My 2020 In Review (An open letter)

Dear Readers,

Author Tiffany Dufu speaks about sharing her accomplishments once or twice a year with her “Cru,” the group of women who have supported and mentored her over the years.  In that spirit, today I am taking a break from the usual content here at The Endocrinologist Is In to share what this crazy and challenging year has taught me and what I have managed to accomplish in the last 12 months.  

At the start of 2020 I was planning to launch an in-person group class for women looking to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into new motherhood.  I had begun to develop a curriculum with the dietician in my office.  We even had a tentative date on the calendar.  But by late March it was obvious that an in-person anything would not be happening for a long time.  

Through much of March and April I, like many, was functioning purely in survival mode.  During that time I learned that if you bake, you will eat baked goods.  I also learned some medical appointments can happen via video. And its converse–many medical appointments really need to happen in person.  I am proud of the work my colleagues and I did to take care of our patients both in the office and scattered across the country and even the globe.

Then summer came with some new realizations.  You can’t treat a pandemic like a carb-laden boozy vacation!  It was time to pivot.  I consulted my “Cru.”  This blog was born out of those important early summer conversations about how we could each keep moving forward during such an unprecedented time.  

The lifestyle guidelines I share with my patients and live in my own life have been key to maintaining my mental and physical health this year. In sharing those ideas on this blog, I hope to help many more people than I could ever see in my office reap their benefits.  Getting this blog up and running and sharing it with my colleagues, friends and family has been a key achievement for me this year. 

Reflecting back on the goals I wasn’t able to achieve in 2020 (completing an Italian art class in anticipation of a family trip to Italy, seeing several Beethoven symphonies performed live during this the 250th anniversary of his birth, planning a solo trip) has helped me to refocus my 2021 goals, to make them independent of world events. Prime among them is to continue to grow the audience for this blog.  

Some other bits of wisdom and trivia I have gleaned this year include (but are not limited to):

There is a LOT of (understandable) health anxiety out there, even among those you would never suspect.

Better to err on the side of LESS news consumption.

Pivots are unsettling but can lead to great leaps in the long run.

Nothing feels better than exercise outdoors.

I always feel better when I eat better.

In December I can only do two things, take care of my patients and Celebrate Christmas–adding anything else is just too much.

With proper instruction I can force an amaryllis bulb (see above).

I still remember how to use a microscope…and I can still impress my kids (apparently with my microscope savvy).

I can get very excited about getting a vaccine (yep, that’s me after getting my first Covid-19 vaccination yesterday), and I hope you will too.

Please share your musings on 2020 and your plans for 2021.  

Happy and Healthy 2021!

Gillian

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