• Dubravko

What I'm thankful for in 2020 (by Dubo)

The year is almost over, and it's finally time to turn a new leaf. This was one hell of a ride, not just for us, but for the whole world! It started out great, at least for us: 2019 was our best year so far (business-wise), and we had huge plans for 2020, including growing our business. We started bringing my brother into the production of our products, we prepared a lot of replicas for our physical shop in Dubrovnik Old town, and we had a lot of plans for the rest of the year. But, alas, the faith would not have it. The pandemic hit hard, and all of our plans froze. We couldn't pay my brother, we couldn't open the shop on the traditional crafts market until mid-July, there were no events to attend, the bank delayed the mortgage for a house we were supposed to buy... In short, 2020 suddenly started to suck!

I have to admit, the first days of the pandemic sent me to a bad spot. I have hypochondriac tendencies, so in the beginning I was scared of EVERYTHING. Going to buy groceries became something I dreaded so much - I'd delay it for days, and when I had to do it, I'd mask up, glove up, hand-sanitizer up... In short, I hated it so bad! 😂

However, as the days passed and we learned more about the virus, I was able to rationalize the whole situation. I got drafted into the civil guard, which finally confronted me with my fears and I managed to overcome them (I never actually got to do anything in the guard as I was drafted as a reserve, but it helped me mentally, so I guess that's fine). Now, when I was finally able to think clearly, I decided I'm going to use the lockdown to learn and grow, both professionally and personally. So, here's what it led to, and what I'm thankful for this year:

1) Of course, getting through the bad spot without Tanja would be utterly impossible, and naturally I am most thankful for having her by my side this (and every other) year. She helped me grow in every possible manner.

2) I managed to confront and defeat my hypochondria! This was a huge win for me, as it sometimes seriously hampered my everyday life. Screw you, hypochondria!

3) I got back to writing. Not much, and nothing serious, but I have started some new projects, and hopefully I'll bring at east one of them to an end. That will be hard, since I usually just leave whatever I start half-written and then forget about it, but the first steps have been made (a short story for a fantasy competition). 😁

4) I reconnected with some old friends, which I wasn't really able to do with all the work we usually do during the year. Lack of money sucked, but talking to old friends and going to the beach when the lockdown ended was really, really nice.

5) I became the best man to one of my oldest and best friends, and we also got to partake in decorating the wedding, which was our first such project ever!

6) I re-organized my thoughts and figured out my priorities. I tend to go through life head-first, not really thinking it through very much. This year, I finally started using organizing tools, wrote out some plans for the business and my self-growth, and painted a quite clear picture of what I want to do with my life in the next 5 years.

7) I read a lot. And I mean A LOT. I tried to read every moment of my free time (and there was plenty of that!), and I used my scribd subscription to read a lot of books, and more importantly, listen to a lot of audiobooks while jogging, commuting or just doing whatever I had to do.

8) We made a lot of new replicas for the shop! We love making new motifs and this year we finally had enough time to search and produce new items, and that's something I'm very happy about.

9) I also got the time to try some side-projects, like a medieval lantern and a crossbow I made half-a-year ago. Yay!

10) Although I had friends and family members who got infected with COVID-19, none of them suffered any serious consequences (although one of my dearest colleagues from the market spent 52 days in the hospital and barely survived, but at least there's going to be a scientific paper on her case!), and I am so grateful that all of them are still with us, and that both Tanja and I managed to evade the infection (or at least showed no symptoms).

11) Finally, I am thankful beyond words for all the support we received from you, our followers! You've been with us throughout the whole ordeal, and your orders helped put food on our table (literally), but even more than that, your kind words, comments and likes helped us not give up, showed us we're doing something good and made our days easier and brighter. I cannot thank you enough!

There were probably even more positive things in this year, but honestly, I couldn't write all of them down even if I wanted to! In the end, this has turned out a much better year then I feared when it all started, and I am so grateful for that, it's hard to put into words. I am aware that many people lost their loved ones, their jobs, their homes and, generally, had it so much worse than us, and that makes me incredibly sad, but also makes me appreciate what I have that much more. I hope you all had it at least as good as we did, if not better, and I wish you all happy holidays, and a wonderful, care-free 2021. 🥰


Dubrovnik, Croatia

©2020 by AEterna