2020 can be described as a year of ups and downs.
The whole world was like that, and so was I.
Looking back at my 2020, let's see what things are worth recording.
The sudden outbreak of the new coronavirus at the end of 2019 disrupted the world's balance and disrupted my plans as well.
In the month before 2020 arrived, I passed the probation defense with anxiety. A month later, I happily went home with the year-end bonus, but unexpectedly encountered the pandemic, and I, who passed through Wuhan, became a key focus.
During the entire Chinese New Year period, I was restricted from going out, and then there was a privacy leak incident, which gave me a real social lesson.
In the month before the outbreak, I paid attention to the daily increase in cases in various places and learned different information from various channels. Although there were some truths on Weibo, negative information was hardly seen. In domestic platforms, negative information related to the pandemic generally did not survive for more than a day. Therefore, during that time, I always paid attention to the reports on the pandemic from Telegram, Twitter, and the real experiences of some ordinary people. It can be said that it was chilling.
During this period, the tragic event of Li Wenliang occurred, which was very sad.
What made me even more angry and sad was that when the domestic epidemic situation improved and the outbreak started in foreign countries, many Chinese people watched the foreign epidemic situation from a distance, mocking and even creating the disgusting term "copying homework" and giving it a positive meaning.
Can we say that our country has done well enough in epidemic prevention and control? Are the lives lost not enough to stimulate introspection? Are we still self-proclaimed top students, waiting for others to "copy homework"?
I remember that I paid attention to too much negative news at that time, coupled with the inconvenience brought by remote work, I was anxious every day. It was an invisible pressure, a bit suffocating. It felt like those suffering people were my friends or even myself.
The pandemic has affected a large number of industries, and the company I work for has also been severely impacted.
I blame myself for not planning ahead. Less than a month after returning to work at the company, the company started to lay off employees, catching me off guard.
The entire industry, or non-large-scale companies, are laying off employees. Some people took this opportunity to switch to better companies, while others were unlucky and remained unemployed for a long time. I belong to the middle ground.
After receiving the compensation, I thought I could take a break and then look for a job, but I ignored the difficulty of job hunting during that period.
So, I rested and looked for a job at the same time for about three months. During these three months, I went back to my hometown for one-third of the time, and my family didn't know that I had been laid off, and I didn't want to tell them. Later, I continued to look for a job at home. Fortunately, luck was on my side, and there were some improvements. Finally, I successfully ended my period of unemployment.
The impact of the pandemic is long-lasting and far-reaching. Even now, if you are not careful, it can still break out. For example, a few days ago, there were several cases in Shunyi, Beijing, and the city immediately entered a wartime state, with everyone undergoing nucleic acid testing.
Compared to 2019, my reading volume has decreased a lot. During the period of unemployment, I caught up on a lot of professional books to learn about computer networks, data analysis, recommendation systems, and other areas of knowledge. I dabbled but didn't delve deep, and in the end, it was just a superficial understanding without much substantial gain.
In other aspects, there are several books that have inspired me a lot. They are as follows:
- "Behind the Product": written by a product manager at NetEase Cloud Music, this book is different from other general product books. It shares the author's thought process and measurement indicators through many scenarios and cases of NetEase Cloud Music. It is a relatively "sincere" book.
- "The Other Half of the Sky": This book tells the stories of women. Even in the 21st century, there are still phenomena such as sexual violence, gender discrimination, misogynistic values, and virginity complex in the world. Almost every story in the book is heart-wrenching.
- "The Design of Everyday Things (4th Edition)": The title may sound like a self-help book, but it has a lot of reading value. The design principles summarized in it, such as proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast, can be applied not only to graphic design but also to any visual aspect, such as typography and home decoration.
- "Borges: Conversations": I started reading Borges this year, starting with his daily conversations and interviews to get to know this master. In addition, there is also "Being with Borges".
Borges mentioned that reading is no longer about quantity but about repeatedly reading good books, especially classic ones. This is also an area where I need to improve. Sometimes I force myself to pursue quantity, forcing myself to read a certain number of books in a month to complete a task, but in the end, I don't retain anything and waste time without any gain.
For professional knowledge or unfamiliar knowledge, it is the correct way to read with a purpose. As for leisure books, you can explore freely, record something at any time, and broaden your horizons.
I have been keeping a diary intermittently, and this year, I was surprised to find that the total number of words exceeded 200,000. In addition, I also maintained a public account for more than half a year. At first, I was quite vain and tried to find ways to increase followers and readership, but gradually I found it uninteresting and gave up. I wrote an average of 1-2 original articles per week, with an average reading volume of about 30. I no longer care so much about the level of attention, I just treat it as a platform for showcasing my work.
