Happy New Year? I’m hoping this year is better for you all. Izzy is back at work, but Sammie is off college, starting remote learning on Wednesday. My friend Sophie is still ventilated in intensive care, but not as bad as at her worst. I wish there was more I could do than pray.
Like for most people, last year did not go as we expected or hoped. There were some very bad parts, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. Time for my yearly review.
1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
Experienced a global pandemic? I’m struggling to think of anything positive for this question.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s Goals, and will you make more for next year?
I managed 2 of 6, but there were unforseen circumstances. I’ll be making more this year in a separate post.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I don’t think so. If I’ve forgotten any, I’m sorry.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
I was no longer close to hir, but Mel Bagg’s death hit me hard. It shouldn’t have happened. I’m hoping there won’t be any this year.
5. Where did you visit?
I went all the way to the ramp to watch fireworks for 15 minutes on New Year’s Eve. Other than that I didn’t even leave my bedroom. This was mostly due to The Event.
6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
The Covid-19 vaccine so we no longer have to hide from the world as much. For us and for everyone else.
7. What will you most remember from 2020 and why?
The Event, as the global pandemic affected anything else. There’s a chance I might remember the US election, but The Event is definitely the main one.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not getting Covid-19. This is mostly because we isolated ourselves from the world, but I’ll still call it a success.
9. What was your biggest failure?
This is a hard one, as all the things I didn’t achieve were at least partially due to The Event. I’ll go with sorting out my twitter followers, as that was the least affected by it. I’ve also still got Christmas presents to sort out.
10. Did you suffer any new illness or injury?
I had an increase in migraines in December which wasn’t fun, but on the plus side I’ve not had a cold since February. Isolating has one plus side 😛
11. What was the best thing someone gave you?
The hug Sammie gave me just before Christmas. It was our only hug all year and even though the PPE made it awkward, it was amazing.
12. Who impressed you this year?
Izzy. She started a full time job, just before having to provide all my care since March without help or a break. It’s not been easy for either of us but we’re both alive and doing about as well as possible. She also came out as trans which in our transphobic society took a ton of courage.
Sammie has also impressed me with how well she’s been coping with The Event, asking for extra help at college when she needed it and being honest when she’s been struggling. I’m so proud of her.
13. What made you appalled and/or depressed?
People (and the government) not taking the pandemic seriously enough. Those spreading fake news that resulted in people not doing what they needed to, resulting in lots more people being ill and dying than there should have. Also the increase in transphobia, especially in the mainstream media.
14. Other than food, bills and disability stuff, where did most of your money go?
Does tips to takeaway delivery people count as food or separate? We’ve relied a lot on takeaways this year and as they’re risking getting ill, I increased how much we tipped for delivery. Other than that I’ve been buying more from small businesses as I can to try and help and because they have cool stuff like penguins and cats and small robots.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sammie’s visits, the new World of Warcraft expansion (Shadowlands), vaccine development, penguins and Bilbo the cat.
16. What big events will you remember most from 2020?
Mostly The Event. And that most other events being cancelled due to it.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Sadder. I think it’s obvious why (hint: it’s mostly due to The Event). Could be worse though.
b) healthier or more ill?
Probably about the same. Not been able to go out but have been able to go on my computer more and watch more media instead.
c) richer or poorer?
Izzy got a full time job and our Universal Credit claim (and my PIP renewal) went through without a problem so our income went up, plus not having the carers or the cleaner in our outgoings went down so we’re financially doing much better despite a massive increase in takeaway consumption. We’re very lucky Izzy got a job she can do from home.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I’d liked to have spent more time out of my bedroom, but The Event is both directly and indirectly to blame for me not being able to do so (can’t go outside as dangerous, can’t have someone come in to help declutter the living room because not safe). Izzy was too overwhelmed to help me shower but had bed baths instead.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Having migraines, waking Izzy up in the middle of the night, and dropping things off my bed so Izzy had to go hunting for them under there.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Found out first thing Sophie was in an induced coma due to Covid-19, so it was hard to celebrate. Slept quite a bit, watched some films with Izzy, ate a lot of snacks, messaged Sammie, and watched EllenFromNowOn’s Geoguessr stream. We video chatted with Sammie on her birthday (Boxing Day) which was good. Izzy made the pork roast we got on the 28th, which was lovely despite the lack of her roast potatoes. I’m hoping to get them this year instead.
21. What did you love in 2020?
Other than the obvious (family, friends, penguins, cats), seeing how many people and communities pulled together to deal with The Event was brilliant.
22. How many trips out?
One. I spent 15 minutes on the ramp on New Year’s Eve to watch the fireworks over Newcastle. That was also the only time I left my bedroom, and I only got out of bed otherwise for sheet changes. I’m hoping once things calm down and we’re vaccinated I can get out again.
23. What was your favourite TV programme?
Toss up between Star Trek Discovery and Hilda. Very different programmes but I loved them both. I also really enjoyed Steven Universe Future, and it probably would have been top if there were more of it. Last year I also watched Formula 1 with Izzy, which was a lot of fun.
24. Do you dislike anyone or anything now that you didn’t dislike this time last year?
There’s a certain virus that I’m not happy with that I didn’t know about in 2019. Most of the people I dislike are those who have been spreading the false news about the virus resulting in people not taking it seriously, refusing to wear masks when they can, and so on.
25. What was the best book you read?
Small Robots by Thomas Heasman-Hunt (based on the Twitter account @SmolRobots). A book about kind, awesome robots was exactly what I needed last year, and Sammie loved it as well.
26. What was your greatest media discovery?
Probably Hilda. I had to wait until I was emotionally ready for it, and kept taking breaks to process it, but it was awesome.
27. What did you want and get?
A festive bake from Greggs. A hug from Sammie on Christmas Eve. World of Warcraft Shadowlands. Penguins.
28. What did you want and not get?
A shower. Trips out. Izzy’s potatoes. A miracle cure.
29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Steven Universe the Movie. A great continuation of the telly programme. I may have cried.
30. What did you do on your birthday?
Um, I can’t remember. I think I slept most of it as I wasn’t well. It was during the period where I wasn’t keeping up with my diary as I was too overwhelmed.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The Event not occurring.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
Same as previous years. I did get a super fluffy purple bed jacket that Izzy cut up the back for me to wear over my t-shirts/nighties when cold, and she did the same to my new penguin Christmas sweatshirt. I think I only wore something on my bottom half once, when going out on New Year’s Eve (I wore fleecy pyjama bottoms over my compression socks).
33. What kept you sane?
I’m not entirely sure I was sane 😛 Really though, Izzy, Sammie, friends, Bilbo and penguins.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No-one new last year.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Probably Black Lives Matter. It shouldn’t be controversial, but racism.
36. Who do you miss?
Pretty much everyone except Izzy. Other people still exist, yes?
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Due to The Event, I didn’t meet anyone new last year except a nurse. She was nice, but I can’t even remember her name.
38. What was the best thing you ate?
Since Izzy didn’t make her potatoes, probably eggs. I love eggs.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020?
All those people who said it must be really nice to stay at home all the time, can’t deal with staying at home all the time. Also viruses can shut down the world.
40. A quote that sums up your year:
Stay home, stay safe.