|Top 9 images for 2020|
Happy almost-2021, friends! Whelp, it's been a year. It's strange to think the year is ending when most days felt like they lasted a week. But time flies whether you're having fun or not, and it does almost seem like I blinked in March and when I opened my eyes it was December.
Since it's been so quiet around here (by which I mean the blog), I thought I'd give a month-by-month snapshot of what happened in my life in 2020:
January: Went to Portland for a week for work-related training. Fulfilled my 2019 goal of visiting Bisbee, Arizona. It was everything I was hoping and more; however, by the time I came home I was so tired and broke I swore I would spend my next vacation at home. LITTLE DID I KNOW.
February: Saw Josh Gates in Denver, another bucket list item! But again, driving up to Denver was a lot of time and stress, and we didn't even get to have him sign our books, so I questioned whether this was truly worth it.
March: Started shopping for a new mattress. Then everything went into lockdown. Moved to working 100% remote.
April: Had an emotional breakdown during Easter.
May: Bought a mattress; however, it was not in stock and they said it could be up to two weeks until it came in due to COVID-19.
I also had a series of stressful Zoom job interviews. One would think interviewing over Zoom would be easier than in person; one would be wrong.
June: Still no mattress; now they say it won't be on the truck until the end of July.
Also, got the job I interviewed for.
July: Returned to working on-campus 2 days a week. Saw a movie in theaters for the first time in 4 months. New CRM we'd been working on since January went live.
August: Went down to the mattress place to demand my money back, since this whole mattress thing clearly wasn't working out. They pulled a mattress out of their asses and swore it was mine. I have my doubts.
September: The mattress is a brick.
October: Turned 40. Had an okay birthday by global pandemic standards.
November: Campus closed down and everyone moved back to 100% remote. They gave us all of Thanksgiving week off, which was good since I was starting to feel like the living embodiment of the Hang In There cat meme.
Wrote a negative review of the mattress place and they said they would "try" to make it right.
December: Christmas was surprisingly nice. One of my friends took pity on me and gave me enough money to buy a new mattress somewhere else. In sadder news, the store I've been working at since 2014 closed permanently.
It was a very not-normal year, but some good things did happen. I got to see Bisbee, as mentioned previously, and I got another job with more responsibility. And stress, don't get me wrong - but on the plus side I'm not bored anymore.
Overall I feel very grateful this year, for the fact that I can keep my job and work 100% remote, as well as for the support of my family, friends, and colleagues. 2020 brought unexpected blessings, and while I still have the occasional emotional freakout at how weird things are, I think I also learned some important lessons. Like don't complain about how tired I am after a vacation.
The Year in Books
I wish I could say quarantine led to me reading more, but that's simply not the case. I've finished 33 books so far, about the same as last year. But my reading habits did change a bit in response to current circumstances. Here are some of the highlights:
I listened to 5 Walt Longmire books by Craig Johnson on audio. Some of the books are better than others. So far my favorites are Hell Is Empty and An Obvious Fact.
As mentioned in my August Sunday Snapshot, Twilight was my go-to comfort read and watch this year. I re-read all but the first book (and the year isn't over), and then I read Meyer's new release, Midnight Sun. Which was long. Good. But very, very long.
Nearly all of my favorite reads of the year were contemporary rom-coms. Red, White, and Royal Blue is a delightful story about a romance between the son of the US president and the prince of England.
Boyfriend Material is a completely hilarious romp that I bought by accident and then was too lazy to return. It's about the son of an aging rock star who's trying to patch up his public image by dating the most boring person he can think of.
500 Miles from You isn't so much of a haha comedy as a happy ending comedy (the first few chapters are honestly kind of a downer), but it offered total escapism to the Scottish Highlands, which was exactly what I needed when I was reading it.
Reading by the Numbers:
Total books: 33
55% of those books were by women
42% were audiobooks
36% were romances
15% were by POC
Year In Movies
I watched 56 movies this year, about 30% more than in 2019. Obviously only a few of them were new releases and even less were in theaters. Here are some of the favorites 2020 brought us:
DUH. It was everything I wanted and more.
Not as layered and thoughtful as some of Nolan's other movies, but definitely cool. Well worth watching, imo.
A super-duper smart twist on Groundhog Day that's also funny and sweet. Not to mention 100% appropriate for a year where all the days feel like they blend together.
The Invisible Man
This is Elisabeth Moss owning it.
The beginning is boring and the ending is rushed, and Henry Cavill as Holmes is pretty hard to buy into. But overall a very enjoyable movie I would watch again. I'm hoping they release more movies in this series!
Looking Forward to 2021
Hopefully 2021 will bring a return to life more normal and more improved for all of us. I believe it will, though I'm not sure how long it will take.
I don't have any reading goals for next year, but I would like to buy a house. I've managed to save up enough for a down payment and have been pre-approved for a mortgage, so now I just need to find a Realtor and start looking!
I would also like to start a new hobby. I need something non-work related to obsess over and get myself out of my own head. I'm just not sure what yet.
Here's wishing all of you a Happy New Year and bright 2021.
What were some of your favorite reads of the year? Do you have any resolutions for 2021?