Meet the New Year, Same as the Old Year #amwriting

Okay, the meme of “I’d like a refund of my subscription to 2021” sums up my current feelings… but you can’t judge a year by the first 12 days. If I’d judged 2020 by the first 12 days, I’d have thought it would be an ordinary year. So 2021 may get better. In fact, I’m reasonably certain it will get better.

But that doesn’t mean that it won’t get worse first.

Right now I’m struggling with my usual seasonal depression exacerbated by the need to socially isolate. Not that I have a lot of social contacts, but I miss being able to go to a local coffeehouse, sit down, plug in, and write (or not write, as is more likely this time of year.) I miss being able to take public transportation. I miss hockey games. I miss the zoo, for Heaven’s sake. I miss hikes. (I refuse to go out on the narrow Southern California trails crowded with people exercising and not wearing masks.)

I haven’t come up with an adequate substitute. Zoom meetings don’t cut it. I’m grateful we’re well enough off that each family member has their own room or we’d be at each other’s throats even more than we have been. But it doesn’t substitute for being able to get away for even a little bit.

So while I tagged this #amwriting, mostly I’m not.

Still, I did a review of my personal 2020 and came up with a plan: Health first. That’s my mental and physical health—I’ve neglected it since the pandemic and I feel it. I’m making some progress—I’m sleeping somewhat better. I’m getting a bit more exercise. My pandemic weight gain has hit a plateau even if it hasn’t started descent. I’m keeping as much contact with my social group as I can, even if Zoom is a depressingly inadequate substitute.

Once I’ve got my “oxygen mask” on, I’ll focus more on writing—but for now, clawing back out of depression, weight gain, and lethargy is enough of a challenge.

So Happier New Year, readers! I’m changing those things that are in my control in order to turn my year around, and I hope you are, too.