I was going to add a picture here from the walk I took around the local marsh but I’m not quite sure how to do that with the new layout. Seems as though being absent from your own website for 6 months to a year means a whole bunch of things change and then you feel super old for not knowing how anything works anymore. So it goes.
I don’t know what the future will bring. After everything that happened in 2020, I’m not really going to say much about goals, aspirations, plans, or resolutions for the new year. I’m sure someone on the internet out there is doing a full recap of everything we’ve lost this year.
I would have really liked it if we learned the correct lessons from covid-19.
1) I would have liked it if we learned “essential workers” are all those people who actually do work; the obvious workers such as the retail workers, the hospital workers, the food sellers, the first responders, and the less obvious workers such as content creators, artists, musicians, writers, and creative folks of all varieties.
2) I would have really appreciated if we as a country and as a world took the time to realize how detrimental it is for all of us to be working 8+ hours a day and surviving in our lives just to make money for other people. I spent two full weeks this year in home quarantine where I wasn’t allowed to leave my house for any reason. During that time, I got so many home projects done and made so much progress on my actual life that it was hard to go back to occupying a desk for a specified amount of time every day in order to meet someone else’s goals.
3) I pay all my taxes, all the time. Apparently, those with the most finances and resources not only don’t pay their taxes but my tax dollars apparently also go to give billionaires more money. I’d like it very much if my taxes went to pay for infrastructure and public services instead of to dump more money into the pockets of billionaires while the “middle class” becomes homeless and jobless. I’d like very much for my tax dollars to be used to support the actual *people* of this country and not a small handful of arrogant a$$holes who believe their puny lives are more valuable than the lives of those who wait tables or fix cars.
4) Workers should all be treated better.
5) Medical care should never be tied to employment.
6) Housing should never be allowed to be used as a source of income. This is specifically in regards to those who are landlords and whose sole income is charging people rent. Most of those landlords don’t view their tenants as people but as money, they don’t keep the buildings in good repair, and people who want to buy a house as a genuine place to live can’t do so because a small handful of people buy up all the properties and drive up the purchasing cost. I have a stable job with good benefits. I have been saving money my entire career in order to buy a house in my home state so I can live and work in a place that makes me happy. Now that I’m finally back in my home state, I can’t afford to buy a house because those with all the finances and resources already own everything and then sell it for a ridiculous price that only the other rich people can afford.
7) Billionaires serve no purpose and should be taxed at 90% of every penny they make over $999,999.99.
8) Teachers and educators should be treated better and paid accordingly for the amount of work actually required of them. Teachers are often expected to pay for resources out of their own pockets and often work long hours they aren’t paid or compensated for. Teachers are providing the future of the country and the world and they should be treated with dignity and respect.
9) Internet should be included as basic/public infrastructure. Everyone should have access to affordably priced internet, especially with our dependence on technology for the current education during a pandemic. Even after the pandemic, internet should be considered public infrastructure.
This year, I learned how positive it is for my mental health to dedicate time to my own life. The pandemic slowed things down a lot at work, which gave me time at home I would not have had. I was able to get rid of 27 pounds of shredded paperwork. I rebuilt Lego City. My family learned about table top games and how to use video chat platforms to play games and hang out, which has been amazing. Still not as great as in person, but you do what you can with what you have. I was invited to join a dungeons and dragons campaign and have become addicted to our monthly d&d sessions. I wrote and published fanfiction for the first time in my life and learned about the amazingly supportive fanfic community. I wrote. I edited. I started learning how to draw. I can now cook delicious rice that doesn’t explode. I went camping in my home state. Many of my friends have reestablished themselves as pen pals from all over the states and we send real mail to each other!
I want to take a few minutes here to thank you for being in my life. If we are family, friends, buddies, acquaintances, people who barely talk, strangers passing each other in the night, internet mutuals, or someone we each used to know, thank you for being in my life. Thank you for being there when I needed you. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for going to movies with me, hanging out at the bookstore with me, going rock climbing with me, traveling around the world with me, inviting me to games, and sending me cards. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in and being willing to honestly discuss those beliefs with me. Thank you for teaching me how to make delicious food. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for talking with me. Thank you for being you.
So even though 2020 was a total dumpster fire, maybe I, at least, learned some positive lessons from everything we went through. I also made the concentrated effort to close this year as well as possible. I woke up this morning and went for a long walk around the marsh. I stripped the sheets and blankets from my bed, rotated the mattress, flipped and rotated the mattress cover, put away all the laundry from yesterday, remade the bed, flipped and rotated the couch cushions, washed the couch cover and blankets, and even washed Puppers, my giant stuffed dog!
I don’t know what the next chapter of my life looks like, but at least I am starting it with a clean, comfortable bed and a sleeping room with everything clean and put away correctly. Sometimes, that’s the best you can do 🙂
Happy New Year!