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Don't let the door hitcha, 2020

Lawd...have we ever wanted a year to end more than this one? I can't even stand to see my Facebook memories. Last Christmas we were in NYC...I was 25 pounds lighter. We were seeing shows. I stagedoor'ed for Harry Connick Jr. and Lil Romeo stopped us in our hotel bar because I was wearing a Saints jersey. I almost feel sad being reminded of it all.

Since March I have sat on our mill's pandemic team, with our Safety manager, HR manager, EHS manager, mill nurse and mill manager. Every single day I have lived the reality of this pandemic; my phone at times blowing up with positive tests...close contacts...pending tests...I eventually had to see my doctor about my anxiety as the stabbing chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and spiking blood pressure took its toll.

Even as gyms opened back up, I never felt comfortable returning to the Y. This was difficult for me, as my commitment to exercise came to identify me in the last half of 2019. I wanted to continue my commitment to this new lifestyle, but my asthmatic husband has trouble breathing from a standard-issue chest cold. If I get this virus, I'll survive; we're not so confident of his prognosis. I can't justify going into a large, enclosed space where people are breathing heavy without masks.

Get outside! the mental health experts recommended. Clearly, they don't live in south Louisiana. Two weeks ago, it finally got cool enough to walk outside on my lunch break. Which I began doing.

We made plans. 2020 had other ideas. We all keep hitting the Reset button. As if that will erase the anxiety attacks, the nightmares, the extra weight.

"Look for the helpers," Mr. Rogers taught us. The only way for us to maintain any semblance of sanity this year was to look to those things that brought even a seed of joy.

Chef Jose Andres and his World Central Kitchen fed the world and argued that food is the best way to strengthen community, rebuild economies, heal the planet and improve health. The man has a lot of practical ideas and I would love if the new administration put some of them into action.

Dolly Parton, America's favorite cis female drag queen, donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University's COVID research that resulted in the Moderna vaccine that will surely save hundreds of thousands of lives.

I'm working up "Here You Come Again" as a standard karaoke song. I like "Why'd You Come In Here" better, but dang, that song is hard to sing.

Schitt'$ Creek walked away with an Emmy awards sweep this year, celebrating in their own little Canadian, inclusive, socially distanced, coronavirus pod. You cannot deny the joy that that sweep (& that show) brings to us all.

Shout out to every facebook friend who encouraged me to stick with it when I insisted I couldn't abide the gross-out humor of the first two episodes. (It gets better, as they say.)

Hamilton debuted on Disney+ and all the sudden the rest of the world hopped on my bandwagon. I don't like to brag, but we've seen Hamilton three times - twice with the original Broadway cast in NYC and once with the touring company in New Orleans. I wrote a heartfelt post about what it meant to me in 2015 here. Still relevant.

The Saints are killing it this year (10-2 at this writing!), even without our HOF QB and we don't even care if you put an asterisk on the season as long as you don't actually put it on our ring when we win our second Super Bowl. Everyone raise a glass to the Stormin' Mormon! A glass of...koolaid or something IDK.

Also in 2020, in case you're still convinced it was all bad:

  • Restaurants shared secret recipes so we could make them at home

  • Wearing leggings and sweatpants became acceptable fashion choices

  • Americans rushed to adopt and foster pets in need during the pandemic (My heart!!)

  • We've had time to read again (I set a goal of 50 books this year, and I'm at 66 YTD)

  • We rediscovered the love of gardening and baking

  • Puzzles and board games became cool again

  • We learned that homeschooling is hard and finally recognized teachers as the heroes that they are

The thing is, if you google "Good things that happened in 2020," you'll find tons of heart-warming stories about people saving lives, reaching out, making a difference. Don't miss this story of a woman who made a young girl's fairy garden come to life, if you need something sweet and innocent to cheer you today.

Maybe this year wasn't so bad after all. Still, I can't help but think that this New Year's Eve celebration will be unlike any other.

Sayonara, 2020. Goodbye forever.


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