The year 2020 was one that no one could have anticipated. A global pandemic grinds normal life to a halt. Horrible acts of violence against Black people lead to a painful but necessarily national reckoning with the systemic racism in our society. A contentious presidential election results in (hopefully) a peaceful transfer of power.
I have to say, I feel very fortunate compared to many others during this time. I am gainfully employed. I live in a city where people for the most part have been abiding by COVID-19 health guidelines. My family are all well. I have a strong support network that is there for me when I need it.
Here are some of my highlights from this ridiculous year.
Rhythm Skating Is My Everything
2020 was the year that I finally discovered quad skating, rhythm skating in particular. Skating has filled so many important needs for me: moving to music, connecting to others, exercising, getting outside, and more.
I’ve plugged into the awesome community of skaters in San Francisco, and started connecting to nearby communities in Oakland and Alameda. Beyond my environs, I’ve been active on the /skating subreddit and the “Roll Out: A Skate Collective” Facebook group.
And I’m not the only one who got the skating bug! Several of my peeps from lindy hop took up skating. I even forme my own Facebook group, “The Savoy Rollers SF” who are 34 strong, and growing! Recently I choreographed a simple skate dance routine that we all did together that filled me with so much joy.
Intermittent Fasting is Awesome
As I promised myself, 2020 was the year I finally tried intermittent fasting. Twelve months later, I’m so glad I did this. I feel healthy, energetic, lean, and strong. Only at the beginning did I suffer from severe hunger pangs, which passed after about a month.
I’ve been on an 18:6 schedule for the past six months and see no reason to stop. Highly recommended for those looking to making a change to their relationship to food and seeking to control weight gain. I think I”m doing this for a long time.
Meditating Is Easier with Friends
One surprising result of the pandemic is that I started going to Quaker Meeting again. Turns out that my home meeting in Brooklyn has a very convenient 8am Meeting for Worship held on Zoom every Sunday. I’ve found great comfort and peace from these weekly gatherings.
This was one of my favorite moments from virtual Meeting for Worship. At the end of one meeting, someone asked us all to hold our hands out to the sides so we were all connected. It was so lovely and sweet.
I’ve also been consistent with my daily meditation practice. Just 20-30 breathes each morning makes a huge difference in my day.
Birthday Wander with Friends
I obviously was not going to try and top my epic 50th birthday last year. Certainly not during a global pandemic. But I actually had one of the best birthday’s ever.
This year, I organized a Birthday Weekend Wander, where any of my friends could sign up for any one of several activities held all around the city, from Lands End to B. Patisserie to the Palace of Fine Arts. It was kind of brilliant. I got to extend my birthday over several days. I got to spend quality time with several of my friends, instead of just talking briefly with a few. And I got to do a bunch of my favorite things in the city: skate, eat pastries, dance, and see cool views of this place that I love so much.
So. Many. Virtual. Events.
I got really good at organizing virtual gatherings with my friends. Even as I got burned out with the usual Zoom parties, we did try and get creative with our hangouts.
Early in the pandemic, I threw a really fun “Dance Video Watching Party” that was attended by 40+ of my favorite people. Four of my dancer friends and I got to show off the dance videos that inspired them and talk about their own dance journeys. It’s the kind of party I’ve been wanting to throw for a long time, and finally got my chance.
Another set of virtual gatherings I was proud to organize was a series of “Great British Bake Off Watching Parties.” A gaggle of us gathered for 10 weeks to watch the latest season together, happily talking trash, throwing shade, and cracking jokes while enjoying amateur bakers do their thing in the celebrated tent. This culminated in a watch party for the Great Christmas Bake Off that was so much fun.
I’ll be honest, I missed dancing so much. No lindy hop. No house dance. No live music. Nothing.
That said, I did participate in some really cool virtual dance projects that I’m really proud of.
The first was toward the beginning of the pandemic. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of an “Exquisite Corpse” dance collaboration, where one dancer’s movement is passed to another person in a chain of creation. I got together some friends in March to create our own solo jazz exquisite corpse. I think it turned out really fun.
Another project just finished that is close to my heart: a super-cut of several folk performing a simplified version of my favorite holiday dance video of all time “Miracle on 42nd Street.” Here’s our version that I danced in and edited.
Baking Up a Storm
Like a lot of folks during the pandemic, I did quite a bit of baking. Some of my favorite projects included…
Dutch baby pancakes…
Oh and atchara (I know, that’s not baking).
Traveling to New York, LA and Disneyland!
I feel so fortunate that before all the shit hit the fan, that I got a couple of lovely trips in to three of my favorite places: New York City, Los Angeles and most important Disneyland.
Oh and I also got to go skiing for the first time in several decades!
Other Awesome Moments from 2020
For Halloween, I got to live a lifelong dream and got to be TRON! This costume was so much fun to make and to wear.
Hanging out with the family, even while socially distant and masked, was still lovely. So many fond memories with them.
My holiday decorate game was on point this year, including filipino parol and a makeshift holiday hearth.
Mole is getting up there in years, but still such a cutie.
I love this painting that Hanah did of Mole for my birthday!
I passed the US Marine fitness test back in July.
Honestly, there’s lots more I could write about, but I’m tired of reminiscing, and looking forward to a 2021 with a lot more hope, healing, and hugs (real ones!).