“Brick by boring brick”

If there’s anything to describe 2020, it’d be this phrase nicked from one of the readings on “The Daily Stoic Journal”. (It’s also one of the reasons why I managed to finish the journal in the first place. I started it in 2019, but only completed only around 5% by the end of that year. Oops.)

With everything going on, there was a lot of waiting. And putting plans on hold, if not cancelling them entirely. While there were milestones, there were no big celebrations. It just felt like a quiet, subdued year. Plodding along slowly, steadily.

This year, I learned how to do things little by little. An hour of exercise a day, and I’ve now done heaps more exercise than the previous year. Fifteen minutes of EspaƱol each morning and I’ve completed several online courses (and feeling a lot more fluent than when I stopped studying years ago). Thirty minutes of sewing and I’ve made around a dozen items of clothing in 2020, more than I made from the past years put together (and that’s not even counting masks). This year had more baking, more cooking, more piano playing, more meditation.

I always thought that I never had as much time as I wanted for my hobbies. I used to want to wait for long stretches of time to do things and complain that I never got to complete the projects I wanted to. But now I know, this small, steady bit of effort, no matter how unexciting it feels, all adds up sooner or later. Brick by boring brick.