thoughts as I enter 2021.

I wrote the bulk of this post on New Year’s Eve, so when I say ‘this year’, I mean 2020.

I started writing my customary New Year’s Tag, but I’m just not feeling it this year. Partly because work has kept me really busy (and tired)–I have near full-time hours now. And I don’t think that the normal questions match the abnormality of this year. Questions like ‘what have you done in 2020 that you’d never done before?’ The answer to that could take up several paragraphs! Between COVID-19 and work, there’s a lot to say.

I also thought about doing a month-by-month recap of 2020, but never got around to it. A lot of it would be…not stuff I want to share with the public. ๐Ÿ˜€ There was also a ‘top ten books of 2020’ post floating around in my drafts, but I doubt that will see the light of day. The list, if you are interested, is as follows:

  • Gentle and Lowly by Dane C. Ortlund
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  • 0/100 by Jim Van Gelderen
  • The Saving Life of Christ by Major W. Ian Thomas
  • One Bad Apple by Rachel Kovaciny
  • Nine by Rachelle Dekker
  • Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry
  • Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary
  • Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
  • Miriam by Mesu Andrews

The top two knocked me out, by the way. Especially the toppest top one.

So those were the books of 2020. I read less than a hundred, which is sad. There are so many books I want to reread and I just…don’t. As for movies, I didn’t keep a record of the ones I watched this year. Psycho (1960) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stick out in my mind. Oh, and the remake of Mulan! That was good, much better than I’d expected. Agents of Shield was the TV show of 2020 for me (I also appreciated Vindication), though my interest petered out in the sixth season. Seasons one through four are my jam.

Drank a lot of coffee this year. Coffee is good.

I had a lovely Christmas, with plenty of useful presents.

Spring and summer were the best parts of the year, though February and the very beginning of March were AMAZING as well. February 21-22 was my church’s winter teen camp and I was a volunteer worker in the kitchen. We had like seventeen kitchen workers for a camp with less than a hundred campers, so there wasn’t a lot to do. I took a bunch of pictures, walked on a frozen lake for the first time ever (so cool), sang with my church peeps, found a friend, and overall had such a wonderful time.

Then at the end of February, my pastor took myself and some of my siblings on a road trip down to a church conference in Wisconsin. Again, AMAZING. I want to go again this coming year, but it doesn’t look very likely to happen. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But anyway, I loved the conference. We got back sometime in the first week of March right before everything happened. So thankful I was able to go.

As I said, spring and summer were the best. Even with the restrictions and inner turmoil, I treasure those days. I was able to hang out with some of the coolest people in the world as we shared the gospel, had a book study, prayed together, and generally had a blast. It’s not a stretch to say that the first half of 2020 was one of the absolute best parts of my entire life. Crazy, right? I don’t want to be insensitive to those who have had a terrible 2020. It’s just that for me, personally, this year has been great for personal growth, getting closer to God and finding out Who He really is, and so on.

I polished Flicker and submitted it to my dream publisher.

I got bangs.

A friend and I hosted a birthday party for a mutual friend, and it included an old-fashioned recitation with poems and songs performed by different people in the church. There was some serious talent on display and it was wonderful!

the chairs set up for the recitation.

I got a job at a seniors’ home, in housekeeping. It’s been challenging (and continues to be, especially since we’re in outbreak mode right now), but good. Surprisingly good for my relationship with God, as I’ve had to rely on Him for solutions to problems and that sort of thing.

I let my heart get way too involved with someone and then I found out that was a big mistake and now I’m working on not letting that happen again.

My assistant pastor’s wife started a Bible study with me and four more people have since joined. Yay! We’ll be going through Acts, starting next week. (I’m also planning to read through the Bible chronologically this year–hoping to go through the entire Bible in 2021. Something I don’t believe I’ve ever done before, sadly.)

Katie and I met IRL in January. I’ve now met two internet friends in person! We ate Chinese food and watched The West Wing and she attended my church’s annual business meeting. Good times. ๐Ÿ˜€

COVID-19 is a thing, and it derailed a lot, but I don’t view 2020 as a wasted year. I learned more about Jesus, so that makes the year worth it in and of itself. I can’t really think of much to say as a summation sort of thing, but I don’t hate 2020. I love aspects of it. There was also a church camping trip in August. (I know this post is a bit all over the place, but it’s late and so I’m just tossing random things into the mix.)

