I know everybody is saying Good riddance! to 2020 but for all the chaos, I like to think last year contained more than mere silver linings. I like to think it helped us become better people, somehow. And so even as I look back, I’m celebrating and sharing five new “coronarhythms” that 2020 gave me.

Coronarhythm 1: Mornings with ABC Classic FM

The 7am news and Russell Torrance’s gentle Scottish brogue are now firmly entrenched in my morning routine. I had distanced myself from news consumption in recent years, but the evolving situation with the pandemic had my attention every morning as I tuned in for updates – and for the sweet, sweet music that followed.

Photo credit: Manny Becerra.

Not only do I now start the day with classical music on ABC – I end it with Classic 2. Through noisy late owl neighbours and a racing mind, the likes of Bach, Mozart, Faure, Sibelius and Beethoven have ushered me to sleep each night.

ABC Classic’s tagline is Because life’s better with music. I couldn’t agree more.

Coronarhythm 2: Working from home … and office

Work changed for all of us and I count myself very fortunate to have kept a job I love. And in the end, it was a rewarding year despite the challenges.

When I say my work routine changed, I don’t just mean I loved or hated WFH. Sure, I went through the ebb and flow of loving not having a commute and hating endless Zoom meetings.

Photo credit: Chris Montgomery.

But beyond that, with our gradual return to the office, I’ve discovered my winning formula:

Mondays and Fridays at home + Tuesdays to Thursdays in the office = ideal work rhythm.

I also discovered going for a walk around the neighbourhood during our daily half-hour team meetings is surprisingly life-giving and grounding.

Coronarhythm 3: Exercise at and around home

Joining a gym was a big enough paradigm shift when that happened as a result of training for my 2018 Cambodia cycle trip. Then lockdown happened.

In an email announcing the closure of my gym until further notice, I discovered I had access to online workouts through my membership. Sceptical but desperate, I tried a few that got me moving in fun ways and discovered this was a convenient way to fit some exercise into my day, from the comfort of my own home.

No more gross showers. No more forgetting my sports bra or hairbrush. No more stripping in front of random women.

Online workout videos actually look a lot like this. Photo credit: Bruce Mars.

As you can imagine, sleeping, working and exercising in my bedroom was definitely enough to give me cabin fever. At the height of lockdown, with limited opportunities to get out, I returned to running – for the first time since 2008. My beautiful neighbourhood gave me just enough incentive to strap on my trainers and forge a regular 3km route for lunchtime and after work jogs.

Coronarhythm 4: Women of Wollstonecraft

In December 2019, Catherine, Cherise and I coincidentally wore matching outfits to a Christmas dinner. And in coincidence upon coincidence, we realised we all lived in the same neighbourhood. And thus was birthed the Women of Wollstonecraft (WoW).

Karina didn’t get the memo. Then again, she also wasn’t living in Wollstonecraft at the time. Now she’s definitely one of us!

It’s a group now compromising five fabulous members. We once casually “ran into” each other while “exercising” (read: walking at a leisurely pace in activewear) in pairs. Mostly we do wine and nibbles over a chat or romantic comedies of varying quality at my place.

My housemate and fellow WoW Skye was sadly away on the day of the above picture but deserves an individual shout out. The mere fact of sharing an apartment with her in 2020 made all things COVID easier to bear. As bonuses, she also happens to be extremely considerate, thoughtful and people-centred.

Coronarhythm 5: Enjoying my neighbourhood

As I mentioned, I often go for a walk during work meetings on Zoom and getting back into a running routine was made easier by the natural beauty of my neighbourhood.

Coronavirus restrictions on my movement encouraged me to see more of my local area. Too often our lives are too busy with work – to which we have to commute – and then social engagements all over the city. It means it’s a common thing for Sydneysiders not to know our own neighbourhood.

I count it a blessing that 2020 gave me more reason than ever to “support local business” by frequenting nearby cafes and shops, and to enjoy Badangi nature reserve that is practically in my backyard.


2021 will bring new things, without a doubt. Whatever happens, I look forward to continuing these five rhythms gifted to me in 2020.

Do you have any surprising or unique coronarhythms? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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