My Thoughts on 2020

I’ve been wanting to type out my thoughts on this past year, but I am struggling to figure out how to organize what I am trying to say. A LOT Happened. Between realizing the world was thrown into a pandemic, there was the election to stress about, and at some point I was also working from home. Both Mike and I were very lucky, as we were both able to keep our jobs, and neither of us has been sick. However, I seem to want to add purpose to this past year…

Did I learn anything in 2020? Is that even important?

I’d like to think that I’ve learned something this past year, but it feels more like observations…not necessarily proof of self growth, but more like observations of myself and things I discovered that helped me through such a difficult year.

Self Discipline:

Not everyone has it. As a writer, I should be better at this, but I’m not. It takes a lot of self discipline to work from home to be productive while there are home distractions (like a chocolate lab who constantly wants to licks your elbow, or tries to leave his ball on your keyboard.)

Staying in Contact with Friends and Family:

With quarantining and social distancing, I haven’t seen many of my family members since the middle of this summer. I think the point here is that there are many other ways to stay ‘in contact’ even when you can’t meet together in person.

  • Group chats: My sisters and I have a group text conversation which we chime in almost daily; even if it is to simply tell each other what we made for dinner that day. I also have a few other active chats with other friends and family.
  • Snail Mail: I sent more letters out to friends and family. Sometimes, there is nothing better than seeing a letter in the mail addressed to you that’s not bills or spam.
  • Facebook Groups: I started a Facebook group named ‘The Resistance,’ (which was named by my niece who is an avid Star Wars fan.) Although not about Star Wars at all, this group is for friends and family to boost each other up and discuss any issues and concerns about mental health.

Although, I miss seeing some of my friends and I miss traveling, I had to find other ways to entertain myself.

A Few Discoveries that Stuck With Me:

  • Hamilton: In March of 2020, I listened to Hamilton for the first time and then practically non-stop for the next month or so. It was my way to combat anxiety and with all the tongue twisters of words in the lyrics, it kept me occupied singing along and I wasn’t worrying about anything else. Hamilton saved me from a lot of unnecessary panic attacks.
  • Animal Crossing: It’s very relaxing gathering things and catching fish in this game. It also helped me to avoid panic attacks.
  • Some Good News: This youtube channel created by John Krasinski was such a treat.
  • Writing: I feel like I was motivated to write a lot more. I finally broke 50,000 words on one of my stories! Although, I had this mentality: ‘if I die today, what would I have to show for it?‘ (I seemed to have some of the lyrics of Hamilton ingrained into my brain.) It still motivated me. Who would tell my story? What would my story, my history, look like in the future? I want it to show that I’m a writer…that I can get something published.

The truth remains: I will always be a writer, I will always want to be a writer (even if I find myself in a bit of a writer’s block these last few months.) But I always come back to it, like it’s a warm lamp on a cold, dark night.

This past year wasn’t easy by any means, but I take these discoveries and observations with me and try to look at them in a positive light. Here’s hoping 2021 has more discoveries, less hate and love for everyone.

I hope everyone has a great night. Happy New Year and Happy Writing!

Poem: We the People

He tells people to turn right
And they turn
He tells people to hate
People show up with machine guns
He lies and he lies and lies
And people lap it up like sweet honey

But I am the people
And you are the people
And we turn where we want

That’s our right

We the people will fight

We cast our vote,
Like a grain of sand
In an endless desert

We pray and we hope and we wait
Pray that it’s enough
That our sandstorm of votes

Blow away the corruption

The hopeless
Of the last four years
The anger, the division
Those lies turned to fear

Pray that our voices are counted
As we wait in the dark
See a coward who lashes out

His jowels quiver, his eyes are beedy
He is a something oily caught
Where there are no pieces of cheese

He is power hungry and greedy

But we will stand, while the sand,

flows like water

This desert turned ocean

We will come like a wave after wave, after wave

And wash your sins away

Poem: Summer

❤ Love this

Summer

People say there is something

about the way light shines across crystal

across diamonds, too

But there is really something to be said

about thousands of lightning bugs

on a warm June night

that makes the world glitter and take a deep breath

These are the diamonds of the mid-night summer

these gems of remembrance

these flashes of yesterday.

POEM: When a Dog Works

Author’s Note:

I am very lucky in my current situation to be able to work from home. My heart goes out to those who work in essential jobs who are more and more at risk everyday. It’s been stressful for all of us. Our chocolate lab, Koda, has been providing the entertainment here. He might not be the most well-behaved co-worker sometimes, but he is definitely our free-lance therapy dog right now. Below is just silliness.

Stay safe everyone!

Amanda


When a dog works
It’s all about play
He sits near your chair
As you begin your day

Somehow, his ball makes
its way on your desk
His wet nose touches your elbow
You tell him to rest

Just when it’s quiet
You have to go pee
Of course, he has to come along
(In case there’s something to see)

Back in the office
You answer a call
He gets stuck under the desk
While getting his ball

He looks up at you
With a big doggy grin
Wagging his tail
Let’s do it again

And again

And again

And again

Poem: Summer In January

We’ve been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures here in upstate New York the last few days. On Saturday it was 60 degrees.

It’s summer in January
And not yet spring
Bugs are buzzing
Birds starting to sing

It’s summer in January
January the 12th
Winter coats hung up
Gloves on the shelf

Shovels lean useless
Tucked in a corner
Days bubble like liquid
Warmer and warmer

“It feels strange,” says Michael
He stands at the window
“It’s climate change-”
He gives me a look. “I know.”

“This shouldn’t be happening…”
“I know, but it is.”
“Think of Australia
Warmer than this.”

The animals are burning
The woods filled with fear
It’s only January
The start of the year

Death in the middle east
(We’ll see how that goes)
As snow turns to mud
and poverty grows

It’s summer in January
Let’s go for a walk
Pretend we’re not restless
While we have a long talk

We’ll say we’re thankful
It’s not bitterly cold
But it’s summer in January
Where is the snow?

Poem: Find Your Joy

Find your joy
On the darkest days
When the days are short
And the nights are long

When it feels like
All you can do
Is wrong
Find your joy

I look to family
Soft, puppy nose
Colors of winter
I find my joy

In warmth like love
All wrapped up
Happiness is
My babe, the pup

Laughter in the kitchen
Favorite tv shows
Days off of work
When it snows

I find my joy
Shopping online
Sipping tea in the bookstore
On days I feel fine

In walks after work
With the dog and his toys
Long chats on the phone
These littlest of joys

Are bright tokens
of happiness
All stored away
I find my joy

On these darkest of days

Poem Rerun: On Vacation

Feeling those good ol’ Sunday blues tonight. But not as bad as usual. Could be the extra short week coming up – gotta love those long holiday weekends! This is a rerun poem, I posted this a few years ago. Someone posted something on my Facebook which reminded me of it. Dreaming of the beach, and sun and blue sky always.  🙂

On Vacation

 

I like texture

on a desktop photo

the promise

vacation leaves

 

florescent-bright

like sunlight

fan chopping

an ocean breeze

 

office chairs

become lawn chairs

coffee cocktail

clutched in hand

 

on the beach

out of reach

I relax my toes

in carpet-sand