Goals for 2021:

  • See Flicker get accepted for traditional publication.
  • Read through the entire Bible.
  • Read 100 books.
  • Save A Certain Amount of Money.
  • Complete a first draft of a novel (idk which one yet).
  • Journal consistently. I used up my five-year journal and I don’t feel like springing for a new one, so I’m going to try journaling in a notebook instead. A bit leery, since I’ve tried that before and failed. But we’ll see.
  • Maybe some other stuff, but that’s all I have for right now.

So tell me…how was your 2020? What made it special for you? What was the most difficult part of it? How did you get through it?

Eva-Joy

11 thoughts on “thoughts as I enter 2021.

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    1. Thanks!

      I wish we could meet up again too. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Hopefully some day in the not-too-distant future.

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  1. Good thoughts. I liked this post.

    2020 has been extremely rough and isolating for me in a lot of ways. But it’s also highlighted the things that mean the most to me … my family, my close friends, my students, and my writing. I’ve had to learn to be “okay” under very weird & challenging circumstances, yet I’ve learned that as long as I keep those priorities in order, I CAN be “okay.”

    And I’m so grateful we got to meet in person this year. โค We definitely have to do it again!!! You know, when Life goes back to normal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. Ooo, I’m trying to do journaling too this year! I did better than usual last year, but THIS year I want to do it every day or at least every other day (*coughs* I didn’t do it on January 1, sooo….)

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  3. On the one hand, I haven’t seen any of my closest friends since January (February made it difficult due to bad weather, and my best friend’s a germophobe. I won’t hold that against him, and we still talk a lot with video chat and play plenty of games online, but I look forward to when i can hang out with him again in person. My work was shut down for two months, and I found a lack of motivation or inspiration for writing in those 2 months. I new have that inspiration, but haven’t yet found the time to get back into it.

    On the other hand, I made more upgrades to my house this year than I first planned (Air conditioning was planned, the mini renovation and the water softener (installed last month) weren’t planned at the start of the year). I got my first ever office job, and while that’s a temporary position that’s supposed to be over now, it’s extended for at least a couple of weeks, and my office boss is fighting to get me a 2-month extension. She’d like it to be a permanent position, but that’s not her call.

    It’s weird. I keep finding ways to keep busy even without being able to see anyone in person. 2020 wasn’t a good year. There were a number of times I felt lonely. I learned that some of my old friends aren’t worth trying to keep in touch with anymore, because they won’t reply. But at the same time, I have gotten closer with other friends, I learned who I can truly rely on, and there are definitely other good points in my life compared to this time last year. Overall 2020 wasn’t a good year, but not quite a bad one either. I definitely know of other people who are worse off this year.

    Also took a year-long break from comics, which I kind of needed. Had a chance to catch up on some gaming during my two months off, and catching up a bit more over the Christmas break.

    Anyway, Happy New Year, and here’s hoping that 2021 will be better.

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    1. Oh, I hope you can keep your job! Sounds like you had a mix of good and bad this year…seems like most of us did. Which is usually true of every year, I guess, but the unusual stuff in 2020 accentuated (and caused) some of the harder stuff.

      Happy new year!

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  4. Its great that you had a good year despite covid, its nice to see happy stuff.

    My biggest win was getting more hours and a raise and applying and inquiring about apartments.

    I didn’t have a “great” year, but this is my first year at a full-time with benefits adult job where people appreciate me in any, so the mental misery of previous years is overall SO much less, despite paranoia over certain things.

    My reading was mostly comfort rereads.

    Discovered Star Wars: Clone Wars and its the best of Star Wars (haven’t seen Rebels yet, but I seen everything else I believe), its Star Wars as its meant to be plus with nostalgia since I grew up surrounded by Anakin and Obi Wan even though I didn’t see most of those movies until the last several years. Lots of nostalgia films from 90’s/early 2000’s, not that I watched before, just for the time period.

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    1. Yay for raises and comfort reads!! I too have nostalgia surrounding the prequels/Clone Wars. I really should watch the whole series, as I have Disney Plus. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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