Janus: 2020

I know I haven’t written much here in the last year. I know I’m not the only one whose routine has been upended. But in hopes of reestablishing routine and anticipating a return to writing at least one or two posts a week, I suppose it’s time for my annual year-in-review.

January and February were normal by comparison as we watched the Republican-led American Senate ignore the abuses of President Trump, deciding that political power was more important than upholding what little checks and balances remained of our democratic republic.

There was also noise of a new virus spreading in China and Southeast Asia.

I started stocking up on essentials, with the exception of toilet paper.

March saw most of the country go into various forms of lockdown. I taught my last normal day of class on the 12th. Friday the 13th, I took a group of students on a field trip. That weekend schools closed and we were thrust into “virtual learning”

April and May were a blur, seemingly an endless cycle of waking up, recording and uploading lessons, and then helping students well into the evening. With families thrown into disarray, there was no such thing as regular school hours.

April was also the month I started playing D&D at Krystal’s urging. She’d known for some time that I felt isolated and lonely. She kept telling me her group would welcome me, and they did.

Gnome Cleric Bryn

And that’s how I met Jess and Jax and Nate and Haz and Lilly and Rosie and Patty. We started calling ourselves “The Third Family” in-game, but somehow this spilled over and we’ve become actual friends.

For those wondering, we play via Discord, so everything is properly distanced.

the dice hoard grows

And that was the start of some big life changes for me.

For some time I’d been unhappy in my teaching position. Then, a full-time-temporary position opened at the local community college.

In June & July I decided to leave teaching, even though the position I held would end in December.

Also during those months my dad’s health began declining at a more steady rate, to the point that, despite the pandemic, we decided to have one last family reunion in August.

This was the first time we’d all been together since 2007 or so. It was the first time Krystal and I had been with everyone at once, and we’ll have been married 12 years come January 10.

It was good to reacquaint myself with my brothers and sister, to put some past things in the past and generally have a pleasant time together.

My oldest brother let me try his EnChroma glasses to correct colorblindness, and I wept. One day I will have my own pair, and we will get together and cry at waterfalls. That’s the plan at any rate.

After coming back from that trip, I was offered a full time position in a different department but one cubicle over from where I was. I took it.

September and October saw us working from home on alternating days. It was also the month of weddings for me, as Krystal and I attended three different weddings safely.

November and December kind of merged together. Tryon Place events continued to be cancelled, as was our Black Friday shopping tradition. But we saw some friends as well.

We voted, and I got a tattoo.


In December I also turned thirty-five.

Christmas was a wonderful time with safe visits and zoom calls. Among many wonderful gifts was this book:

It doesn’t sound like much, but I have to say that 2020 has been the best year of my life.

  • Quit a job that was killing me (which I discovered after I left it)
  • Focused on my mental health
  • Supported small artists/businesses
  • Made friends, not just at the D&D table, but also at work and on Twitter (hi, Stella!)
  • Improved relationships with my family and friends
  • Got a new job
  • Discovered new dishes and drinks
  • Met both my running and reading goals (even if I changed the book goal 😂)
  • Discovered much about myself that I’m looking forward to sharing with you in 2021.

I’m certain there’s more, but these are the highlights.

See you in 2021!

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