Hang On: Hope As Sacrifice
Measuring A Year: Always In the Background

How To Measure a Year?

And . . . I'm back! 

I hope you all had a lovely time last week -- however you were celebrating. We had a low-key week here, and even got to spend a bit of time with Brian and Lauren on Christmas Eve - masked, outside, socially distanced and brief, of course, but wonderful all the same. 

No Starting-Your-Engines here this week. Just a lot of reflection and thinking about wrapping up the year . . . and moving forward into 2021. Because here we are . . . deep into the last few days of 2020. This is where - in a usual year - I go through my "looking back" process -- in preparation for the "looking ahead" to a new year.

But, really. Who wants to "look back" at 2020??? Most of us just want to get it over with and move on!

And yet. . . 

And yet. . . . 

I know I need to process this year and how it made me feel. I know it was a dumpster fire. But there are lessons to be gleaned and silver linings to remember and stories to tell. Much as I might like to just close the door on 2020 (locking the door and throwing away the key), I know that's not how I want to move forward.

Last week this song started popping into my head . . . 

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year?
In daylights,
In sunsets,
In midnights,
In cups of coffee,
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
How do you measure a year in a life?
And it got me thinking . . . 
How DO you measure a year?
And especially a year like . . . 2020?
I suppose . . . I could start with things I can measure; things I can count.
525,600 minutes.
365 366 days. (2020 was a leap year, after all.) (That changes the minutes, too, actually. But 527,040 doesn't quite have the same lyrical quality, so let's just forget about the whole leap year thing.)
12 full moons
2 solstices; 2 equinoxes
1 birthday
288 days"safe at home." (Since March 16.) (And counting.)
224 blog posts. (I counted.)
193 Peloton workouts. (Peloton tracks my every workout.)
235 yogas with Adriene. (Every damn day now that I started.)
187 Instagram posts. (I counted.)
27 nights spent up north. (Tom keeps track.) (He spent 46 nights up there.)
520 miles walked with JoJo. (A very close estimate.)
21,582 pages read. (Per Goodreads. But not entirely accurate.*)
16 projects knitted. (Per my Ravelry project page. But, of course, it's not accurate either.**)
I could keep counting . . . Trips to the library. Meals cooked. Loads of laundry. Phone calls with my sister. Sleepless nights. Doctors appointments with my dad. Texts sent. Bills paid. Minutes worrying about democracy. 
So. Sure. I CAN measure my year. In a numbers kind of way.
That's kind of easy, actually. 
And a fine place to start. But it's not even close to my whole story.
And I know that's not really what I want here, as I look back over 2020 . . . to look ahead to 2021.
Like one of our great scientists says . . . 
"Not eveything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
            --- Albert Einstein
It's way more complicated than . . . just counting.
What DOES count, then?
How do I measure this year?
This is going to be my quest for these next few days.
Until 2021 arrives. 
* RE: Goodreads. I read a lot more than I record on Goodreads. (I don't include cookbooks, for example. Or poetry books. Or books of essays that I read slowly. Or art technique books. Or books I don't finish -- or the ones I'm almost finished reading right now! )
** RE: Ravelry. Although I'm pretty good at recording my projects, I'm not caught up at the moment. (So Ravelry doesn't even know yet about the 7 hats I finished in December . . . ) (Yeah. 7. I kinda got on a roll there.)


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Loved the video. Waiting for those hats.


As I was scrolling down through your enumeration of 2020, I was thinking that some of it didn't sound as bad as I remember, until I got to sleepless nights, doctors appointments, and all that time spent worrying about our democracy. You and Albert said it well, and I look forward to seeing your hats and your quest to measure this year.


Just yesterday morning Dale and I were relaxing in bed and thinking back over the year and it's best moments. Once we got past the truly ugly one where he got hit by a car (and survived!) we started listing the good stuff and there was a lot which both surprised and thrilled us. There are definitely lessons from 2020 that we need to take forward and learn from.


There really is so much that was good and positive (well hopefully not that covid test I just went and got) and will be okay to reflect back upon. Not the democracy stuff for certain...nice to have that anxiety gone! Glad you got to see Brian and Lauren! xo


I'd like to say I'd count the year by knitting projects finished. Sadly, it seems more got frogged back than knit forward. Books? A couple. Not nearly what I used to read. Can I blame Covid brain?

We had two deaths in the family. One Covid related. One just old age. We saw one niece get married. We watched by video and isn't that just the coolest thing. You can be there and NOT be there. We saw one nephew get engaged.

This was the year our son finally learned to CALL.HIS.MOTHER! It's a Christmas miracle!!!

Looking forward ............no promised. Of course I would like to read some real books. I made a promise that no more yarn can come in than what I knit out. There just isn't room in this tiny house for more than I already have. But, if I knit real fast, I can go yarn shopping. Or at least that is what I tell myself today. I'm not so good at promises.

Hope you have a wonderful week and even though the beginning of 2021 might look an awful lot like 2020, there is hope, especially after January 20th.


That song...I love it. And it gets me in the gut every time. The year has been a real dichotomy for me. Extremes of hard/ease, tragedy/peaceful, concern/calm, discovery/familiarity, Trump-Pence/Biden-Harris!! Kind of nice to end on that high :)
So glad your holiday was a happy one!


What a year... I like this idea of counting all the things! The year is absolutely ending better than it began... a light is shining in the tunnel and it even appears to be getting brighter! XO


When I read the title of your post, I immediately thought of that song from Rent. This is a good time for reflection over the highs and lows of 2020. I agree with Kat, there is light shining in the tunnel and it is growing brighter.


That quotation from Einstein is perfect for this year ... and I love how you framed this look back. Something about my math brain loves to count all the things and sometimes I wish I could just turn it off. So thank you for reminding me that some things are most definitely worth counting!


Somehow I knew you'd quote that song when I read the title of your blog post -- so good! And I'd never heard/read that quote from Einstein, but it's a good one that I'm going to write down. There are many things from this past year that really don't deserve to be counted, but there were also many good things that I want to remember. The challenge will be to remember the good but not necessarily forget the bad.


I'm still wondering how a year that was hard to live through went so quickly. It might be there was too much to keep track of and consider. I learned that time with Smith is important and my big accomplishment was getting him to realize it was time to retire. I'm looking forward to our next year.

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