Posted in writing

Describing 2020

A recent USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll recently asked 1000 registered voters how they would describe the year 2020 in a single word. Twenty-three percent described it as “awful, terrible or horrible”. Five percent not only described it as “anxious, stressful and depressing” but also “OK, wonderful and good”.

I guess the best way to describe 2020 depends on what good or bad things did or didn’t happen to you in 2020. And I know a lot of bad things happened to a lot of people. People got sick. People lost their lives. People lost loved ones. People lost jobs. They lost homes. They lost businesses. Some had it all happen to them. I can empathize with many. I’ve been there. It just didn’t happen to me in 2020.

Personally for me, and fortunately my immediate family, 2020 was an okay year. That’s even with one of us coming down with the virus and me getting what I really thought was the virus (I had all the symptoms–fever, coughing, runny nose, headaches, worst of all chills (MAJOR chills) but I turned out to be negative and with some antibiotics, it’s like I wasn’t even sick). Was my 2020 perfect? No. Was it different? Yes and no. I was already working from home and we weren’t completely unfamiliar with schooling from home, since we had tried it in the past. We’ve had our glitches here and there, but we’ve overcome them. Do I miss going out? Going out where? I hardly went anywhere to begin with. I still go to the store once a week. That hasn’t changed. At the beginning of the pandemic when hair salons were closed I managed to give myself a mini-haircut, which I felt turned out better than the salon. As for my husband, I always cut his hair anyway, so that was no big deal. So we didn’t take a vacation. But it’s not my first year not ever taking a vacation. And we did take some day trips and still had a good time. So all was not lost.

Maybe my biggest complaint was not being able to see my autistic sister as much as I’d like. At the start of the pandemic I couldn’t see her at all. By late April I was able to visit with her and have lunch with her outside at her house. I think by Memorial Day or early June I was able to take her for a ride. But we have not been able to go into any stores or restaurants because she cannot wear a facemask. If this bothers my sister, she doesn’t say. She’s just happy to see me, go for a ride and get a McFlurry from McDonald’s. Then came Thanksgiving and everyone in her program went home for visits. And most of them brought back coronavirus. Fortunately, nobody in my sister’s house was affected. But it put a halt on anyone going home for Christmas. In the thirty-six years she has been alive, it was the first Christmas I was not with her. Was I sad? Yes. But I had been able to bring her gifts to her and I know from what the staff told me, my sister had a glorious time. I’m sure she was wondering why she couldn’t see me. And I know she doesn’t fully understand what is going on. And it’s not like I could talk to her on the phone or Zoom with her. But I will see her again soon. And we’ll go for our ride and get a McFlurry.

Despite all that changed for me or didn’t happen for me in 2020, I still consider it an okay year. Because next year could be worse. Or ten years from now may be worse. I actually already feel that 1998 was the worst year I’ve ever had. Or at least the last six months of that year. I can tell you that for me, 1998 tops 2020 BIG TIME in the bad category. It doesn’t even compare. But I’ve learned in the almost fifty years I’ve been alive that a year is what you make it. The year 1998 was a tough one for me, but I survived.

I remember only four years ago in 2016 when everyone was complaining about how it had been such a shitty year because all these celebrities had passed away. Yet Betty White was still alive. As of this writing there’s two days left to the year and, as far as I know, she’s still kicking.

And if you’re going to judge how well a year went based on how many celebrities died or didn’t die, then you have yet to live.

The year 2020 may have been pretty bad for many of us, but believe it or not, for many of us, the worst is yet to come.


I'm a writer. I'm also a wife and a parent who works too much and lives too little. In addition to writing I also love to read, listen to music, travel, cook, I enjoy looking for bargains at flea markets or thrift stores, Christmas, football and of course writing! How did I come up with the title of my blog? Two things: 1. I live in New England (duh) and 2. Canadian singer Alan Frew once arrogantly told me to "get a New England life"--again--DUH! I already HAVE one!