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Student ,'Touched'

Goodbye and Good Riddance 2020: Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Year  

Take stock, reflect, butch, moan, vent. We are all here for it.

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Laura - Jan 14, 2021 8:25:43 am PST #118 of 127
"Against all evidence, I keep thinking the assholes are outliers." - James Holden

Oh 2020, why you have to be that way? The world was pretty much a shitshow for 2020, but I have to focus on the highlights. We did elect a sane president who will take office in a few days. We did get vaccines developed, which said sane president will actually get into people's arms. That is about it. I have hope that 2021 will be a good year.

Looking inward it was a pretty good year. Both Brendon and I remain healthy and have turned our focus to becoming healthier as we get to be even older folks. We were already working from home so not a big change. He still went out a lot to customer offices and shopping trips, but as the elder here I pretty much stayed home. He has been very cautious and has been tested many times. I'd already developed a love for grocery delivery so again, no big changes there. That said, I am an extrovert and social person who really really wants to go out and hug people! Sigh.

My sons are both happy and healthy. Brendon and his girlfriend came to NY with me for the summer to escape the Covid horrors of Florida. They loved staying in Otter Lake, and I didn't kill them while they lived with me. Seriously, I am so over living with adult children. He got a good paying job and a super cute and cheap apartment and they are stable and doing okay. This is the first time in his 29 years that he is truly independent and now has me on autopay to pay me $100 a week to pay off the many years of support I provided after he should have been independent.

Bobby and Tate delivered a healthy son about 5 weeks early, which means 2020 stimulus checks and tax credits for that wee one! He was tiny and they had a time keeping him awake to eat and fatten up the first week or so, but now he is eating and growing like crazy. They are sleep deprived and happy parents. They both work for Tesla and have accumulated stock bonuses for years so that is pretty sweet too.

I have issues with my kids, as is normal I suppose in this life. Bottom line, they are both happy and independent. I did my job. DH is as awesome as ever. It will be 33 years of 24/7 living and working together this year and I still enjoy his company. My kids need to be mindful of their health, but they are happy and healthy and prospering. No matter what horrors 2020 threw at me, as long as my family is well I can deal.

javachik - Feb 02, 2021 6:12:54 pm PST #119 of 127
not to be confused with java cat

Whew! Here goes...

It would not be an understatement to say that nearly every single thing in my life has changed in the last few years. And I don't think I've posted at length with any kind of update in a number of years - although some of you know because I do update my close friends on Facebook. In August of 2017, I lost my - what do I call him? Stepdad? Sounds too remote. Best friend? No, he was family. Dad? Well I didn't meet him until I was 10. But as he lay in a coma for 10 days, his family made it very clear that they considered me his daughter. And so with that, Charlie became my dad. Losing Charlie is the worst thing I've ever experienced. And four months later my - what do I call him? Boyfriend? No, we'd broken up years before. Best friend? Yes, but that still sounds like not enough considering how close we were for 15 years. Anyway, Steve, my rock, my confidante, my seriously terrible boyfriend but excellent best friend was diagnosed with lung cancer. I traveled to his side in Philadelphia for a year, back and forth across the continent a million times to see him through chemo, treatments, all of it, only to lose him in May 2019. In the middle of Steve's illness, one of my dogs, Chile Pepper died at the ripe old age of 16. At the same time, an enormous work project coincided with five different bosses and an extraordinary amount of stress and pressure. I completed the project a few months after Steve died, and having set up a global group with an adequate succession plan, decided it was a good time to resign (I'd been there 7 years) and take a yearlong break.

I had a lovely little cottage in my beloved Oakland, with gorgeous gardens I'd grown from seed, and a cat and a dog, and I just wanted a break after all the work and personal travel and heartache. I had not even had a chance to really grieve Charlie or Steve, with the work project absorbing every hour of my life it seemed. I was soooo ready for a break. So, I resigned one morning, and later that day got a call from a company in Tarrytown, New York. After a quick trip to Australia to hang out with friends, I flew out to NY, fell in love with the area (and proximity to the City), and most especially, the team I'd lead. All was good, the company set a start date for a couple of months later so that I could have a break. So January rolls around and I head to Hawaii for a quick vacation, and end up hospitalized in respiratory failure with Influenza A (it was not Covid-19). I had two collapsed lungs, and was the sickest I've ever been in my life. I am grateful for Charlie's niece who flew from California and stayed with me on the Big Island until I had recovered well enough to make the flight home. We had to postpone my start for the Tarrytown company by a month, as I was too weak to even walk to my kitchen, much less move to NY. I moved in late Feb to a White Plains apartment that the company put me up in while I house-shopped. I had Romeo the cat with me, but my dog Cayenne, along with my car, were left in California so that I could drive Cayenne out to NY once I had a house set up.

