Looking back on this crazy-ass year, here are the things big and small that make my end-of-year list for 2020.
- COVID-19, duh. Just a total, complete clusterfuck.
- drumpf, the orange racist misogynistic shitgibbon. He can’t GTFOOH soon enough.
- my state’s inept governor. Turns out a global pandemic reveals just how much we are at the mercy of ~local~ and ~state~ leaders and policies, not just federal ones.
- the collapse of school in spring 2020. It was like our (and everyone else’s) kids’ school got swallowed up by a sinkhole.
- the loss of several friends who permanently bailed on Arizona due to most/all of the above.
- being at home, all the time, with everyone, with no plan or end in sight, but most importantly, no access to any of the supports that I and all other moms need – friends, restaurants (as in eating out, not takeout), places to take the kids, playdates, childcare, etc.
- an employer that never once, not one single time, acknowledged the tremendous efforts and stress of working parents. Would have been nice if they’d ever said a word.
It’s almost as if when my son bolted upright at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2020….only to projectile hurl all over our friends’ place….was an omen? I’ll let you know what he says at midnight tonight.
On to the good news, though, and surprisingly there was a lot.
- a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at home, with my kids. To see them as students, as siblings, as friends, and as individuals, in all facets, and to have the gift of an unexpected pause. One they needed – to not be shuffling out the door to before-school care, then a long school day, then after-school care, then a long commute, only to repeat.
- my kids. I don’t say much about them to protect their privacy, but I assure you they are AMAZING and I don’t know how in the hell I’m so fortunate. They are the Robins to my Batman, my lovable, sweet, bright, curious, creative, resilient sidekicks that I’m really glad to have around.
- long, multiple-a-day walks & bike rides (when it wasn’t 1000° outside)
- a new home. With FOUR bedrooms, finally. Luckily leaving us a guest space for my mom who moved in to help with the kids’ online school. And a pool, which was a godsend in a year when my kids could do literally nothing else, especially given the many, many excruciatingly searing days this year.
- teachers. Okay, okay, online school may not the greatest but both of my kids have amazing, dedicated, extremely talented teachers this year.
- working from home. I’m one of the introvert people who love it. I don’t want to go back. Like at all. I know that’s unrealistic but my god, please, please, please don’t make me go back. I only wish I had a stipend so I could be on better home office equipment so my neck, back, and wrists weren’t crying. Instead of the plastic picnic table and mismatched chair I’m in.
- a boss who granted me the flexibility I needed without batting an eyelash, knowing I was parenting young kids while working full time. In VERY stark contrast to the woman I worked for the past 2 years.
- losing weight. Without a grueling sit-in-my-dumb-cubicle-9-hours-a-day-plus-commuting-schedule, I actually had the time & space to work out and eat properly. By using my lunch hour for working out – and it turns out I’m not alone. I completed my 400th barre class today, and I’ve lost 20 lbs this year. It was hard as hell, and I fear the return to the office will only make the weight problem rear its ugly head yet again. Another reason I have no interest in going back.
- great TV. I loved TV even long before it was the only thing to do. But this year, streaming was a lifesaver. We watched as a family Unikitty, which is the most heartwarming and legit awesome & funniest show EVER. Such a rare treat to find a show that all 4 of us love. Also in family viewing: an entire season of America’s Got Talent; the Mandalorian; the Babysitter’s Club; Magic for Humans; Making It; Carmen San Diego; Nailed It; Ellen’s Game of Games. In just-me viewing: Schitt’s Creek; rewatch of old Top Chef seasons; Flaked; Bojack Horseman; Avenue 5; Veep. Pretty sure all the money we saved from not having before/after-school childcare all went to streaming services.
- Biden/Harris. Thank god, ’nuff said.
- Waking up to a blue state. Barely blue, marginally, treacherously purple, but even that, I’ll take.
- I rediscovered a bit of baking mojo. Baked homemade bread – but not sourdough. Baked muffins. Baked cakes. Baked cookies. Baked scones. Baked biscuits. Baked rolls.
- Animal Crossing. It helped me escape, even if only virtually.