life, monthly updates

The Inevitable 2020 Summary Post

I kind of want to ruminate on the glimpses of domesticity we see in Beowulf, but maybe I’ll leave that cozy topic for the year’s final post.

On the one hand, what even can be said about 2020. On the other, I feel like we all deserve a badge, a “we did it!” symbol to commemorate having gotten through the deluge. Natural disasters, pandemic, politics, omnipresent and graphic illustrations of the fragility of our social systems–the ones that aren’t demonstrably broken–if you made it through, then well done.

Last January looks utterly unreal in its distance from the present day. More than once it felt like this year was never going to end at all. (I suppose that publishing this two weeks in advance is taking a certain risk.) Compared to a lot of people, we’ve been incredibly lucky this year, and even so, having gotten anything at all done feels like an astonishing accomplishment.

In Significant Life Events, two of my grandparents passed away early this year, although one I hadn’t seen since I was tiny, and the other wasn’t much of a surprise after years of steadily worse health. Looking at this now mostly occasions a sense of “that was THIS YEAR?” wonderment.

In the plus column, I got a new job. This has reduced my stress levels by a substantial amount, making everything else that little bit more bearable. It means that for at least the next year or so, I don’t need to put “re-skill for immanent career change” at the top of my priority list.

Writing-wise, I finally finished a project that had been sitting half-done for what, eight years?–and got it to the point of querying with a feeling of genuine satisfaction with the story (no results yet). And then I did NaNoWriMo again. I postponed another project to next year, and while I hated to do it, I think that was a good decision given this year’s emotional demands. I’m looking forward to working on it again with real anticipation and energy.

I spent a fair amount of time this year reflecting, crystallizing goals, coming up with my three-year plan, and starting to turn those goals into tasks. If I’m successful with that, you’ll be seeing a lot of action here in 2021.

And then there’s all of the other stuff, irregularly chronicled here–knitting, running, professional group organizing, community work, gardening, reading, learning, family life–all under the penumbra of pandemic this year, home and school and work and hobbies hopelessly smushed into one another.

It’s going to be a rough winter; the news this past week has made that painfully clear. The vaccine is less “the end is in sight” than “there are seabirds, so there’s gotta be land in that direction.” Let’s look out for one another, and prepare a better 2021.

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