Like it was for everyone else, 2020 was a strange year for us. Not strange: we didn’t post much to this blog. Strange: pretty much everything else. 😂
Jaimie had COVID-19 in the last two weeks of March, and that has had knock-on effects for our family the rest of the year. It scared our girls a fair bit, especially Kate, and it gave us lots of opportunities to help the girls grow through that. They’re doing really well now, though like everyone else they’re more than ready to go back to having a more normal social life.
One upside for us this year was that Jaimie was already homeschooling the girls when COVID hit. Our schedules were not as radically disrupted as many were. It hasn’t been without its bumps along the way, not least because we had gone out of our way to make sure that our girls had lots of social activities to supplement their homeschooling time. All of those necessarily vanished for large chunks of the year—and the loss of their two weekly homeschool coops has definitely been harden both of them. Happily, one of the coops continued streaming its classes, which meant that Elayne was able to continue practicing Taekwondo, and Kate was able to join her. They’re both making fabulous progress, and did a great job at their most recent belt test.
The impact of COVID on the girls’ Taekwondo also led to the biggest upside of the year. It turns out that doing Taekwondo over Zoom by yourself is not easy for an 8-year-old, so Jaimie ended up stepping in to help coach her through it. Jaimie was really good at it. And loved it. The master of the dojong noticed, and actively recruited Jaimie, and now she and the girls are all doing it together and making steady progress.
I could not possibly be more delighted and proud of all three of my gals.
Also, we got a puppy! Moraine is about four months old now, and has been a great source of joy for the whole family, even as (you know, being a puppy) she is a good deal of work as well.
We named her for Moraine park, which Jaimie and I visited on our honeymoon over a a decade ago.
The girls have been taking piano lessons—we switched teachers for Elayne, and Kate got excited about it as well. They had their first recital with this new teacher—Elayne’s second recital overall and Kate's first. They’ve both come an incredibly long way since starting at this studio, and importantly are both learning to love the music as well as picking up theory and technique really effectively. That’s the primary thing I want for them here. (If they go further than that, I’ll certainly encourage and celebrate it, but we’ll never pressure them that way.)
Along the way, we also bought a piano—a beautiful Yamaha upright which has brought Jaimie and me an incredible amount of joy to have and be able to play. I’ve particularly loved hearing Jaimie dive back into piano after main years away from the instrument.
For my own part, I’ve had a very good second year at LinkedIn. Delightfully, and unlike every other job I have had up to this point, I remain quite happy two years in. Every previous job, I could see the writing on the wall by this point, and the longest I have ever made it was 3½ years. With LinkedIn I expect to be here for at least five years total, and quite possibly longer.
Outside LinkedIn, my year has been… odd—partly because of COVID and partly just because of fundamental challenges and shifts at this point in life. I’ll dig into this more in my usual end-of-year writeup on my own website. The short version is that I picked back up composing, put my side project on indefinite hiatus, did more and better than any previous year when it comes to Winning Slowly, and courtesy of COVID did not get to run any races. None of that ended up making for a bad year, though: just a strange one.
In sum, for all that this has been a pretty challenging year for all of us in many ways, I’m grateful to report that we are doing well, and that it has been a good year, too.