Holidailies asks: What new things did you do, see, or experience this year?
I answer: Well, that’s a loaded question! A knee-jerk reaction is to say “a global pandemic,” but it’s really not the first one of my 54-year lifetime. The Hong Kong flu pandemic, which was an H3N2 flu, happened in 1968, when I was 2 years old. Not that I remember it, but my siblings do. Then there was the swine flu pandemic of 2009-2019, which was an H1N1 flu—a new strain of the virus that caused the Spanish Flu and the pandemic of 1918. However, it’s the first time I’ve ever had to adjust my lifestyle for a pandemic, and it’s a safe bet that many people on the planet can say the same thing.
Not all of the changes have been unwelcome. I don’t miss commuting, the morning rush to do hair and make-up, and bras. I’m fairly introverted, so it wasn’t a big deal for me to stock up and stay home, and I have yet to get bored. I do miss happy hours, Sunday brunches, group hikes, and holiday parties, however. Last December was a bit of a whirlwind with holiday gatherings, a day trip for a city hike around Philadelphia, and a party hosted by one of my fellow hikers. It was more social activity than I normally had, and I was just getting the hang of filling up my calendar and then boom, everything stopped. I know I’ll see everyone again, and I look forward to the time we can all whoop it up, although I will probably need to brush up on my social skills first because I’m used to just blurting whatever is on my mind to Inigo.
Also worried about the fate of democracy in America, which is a first for me. But let’s not get into that, except to say that after I am done moving I would be more than happy to donate my boxes and packing materials for the current occupant of the White House to use when he is evicted.
Ah, this list should have been longer and happier. My New Year’s Resolution for 2020 was to take three trips, with three rules:
- One had to be purely for pleasure
- One had to be somewhere I’d never been before
- New York and Baltimore didn’t count, as I’m from Long Island originally and in normal times I try to get to Baltimore at least once, if not twice, a year for a girls’ night with some friends
I could mix and match—I could travel somewhere I’d never been before for work and I could travel somewhere I’d been before purely for pleasure to visit friends, or any other combination, but one place had to be new to me and one trip had to be just for fun.
For 2020 I figured there would be at least one work trip, one to San Antonio and possibly one to Philadelphia. I’m a little bummed about not going to San Antonio because next week I would have been at La Cantera Resort and Spa, at least during the day, for a meeting that is one of the highlights of my professional year. But after my last experience in San Antonio, maybe the silver lining is being spared another bout of lead legs.
I also wanted to take two pleasure trips, as well, both to places I’d never been before: Either Arizona or Michigan to visit friends (or maybe both), and to Finland to be a tourist and see Poets of the Fall, a band I fell in love with six years ago.
So much for all of that.
Not sure it will happen in 2021, either. It really depends on how the pandemic goes. I’m not all that optimistic, but at least moving to a less expensive apartment will enable me to put aside a nice travel fund for when the the time comes.
Someday, boys. Someday. In the meantime, I have my memories of ProgPower 2019 in Atlanta to keep me going.
Here’s one of my favorite songs of theirs. It came out in 2017, but this year they’ve been doing one song a month in a special series and they premiered this one on my birthday, so double whammy of yay. I love the message, and it’s so utterly fitting for what we’re all going through with this pandemic. Consider it an aural hug from me to you.