Best of Both Worlds podcast: Lessons learned in 2020

We are deep into year-in-review time, so Sarah and I decided to take a “lessons learned” approach to our 2020 retrospective. This has been a challenging year for many people, for many reasons. It’s also been a year of figuring things out, and clarifying what still works in less-than-optimal circumstances. In this episode of Best of Both Worlds, we talk about what we discovered over the past 12 months.

Of course, while some lessons were pandemic related, a great many of the smaller lessons…weren’t.

For instance, in the “woes of getting older” category, I’ve learned that while I passionately love dairy products, they do not love me back. They join red wine in this category. This has been a hard lesson, as I identify strongly with being the kind of person who will eat anything. What’s helped for me is realizing that I absolutely can have, say, cheese, I will just have to deal with the consequences. I’m still experimenting — a little bit of butter seems to be OK. Cream in my coffee is out. I did not think I’d get into drinking coffee black, but it hasn’t been that bad.

I am happy to report that real dark chocolate does not usually contain milk.

There have been more profound lessons, of course. Sarah has realized that she’s happy not going out as much as she had in the past. She’s felt almost relieved at not having to travel with a 2-year-old. She’s been happy to bump up her savings rate in lieu of spending in these categories.

In my household we’ve had a family discovery that my partner-in-crime’s job can definitely be done from home. Kindergarten, on the other hand, cannot be. Maybe other people’s kindergartners. Not mine. I am very grateful for his in-person school.

Babies are hard. This is not a new discovery, but it has been discovered again in 2020. My thoughts are there with anyone else going through this beautiful but challenging stage.

Speaking of babies, the question portion of this episode comes from a listener who wants to know about having a baby at age 40-plus. I feel like physically it was harder, and the recovery was too, though it’s hard to tease out what’s a result of being older and what’s the result of having four other active kids to care for. I’d say that while, in the abstract, it’s better to have your babies before age 40, life doesn’t always go as planned (hello 2020!) I’m glad we wound up with a new little one in the house, even if he is a bit of a terror at 2 a.m.

4 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Lessons learned in 2020

  1. Laura, you mentioned having a chronic sore throat that is aggravated by red wine and cheese– do you think it could be acid reflux? I know that it manifests like that for some people–no heartburn, but a sore throat or cough–and those are two really common triggers (along with chocolate). Anyway, just a thought. Reading The Acid Watcher Diet helped me a lot.

    1. @CZ – it is quite possible. I don’t have heartburn at all so not the obvious symptoms but I have been learning that throat congestion and nose issues sometimes manifest themselves from that. We shall see! I keep experimenting.

  2. Raising my hand to ‘babies are hard’. Before our baby was born I told my husband I thought the baby would be easier than our toddler. My husband did not agree and I am eating my words now! Our first son was not a good eater, struggled to gain weight and had to be woken to eat. So we never went through the ‘awake every hour’ phase with him. This baby is totally different and I can see why people hire night nurses!!! I also found pregnancy to be hard – I was 36 the first time and 39 this time and this time was even harder for me. But I have complicating factors like rheumatoid arthritis and a blood clotting risk that requires daily blood thinner injections so pregnancy would never be ‘easy’ for me. I am glad I will NEVER have to do it again!!

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