2021 here we come

For this planet we call Earth, 2020 has been somewhat of an “odd” year. Not just because in November 2019 a new coronavirus was discovered with extremely rapid spreading capabilities and lethal tendencies, not just because everyone you know, knows someone who lost someone, and not just because the political turmoil around the world (especially the “Western World”) takes us into 2021 with a level of apprehension many of us cannot comprehend. 2020 sucks, that’s a fact, for 90-something-percent of us. However, even at the end of the darkest tunnels, there is light, even if it’s just the flicker of a candle, there is light at the end of the tunnel, for all of us.

Everyone knows the negatives of 2020, I won’t list them, there are many. However, we, as a human race, tend to focus on the negatives too much, so I will list some positives to think about as we head towards 2021. Pandora’s box has opened, now it’s time to find the glimmer of hope.

2020 saw achievements by many, some of these were driven by need and necessity, others were years in the making. And, whilst the year as a whole may have taken the shine off them, we should celebrate them.

  • We sent people into space, on a reusable rocket and capsule. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_FIaPBOJgc
  • Scientists worked at incredible rates to work on a vaccine for Covid-19, resulting (at this point in time) in at least 3 or 4 viable vaccines that could be available to the public before the year ends. – https://www.wired.co.uk/article/coronavirus-vaccines
  • Innovation and the ability to adapt has meant that whilst some companies folded, and many individuals have sadly lost their jobs or been furloughed, some companies were smart enough to rise to the challenge. Digital Transformation strategies and utilisation of technology have helped lots of companies overcome the challenge, in some cases increase their output, or in other cases adapt their products and services to meet new demands. In the UK, for example, we had many manufacturing companies come together to use their dormant machinery to make ventilators, PPE, girders for temporary hospitals, etc.
  • We are still here. The planet hasn’t been totally destroyed, and whilst our mental health teeters on the edge, many of us have found a new appreciation for those around us whilst learning new techniques and behaviours for getting through the day, week, month, and year. It is these new found skills and attitudes to life that will see us in good stead for the years ahead, whether the next event is closer to home, or on a global scale.

Ok, so not going to lie, I struggled to find enough positive stories from this year, but those above are the ones I believe in, the ones that have peaked my interests and allowed me to have some positive vibes to get through.

On a personal/career level, 2020 was supposed to be a year of self-discovery and development. Starting a new role in October 2019 with a brand new remit and direction was incredibly scary, but a challenge I relished. Fortunately, that role survived the turmoil around Covid-19 and I’m still here to tell many tales. I have been able to upskill, adding to my “jack of all trades” mantra that sees me now capable of some very interesting and potentially dangerous things, as well as embedding myself into a well established and very experienced team, relatively seamlessly. 2021 will see me continue in this role, with the same people and adding various activities along the way. I am glad for this consistency in my work life as the world around us continues to be so unpredictable.


At last, the 25th May 2018 has passed and a little known acronym of a European Directive has come into force.

After weeks of panic from companies, being forced into asking us if we would like to hear from them, and having to write paragraphs of privacy statements to outline exactly what it is they will be doing with our information, and of course reminding us of our rights to request immediate deletion of that data. We are now in the post-apocalyptic era, a new Europe, a new World.

So now we are in Europe 2.0, the U.S aren’t quite sure what to make of it all, and I’m sitting here with weather somewhat comparable to a nuclear winter, despite 3 record breaking weeks of sunshine, in a country where every other word is Brexit (which shouldn’t be a word, but some OED hippies added it anyway) and I’m reflecting upon that last few months of insane marketing ploys and inbox overload.

I get GDPR, I like what it stands for, philosophically, not the literal letters, those can sod off. But I am utterly fed up, like most people of how it has been handled. Whilst some of the more hip companies out there have bothered to embrace modern culture and throw in a pun or two along the way, the underhandedness of almost every business, big and small to use out inboxes as a way of confusing us over whether we are opting in to opting out, or opting out of contact, or opting in to our information being shared to 3rd parties and who knows what other combinations, the lack of consistent messaging has really messed us around.

Quite honestly, I am pretty sure the vast majority of us, who have never really read all the terms and conditions of software or understand the direct debit agreement in full legal context, have just inadvertently signed ourselves up to years of inbox terror and torment.

My advice going forwards, forget the inbox, speak to people instead.