?
2019 in Review!
Let’s rehash the past, because we’re told it’s good for us instead of just burying it deep into our poisonous-cotton-candy-filled psyche so we explode at inopportune moments like when Google Pay refuses to cooperate with the PayWave machine, and we start hitting the card machine screaming “contact this!”
The most prevalent emotion of 2019 without question was gratitude. I spent the first three months of 2019 in South America, then three months visiting friends & family across the “lower 48”, and attending my high school reunion in Alaska, and arrived back in Oz in mid July. How could a year fulfilling a childhood dream and starting “Chapter 2” of my life be anything but incredible?
Since then I’ve been focused largely on climate change, mentoring a handful of entrepreneurs starting “clean-tech” companies and advising non-profits to help with the emergency of climate change. Even given the impending strife that awaits us in the decades ahead, I am grateful to have met so many people who have been dedicating themselves to this pursuit for so long.
BJR’s best (and worst) of 2019
Even in the midst of an emergency like this, it’s important to pause and reflect when possible, on the little things in life. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, after all. Or maybe that’s not such a good example?
Music: Despite a drunken attendee collapsing and causing a half-hour delay in the concert, seeing Angie McMahon live in Sydney was simply delicious. I have been a dedicated fan for years even though her catalog has been pretty limited. Excited to see her first album out there.
Cinema: I think I only watched two movies in theatres this year, and neither (Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw, The Return of Skywalker) were that great, though I was laughing quite loudly during Hobbs and Shaw. So I guess those were the worst two movies I saw in the theatre.
Doco: I watched a bucketful of climate documentaries, and even moderated a panel for a viewing of the stellar Aussie-made 2040. I also finally made it through the exceptional Vietnam War by Ken Burns.
Television: I only subscribe to Netflix, so bear that in mind. It was really awesome to get to see Seis Manos launch starring my friend Vic Chao. Hyperdrive was a surprise delight, and there’s just something about Peaky Blinders. I Think You Should Leave is so uncomfortable it gives me chills. But Sex Education was the clear standout to me. It’s just what the world needs so badly now — an end to the repression that seems to be trying to send us backward. And, I LOL’d a lot.
Book: Just Kids by Patti Smith, is simply great. Listen to the audiobook, in Patti’s own voice, rather than just read the text.
Podcast: Making Sense from Sam Harris continues to be my favourite listen, trying to bring a rational (though sometimes a teeny bit defensive) centre to so many difficult topics. His meditation app is also quite good.
Experience: Too many to count, but if I had to pick one it would be my time in the rainforest in Ecuador.
Health: I celebrated my 15th kidney transplant anniversary on December 21st, while on the Overland Track. Huge cause for celebration. The gift Diane gave me is responsible for all the great things in the last third of my life!
Last Year’s Coaster
My New Year’s Resolution tradition continues. In 2019, I achieved 7 of 9 goals, far better than any previous year! This either means I totally sandbagged or that being semi-retired gives me more time to do the things I want. The specifics, where greenish emojis mean success and reddish emojis mean failure.
Write an honest blog about my spiritual beliefs.
Apply six lessons from How Not to Die to my diet.
🥦Applied, though spices need work..
Have 10 conversations with people who focus entirely on climate.
🌳Overdone. Probably had 50–60 in total (and counting).
Have a home by December 1st.
🚛Back in Manly until August.
Full day spa session, bring my friend Tash.
🧼Enjoyable with some very awkward moments. Getting out of my comfort zone was more comfortable than I’d thought.
Have a meaningful, connected experience with people close to me.
🧤One had to be remote, but all others were in person and were super special.
Don’t get hospitalised or break a bone while traveling.
🤢I did get sick, but not hospitalised!
One unique outdoors experience every month.
🎒I did something unique in six of the months but not every one. If only 2019 had only six months.
Connect with my nephew Jon 2x/week.
😡Definitely connected every week, but not twice.
This Year’s Coaster
Coming soon… Still working on a few details! Candidates include: Trail running, destroying pedestals, spices, height, family, learning Italian, ethical investing, and working on reducing yet-another-bias-of-mine.
Looking forward, things are a bit hazy… mostly because the Australian fires have made the skies smoky for most of the last 60 days. Unfortunately things may only get worse here. Will Sydney go from one of the top 10 most liveable cities to one of the least?
At some point this year, we will each wonder what the point of most of our life actually is. Luckily that will be brief and we’ll return to all those pointless activities.
Happy 2020! May your battery always be charging. May you find peace in the middle of a disastrous mistake while cooking. May your largest dog always have the least drool.