Lessons from 2020

I’ve talked before about my life as a recovering anorexic and perfectionist. One huge step in overcoming perfectionist/anorexic thinking came when I began to view failures as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than reflections on my value as a human being. Since starting to think that way, I’ve had many such growth opportunities, but never so many as in 2020.

With all the unexpected challenges 2020 threw at us came an avalanche of failures on my part. Oh my gosh, it was — continues to be — is — the greatest number of failures per day, week, month, or year probably in my entire life. I don’t say this as a way of denigrating myself, but to realistically describe the situation. I thrive and succeed based on routine, but even the words “routine” and “2020” hardly fit in a sentence together. Toss me into a new situation, like pretty much every day of 2020, and I’m pretty certain to fail at something in it. Continue Reading >>

A Day that Will Live in Infamy

Very few days I remember exactly what I was doing when a certain thing happened. I remember what I was doing when I heard on 9/11 that an airplane had flown into the first of the two towers. The days and weeks that followed stand out more clearly in my mind than many others, indelibly etched there by those shocking, traumatic events.

Add today’s attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters to that short list.

Before everything blew up, I was having not my greatest work day — I already cried once — but eventually managed to get on track and start accomplishing some real work. Then one of my coworkers sent me a message saying that protesters had started attacking the Capitol. I turned on NPR. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic Movie Night

Before COVID times, we got together with a group of friends every month to watch a movie, share snacks, and just chat and connect.

Of course, pandemic restrictions have completely shut that down. We initially couldn’t figure out how to get together with people, and we put movie nights on hold along with nearly everything else. But at Christmas, we always watch A Muppet Christmas Carol on our movie night. It’s usually such a joyful evening, with kids joining us as we watch this excellent and familiar movie, sing along, even quote along. Continue Reading >>

Christmas 2020

This year has taught me to expect very little. If it snows, expect a snowball thrown at the window to break the glass.

Even before the pandemic, I’d already accepted that I’m not that person who’s ready with a huge stack of Christmas cards, crispy sprinkle-covered cookies, seasonal decorations, or beautifully wrapped gifts. I’d describe myself as a functional Christmas person. I don’t send cards; I don’t bake cookies; I decorate minimally; and I wrap gifts, but never beautifully. We celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Christ, and that doesn’t need a bunch of extra trappings. Which is good, because trappings aren’t happening. Continue Reading >>

Autumn in the Northwest

A few pictures from the rare times we get out of the house in these predominantly dark, gloomy, wet months. Unfortunately the only camera I carry these days is the little one on my phone; fortunately, it’s higher-resolution and smarter at things like HDR than the DSLR gathering dust in my closet. (In fairness, the DSLR is much better at real camera tasks like manual focus, shutter speed, ISO settings, etc; I just don’t take pictures like that so much these days, alas.)

Seward Park
Don’t get the impression that we enjoy mostly sunshine between October and December; instead, get the impression that we take pictures of that rare event when it happens.
Seward Park Cedar
A lovely old cedar tree at Seward Park gave me tree envy.
High Bridge Road Just After Sunrise
Rode down High Bridge Road not long after the sun came up and enjoyed the quiet pastoral scene.
Snow Geese Snoqualmie Valley 2
Snow geese visit for just a few weeks a year on their annual southward migration. I felt lucky to see them close enough that I also heard the wind in their feathers as they landed.

Waiting for Election Results

I haven’t mentioned the 2020 presidential election on my blog yet. That’s because, while I of course have political opinions, I prefer to keep them off the internet. True to that philosophy, this post isn’t about who I think should win or speculating about paths to victory, but what to do while waiting.

One NPR commentator said that yesterday was “the longest day of the year.” It certainly felt that way, and there’s reason to expect that sense of being suspended in time to continue for quite a while, given how many voters used mail-in ballots. This has given me time to think about how to wait. Continue Reading >>

Peek-a-boo Hair Color

Last month I went and got my hair cut. To have some fun with it, I also got a strip of it colored: green/blue/purple fade. My sister called it mermaid chic. This Friday I got the color refreshed, a little less green and a little more blue and indigo. Next month I think we move to all blue on the top half, all purple on the bottom, with a long fade between the two.

Peek-a-boo hair color

Call it benefits of the pandemic. I’m not sure how my work would feel about this exotic hair activity, but at the moment it doesn’t matter one bit. I feel happy every time I deal with my hair and I’m just going to keep having fun with this. Continue Reading >>