2020 has been a hellhole for many. And though I can‘t say that I haven‘t been affected by the whole Corona situation and by a bunch of personal stuff going on this year, I‘ve been lucky compared to so many others who have lost loved ones to the virus, who have lost their jobs, who are suffering from loneliness or who are afraid of what the future holds for them regarding their health, the economy, personal relationships etc.
I feel with everyone who is feeling insecure in this fragile time. Still, in a most selfish way, I am also thankful and happy about many things that 2020 brought — even though I don’t know where they will lead me in 2021.
Here’s a couple of things that made me get through this year without losing it, things that made me smile, feel grateful for or even feel a little proud of myself.
- My furry companion
I am deeply thankful that I am still able to share my life with my dog Mika. At the beginning of 2020, we were on the edge of losing him forever. But he is a fighter and we managed to get him „up and running“ again.
Due to the pandemic, I was allowed to work mostly from home and thus could spend time with him and take care of him. And though 2020 challenged us again in the last couple of days and my boy had to endure another stay at the clinic, I am happy to have him back with me as I write this, to see him eating, sleeping, breathing, to snuggle up and venture out together.
Here’s to the coming days, weeks, months we will have at each other’s sides.
- Feel-good games
Games that took my mind off the nerve wrecking news and made me feel cozy and at home or even made me step out of my comfort zone. Don’t expect any super-secret insider’s tips here:
I was obsessed with playing Animal Crossing New Horizons during the first lockdown (which thankfully wasn’t event that strict in Germany) and even created a booth for Gamescom showing the games Mixtvision publishes. I haven’t really played since August, instead I’ve taken up Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.
Pokémon has been a constant companion this year. Though I enjoyed playing the Sword and Shield DLCs (Crown-Tundra more than Isle of Armor), my (probably) most played and (maybe) most loved game of the year is Pokémon Go. I digged many of the changes Niantic made to accomodate for the various restrictions the pandemic brought and the content they added.
Among Us has been soooo addictive and so much fun to play, I wouldn’t even have thought. Plus, super-fun random encounters with people from all over the world.
Diablo III, but on PC for the first time this year. I am definitely more of a console player, but now I am working towards mastering my first season with mouse and keyboard — and I am a little proud of myself that I’ve made the jump.
Now if you wonder what made me try out gaing on PC, there’s an easy explanation for that: other people! My husband joined a WoWs clan this year and while that game is not for me, the clan decided that they would still “adopt” me to play other games together. By now, we are enjoying Diablo III and Among Us together and have been pen-and-papering (another first for me!) regularly for the last couple of weeks. I really appreciate their support, their openness, their humor, empathy and support.
Another huge win for me was joining a community of communications professionals in the games industry. It’s great to see how open and supportive this community is and I am so happy to be able to listen and learn from them.
I started getting into Yoga last year but have really taken it up in 2020 (yes, even before lockdown). I love how I can feel the effects of it in every possible way, mentally and physically. The last couple of weeks have been really trying for me so I let the regular practice slide a bit. I try not to judge myself for it, but to let time lead me back to it.
- Physical wellbeing
For the larger part of the year, I took really good care of my diet: I switched to a mostly vegan diet and gave up sugar almost completely. Again, the last weeks have been a bit harsh on me and I couldn’t resist the craving for chocolate. Then again, it’s winter and it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself to some sweets and gain a little winter flab, right?
I also tried out osteopathy and did all sorts of little things to take care of my body, definitely something I intend to keep up in 2021, as well.
Finally started a training course to expand my professional horizons, so by February I’ll probably be able to add “certified digital brand manager” to my resume. I really enjoy the input I get from the course and my mind’s constantly busy trying to find ways to put the newly gained knowledge into practice.
Though 2020 held some special challenges in store for marketers and communicators and we had a major delay in our release plans at work, I was delighted to see two of the games we publish successfully shipped to additional platforms and have upcoming titles featured at events like IGF, Indie Megabooth, id@Xbox Spotlight, Guerrilla Collective Showcase / The MIX, The Escapist Showcase, IGN at Gamescom, IndieCade or The Game Awards Festival on Steam.
Some other tidbits I enjoyed in 2020:
- “Unter Pfarrerstöchtern” podcast — I am not much of a religious person, but I love the mixture of history, literary analysis, and references to current day topics they manage to convey by re-telling some of the main stories of the Bible. I hope they will expand this format to other main religious texts later on (though I guess it will still take quite a bit of time until they get through the Bible…).
- Getting a new hardware setup at my desk at home — keyboard, mouse and most of all a new monitor ftw!
- Binge watching series on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ on a new TV — definitely a good investment this year.
- Holidays in the foothills of the Alps — I just love a good mountain view.
- Smoothies and porridges — what’s not to like!
- Getting into blogging again — weeeeeell, here you are…
I could probably go on and on, but most of all I am thankful that my loved ones are safe and healthy. I am also super-proud of my husband who grows beyond himself to take care of our little family and in addition managed to start a YouTube channel recently. Who knows, maybe I’ll join him for a video or two next year… 😉
Anyway: let’s hope for less interesting times in 2021 — stay safe, healthy and happy!