Hi everyone, it’s me again for another round of “this year in review,” my annual blog post with a high-level overview of everything that has happened to me this year broken down by major events. It easy for me to sit back and say this year was a throwaway year and that everything sucked, but this exercise always helps me realize all of the good that happened throughout the year. Let us begin.
A healthy beginning
Something something “new year new me”…..yada yada yada. Yes, I started the year trying to be super healthy and looking like a big ole cliché. I laid off the alcohol and fatty foods (for the most part) for the first few months of the year. I also began attending some cycling and rowing classes after work a few days a week. This was working out swimmingly. However, Like most things, this fell off as soon as the pandemic booted up. More on this later…
Many important people in my life have birthdays at the beginning of the year, and I am thankful I was able to celebrate with them in New York City while things were still “normal.” This year was my girlfriend Becca’s 25th birthday, and I wanted to make it special. We went out on the town for some upscale Italian dining and some Japanese desserts with wine pairings!
My youngest brother turned 22 in February and super into virtual reality games, so I took him to a cool place called VR World right near the Empire State Building. We spent the day enjoying some awesome VR games exploring the area nearby.
Becca and I saw a fantastic string ensemble for Valentine’s Day as we had a three-course Italian dinner.
Unfortunately, our city escapades ended that month…
Some traditional fun
At the end of February every year, my family goes on a group casino bus trip with my dad’s community group, “The Father’s Club.” The bus leaves from a parking lot in my home town in the late afternoon and comes back around midnight. It’s always a good time. I didn’t win much this last year, but I did come home with this lovely photo with my two favorite ladies and a great memory. Not sure if it will happen this year, but hopefully, the tradition resumes in 2022. We shall see.
Another yearly tradition that I honored this year was my Vermont boy’s trip. A bunch of friends and I rent a big house for a long weekend in March. We usually hang around the house and play video/board games. We also always go to Hill Farmstead Brewery and a big hike in Stowe. Luckily we were able to get this trip in right before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns started.
Into the lockdown
I do not need to go into detail about the pandemic, so I won’t. When everything locked up in March, Becca and I hightailed it out of New York City and bunkered down in New Haven with my roommate Dylan. I started working from home full-time as I did in years past, and Becca finished up her last year of law school online. I made the best out of the quarantine by developing a routine and finding new hobbies.
I spent my mornings taking a walk with Penny and listening to various audiobooks before work from March into June. I found solace and enjoyment during my mornings, and it helped me get through. Becca and I spent a lot of time together doing puzzles and watching plenty of movies. Like most people during the pandemic, we also spent plenty of time on Zoom (happy hours, games, movie viewings) with friends, coworkers, and love ones.
A New Hobby & Community
Before the pandemic, I had a long-running group chat with some friends on WhatsApp. We started using it a lot more during the lockdown, and we started to outgrow it. Dylan had the great idea of upgrading our communication platform to Discord. Discord is a channel based web application that has voice, text, and video chat capabilities. We have channels that correspond to different topics. The server is still very much active to this day. In addition to chats, we developed a sort of gaming routine. We started playing Call of Duty pretty much every night and eventually graduated to games like Rocket League. I started on my Xbox One, but eventually, I upgraded to a gaming PC that I built (with some spare parts from Dylan).
A Summer of Changes
A lot of great things happened to Becca and me this summer. During the lockdown, we started looking for places to live in NYC. We settled on a super nice apartment in the South Bronx. It’s super spacious (for NYC), has a washer/dryer combo in the unit (a luxury for living in the city), a full gym, rooftop access, and a parking space! We started the lengthy moving process at the beginning of May and finally settled a month later.
In addition to the move, Becca and I both graduated! Becca graduated with her law degree, and I finally graduated with my MBA*. If that wasn’t a big enough change, my company promoted me from Marketing Associate to Revenue Operations Manager. This brought on more responsibilities, challenges, and improvement possibilities.
The lockdown left us couped up for a while, and the summer opened up some opportunities to branch out a little in terms of traveling. My family and I decided it would be safe to rent an Airbnb up in Maine for a week. We spent a relaxing week in July just hanging out, swimming, and fishing. It was a great escape from the everyday work from home grind.
The Marchetti Family Grows
September was a big month for the Marchetti’s as my youngest brother, Corey, got married to his high school sweetheart, Savannah. The wedding was a small-scale operation because of COVID, but it was fantastic and very well planned. They had their ceremony in our childhood home’s front yard and the reception in the back underneath tents. The weather was perfect, and everything went off without a hitch. I was honored to be in the wedding party and super happy for my brother and his wife.
New Year, New Car (Again…Yes again)
I have had some pretty bad luck with my cars in recent years. As some of you may know, I bought a 2016 Honda Civic last year after my Toyota Camry was stolen. After purchasing the Civic, I hoped I wouldn’t be in the market for a new car for at least five to six years. Unfortunately, I was back in the car purchasing market in 2020.
On the way to my brother’s rehearsal dinner at the start of Labor Day weekend, I was stuck in traffic on the Merritt Parkway. It seemed like a pretty standard traffic jam, and I was not too concerned with who was behind me. This was until some older woman got excited and slammed into the back of my car, sending me sliding into the back of the car in front of me. My car was totaled, and I had to start my search for a new one. I settled on a slightly newer model of the Honda Civic with a different color paint job. I had to register the car in New York, so I could at least get my resident state’s plates out of the deal.
Another Great Year in Acadia
If you have read any of my past blog posts, you may know that a few good friends and I go to Acadia National Park in Maine for a long weekend every year in October. This year was no different. We did our traditional sunrise hike up Cadillac mountain as well as our sunset lighthouse viewing. Lee even made a special beer for the occasion. The trip is a great tradition, and I hope we continue to return every year in some capacity.
The Holidays Were Less Hectic This Year
As the holiday season started, the COVID-19 cases started to rise. This put a damper on any Thanksgiving plans that we could have had. To be safe, the Marchetti’s decided to stay distant for at least the Thanksgiving holiday. Becca and I had a Zoom call in the morning with my family and a nice dinner on our own.
For Christmas, we were able to do a little decorating of our own at the new apartment. We got a small fake tree and monogrammed stockings. We had our own little gift swap the week of Christmas before we traveled up to Connecticut. In preparation for Connecticut, we made sure we quarantined a few weeks beforehand to visit everyone safely. Becca and I were able to have dinner with my parents, and my brothers and their significant others stopped by for a Secret Santa gift swap on the deck. It wasn’t the holidays that we were used to, but we made the most of it.
Conclusions & What’s to Come
Let’s face it. Objectively, this year was a shit show. There was a global pandemic, racial injustice, political unrest, and more. That being said, it is easy to call 2020 a “throwaway” year. Upon reviewing this past year for myself, I can say that it was not all that bad. I spent more time with my loved ones and reconnected with folks that I would not ordinarily talk to because I was too busy running around. I know this was not the case for everyone. There are folks out there that suffered a lot because of this year’s happenings and continue to suffer. My heart goes out to these folks, and I really hope that 2021 will be the start of a global recovery. I am trying to be as optimistic as possible. Here is to a great year, folks!
*Here is a link to my MBA thesis for those curious.