I got three weeks in the office with everyone before the pandemic shut everything down. I spent the Spring stuck in a high-rise apartment, with no outdoor space, missing my dog (and my therapeutic daily dog walks) and Zooming with colleagues and my team. I stayed upbeat, and to keep in shape (I was still working on re-inflating my collapsed lungs) would climb the building's surprisingly clean stairwell - 22 flights, 3 times a day. In May, my dog started having health problems, and I flew out to California to drive her back to NY so that I could tend to her. Unfortunately, my beloved Cayenne couldn't overcome the issues, and I lost her in August a few short weeks after we'd finally been able to move into my new house in Chappaqua. A few weeks after that, my cat died. I was all alone, in a new town, in a new house, in a pandemic. The good news is that my job is wonderful. I like the company, we are doing vital and interesting work, and the team I lead went from demoralized and battered to a happy, thriving group of 35 by the end of 2020. I did some renovating of the house, and also opened my heart to two new rescue pups - Ginger the puppy, and Kala the 2-year-old. I am enjoying having real seasons, the pets, and my job, but of course miss seeing friends and family due to the pandemic. I do get to see Jess and her family occasionally, including a recent hike where she and her daughter met the mutts! I cannot wait until I can see more of them, and by that I mean in frequency and faces!


In the last couple of years, my dad, my boyfriend, both of my dogs, and my cat all died. I also quit a longtime job, got a new job, and started a whole new life in NY.

(I left out all things political but as you can imagine, the stress and unhappiness brought on by the White House squatter while all of *this* was going on....just fucking sucked.)

meara - Feb 02, 2021 6:22:47 pm PST #120 of 127

Dang Java—I knew all that happened individually but hadn’t really added it all up. Any one of those things would’ve been A Lot. All of them together is mind boggling and I’m so impressed you’re still standing.

Dana - Feb 02, 2021 6:39:33 pm PST #121 of 127
"I'm useless alone." // "We're all useless alone. It's a good thing you're not alone."

That is a whole lot.

DavidS - Feb 02, 2021 7:53:26 pm PST #122 of 127
"Look, son, if it's good enough for Shirley Bassey, it's good enough for you."

I'm glad you've got Ginger and Kala, and a great team at work.

I'm glad your employers value you, and provided support while you not only made these transitions, suffered a major health crisis and multiple losses.

I'm glad things are getting better. You deserve all the good things.

Laura - Feb 03, 2021 8:40:46 am PST #123 of 127
"Against all evidence, I keep thinking the assholes are outliers." - James Holden

Javachik, like meara, I knew it over time, but seeing it together, well I just want to hug you. I admire your resilience so very much. Yes, you do deserve all the good things. May 2021 be filled with joyful surprises.

javachik - Feb 03, 2021 10:34:18 am PST #124 of 127
not to be confused with java cat

Thanks for the kind words, peeps. It’s been a weird time for sure, but I think I’m through the worst of it, and can now talk about stuff without crying. When I was able to talk to a colleague about Cayenne last week without crying, I knew I’d passed a huge milestone. It’s been a year since the hospitalization and I am healthier than ever thank goodness. One very sad thing this year is that one of my closest friends back in the Bay has stage 4 ovarian cancer. And it’s so upsetting not to be able to fly back to see her and be by her side. And I also really regret not being able to travel and see our beloved Amyth. The enforced distance is so very hard, but it’s also so vitally important if we are ever going to overcome this fucking pandemic.

My best to everyone! I’m usually way behind in the chat threads, and tend to read before bed on my iPad and not post, but I appreciate the conversations, even if I read them weeks or months out of date.

esse - Mar 05, 2021 1:10:23 pm PST #125 of 127
S to the A -- using they/them pronouns!

Hi friends! Nice to see your pixels and catch up with how you all have been. I'm in the midst of a lot of brain fog and fatigue coming off a major depressive episode, with a few days sprinkled here and there that make me remember what it is like to enjoy life (and Do the Things!) even as the effects of quarantine continue apace. <3 <3 <3

Laura - Mar 05, 2021 1:27:16 pm PST #126 of 127
"Against all evidence, I keep thinking the assholes are outliers." - James Holden

esse! Big virtual hugs. I'm sorry it has been such a rough while and do hope that the year to come will be much better.

esse - Mar 05, 2021 2:25:09 pm PST #127 of 127
S to the A -- using they/them pronouns!

Hugs right back! Me too, the bar is set figuratively so low that even minor improvements will make a huge difference. :)

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