I fully intended to keep a journal this year but it didn’t happen. My failure to journal was especially disappointing because 2020 hasn’t been ordinary. It’s been a wild and difficult year, a year to remember and learn from. I like to think I failed forward because I morphed my disappointment into “And That’s How It Went”: a guided journal to help anyone who, like me, didn’t get their act together in 2020.

The journal is about a week away from being launched and I am taking my own advice and using the prompts to begin recalling my year.

I looked in my phone and found the last photo from 2019. I took it on the 29th of December. It’s a painting from 1953 of Georgie Arce by Alice Neel. I was in the United States visiting my step-mother when I saw this. We were at MoMA and I looked at this painting and wished I was an artist – a real one, not just someone who dabbles. I imagined myself painting like Neel. If I was as good as Neel I would paint the characters and dramas of my local town just like she painted Spanish Harlem.

My step-mother and I returned to Savannah just before New Year’s Eve and I wrote emails to my family in Australia, missing them but loving my holiday. Did I know about the mystery illness in Wuhan? Yes – and I was thinking about it. I was worried. I put my anxiety down to years of reading dystopian fiction, but I was glad I was heading home the following week.

I wonder what your thoughts were and where you were.