2020 Review {Yes, 2020}

Unpacking and digesting 2020 in 2022? The last two years went by in the blink of an eye, so why not? Probably a lesson or twelve in there somewhere.



A new decade! Exciting, right? Except that I wrote: "A new decade. Whatevs. Not a big deal. Watched a lame Netflix original with Ryan Reynolds (6 Undercover?) with an ungodly amount of brand advertising in it, including Aviator Gin. Not sure if that was intentionally absurd or if I never noticed those kinds of things before." Ha! Whatevs. And I didn't even know yet what was to come in March.


I read a lot in January {8 books}, and watched several MasterClasses {David Sedaris, Sara Blakely, Bob Iger}. My grandma would have turned 100 {if she hadn't died at 90}, and we celebrated 12 years of living in Canada. I streamlined my business and worked a lot. I started a core fit class and was really sore after the first class; I generally enjoyed it, except that the yoga mats {supplied for the class and shared} were incredibly disgusting.


Oh, and there was a life-changing event. My husband was diagnosed with a motor-neuron disease. After two years of many trips to the neurologist and countless testing he got the diagnosis he didn't want. Good news: probably not ALS. Bad news: losing the use of his legs over time, but not sure how long that will take. Not what you want to hear at 49.


As I write this it's been two years since the diagnosis and it seems like we still haven't wrapped our heads around it. His legs are constantly getting worse and he had to quit working and is now retired.



February was a lot like January, filled with lots of work and streamlining my business. Managed to read 4 books. Got a nasty cold at the end of the month and just realized that was the last time I was sick! Not getting close to other people, staying home, and wearing a mask when going out seems to work, eh? 


February was also the month I seriously started thinking about moving away from Merritt, because it's such a shithole and I feel like the amount of assholes living here is disproportionately high. Our youngest enrolled at TRU in Kamloops and was set to move to Kamloops in September, so this would be the perfect time to leave - what could go wrong? {LOL}



The official beginning of the pandemic coincided with the last day of the core fit class I attended, and before it ended I had already decided to never attend another class there again because of those disgusting yoga mats. I wonder if they still use those, I would not be surprised. 


And yeah, then there was the pandemic. A few days after the WHO declared it I drove to Kamloops with my youngest and he bought himself a MacBook in preparation for university. We went to Best Buy to trade in an old desktop Mac and he mentioned to the sales rep that he saw a special offer online, with an additional discount. She didn't know anything about it, so he pulled it up on his phone and turned the screen to her so she could see it. She took his phone and started looking at it, and then proceeded to pass his phone around to three other people to look at, before they finally figured it out. I was stunned - this was not even acceptable before the pandemic - and I'm pretty sure my son still has nightmares about this. 😂


For the rest of the month there was more reading, more knitting, and a lot more working. And of course the first lockdown, even though it didn't really feel like it to me because my life didn't change. I was already working from home and preferred staying home. Thinking back, the only thing that stood out was that I went on long walks every day and started working out at home, because I was also baking a cake almost every day and didn't want to emerge from the pandemic with 50 extra pounds. {Spoiler alert: I haven't emerged at all yet, I have gained weight, and I'm still baking.}



That first full month of the pandemic was crazy, a different crazy than it is now. Nobody knew anything {I suppose that has not really changed lol} and people were either super considerate or raging assholes {again, in Merritt there were more of the latter}. I continued to work from home, but my husband had to go to work every day, at the local hardware store. He was manning the front door after occupancy limits had been introduced for stores, and he was completely exhausted and drained every day after work. He witnessed fist fights, people yelling at him, threatening the other staff, and acting like entitled assholes. I was completely in favour of buying him a 6' electric cattle prod, but he didn't think his employer would go for it.


It was also the month we watched Tiger King on Netflix {remember that?!?} and I abandoned wearing a bra.



In May we started seeing our friends again regularly {after taking a cautious break for 6 weeks during the first lockdown}, and I got my first pandemic haircut. 


The weather was lovely and lilac season came, my favourite time of the year. 


My husband turned 50 and we were is disbelief that the pandemic was still going on LOL. At the beginning of the year I had planned a birthday trip, we were going to Tacoma, WA to visit a rabbitry and I had booked a private bunny therapy session where you get to play with tiny baby bunnies for an hour. {I know, best birthday present ever.} 


When the pandemic hit in March we were still convinced that we would be able to go, until the hotel emailed us in early May that they cancelled our reservations.



June was a huge month. We decided to sell our house and move to a remote ranch in the Cariboo {one of my clients} once our son would leave for university. Then we actually sold our house and I started minimizing our possessions. I remember being excited, stressed, overwhelmed. It was no easy feat to reduce our belongings by about 90%, but I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. And documented it in a series of IGTV videos.



Minimizing. Packing. Work. Heat wave. Knitting. Reading. 



Minimizing. Packing. Work. Knitting. Reading. Signed all the paperwork for the sale of our house. I was so excited to leave Merritt, I honestly thought I would never come back. We packed our possessions and our son's stuff into a cube van on August 29, dropped him off at the university dorm in Kamloops on the 30th, and started our adventure at the ranch a few hours later, in the pouring rain. It was exhilarating.



Bliss. Mostly. With a side of adjustment challenges.



We got used to living in the wilderness and became part of the crew at the ranch. My husband filled his days with helping out a bit and exploring the woods with our dog Jacob a lot. I got used to the howling of the coyotes at night and fell in love with communal living. My days were filled with work and the evenings with walks, campfires, and counting stars. 


The middle of the month brought an end to our wilderness bliss. In short: our youngest decided he hated university, dropped out of school, moved back to Merritt, and went through a horrible breakup. There is a lot more to the story, but I'm not going to write about it. Except to share what I wrote in my notes on October 14: "We have a full-blown fucking crisis on our hands, after 6 weeks; that escalated quickly."



November was mostly filled with trying to deal with this family crisis and helping our son get settled in a new apartment; and there I was - back in Merritt. It was just as shitty as I remembered it, of course, it had only been 2 months LOL. So much for "I'm never coming back." 


However, the highlight of the month was my 49th birthday, which included a trip to the yarn store in 100 Mile House, a fantastic store called the Impossible Knot. 


By the end of the month it seemed like things had sort of stabilized, and our son had found a job to somewhat support himself.



I started the month by writing in my notes: "December! I guess even the crappiest year comes to an end at some point." 


I continued to work at the ranch, enjoyed the absolute silence there, took more pictures of sunrises and sunsets than I can count, baked cookies, took several trips to Merritt and back, and tried to knit as much as possible to stay sane. 


Finished the year by writing: "Last day of 2020. I can't even say that it's been shittier than any of the last few years. Just a different kind of shitty. I'm sure that 2021 will have its own kind of shit flavour to it." And as it turns out, it did.