2020 is almost over, and there has obviously been sufficient time this year to reflect on my work, my thoughts and my ambitions. While this year can be marked as a clear annus horribilis for so many in the world, I am feeling privileged as my family has not been hit by covid the way it has others. It has not been fun some times, and I have not seen my relatives and friends in more than a year; but everyone has been healthy and we have been patient as much as one can be.
2020 has been a year of change, in many regards: i have changed job during my maternity leave, proving myself that I am worth it and somehow feeling proud I could show this is a real possibility. I have looked a lot at my own shoes, to best understand (or at least try) what I have and how this has maybe blurred my understanding of the world. I pushed some boundaries of mine to try new things and take the best of things as they came.
I am ending this year tired. Both physically and mentally. But I guess this is the least I can take from you, 2020.
I have a green thumb, surprisingly. What started as a home-school experiment turned into a nice hobby over months, and I have found myself enjoying some quiet time observing the various steps of development of my jungle. We have eaten tomatoes from our own balcony garden, and it was a pleasure to see insects getting some rest on our flowers. The garden is now off, but I cannot wait for spring to come to re-vitalize my soil again and start a new project.
2020 gave us time. Time to be home with the kids and see them grow as smart, little people. It hasn't been easy all the time, but we learned to let go, prioritize and focus. Home office surprisingly worked for us, with some reorganizing of tasks, but it also gave us so much quality time to look into our surroundings in a different way. Nature become a playground but also a learning ground to observe, respect and clean. We discovered the richness of our canton's wildlife, and my son and I joined our first clean-up campaign with WWF on my birthday. There was no better way to celebrate with him.
Closed shops made me question what "essential" means. It's been a very interesting journey I have to say, allowing me to test an lot of new products - with a special focus I admit on daily care and probably unnecessary stuff. But I am growing into zero waste, particularly in my bathroom, and it's been very satisfying. I did manage to write 2 articles on toothbrushes, which have needed a few hours, so clearly time could have been better spent.
But I have also used these moments to take a break for the news, from the pandemic and from the way the world has collapsed here and there. Sometimes, talking about soap makes it easier to digest the unfair reality that I am not suffering from on a daily basis. I have tried to deconstruct my brain, my privileges and my way of thinking. Being an educated, white, heterosexual woman has surely been an advantage, and needless to say I could have realized it much earlier in my life. With a full time job and 2 kids I have been struggling to find time to deconstruct my education and build a new one; but when I could find the time, I tried to give it a sense of direction and hope.
With #45 (hopefully) out of the way for good, I hope the world can take a better direction, too.
Last but not least, 2020 has been a year of People, with a capital P. I have met, virtually or not, an amazing batch of people with fantastic projects at heart. We talked about food, about zero-waste, about soap, about toilets even. OUTSIDE THE BOX was featured on an amazing German podcast, and has somehow managed to grow its presence also in the local Zug community.
It's been hard to dedicate time to the website, I admit easily. But it's been an honour, each time, to share people's stories and projects. It's a continuous reward to see things progress and even to be recognized in the street.
There is already much to come for 2021, and I hope I can share with you some of my enthusiasm and inspirations.
Be safe, be healthy, and be patient. It's maybe a first of many to come, but we will be better equipped to deal with this type of change.
Marie - OUTSIDE THE BOX