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author's profile photo Michelle Crapo

So 2020 - anyone have some good news to share?

Personally it was a strange year. But I did have some good things go on.

1. My son got his first "real" job. Thank goodness it wasn't in politics. And after hearing that where he interned at, there was a bomb there. Yes, I am very happy. Super happy he moved back in with us. He's staying and saving for a house. He is doing really well at it.

2. My Niece finished all the Florida tests needed to be a teacher. She finishes college in May.

3. I work from home. More people working from home in my company meant that more of them were using things like Zoom. That's nice.

4. I was allowed to give some interviews for SAP Teched. Oh yes, Teched was virtual so more people could go.

I'm sure there are more.... But these are some of the nice things that I can think of right now.

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  • Jan 15 at 02:45 PM

    I applied and was accepted into a 4-month (virtual) residency at my employer's iNNovation Center where I'll, at a minimum, get a certification to facilitate Design Thinking sessions. I'll find out more about what else I'll be doing there during onboarding next week.

    I'm really excited about the opportunity which means I'll have four months of not having to do SAP BusinessObjects installs for clients (YAY!!) and I'll be able to use my background in programming and database design to work on some cool projects as well as training others how to do some of that.


    • Jan 15 at 03:45 PM

      WOW!!! That's amazing. Congratulations! Without a doubt a good 2020 share.

      Innovation Center - well it does sound like you'll be able to propose some amazing projects that will make a difference.

      Personally, I love training others. It makes me think of what I'm doing - and I usually learn something cool too. So that piece sounds great too.

      • Jan 15 at 04:45 PM

        I get a lot of gratification from training others as well. This is the first time in about 4 years that I haven't facilitated the first new consultant training ("The Consultant Challenge") of the year, but that's ok as I'll probably have an opportunity to do it later in the year.


  • Jan 18 at 04:04 PM

    2020 wasn't so hard for me personally and working from home brought a lot of advantages for me... so for example, my husband looks more after the children and their school activities AND cooks now twice the week - does this count, too? ;-)

    Teaching my cardio and workout classes from home is also definitely something I would not have thought about before and I still like it!

    And yeah, experiencing virtual SAP TechEd including preparation, being on-site, live streaming etc. was just brilliant, fantastic, awesome, ... and an extraordinary experience!!! I am very happy that I was part of it!

    But best is, that I use the time I usually spent driving to work, for daily meditation in the morning and a walk with my family in the lunch break.

    • Jan 18 at 04:30 PM

      That is so cool. Being able to take a lunch with your family. I love being able to stop and talk with my husband at lunch.

      YES - getting out of cooking twice a week does count. Maybe you'll end up creating a workout CD.... Or expanding your classes to more people... Or... Yes, that's a good thing too!

      • Jan 19 at 08:27 AM

        That's true, it's nice to having the chance to be more with the family!

        And about the classes, well, there is so much out there already. I guess it's up to the younger generation to present.... but hhm... let me give it another thought ;-)

  • Jan 19 at 08:08 AM

    Still alive, still working.

    Sounds not much, but I had some days in the last year when I thought I'd never reach 2021 alive and/or working (well, the "and" is not necessary if I reached the "working", I assume).

    • Jan 19 at 08:22 AM

      That sounds tough. I am glad hearing you are still alive and working!

      All the best!

      • Jan 19 at 08:32 AM

        Nothing as bad as it seems... the usual depression after months without view my family and friends IRL and, as for most of us, the crysis hit me hard with the first wave.

        I'm one of those idiots who follow the protocols at their best, although stupidity is all around us. And this virus is transported by stupidity more than by air.

        • Feb 01 at 07:41 PM

          I know how you feel. I get so frustrated that we've been following the precautions and avoiding any human contact. But when I look out the window, some kids from different families are playing outside with no masks on, neighbors have out-of-state visitors, people are eating at the restaurants, playing group sports like nothing happened.

          But at least I sleep well at night knowing that we won't become part of the sad statistics, we will not kill someone by passing a disease to them, and will not suffer from yet unknown long term covid side effects. Especially for our kid, being inconvenienced for a year is small price to pay for decades of healthy life.

          Good for you for following all the precautions! Vaccinations have already started with great results, so just hang in there.

    • Jan 19 at 12:49 PM

      That is positive. I have my job. And a lot of people don't. Fingers crossed that I continue to have my job. Smaller company.

      I hope you are doing better. Zoom meetings are not a great. The hugs from your family don't translate well to a meeting format. My immediate family is in my house. My mom and dad are 4 houses away from me. My mother-in-law is about a 15 minute drive. When I feel sick, I don't see any of them.

  • Jan 20 at 06:50 AM

    Yes lot of learning along with regular work ....

  • Jan 21 at 08:05 AM

    I did write a blog post about the more work side of things but personally I finally managed to get my home automation all in place and am quite happy with the results and the interconnected activities like when we want to watch a movie lights turn on and off, things go into do not disturb and all of that. Really helps to spend more quality time together rather than all those little things you don't realise you are doing before you sit down. I also decided 2021 would be a year I spend time on my hobby and decided to even do a giveaway :-)

    Here is hoping everyone has more and more good news to share!

    • Jan 21 at 12:57 PM

      Excellent! A giveaway? I'd love to read about that. One of the rings maybe?

