And guess what? It’s not over yet (Damn you, Omicron). My favorite part of December is reviewing the last 11 months. I don’t know about you but 2021 knocked me on my ass, slightly more than 2020. This year had moments of clearing away the garbage, then different shock waves to leave one hugging a wall. I’m a deeply fortunate person, though I do battle demons now and then. This leaves me grateful for my time on earth. Here is what made 2021 noteworthy for me:
The utter joy to have a different president and VP. No president can heal the damage of the previous administration, but this one is better and makes the news boring again.
Because of above, I’ve stopped watching the news 24/7, which means lower ratings and better mental health. I realize cable news needs me, and when disaster strikes, I do return. The breaking news flashes have created a pavlovian response in me.
By March, COVID numbers got better, so perfect timing for me to house a wet sponge in my lungs. Friends, I am delighted to be alive, even though I ate too many cashews just now. What a joy to be vaccinated x 3 and not feel as if I need to get my affairs in order (although they are because you never know). For my buddy who refuses to get jabbed because of wanting to “rely on their immune system”–I too thought I was too strong to get COVID, but in March I was sucking air and not envisioning walking a block without passing out. In pandemics, you have to pull together and do right by your neighbor. When you’re helping kill off millions, you really belong on a mission to Mars.
In June, I went on a “family vacation” to the Jersey Shore! I deemed myself Snooki and spent the time filming my toes in the ocean, watching Lupin and Miranda, and going to Target. That’s what happens when you’re no longer 20 (or 30 or 40). Yes, the beach was amazing! Did I swim in the ocean? No, because Jaws and I overconfidently ordered a bikini that I didn’t actually want to wear. Also, sharks, baby sharks, jellyfish, moving things.
After finishing a novel, I took a radical and strategic step toward its progress. That’s very cryptic, I know. It made the 2021 list so it must be important to me.
July: First flight since February 2020! Did this Delta flight to Miami resurrect my painful fear of flying? Absolutely not! Even masked, how awesome to glide over the Atlantic and, after 5 episodes of Friends, swoop down into southern Florida! I got to see my adorable father-in-law and celebrate his 95th birthday.
August: Sam got a cold. CRISIS! Testing. More testing. I get the cold, too. OMG, our first colds in 18 months.
September: A deeply loved relative passed away. We are heartbroken over his loss. It still doesn’t seem real. The only happy part was how it has brought our giant family together.
In November, I participated in Nanowrimo and wrote *another* novel. Is it about my Latin teacher? Prep school? Hitchhiking? Summer camp? Vespasian? Fertility issues? Forgiveness? I have no idea, except it’s fiction and not a book of essays.
December now. I’m allegedly on vacation and now thinking it’s strange how one text can spark an idea, then get you off the couch. A few months ago, Sam and I were firm in our beliefs in how we would live. Then we received a text and might be on a new adventure. Details to come on this but here’s a hint.
This wasn’t an easy year by any means. What helped me through some difficult days (weeks) was acknowledging that “I am in hell” and “It’s bad right now.” It makes better times that much sweeter and easier to recognize, like today when I have the right number of clips to hold up my hair, I’ve just discovered Below Deck, and Sam is cooking dinner. I’m good and I hope you are, too.
Happy Holidays and may 2022 be a cake walk for us all. Oops, I said cake.