I started writing this post for my birthday on January 28, 2020. Apparently, the year started out hard and I didn’t want to write about the hard things. The rest of 2020 took a turn for the ‘Hold my beer, early 2020’ and it got too hard to write about any things.

I have been overwhelmed with the amount of horrible things going on in the world and in our country, and the day to day challenges of living in that world with a brain that does not really know how to process it all. I see that even people who are generally good at that type of thing are also having trouble processing it all. I am trying to have hope for a better future for everyone, but it is not always easy.

I miss writing. It is a thing I do to organize my thoughts, but lately, there are too many to organize. There are a few things that stop the chaos in my head, and I am very thankful for them, so I will write about those things.

My favorite part of the ‘new world’ is that Karen is working from home. I know that it is not all good for her because she misses her work people and going to work in her office, but the cats and I love getting to spend so much time with her. I know she is happy to get to spend so much time with us too. Working from home is much less lonely than it used to be.

I like the way people have quickly adapted to virtual meetings and socializing. Zoom, and similar video conferencing apps, can be overwhelming, but it is a nice way to get to see people when you can’t see them in person. A favorite pandemic thing has been getting together with some friends for Zoom movie nights. We meet on Zoom and all press play on the movie DVD at (approximately) the same time, then hang out together and watch the movie, have drinks, and have a good time together. I am not so good at socializing in the actual world, and this has been a nice new way to socialize. Thanks to Paul and Lisa and Terry and families 🙂

I miss my family terribly. Facetime is nice, but not the same as seeing them in person. I am not so good at traveling, but since I’ve been back on the same coast as them it has been easier and I wish I could see them more. Instead, I call them a lot. It makes me happy to hear their voices and to know how they are spending their days during this crazy time. It breaks my heart that Karen has to visit her mom through a window in the parking lot and that so many families are separated in so many ways.

I have come to appreciate distractions even more than I already did. At some point every morning I get very agitated and can’t think, or work, or sit still. Going outside until I can think again is a nice distraction. My brain goes on auto-pilot and almost always takes me to the train station.

Karate was a nice distraction, even on Zoom, but I have to take a break for a few reasons, including a very annoying hurt shoulder. Hopefully I can do that again soon. It is helpful to kick stuff, even if it is just the air.

Video games are always a good distraction. Favorite game of the year has definitely been Fallout 76, even though it has so many bugs and annoyances.

Podcasts are another favorite distraction. I like a lot of audio dramas and listen to a bunch of work related podcasts. I started a post about favorite podcasts a while back. Maybe I will finish and post it sometime.

Last, but definitely not least, favorite distraction of the pandemic: Whiskey. I am thankful to whiskey for making things more bearable. Before the pandemic, I mostly liked to drink it straight up or with ice. That is still my favorite, but Karen and I have taken advantage of this form of stress relief during the pandemic to learn a few cocktail recipes (Old Fashioned and Whiskey Sour) and to try some new kinds of whiskey.

I hope you are all doing okay and getting by as best you can and I hope we can all fix the world and get to a better place soon.