The end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 started so normal and promising: Wifey and I celebrated the New Year with some of our best friends (mid-Michigan power couple The Brookensesses, and Little Chris and his wife, the Mad Austrian), then it was watching B play soccer in the “bubble,” followed by his 16th birthday, passing his driving test, and a super quick trip to Pennsylvania to pick up the 2008 Subaru Forester that his Poppy generously gave to him in lieu of trading it in for a negative profit.
A week later, Wifey and I rented a vacation home in Lake Ann with two other couples we’re BFFs with and had a great time celebrating Valentine’s Day with great food, excellent conversation, snowshoeing, late-night shenanigans, and lots of laughs (made easier with one of our friends being a legit comedian, ha!).
Soon after that weekend, I found myself back in my normal day-to-day struggle to maintain a mood that didn’t make me want to sleep for 23 hours a day.
Somewhere in there, Wifey and I had lunch with mid-Michigan power couple The Brookensesses and their eldest son at the Alma Brewing Company. (This was the last time I ate out in a restaurant. Can’t say I care about that, although I do miss my friends.).
Then Wifey went to Vegas with her just divorced college roommate.
Now in a normal year, with different women involved, reading those words above might conjure up thoughts of Wifey returning from a trip to Vegas with marriage ending/boosting news of Jerry Falwell Jr. style infidelity with Raúl, the pool boy/stripper/blackjack dealer. But no, it was just a couple of almost 50-year-old lady-nerds doing lady-nerd stuff in Vegas mere days before COVID would become part of our daily life for the foreseeable future.
This is where 2020 gets so fucked up that I can’t possibly list all the negatives.
Within days of Wifey’s return from Vegas, we found out that the girlfriend of one of B’s friends and teammates took her own life. That news shook the school and the community around it. It’s still hard to think about.
Soon after that, the U.S. got dick slapped hard with COVID-19.
I could talk at length about the lack of National leadership, the death toll, the lack of cooperation and understanding amongst the American public, science deniers, assholes, right-wing religious conspiracy theories, our fuck face of a President, etc., but there is no point; there is just too much to comprehend and even more to shake your head at.
In addition to all that, Wifey and I each had an uncle move on to the other side (one due to a battle with illness and one to COVID, according to the family grapevine), experienced strained relationships with family members, went through an election that doesn’t seem to end, and battled through all the loneliness, paranoia, isolation, fear, boredom, depression, canceled plans, and dystopian realities that come from a Global Pandemic and 2020.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!! 2020 ALSO INCLUDED…
We also had a good friend’s husband lose his job while he battled cancer, and one-half of our good friends, The Brookensesses, lost a brother in a horrible freak accident just last month. An accident that left me speechless and had Wifey and I struggling to find words and actions to properly console our friends.
FUCKING HELL, MAN!! LET IT END!!
Additionally, there were riots and protests due to the never-ending murder and racism that so many law enforcement agencies engage in and then turn a blind eye to, kidnapping plots by right-wing Michiganders, threats to our democracy by Republican nut jobs, and the loss of beloved civil right leaders, as well as actors and sports legends that you somehow always thought would be around forever.
SON-OF-A-BITCH! DID ANYTHING GOOD HAPPEN?
OK, all of 2020 didn’t suck; if you tally up all the normal days over the year, there was a month or two of good stuff. Or at least semi-sanity.
Despite what 2020 threw at us, I somehow found myself on track to finding some peace with myself, grew closer with Wifey and B, improved some skills behind the camera (and the keyboard), and with continued therapy and Daddy’s Little Helper, I have felt less depressed than I have in years. Yes, I see the irony of becoming less depressed during one of the most depressing years in modern history. And yes, I fear that I am only feeling better because the part of my mind drawn to depression is too busy managing the other hells that keep popping up from day-to-day. But let’s not think about that for now.
B’s spring club season was canceled due to COVID, but he was able to squeeze in a high school soccer season. And while the team was horrible, B managed to play excellent and earn a spot on the All-Conference First Team and the All-Conference Academic Team for the second year in a row. Well done, B!!
The semi-normality of 2019 and January and February of 2020 seems like it was a thousand years ago. Yet here we are, ready to start 2021. I have no doubt that 2020s problems will still be here tomorrow, and probably for many months to come, but with the development of multiple COVID vaccines and finally saying goodbye to President Fuck Face, there is at least some hope in sight.
I’m looking forward to that hope and to getting back to living as normal as possible. I’m also looking forward to spending time with my friends again. There will be many laughs, beers, and hugs—eventually.
May you find peace and true happiness in 2021.
NOTE: The photos used here were some faves from 2020.
Here are a few links to my favorite posts of 2020:
And my most hated due to being in one hell of a scary funk. But also one of my favorites because it allows me to see how low I got and try not to let it happen again: