When this year started, I had a job, no real plans, per se, but goals. Stuff on the list that had been there for years, like finally in the fall getting my teeth done. So many things had aligned, or so I thought, so we all thought, and this was the year. I thought.
But, then, the skidding landscape of 2020 laughed its evil maniacal laugh, quietly, to itself, knowing what it had in store for us mere mortals. As it brewed in rural China, as we all rang in that New Year, the virus spread out across the globe, silently. On planes and trains, in shopping malls, in churches, in grocery stores and synagogues, in mosques, and all the places where humanity gathers, it spread. And we were oblivious.
Totally, completely, absolutely, oblivious.
Check out more Julie Nolke’s work at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy0P….
I have cried about stuff that has surprised me, delighted me, saddened me, and brought me to such heights of rage, and depths of sadness, thousands of miles of isolation, twisting turns of anxiety and hope, up and down, turning corners knowing the worst was yet to come.
Rage and awe has arrived, in waves.
I’ve learned how to surf the narly waves that 2020 has wrought.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”AUDRE LORDE
Though, it doesn’t feel like it now, I know this is the start of something. (God help me, it better be).
Ya, well, so I guess with my glass half full way of looking at the world, and from experience, I know that endings (er, or in this case, no-good horrible rotten years) I know from experience that staring too long at the closed door, well it tends to blind you to new ways. I know, and especially when it looks the darkest, that I’ve always managed through, found a way out, when I needed, if not always the way I wanted. But, anywho.
Of course, this year I have the company of millions of others who had rotten years, pandemic wrecking havoc on plans, a goal, a job, a sense of security, life itself, all over the world.
Truth be told, I know the world has always provided me with what I need, and that’s not a lot, but I made do. And, credit where credit is due, blessed be mothers and grandmothers who helped me learn how to make do.
I’ve lived simply for years, financially restrained, lots of times before; I’m almost a pro at making do. Actually, truth be told, I’m often happier when I’m just making do.
But, this year, it is like the universe stopped me, said… shhhh, hush now, stay put, absorb this, what will be will be, just let go.
“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”AUDRE LORDE
So, looking back at 2020, there shouldn’t really be a whole lot’o’good to report, however, there have been moments, days, even weeks, so I thought I’d do a little year-end review.
Partly, I suppose, to remind myself.
But first, I’m looking it in the eye.
This year, while by far not my worst, was most blawdy not in any way shape or form my best, and as I write this there are still two and a half days left, and I’m still cautious.
By the time Dad and MsB had made their way for a visit in late February, I had worked my last days at my job, applied for EI, and still, the virus was just news. I remember thinking, maybe it was just a good time for a new start? Glass half full? Right? Take a break, do my teeth, you know, all the stars aligned? Right?
It had not yet hit, had not yet become something to fear, this year. It had not yet become something to loath. It was still a thing OUT THERE, it wasn’t HERE, here. The year was still fresh and new, full of possibilities.
I had gone in to full on get-er-done mode to use my work benefits to get my teeth done. I had done all the things I had put off doing to get them done, to finally have my no good rotten teeth removed and got the dreaded dentures.
I had. I tried, god blawdy mighty did I friggin’ try.
I tried harder than I had tried for anything. ANYTHING.
But nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. The pandemic hit, the world closed up, my appointment was canceled.
And one by one, all this year, my teeth have fallen out.
I spit them out, throw them in the garbage, gargle some mouthwash, and go on with my day.
God, you know, there was a time that I was devastated. Crushed. Not now. No, now I just put on my hat, my pretty purple scarf, concentrate on what I can control, and try not to smile, and am thankful I have to wear a mask when out in public.
And, the first good thing? The most wacked out good thing? Thank god for the mask, to hide my ugly smile from those who don’t know me. To hide, which is like so friggen hysterical considering that has been my modus operandi my whole entire life, and like now it’s rather convenient, and I have come to not care even half as much about what people may think of me, who don’t know me.
Pride slips away, now.
Yeah, so they say that pride cometh before the fall, and that biblical level of irony is not lost on me at all.
One by one, day by day, I grasp tightly to every cliché quip, and every single wisp of hope, of faith, of kindness, those glimpses of goodness all around, I sought.
Laughter, this year, sometimes almost a blessed event, I held close like a well-worn Velveteen Rabbit, precious and rare.
Check out more of Brittlestars work at https://www.youtube.com/user/brittletube
And, as I’m checking off the deadly sins, actually, I guess you can say that the whole sloth thang has a reprieve this year, as I’ve indulged in many a show I probably would not have given the time of day, bored out of my skull hunting for anything that can pass the time, locked away, here in my nook.
And greed, well, never really been my hang-up, so that’s good since being greedy this year was reserved solely for those for whom greed is a way of life, as the rest of us slogged on through the reality of surfing 2020.
Yeah, and, whatever the other deadly friggen sins are, can go to hell.
So, what else was good?
Well, my garden was good. Pika was fun to have. Life didn’t completely suck, and I got by.
“Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.”IBID
Patience, yes, and all it’s virtue, how could I almost forget patience, a character trait that put one in good steed this crappy no good year. Waiting for lockdown to be over, waiting, waiting some more, waiting, waiting, waiting. Figuring new ways to wait, to pass the time, generally not constructively.
As EI ran out, and job didn’t work out, and on social assistance I am, now, have to rely. For now. Just for now. Tax money on the way, being the result of another thing I scratched off the to do list this year.
So, that’s good. Catching up on my back taxes, and reaping the rewards of my lazy introverted arse who wouldn’t just go do it in the past. So, there’s that. That’s good, eh? Feels like FREE money.
And, again, credit where credit is due, making do put me ahead of the pack, and again I have my mom and grandmother to thank for that.
So, in honour of making do, I’m making moms American Goulash today, her cheapo quickie dinner that I absolutely loved growing up, like a big warm hug.
And Black-eyed peas for sure on New Year’s Day, cause they say, success comes to those who do.
And, guess all I can say, is good will to you and yours, and they and theirs, and all of us mere plebs wading through this so messed up year, blessed be.
May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore.