Okay, at least it’s not February already! I’m doing this.
Goodbye 2020! We can pretty much all shout that in life-affirming unison. And though we are not out of the woods yet, there is a light twinkling between the dark and looming trees.
I started out 2020 anxiously excited about the quickly approaching birth of my son and planning an across-state move by the summer.
In March, we were in the hospital maternity ward. And while my wife was enduring her first labor, the novel coronavirus was rapidly spreading across the country. When we went in everything was pretty normal; when we came out, there was a lockdown in effect. It was surreal.
And all at once, not only was the outside world drastically changed, but so was our home life; we had a beautiful little boy at home! There was a kind of blanket of terror thrown over this joyful amazement, and we huddled under it in a sleep-deprived stupor.
When August rolled around, after having none of the help raising a kid that we had expected, thanks to the virus—apart from one week from a sanity-saving sister-in-law who had been staying with us pre-lockdown—we moved to Oregon.
I intended this to be a quick post, but I see that it is starting to look like another novel. So, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya …
Here’s what happened:
- My son is born.
- COVID-19 begins its death march across the states.
- Someone very dear to me cuts me out of their life over a text message thread. There is no explanation, no attempt at understanding or reconciliation. This person ignores all my attempts at contact. I am deeply hurt and left in the dark. This continues to torment me and cause me to lose sleep for the rest of the year.
- We move from Los Angeles to Oregon. This is extra challenging thanks to COVID. We end up throwing out a lot of things that normally would have been sold at a garage sale or Craigslist. We give some of it to Out of the Closet and Goodwill, but they won’t take it all. We load the keepers into moving pods and watch all our worldly possessions drive off on a flatbed.
- My son both learns to crawl and pull himself up to standing in the first week we are in Oregon.
- All our worldly possessions arrive in Oregon, mostly unscathed.
- I find a nearby store with a wonderful selection of local Oregon beers. I dream of the day I can actually visit the breweries and drink those beers with other people.
- I release No Promises Large Enough, the sequel to Headless. Finally.
- Throughout the year, I am daily enamored with my son, in awe of his development and tiny, always-adorable-even-when-crying, presence. He brings a level of joy to my life I never before imagined and a challenge that I happily rise to each day, though admittedly some moments are more difficult than others. There are days I groggily rise, cursing the lack of sleep, but then I see his face, the heart-fullness of fatherhood washes over me, and the curses melt into blessings.
- The year comes to a close with me having a greater understanding of myself and the relationships I have (and had), in part due to the pandemic: the unexpected challenges, the volatility, uncertainty, sadness and fear, the isolation. I vow to continue to improve myself, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. I intend to try to better understand people no matter how poorly they may treat me or others, but to not allow them to undermine my spirit. I choose to focus my attentions and thoughts on the people I am blessed to have in my life: my wife, my son, the caring and compassionate friends and family; as well as the good fortunes I have. I choose joy and idyllic days right now.
There you have it. My year in a nutshell and a half. Still not as “summed up” as I had hoped. Regardless, I wish you a fortunate and purposeful 2021.
How was your 2020?