I have to explain where the title came from. On one of the last days before the world ground to a halt in March, we babysat the Seppa-Tebby-Tebby nephew for a few hours. Much fun was had by all, being ponies and slops, that’s sloths, playing with toys and other random objects, eating cookies and singing songs, but of course the time came for him to go home with his mom. Like all kids, he did not want to go home, so he picked up some insoles from a pair of shoes that happened to be nearby, handed one to Steve and said “We have to shoo Mommy away! Shoo away, Mommy! Shoo Away!” and started batting her with the insole. I had not laughed so hard in a long long time. But if this year was a physical thing, I wouldn’t just shoo it away. I would blast it into space.
Before Coronavirus took off all over the world, the year started making our lives miserable. The first couple of months of the year were full of surgery, illness and deaths in our families. Then the pandemic hit and the whole world tipped over. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as far as whether we would have to struggle with things we never imagined. Would transit shut down? Would cabs stop running? Would anybody want to come anywhere near us? Would touching anything be the new criminal offense? And what if one of us got sick? How would we go get tested? How would we isolate so the other one wouldn’t get it? My parents asked us if we wanted to come home and stay with them, but I said no because I needed good internet for work, and even though I was worried about worst case scenarios, the stubborn part of me wasn’t ready to give up yet.
Amazingly, although the whole world was tipping and spiraling out of control, our own personal situation felt a little bit more settled. Sure, we all shared in the global sadness and unrest and the need to face the fact that more change is needed, but the amount of illness and death in our immediate circles slowed down. On top of that, the system didn’t collapse like I had feared, and we found ways to do the things we needed to do. It turns out that staying here wasn’t a stupid decision after all. We found our rhythm and life moved on. I think I was always somewhat on alert for the changing horrors of 2020, but we could breathe and float along in our good strong boat.
By late summer and early fall, I thought that maybe things would get better and things could start getting back to normal, but that didn’t last long. Along came the end of the year and we’re in full lockdown mode, and just to complete the shit sandwich that is this year, we have to end the year with some illness in our family circles. Thankfully none of it looks to be super serious, but it’s definitely a thing.
What can I say about 2020 besides Eeewww? Well, it taught me a lot of lessons. It taught me that very few deadlines are hard. The only ones that are are the ones that are created because you’re dead. Most other things can be moved or modified. It taught me to really think about priorities. It taught me to try and think about things beyond my own tiny bubble of concerns. It taught me to think of other ways to do things. Hopefully the lessons it taught me will stick with me for a long time.
I don’t know what to expect from 2021. Of course I don’t think that the calendar will flip over and we can just start anew. I know that the first few months of 2021 will be more of the same. But I hope that eventually, we can start to see some progress back to a life where seeing our family and friends isn’t such a deadly game of Roulette. Happy New Year, everybody!