Monday, January 11, 2021

The Evil Genie Mascot of 2020

This photo was taken at anchor in the South River just outside Oriental NC, just hours before Tropical Storm Isaias attacked us. It was the reddest, most beautiful sunset I've ever seen followed by one of the fiercest displays of nature I've ever encountered. If 2020 could be summed up in one picture, this is it.

2020 really, truly, sucked. But the 2020 shitshow has been tempered here and there by little dollops of joy. Much like WW Jacobs' story about the Monkey Paw, or the fables of the genie who grants (sort of what you asked for but not quite) wishes, 2020 has been the year that gave little and took back too much. If 2020 had a mascot it would be an evil genie.

If you haven't read the fable of the Monkey's Paw, definitely do that.
Preferably in front of the fireplace on a stormy night. Here's a link.

After years of searching we found our dream boat. The escrow process of actually buying it completely stripped the joy from the process.

We made the upgrades as intended and they were fabulous, and add real value to the boat as well as comfort and safety margins for us. We found a whole bunch of repair work we weren't expecting. The traveling kitty took a real hit. Oh well, due to lockdowns we weren't going anywhere anyways.

Covid is scary. We spent most of the year doing boat repairs in a little village that's relatively safe from Covid because we see the same 12 people all week, and because the townspeople generally take the pandemic seriously. We have made lifelong friends and they have become like family. Someday we can actually safely hug.

We skipped our "December in the Keys" RV trip to come directly to California to get some medical attention on Lance's foot. Being home early meant I could support family battling serious illness and ultimately a death. Had we not high-tailed it early we would been in less of a helpful position. My heart goes out to anyone trying to navigate our medical system right now.

Peaceful sunset on the Sacramento River, the windmills of Rio Vista are calm for the moment

I've been struggling to find meaning in 2020; the lesson to be absorbed.
Here's what I've got so far:

Seize the Day. It was already my life motto, this year simply reminded me. None of us know how much time we have left.

Be sure the people I love know it. This means they deserve more than half-hearted responses and occasional glances over the top of a cell phone, the lesson of 2020 is: Be Present.

Stop the millions of joy-robbers on their way in: social media, negative news feeds, screen time in general, the loud guy spouting politics at the campground. This thing about Being Present is that Present needs to be a place where I actually want to Be.

As for the weight on my shoulders? I need to do what I can and lay the rest down. Seriously, if I can't fix it I shouldn't be carrying it around so I need to stop allowing it free rent in my head and on my back.

Lance's foot is healing well and after that we will be sorting our things and heading back to Minerva. The lessons of 2020 were hard earned and will travel with us.

Already I've modified Chloe's walking route to avoid the crazy politics-shouting fisherman at the other end of the RV park.