Thursday, December 31, 2020

End of the year

So where does the end of 2020 find you? If you're like me, i.e., counting yourself lucky right now, you're basically in the same place as you were for most of the year: You're staying in, limiting trips out in public, while your social life consists mainly of texts and Zoom calls with friends and family and the occasional brief chat with the checker at the grocery store.

I've started thinking of how 2020 has changed me, and while much of the year was a bit of a rough ride, I've actually found a new-found acceptance of the way things are and the limits life is currently demanding of us all. That's the last stage in the Kubler-Ross cycle of grief, right? As Americans, we're taught from birth to fight, to hold off acquiescing, or accepting anything other than total victory. Fighting and rebelling seems a part of our national culture, our DNA, and has been from the get-go. But as life teaches us, often the only escape is ultimately through surrender and acceptance. And so it is with 2020.

I've lowered my expectations for every day, and it's been very freeing, honestly. What I don't get to today gets put off until tomorrow -- or whatever day I feel like doing it (within reason). I think one of the biggest changes is that I don't beat myself up over things not getting done. Things like the kitchen taking seven months (and counting) to complete, or the times I've turned the car around in a store parking lot and left when I realized it meant the store was more crowded than I was comfortable with, have all trained me to not get too wrapped around the axle when something I'l planned on doesn't happen whenI thought it would. 

Health cooperating, there's always tomorrow. Or the day after. I guess sometimes learning to live with less even means less expectations of oneself, which is kind of a surprise bonus gift bestowed during a difficult time.

Big Ag and I have also settled into a lovely little routine of him going upstairs to his new home office to work during the day, and me staying downstairs and doing chores. We often take a walk at lunch now. And after adjusting to being around each other almost 24/7, we have hit a groove where that no longer feels like too much. It took awhile-- we both value our independent time spent doing our own thing -- but 2020 changed us and made us better able to spend large chunks of time together.  Probably good practice for retirement.

As the year passed we saw more and more friends become ill, and more and more friends' parents went into hospital and actually died from COVID. That's the generation that's been hit the hardest -- the one right above ours. But you know, even with that, we've also seen life go on in positive ways, too. Babies being born. Zoom weddings and baby showers. 

2021 will be a year of shifting back to "normal," assuming we don't face any COVID or other health challenges. With our baskets now largely empty of the things we did before -- concerts, brunches, vacations and events -- all of us will start putting things back into those baskets as the year progresses. I don't know about you, but I'm going to be a lot more circumspect as far as what goes back in. Maybe not in terms of types of activities, but in terms of their amounts. Less may be more from now on. I've come to enjoy the weeks when I have nothing whatsoever scheduled except whatever I choose to creatively do around our property. I hope I don't relinquish that time too quickly or easily in favor of just being busy and occupied.

So wherever you are, I hope you are healthy, happy and prepared to finish the crazy ride 2020 has been, as we move towards brighter days. Stay well, and I hope whatever ends up in your basket for 2021 is both meaningful and nourishing, both physically and emotionally. 

Happy New Year!

Hoping 2021 is less of an odd duck than 2020 was. 


  1. Nice post - i enjoyed reading your thoughts about your life and life in general during this last year. Also - great photos! I hope you and the family have a good year no matter how it unfolds.

    1. Thanks Sandy! I've enjoyed getting out virtually by seeing your photos this year, too. Have a great 2021 and stay safe.

  2. Happy New Year! This is my first time commenting on your blog, but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your well-thought-out and well-written observations as well as as the lovely photos.

    1. Thank you so much Mary! Blogs seem to be on a bit of a downslope lately as far as readership, so it's ALWAYS nice to know someone is reading and enjoying it. Thanks so much!