Some Hindsight for 2020

Breakfast club quarantineIn ancient days, December 21 (in the northern hemisphere) was considered the ‘shortest day’ before we began to enjoy more light in the day, warmth for growing and another cycle of life for us to enjoy. Traditionally, this is when so many people ‘pause’ for a few days to reflect on what was and what will be.

I suppose there’s SO much to say about 2020 that will likely be recapped by so many people. No need to bore you with that. What follows is my own personal take on the year that was.

As the days wind down with 2020, I feel like most people and I’m quick to say ‘Don’t let it hit your ass on the way out’. But was it really that bad? For me personally, I managed to get a lot of things off my checklist, including an exceptionally well organized spice drawer (as boring as that might sound, it’s awesome), most major projects around the house (including a VERY challenging handrail for our bedroom area, shelves to cap the top of the stairs and even a cute little pair of lovebirds to hold our robes as we savour our hottub), practicing guitar quite a bit (especially with my new Seagull 12-string friend), completing a few thousand (!) food deliveries for those in need (Mason is now helping with the food packing), volunteering many hours with Joe’s MILL, losing a few pounds and completing several other smaller feats.

I know getting to know my two incredible family members and roommates (Lisa and Mason) was a great way to start and end the year for me. I’m so proud of both of them and the things they do. It was difficult trying to convince our son that things will get better as we take away his teen years. I worry about how the next generation will treat us, given what we’re leaving them.

I really enjoyed the warm reception of new friends with Joe’s MILL, the Kingston Velo Club and Kingston Health / Loving Spoonful, among so many others. For example? In August, we took advantage of a small window related to gatherings to celebrate life with a most incredible and food-tastic wine pairing dinner for our friends with the KVC. Of course we didn’t have to go all out, but I suppose in the spirit of the times, we were ready to keep the fear at bay and enjoy ourselves. Five courses, five excellent Canadian wines, lots of masks, gloves and other precautions. Massive prep and pre-planning with Lisa and I. It was a feast to remember!

That was for new friends, but we dearly miss so many family members and ‘old’ friends that we were supposed to see this year. Road trips and flights cancelled, we did our duty and waited patiently like so many others, frustrated by the handful of idiots that still think this is some evil means of inconveniencing them on the way to CostCo or something.

Despite the aforementioned event, 2020 was the year I stared alcohol down and quit drinking and the business altogether. It’s left a strange void, but I’m happy to move on because neither were very kind to me. I still don’t have an actual destination for a ‘profession’, but I’m hopeful that a graduate program related to literature, mythology or music will cross my path and I’ll find some fulfilling research, writing and story-telling to augment my ‘senior’ years. I wrote a LOT in 2020 (see for samples) and started to even keep track of a couple of tunes that I have drafted, three of which reference Covid in some way. I hope more people do this while the emotions and wounds of 2020 are still raw; before they become scars. This was a year that will force us to pivot in how we live and manage this incredibly rare thing called ‘Earth’ which, in case you haven’t noticed or need a reminder, also spells ‘Heart’. Without either, we’re nothing.

Here’s special nod to essential workers, small businesses and non-profits that survived the year. Every year has an array of upsets and shaky moments, but this has been one wave after another that hasn’t been helped by the confusion sown by our provincial leaders with portfolios like health and education. With global politics, thank goodness the US has new leadership. Trump is an ignorant and incompetent buffoon that never should have had the keys to the White House. He is the raw epitome of inequality and confusion propped by angry people that are being misled. Our collective frustration should zero in on the simple question “just how many hundreds of billions of dollars are enough for one person to have and hoard before we politely ask them to give back to the world they’re taking from?” As we hand down unprecedented economic, psychological, environmental and social issues to our children, that question is more relevant than ever.

Now, if you’re feeling like you’re being denied something or that this year is wildly different from others, please come to me to talk (just don’t ask me to join a Zoom call!). With more than 15 years experience, I’m an expert at working from home and I know how to smooth out those days when you feel like you’re the only person on the planet. More than ever, we have to all look out for each other and make sure that we all make it through this phase of human existence and move on to smarter, bigger and much better things. Imagine for a moment how exciting it will be when we finally do come to the other side and realize our potential as a species. We have solutions and ideas. We just have to be bold enough to take the first step into our future. I wish you all the very best during this holiday season, in 2021 and beyond.

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