Note: If you received an actual card from me hopefully you weren’t offended by my greeting this year. Sometimes the only way to express oneself is through bad grammar and profanity. Personally, I find the combination quite soothing.
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” – JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit
I’m pretty sure for most of us 2020’s live dragon was COVID and of course, he was everywhere. Fortunately, I’ve remained healthy and that’s the biggest gift I could receive. I wish I could say the same for many of my friends (and/or their loved ones) who have caught the virus, some of whom are still struggling. I pray for them every day and for the people who have lost their lives. Unfortunately, I count some friends among that number as well.
At the beginning of this year, I made a conscious decision to reduce my client base at Wax Marketing and focus on the work that felt most meaningful for me which included mainly healthcare clients. As you probably know, communications became a critical task as COVID hit which meant that this spring and most of the summer I was working more hours than I have in years. This is not a complaint, in fact, I am grateful to have projects that perhaps had a tiny impact. I was not on the frontlines, but I’ve had a front seat to the suffering, exhaustion, and grief this virus has created. I’ve also been a witness to the heroism of the human spirit, not only of doctors and nurses, but hospital housekeepers, chaplains, public health officials, infection preventionists, and many others who have risked their lives for us in 2020.
This spring also brought the death of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed. While I do not live in Minneapolis, I live only three blocks from the Minnesota Governor’s mansion, the site of many protests. Enough has been written about it, so I will just say that I am in complete support of Black Lives Matter and I am hopeful that we can begin to turn around the racial inequities that have lasted so long.
Beyond the unrest and the virus, there have been some bright spots in my world. I was lucky to have my very close friend Judy room with me during the lockdown, which was a huge gift. I don’t think I’ve ever lived with a more resilient, cheerful person which I suppose was good for me, although at times I felt a lot like Mr. Banks when he met Mary Poppins.
I also got a chance to visit Leech Lake for the first time and spent two weeks living in a cabin with terrible WiFi and gorgeous views. I have taken up kayaking, and that was pretty much a daily activity. Jack the hound was with me the entire time (although sadly he never did learn to swim) and friends in my “pod” came to visit (including Duchess and Judy) so it was a lovely respite.
The last bit of news is that at the beginning of lockdown the main pipe in my plumbing stack finally went for good. And so my 114-year old house got a new plumbing system, and I got a brand new bathroom which has been a blessing. And very expensive.
As I write this, I realize that 2020 has reminded me how very lucky that I am, and that all my problems are of the fancy variety. So many others cannot say the same. Every day I thank God for my sobriety, for such fulfilling work, and for the gift of so many incredible people in my life. When it comes to raising Bonnie, it takes a big village and I love you all so much.
Here’s to a better year in 2021.