Tomorrow marks the final major holiday (in Canada) that we will have celebrated in a degree of lockdown: New Year’s Day.

It’s been more than 7 months since I’ve written here, and more than 9 months since my life looked normal as in going to public places and seeing people without being far away, wearing masks. Since then, vaccines have been approved, and people I know have received them: healthcare workers who for the last 10 months—or more, depending on where they live—have been at the highest risk in this fight to save lives, and for that I am thankful. For the fist time in those 10+ months, there is hope that there is an end to this—and that end is, at least somewhat, in sight, beyond everyone just staying home as much as we can.

Thank you, science, and research scientists, and smart people.

In other years I’ve summarized in my end-of-year blog posts the things I’ve done, places I’ve been, the soundtrack I’ve made, or the books I’ve read (actually, you can see those here). In 2020, I’ve spent 291 of the 365 days this year mostly at home, and other than work, not being terribly productive. The 74 pre-COVID lockdown, pre-physical/social distancing, pre-self isolating days were good ones, though, and one day—even if it is another 291 days—there will be better ones ahead again, too. 

For 2020, I’d aimed to embrace the Yes Theory mantra – seek discomfort, and say yes to opportunities. Then it turned out that in 2020, saying yes to things could possibly wind up killing you or somebody else. I’d made a goal to make new friends this year—and combined with the previous goal, to do things and go places. I made a new friend, Kayleen, early in 2020, and we are so lucky to have gotten to do the things we did, even up to March 6, 2020, which retrospectively became known as The Day We Did Dangerous Things because hell, do not go to an escape room, a bowling alley, a used bookstore, 2 museums (one with lots of tactile exhibits and shared high-touch surfaces), a cafe, and a market, all in the same day, during a pandemic, where I think we encountered hand sanitizer all of once—our first three cases, however, were reported 7 days later, on March 12, which is also the day I took the bus for the last time, saw friends indoors and closer than 6 feet for the last time, went to a coffee shop for the last time, and went to archery for the last time. Oh, I went to a store for the last time on March 14: we went to Costco to pick up a birthday cake for my grandma, where I saw a guy wearing a full-head respirator mask in there, the day after the panic buying of Friday the 13th. Then we went and spent several hours having an 85th birthday party that had nearly 20 people at it, some of whom had just got off a plane, and one who’d find out the next day they may have had a COVID exposure at work. Everything turned out fine, but in retrospect—when it’s been MONTHS since we’ve been permitted gatherings of more than 5 people with physical distancing—it seems absolutely reckless and insane. Remember what we thought was normal just 292 days ago?
And then we spent Christmas on Zoom. 

It’s been “a year”, this 2020. And unlike most “bad years” (here’s looking at you, 2013), I know tomorrow is in no way a fresh start. 2021 may not be quite as much of a write-off, but we know the struggle of 2020 will continue within it.
And even now when it has yet to even start, I’m still saying it:
Here’s to 2022.

Oh, and in case it’s 10 years from now and I find myself reading this (or in case you, if anyone is reading this, want to enjoy), here is a YouTube playlist of Songs to Stay the Blazes Home To (…yeah, remember when the premier of Nova Scotia told people to stay the blazes home? Or when, on April 7, Justin Trudeau said speaking moistly?), featuring of course, the Speaking Moistly remix (and a remix of the remix), undoubtedly one of the greatest Canadian Heritage moments to come out of 2020.

(Hello blog, it’s been forever.)

Hello, 2019. 

I’m not into resolutions, as we’ve probably discussed before. Or maybe we haven’t, because I haven’t written anything here since March, apparently. Either way, I’ve written a lot about goal-setting elsewhere, so while I know how to set goals, I’m not into planning to tackle things which I’ll never accomplish just because of a truly arbitrary date known as January 1. Let’s be honest, I’ll spend the first 4 months of the year turning the 8 into a 9 when writing 2019. 

That doesn’t mean I’m going into 2019 unfocused though. (Well, I mean, I presume I will remain unfocused.) After ringing in the new year with The Trews (preceded by The Treble and Attica Riots, which happened after a Moose hockey game—so yes, an overall kickass New Year’s Eve), at 1:21 AM I threw a note down in my phone.

Bullet points for 2019:

  • Blog more (personally)
  • See more live bands
  • Travel for fun
  • Read interesting shit
  • Embrace awesome moments.

That’s it. And that’s enough of a plan; I can make the rest later. Because “Who says it has to be the new year to start a new year?” 

As such, I hope my next post here doesn’t start with “Hello blog, it’s been forever”. That I keep up my excellent start to this year seeing more bands play live. That I do as I did last year and travel more for fun, not “just” for conferences (though hopefully I do that too!)—last year was Montreal with Dia, Orlando with my parents, the Holiday From Real Roadtrip from Palo Alto to LA with Ryan, and to Penticton, BC to see Bryan and David (thanks to Air Canada for stranding me in Toronto and then giving me a flight credit for that last one!). Hopefully I tell those stories here, in keeping with point number one. The last two are easier: I feel my reading materials diversified somewhat last year, thanks to Bookshare mostly—I mean, that doesn’t mean I didn’t just start reading a lot of true crime, but hey, that’s a departure from mainly pure YA. And finally, embracing awesome moments—whether that’s just in my head, via mindfulness, or chronicling them somewhere, too.

We’re off to a strong start 2019. Let’s keep it going. Stories, music, friends, family… and all the other good things.