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Twenty Twenty Too
It’s Christmas Day night, and I’m lying on the couch at my parents’ house cradling a bottle of water I need to drink because I’ve had a whole bottle of chardonnay to myself; in the desert, especially, there are consequences for that kind of indulgence. I’m deeply, psychically tired. That’s how it goes, isn’t it, negotiating the choppy waters of family and holidays and self-preservation and tenuous sanity. My phone is… somewhere. I’m usually not too far from it, even when I want to be, and yet at this moment in time I have no idea where it is. A pocket, somewhere, maybe? Eventually I’ll need it, but for now, I’m happy to have that little rectangle of obligations far away from me.
The other day my friend sent me this meme:
I think we can all agree that 2020 was Bad. I really hoped that after the hell that was 2016, I’d get a break from bad years for a long long time. Alas, it was not to be, and 2020 was an epic dumpster fire that drove so many people’s goals and plans and hopes right out the window.
And then there was 2021. You know what’s weird? This year absolutely flew by in the blink of an eye, and yet at the same time, as I struggle to remember what-all happened, it feels like certain events took place a full decade ago – even things that happened in October. This was a crazy year packed with events and milestones, such as:
- Getting vaccinated – the people I have been most worried about throughout this pandemic are my immunocompromised parents, my immunocompromised nephew, and my best friend Alex the Special Ed teacher who has to work hands-on with germy kids. I’m extremely relieved to say they are all vaxxed and boosted (I know there are variants and it’s still possible to get covid even with the vaccine, but they’re as protected as they can be currently, so I’ll take what I can get).
- Getting married – don’t bother checking IG for wedding photos; there aren’t any, because there was no wedding. We swung by the courthouse and picked up the paperwork, then headed over to my tech lead/certified minister’s apartment complex where he and his wife signed on the dotted line, masked, from six feet away. Then we dropped the envelope in the mail and grabbed poke on the way home to celebrate.
- Earning my AWS cert and being promoted to Jr. DevOps Engineer – I still have a ways to go and a lot to learn, which means I spend most of most days feeling really dumb/slow/behind/incompetent/inadequate. HOWEVER. I’m proud and grateful to have come this far and I’m just trying to take it one ClickUp task and JIRA ticket at a time.
- Reuniting – my husband and I spent two weeks in Spain with his parents after not seeing them for two years, and we swam in the ocean in October, ate tons of delicious food, and just generally soaked up the opportunity to spend time with family. I also got to visit my best friend Laura and her family at their house in Tahoe and had my first sleepover with Alex since she came to visit in San Diego right before lockdown.
So much was done and earned and learned accomplished this year, and mostly I just feel exhausted. Like my brain is running through waist-high water, all the time. I’m bent over, hands on my knees, sucking in air as fast as I can just trying to collect myself after the marathon that 2021 has been. I went into 2020 with the understanding that it was going to be My Year, channeling Big Linetti Energy (Brooklyn 99 fans will know Gina Linetti as confident, competent, self-possessed, and unapologetically in love with herself: aka the human form of the 100 emoji). Obviously that went south. I was determined to try again in 2021, and honestly when I sat down to write this, I was prepared to say I came up short.
Now here I am on New Year’s Eve and I’m not so sure. Maybe 2021 really was My Year, but it was moving too fast and I was doing too much to notice until now. Maybe my naturally pessimistic impulse to focus more on worrying about the future and agonizing over the unknown caused me to overlook, in the moment, just how amazing this year has been.
For the past couple years, I have done away with New Year’s Resolutions and instead set New Year’s Intentions. I also recently watched a YouTube video in which Maddie Dragsbaek talked about choosing words for her year. So that is what I’m going to do now: set four intentions and choose two words for 2022.
1. Be honest about what serves me and what doesn’t, and then expend my energy accordingly.
2. Be more positive in how I think about, speak of, and treat my body.
3. Create more – writing, code projects, photographs, meals, all of it and more.
4. Recognize rest and pleasure as forms of productivity that provide much-needed fuel for other activities and accomplishments.
Happy New Year, gentlefriends!
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[Photo credit: Myriam Zilles via Unsplash]