I was sitting around at work (there is nothing to do; the students are still on vacation) wondering why I had not made any New Year’s resolutions this year, when a group of people stormed the Capitol and tore it up. Is it COVID? Is it the pain of losing an election? Is it just overdue?
2021 is trying hard to match the surrealness of 2020, with a string of events I thought I would never see or hear in my lifetime. Trump’s call to Georgia’s mayor, to find him votes to overturn his election loss. This meagerly, almost nothing response from Congress ($600) the the face of a national economic and employment crisis. A coup attempt (or something) at the White House.
2020 was a year of transformation I didn’t take part in. I didn’t get a new job. I didn’t move. I didn’t lose weight. These were all resolutions, all goals on 2020. The world changed, people (seemed to) change. But, my life remained largely, the same and so did I.
Why? Well, COVID was to blame for some of it. The job market collapsed. The economy collapsed for a moment. When it returned, reopened, it felt strange to look for a new job. I had a job. I should be grateful. I should wait and let the unemployed go after any newly available jobs, and then resume my search when the economy settles. Right? I don’t even know if that makes complete sense. I just gave up looking for a new job once the shutdown started.
I was going to get a new apartment. Swore it. I really want to move back to Colorado – some day. But it has gotten expensive to live there. And, I need a better paying job or a second source of income. So a new apartment. The new management at my complex raised $225/month at the end of 2019, and caught me napping. They gave me less than two months to find a cheaper option I could live with and I couldn’t do it. I was spending $30 – $45 to submit an application and getting rejected for one reason or another. I made too much money. I was too young (it was a community for seniors 55 and older).
So, I swore that 2020 was the year I would finally move, finally find a brand new neighborhood to live in, break from the familiar, and spend a year or two settling into new routines, or settling into the same old routines in a new environment. And I’d get an apartment with a dishwasher and/or a washer and dryer. Hardwood floors. More counter space in the kitchen. A lower crime rates. Fewere to no firecracker sounds in the late night and early hours of the morning which are later revealed, in the newspaper or on the news, to have been gunshots.
But money became even more precious. And how clean were these vacant apartments, really? How well had they been disinfected? No, the pandemic was the time to sit still and wait and hope for it to end.
Why didn’t I lose weight? I don’t know. Potato chips are comforting. Snack cakes lift the spirits.
Why don’t I have any resolutions this year? Because it is unpredictable? Because I know I won’t change much until the world settles? Because I survived 2020 without getting sick and with my job intact, and that is enough to hope for in 2021?