Gathering Up 2020

I’ve spent this last day gathering up the year gone by in a series of lists. Taking a last walk in the soggy woods. Picking up new library books; and a mocha latte, since I was out. Chatting with friends by FaceTime and text. Napping with a cat on my lap. Removing ornaments from the tree, leaving only lights. Joining the Yoga Loft for a gentle New Year’s Eve practice by firelight. A good day.

I share my lists here with you, because as I quoted Heather Lende in yesterday’s post, it keeps me from talking to myself.

Ten Things I Learned in 2020 (okay, 19) in No Particular Order

  1. I can deal with disappointment…like when the delivery truck in the driveway isn’t for me.
  2. No one can make-believe judge me for not wearing make-up to the grocery store when I have a mask on.
  3. I am a trendsetter: I wore a mask before “everyone” was doing it.
  4. Early morning grocery shopping is pleasant (almost). Also, I can grocery shop really fast.
  5. It’s important to be in touch with people even when it’s easier not to make the effort.
  6. I can do hard things, like live with small humans and cancel my never-used cable service.
  7. I can fill up a day home alone like nobody’s business.
  8. Handwashing is meditative.
  9. There is an upside to being an introvert. I was born to this isolation.
  10. Letting my hair go white (15+ years ago) paid off in 2020.
  11. Essential businesses: Library, grocery store, coffee shop—in that order.
  12. Long-term quarantine needs: Leggings, cozy sweater, slippers, chocolate, wine.
  13. The only difference between pajamas and clothes is underwear. Underwear is over-rated.
  14. If 2020 hasn’t made me clinically depressed, I’m probably good to go for life. It hasn’t.
  15. I can make space for not knowing.
  16. I really could be a hermit—as suspected.
  17. I can do 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles.
  18. I like being cooked for.
  19. I am content having no place to go.

Ten Good Things from 2020

  1. Time with family that will be woven into the fabric of our lives forever.
  2. Connection with people I otherwise would not have been in regular touch with.
  3. My cat Lena—adopted on Valentine’s Day, just before…you know.
  4. Spending more time in my backyard woods when I couldn’t go to other forests.
  5. The knowledge that I can adapt to situations, like mask wearing and online yoga, and living with other humans.
  6. Finishing my memoir and putting it out there. It’s scheduled for publication by SheWrites Press, Fall 2022.
  7. Learning to live with what is.
  8. I can put a 2-night minimum on Airbnb reservations and still get guests.
  9. Giving of myself for family who needs me—and feeling appreciated for it.
  10. Seeing justice rise against wrong. We will not become Nazi Germany.

Ten Losses in 2020

  1. Coffee shop/café writing time and cinnamon crunch bagels and the Thursday café regulars.
  2. In-person yoga.
  3. Unlimited time for projects and adventures (due to #9 above).
  4. Daily naps and quiet days (due to #9 above).
  5. My Airbnb, except for summer.
  6. Cross-country grandchildren time.
  7. Visits with friends.
  8. Comfort around strangers.
  9. My local writing group.
  10. Trust in Americans to pull together collectively in a crisis.

What Do I Want to Leave Behind?
(From hand chosen, not randomly drawn, tarot cards)

5 of Earth: The nest—It has provided safety and comfort, but it’s time to step farther out of it, even if virtually. More contact with friends. More adventuring, as possible. The nest has become too comfortable.

9 of Air: Fear—Not of Covid, my caution has been a healthy one and will continue to be present as long as necessary; a good long time yet, I suspect. I’m not sure yet what I do mean, but I will be watching for future fear. Fear of imperfection, for one. Of not being a good enough pandemic school guide. Of not being a good enough writer to publish a book. Of not being brave enough to promote a published book and that no one will care.

5 of Air: Anger at people who are being stupid and inconsiderate; who have made this country less healthy and more unkind; whose selfishness has killed people. The irritation is justified, but in silence it only hurts me. Impatience with people who are just being who they are.

And now a little beauty to close out the year from hell. Goodbye 2020!

Goodbye to the dark…

Hello to the light…

Thank you for being here. May you be blessed in the new year!

5 thoughts on “Gathering Up 2020

  1. Promise you won’t look too hard for that fear. It’s easy enough to find when you go searching. It lives right out in the open. I hope, instead, you learn to walk the other way when you see it. You’re a brilliant writer and worthy of all the good things coming your way. Thanks for the lists. Great idea !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I think it is more likely that I will need to face it and walk through it rather than turn tail and run. That’s why I chose the card. I know it’s there and ignoring it won’t make it go away. But I get your point!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have gained many of the same good things and felt the same losses as you in 2020. I think my biggest loss was your #8 –Comfort around strangers. I used to go to the store and smile at everyone. Now I walk with my eyes downcast and try to stay as far away as possible. I really hate it and look forward to the day when it won’t be so! Happy New Year and may 2021 bring more good things than bad!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so enjoy meeting you here, Anna. Re strangers: and looking daggers at them, if only in my mind, for not wearing their mask correctly. Or at all. I’ve rarely felt anger at complete strangers before.

      Happy New Year!


      1. I do feel anger towards people without masks because I feel that they are making a statement. As for wearing them incorrectly, I give most people slack. Many really don’t know how to properly wear a mask and their masks don’t fit properly. Others, like employees in stores who have to wear them 8 or more hours a day, are going to have the mask slide down. You aren’t supposed to touch the outside of your mask which makes it very difficult to adjust it over long periods of time. I think that most people are doing the best that they can under the circumstances.

        Liked by 1 person

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