Well, it’s 2 p.m. the day before this is going to run and… Yeah. I am just absolutely typing stream of consciousness.
Like everyone else, I’m burned out after this insane, bewildering and thoroughly depressing year. So it’s all I can do to keep up basic stuff and maybe fiddle with my year-end numbers to make everything matches up.
But I did just realize that it’ll be New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s Day when this post is the most recent one showing. So I guess we’ll start there.
This has been a weird year for me. I’ve been very lucky in a lot of respects and unlucky in others.
Lucky: I still have my job and, while my company was hit hard, no one is having to take pay cuts or talking about layoffs. So I think we’re okay. Hopefully, things will improve as the economy is able to open back up a bit once vaccines are more widespread.
Lucky: Not only is my job steady, I’m paid very well. This means that while so many other people’s finances are stretched to the limit (or beyond), I’ve been able to put a large chunk into my retirement accounts and still grow savings. In fact, this is my best yearly saving rate ever. (Which is also why I need to keep donating money.)
Lucky: Mom didn’t get sick when she visited. For anyone who is newer here: In April we were seriously concerned about my mental health in isolation. I’ve been suicidal in the past. So Mom rolled the dice and came down to stay with me until I could stabilize in general, then until I could find a psychiatrist to adjust my meds enough to cope.
It was very suboptimal, and I know it’s weird since I’m so anti-holiday gatherings/travel. But this wasn’t about “I can’t imagine a holiday without family” and instead about “Hey, after four days with the prospect of going nowhere and seeing no one, I’m bursting into tears without provocation multiple times a day, and um… That’s not a great sign for a depressive with a history of suicidal ideation.”
Lucky: I did (eventually) find a psychiatrist so I could get my medications tweaked. He added Seroquel, which took off about 60% of my general anxiety and made the days I’d spend alone after Mom left more bearable.
Lucky: I found Aaron, who is good company and, um, hot and enjoys the sort of pseudo-relationship experience. I don’t know how long we’ll last, but it’s been about 2.5 months and we haven’t hit any bumps.
Lucky: Biden won. Phew!
Unlucky: My grandfather.
Unlucky: Not being able to see friends I was used to seeing at least three times a month. Well, other than a one-time outdoor/distanced hangout. With cases rising, we’re not even sure we’re comfortable doing that again.
Unlucky: Living in one of the only countries in the world where the nation’s spirit of individualism translates in may people’s minds to “I don’t have to do anything inconvenient, even if it saves lives.”
Mixed luck: I might’ve had COVID?
Shortly after St. Patrick’s Day, I had some breathing issues. I felt short of breath for a bit, like there was a band on my lower lungs. It was pretty bad one day, then just moderate for a few more.
I also ran a 99.9-degree temperature. I’m usually in the high 97s, and I almost never get a fever. But this happened when they were basically only testing people with symptoms severe enough for hospitalization. So I couldn’t get confirmation. By the time they started doing tests to detect antibodies from past infections, it had been long enough that I might not have had them anymore. And the doctor I asked said there was no point in general, unless I was planning on donating blood if I had them.
So if I did have COVID, the good news is that it was a high-mild to low-moderate case. Hence, good luck.
The bad luck is that since spring, I’ve had some breathing issues. I’ve seen a pulmonologist, and my lung x-ray came back clear. My breathing test had to be rescheduled because of a spike. And I had a couple of months where the breathing issue seemed to ease. Which is of course is when my breathing test happened. So they found nothing.
The last two weeks, the breathing is a little constricted again. It might be my lack of exercise. It might be allergy-induced asthma. Or something else. The pulmonologist said the next step would be a cardio-pulmonary test, presumably to check that my heart is okay. But I am going to wait for cases to die down a little before I go spend potentially multiple hours outside of the house (but inside a building).
Mixed luck: Dating during a pandemic.
While I tried my best not to meet too many people, vetting proved to be difficult when so many men will say whatever they have to — and when you can’t meet outdoors because it’s 110 degrees out. So I had many foibles and unfortunately met more people than I would have wanted. (For anyone who missed it: Read my dating/interacting with dating app guys misadventures here, here, here and here.)
But out of that awfulness (and risk) at least came the posts I linked to above which you guys and my social media followers seemed to find vastly entertaining. So that’s… something? Also, of course, I did find Aaron. Long may he continue to work out.
Mixed luck: A vaccine made it to market quickly but still appears to be safe and incredibly efficient. But I am unlikely to get it until summer. Also, of course, the new strain of COVID just made its way here, and they have to see whether the vaccine will work against it. Sigh.
So yeah… It’s been a mixed bag, folks. But I still had a much better year that many, many people — something I try to remind myself regularly. This year hasn’t really been easy on anyone, but it’s been much easier for many of us. Especially those of us still employed. And invested in the stock market.
As I said in my previous post, I’m not really doing 2021 goals. Except that I very much need to start working out and eating better — mostly for my health (including maybe my breathing?) but honestly it’ll probably best be motivated by my desire to still fit into my jeans. But that’s not a 2021 thing so much as it is “I’ve put this off long enough. Seriously, enough. Oh I guess it’s a new year now, so let’s go with that, I guess.”
My goal is to survive and yes to be healthier. And make sure I keep donating because even more people than usual are in need. But again, these aren’t “New Year, new me” goals. They’re just ones that need to happen. If I can get better about eating/exercising and stay the same on every other score, I will call 2021 a win.
How does your luck for the year look? What are you predicting for yourself for next year?