Publishing articles on the public account is quite cumbersome. I usually write them in Typora, then use the Mdnice tool to format them into a style supported by the public account, and then paste them into the editor of the public account, and manually adjust the layout. After a series of struggles, it takes about 2 hours from writing to publishing an article.
It's troublesome to make changes if there are any improper descriptions or typos.
Writing to publishing should be a simple and pure process, but I didn't feel that way when using the public account. Therefore, after one of my articles was deleted, I started planning another way - a blog.
Finally, at the end of the year, I migrated all the content to a static blog built with Hugo.
I chose a simple theme and deleted unnecessary things as much as possible. I chose to write in Markdown, enjoying the pure input experience. In terms of blog display, I also require simplicity as much as possible, without affecting the reading experience.
In the blog, my words are my own, not limited by any platform. Even if Hugo goes out of business, all the files still belong to me locally, and I can migrate them to other places at any time.
It feels good to own the data.
In the future, this blog will be the main platform for my writing output. Although other platforms such as public accounts, Weibo, Telegram, Twitter, etc. will continue to exist, I will choose to settle long content in the blog.
This year was the year I started cooking. Before that, I didn't even know how much oil and salt to put in a stir-fried cabbage. The reason for making up my mind to cook is that I wanted to master a skill and have as much control over my diet as possible. After all, eating takeout for a long time is unhealthy.
I started learning on the "Xiaochu Fang" app, and later a friend recommended the "Lanfan" app, which I continued to use. Compared to "Xiaochu Fang," "Lanfan" is more comprehensive and modern, with text, pictures, and videos that are intuitive and easy to understand.
Although bringing meals takes up some free time, I might as well use the same time to watch TV shows or play with my phone, wasting time on the screen. It's better to use it to improve my cooking skills. Bringing meals also brought me closer to my colleagues. We would eat together and discuss various topics, gaining a lot.
In addition, cooking easily calms people down, allowing them to focus and find a kind of balance between continuous work.
Just as there is bathroom contemplation during showers, there can also be kitchen contemplation during cooking. Solitude is conducive to thinking, and cooking makes people calm.
One last discovery is that washing dishes is also a good experience. Because before and after washing dishes, the state of the dishes changes from dirty and messy to clean and tidy, which easily brings a sense of satisfaction to people, just like cleaning a room, which also gives a sense of satisfaction.
After changing jobs, although the nature of the work has changed, it is generally the same. The pace is much faster, but the pressure is not as great as before, because the previous job had too many contact points and the review process was extremely cumbersome and criticized. However, the colleagues I encountered were all pretty good, and I learned a lot from them. My leader, in a conversation after I left, even mentioned that she felt a bit sorry because she was the one who recruited me to Beijing, but in the end, she was laid off. I was quite surprised, but I didn't think about it in that way.
Coming to Beijing was my choice, and being laid off was due to the environment. I am very clear about this, so I don't have that kind of thinking at all.
What is lost in the east is gained in the west.
The new leader and team are also great, and we get along well. My ideas can be maximized, and the company is very tolerant. Although the output requirements are frequent, there is not much overtime work. After finishing the work, I can leave without the disgusting practice of mandatory overtime. This meets my expectations.
However, the good times are about to end at the end of the year, as the company will soon implement alternating weeks of long and short working hours.
This is ironic. I remember during the interview, the HR person assured me that they hated alternating weeks of long and short working hours the most, but unexpectedly, half a year later, things turned around.
During the National Day holiday, I briefly mentioned home renovation with my family. My goal was to make my family more comfortable, as now we no longer have the huge expenses of my education, and the family's income and expenses are not so tight. A simple renovation would make my parents live more comfortably.
What surprised me was that home renovation turned out to be a bottomless pit. From heavy plastering to flooring, and then to replacing doors and windows, the budget gradually increased to over ten thousand.
My dad and I are quite similar in some aspects. If we like something, we either don't buy it or buy the best. This time, it was the same with the renovation. We carefully selected materials, and in the end, we chose the best, which led to increasing costs.
At this point, I realized that it is not easy to earn money. It can drain you in minutes.
It is said that 2020 was too bad, and everyone hopes to quickly get through it and welcome the new year. Little do they know that time is continuous, and the year is just a human division. Bad things don't change with the flow of a single point in time. Maybe 2020 is just the beginning?