2020 -> 2021

life updatesnew yearscovid-19

Dog statue after snowfall.
Dog statue after snowfall.

2020 was an unforgettable year, full of altered plans and misfortune.

I used New Year's Eve as an excuse to message quite a lot of friends of mine, ask how they were doing, and share good wishes. Wishes that they and their families remained safe and healthy, and that the pandemic gripping the globe would finally get under control.

I was struck by many of their responses. Even after so long, I'm not used to hearing so many people tell me of relatives and loved ones who have fallen ill, or died.

It's one thing to see reports of the pandemic, spiking case numbers, and overwhelmed hospitals on TV. It's another to learn of friends' parents, grandparents and others whose lives were taken by the virus in different corners of the globe.

Unfortunately, in the US and in many other countries, the virus continues to rage as seriously as ever. Even as the vaccine comes into reach, it needs to reach a lot of people quickly.

Dormant wasp nest in winter, French Creek State Park
Dormant wasp nest in winter, French Creek State Park

And with that out of the way, I'd like to share the same well wishes with you, dear readers.

It is my fervent hope that 2021 brings increased health, peace, and prosperity to the world.

And, if I've done the math correctly -- it's 2021 where you are now.

Are things any better for you now than they were last year?

FAQ

Q. Are things any better now than they were last year?

A. No, 2021 is more of the same so far.

This is part of my justification for publishing this reflection a month late. :)

My 2020

My own 2020 didn't quite go the way I was expecting. I'm fortunate that I got to celebrate my birthday (with friends, frozen margaritas, and my last concert of the year) right before the seriousness of the situation became apparent and businesses began to shut down.

I expected a very different sort of year, but did my best to take advantage of the opportunities that came from the revised situation. In particular, I'm grateful that I had the chance to practice photography, especially of birds and wildlife, and to change jobs in July, an opportunity that I may not have taken under different circumstances.

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I'm also very fortunate that I've gotten to spend so much time with my parents, and that we have all remained healthy so far.

I'm glad too that I've had the opportunity to write a fair number of posts on this blog. Its current subjects are a bit different than the ones that I imagined when I created it, but nevertheless it has been useful as an outlet for expression and reflection.

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Musical Interlude

2021 Youtube video Click to load YouTube video.

Unfortunately, for me the transition into 2021 was sonically marked by gunfire in the forest (someone got a new gun for Christmas), rather than A. G. Cook's seminal anthem "2021."

2021 My Best Laid Plans

I have precisely two plans for this year so far.

I'm planning to move westwards, once things reopen, which I suspect will happen this year. When I embark on this journey, I should have ample opportunities to hit up attractions of the USA rather than just Attractions of Pennsylvania.

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I started to participate in 52 Frames, basically a weekly photography challenge where I'm required to take a picture that fits with a particular theme. Each one is due Sunday at midnight. I'll collect my submissions and thoughts on them here as well on a monthly basis. January will have a total of five. :)

And other than these two things, I'm not currently in the business of making other concrete plans right now. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it's that certain types of plans are subject to change.

French Creek after snowfall -- more of this to come.
French Creek after snowfall -- more of this to come.

Thank you for reading.

Thanks for reading!

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