      Hobbies are a wonderful way to spend your time indoors.

      • Jan 21 at 01:02 PM

        Yes a ring, it's all over on Instagram. There was a post on the 16th to comment on and I'll select a random person here next week :-) took me months to finally decide to do it lol

  • Jan 22 at 01:15 AM

    Not having to commute to work :)

    Happy New Year!

  • Jan 28 at 07:36 PM

    Good news: In 2020 I got to retire! ... which means that in 2021 I now get to:

    * workout almost every day at morning Bootcamp (outside with a trainer)

    * ride my new motorcycle any time I want (when the weather is nice and the schedule is open)

    * go motorcycle camping with a former colleague and friend - planning to visit many National Parks in the spring

    * "work" as Adjunct Faculty for a course I helped design for "Chief Digital Officers" at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University

    * keep volunteering as a board member for a nonprofit focused on providing secure housing to foster youth in Northern California

    * give time, attention, and priority to my wife and family, who have too frequently been relegated to lower priority as I built and maintained a demanding career

    * read books for fun, and NOT business books anymore!

    * learn the guitar - using my mom's ~50-year-old guitar that I inherited but never had time to learn

    * continue mentoring some students who are already rising above tough life circumstances to achieve big things -- as they go from high school to college

    * go on hikes and adventures outside whenever it's nice out and I want to be nourished by nature

    * do some goofy new unusual things like: try to be a "background extra" on movie/TV shows filming in the San Francisco / Oakland area, just because I can and it'll be a new experience

    * travel the world once I get the vaccine and safe travel opens back up

    So: the ridiculousness of 2020 was a gateway to the possibilities of 2021 and beyond!

    Q: what else should I add to my aspirational list of 2021 and retirement activities? What do you recommend?

    • Jan 28 at 08:18 PM

      Amazing! Your list sounds like fun.

      I highly recommend both crewing for a hot air balloon and riding in one. in the World Championships used to be very near me in Battle Creek, MI. One year my family hosted a team from Japan. We also volunteered to crew for them. It was so much fun. Then one year they had the national festival here. We crewed for a team. Once they knew they were no longer in the running, they gave all of us balloon rides during the competition. I was lucky enough to be in the balloon while all the other ones were going up. That was a sight to see. Imagine being in a balloon and looking down at other balloons going up under you. Of course above and sideways too. I've never done it again. It just seems like I started at the top and anything other than that would be a disappointment.

      And of course, now I want to go parachuting. My family is just too worried to "let" me do that. But I think that would be fun to do at least once in your lifetime.

      The rest of my list tends to revolve around horses and animals in general. Not always something anyone else would enjoy. I'd like to give back a bit by adopting some horses that are too old or broken to do anything else than be retired. It can be hard for the rescue group to find them a forever home.

      Stopping here in the SAP Community is ALWAYS fun too. What a great legacy.

      • Jan 28 at 09:25 PM

        Great suggestions, Michelle.

        I've been lucky enough to ride in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti years ago. Instead of other hot air balloons below us, we had zebra, giraffes, etc. We landed and had a complete breakfast with china and silver in the middle of the plain - while people stood watch to protect us should the animals want us for their breakfast.

        I also went skydiving about 12 years ago for my wife's birthday. I was scared to death but did it anyway - partly because two of our kids also dove and I was worried for them, partly because I was scared for myself. She loved it. I think I could do it again and enjoy it more.

        Animals: We probably have a new rescue dog in our future, as it's been a few years without one. But I want to travel a bit first. Meanwhile, we were supposed to be active volunteers for the Guide Dogs program here in NorCal but... COVID.

        Keep those ideas coming!

        Cheers to all the folks in the SAP Community.

  • Feb 01 at 04:24 PM

    When it became clear that we were going to be social distancing and isolating for a long time my wife and I began to put a focus on "simple things" needed to maintain a happy life for ourselves and our children. Pre-pandemic we had a hectic lifestyle and those "simple things" had never been given an opportunity to flourish. Some examples are: we cleaned up our backyard/deck. Strung up outdoor lights, fixed up the grill and purchased a whole bunch of accessories, planted a large vegetable garden, purchased a fire pit and hung up an outdoor movie screen. SO during the warmer months we nary ate, or cooked, a meal inside. Most of our entertainment was done out in the yard as well. We also finally got around to gathering our huge donation piles of clothes and outdated toys and cleared space in the house and we took the time to research the multitude of county, state, and national parks in our 20 mile radius to go hiking.

    These are all things we've wanted to do but could never get around to doing it because of one event, activity, trip or another.

  • Feb 01 at 07:33 PM

    "We are alive and well" qualifies as good news for everyone this year.

    Also for us good news is that while we lost something, we found something too. I lost my job in the middle of pandemic but was able to find not just any job but a better one. Our old cat passed away in March but we adopted a kitten few months ago and he brings us tremendous joy. He's so funny and sweet.

    • Feb 02 at 12:39 PM

      Cats and kittens are amazing animals. We have three cats at home. I now have one of them on my shoulder as I type and work.

      My girls are older and they still act like kittens. Spike our "younger" cat acts like a dog. When he feels like it he will still play with the girls.

      New job. Wow! I'm glad you got to upgrade. Not many people can say that.

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