Reflecting on 2020

by Amanda Woade

The year is over so it's time for wrap ups and reflections of what this past year has been.

2020 got off to a shaky start - there were rumors of the virus spreading, but we got a  couple of months out of the start of the year.  Lock downs starting in March, and it's been tough since then. I was working full time at an essential job for the first few months of the pandemic and it was exhausting.  The days all blurred together, I didn't have any energy when I got home from work. I know a lot of people had a different blursday experience, working from home (or not working at all) and being unable to tell Monday from Friday, and both versions of it have warped a lot of looks back on that period.

I then had some big changes happen in my personal life and it was completely overwhelming in a different way.  Those changes are still playing out and winding their way through my life. I'm still walking the path and waiting to see where all the changes lead.  They're big, they're sometimes scary, but I think they will lead me to a better place for myself once things get settled.

Through the lock downs, I've done experimenting with things old and new.  I took watercolor painting back up, something I hadn't really done since high school.  I learned more about social media, and joined a really excellent group of makers called Sitting Crooked Crafters.  I made some masks.  I did as much sleeping as I could.

Smokey has been here with me through it all, and he's been an excellent companion and a good product tester.  This year I was excited to launch a handful of new items and really get my website looking a lot better than it did last year.  I can't say I made as much progress as I might have hoped at times, but any progress is saying a lot this year.  I'm happy with how the website looks and now I'm trying to do some backend stuff to make things work a little better overall.

All things considered, this year made a lot of things come to light in a lot of different ways.  The marches for Black lives this summer, the reaction and politicization of the virus, the personal reflection from time spent at home, the amazing work done by essential workers (janitors, grocery workers, doctors, USPS, factory workers, and everyone else who's been on their feet since March), the cracks in our systems.  2020 is over but the things it's shown us won't go away, and I encourage all of you to do what you can to help your neighbors who are struggling.  We've gotten this far and it's easier when we can work together to make the world for all of us, not just some of us.

I don't really make predictions more than a week or two out anymore, so I'm not sure what 2021 will bring.  I'm just hoping to be able to hug my friends by the end of it.  If that's not what happens, it's ok. There will still be beautiful and unexpected things that happen.

Stay safe and healthy and I hope your year is off to a good start.

Grey cat curled up with an orange heart on its paws.  Text over top reads: "Happy last day of the year! Proud of you for making it through, whether you did anything big or not. Surviving is big enough."