The Seasonings

OK, life right now is a strange mixture of horror and hope. Watching what’s going on in politics is like watching a toddler throw a tantrum and knowing that he’ll eventually tire himself out, but worried that, in the meantime, he’ll break a vase or something or even seriously hurt himself.

We’re still in the pandemic, things are getting worse and worse, and I have to remind myself that the things we’ve always been doing are still the right thing – avoid people, social distance, masks and handwashing. Vaccine is coming, yay, but that doesn’t mean to let up. I keep being tempted to go skating – they have a Wed night coffee club (just adults) that would probably be perfectly safe with the regulations they’ve put in place, but that would also involve a subway ride and stuff… sure, there’s ways to make it safer, but it’s unnecessary risk. We are not hosting our usual Xmas Eve and Xmas dinners, which is a shame.

I’m also not traveling south this week to visit my dad and brother (who have December birthdays a week apart), although I think that’s an excellent idea for a future tradition. Which gives me the week off to do… what? Well, there are little puttery projects I can do, but there are also a big project or two that will benefit from concentrated attention and momentum. So I’m trying not to overschedule. I do want to also make sure I exercise every day, and practice piano (I’d like to get somethings recorded this week) and set aside some Xmas prep time every day. There’s not a lot to do there, just cards and wrapping C’s presents and ordering some gift certificates. Oh, yeah, I need to pick up stocking stuffers too. (*insert annual rant about how this Santa clearly spends more time thinking about his spouse’s stocking stuffers than my Santa thinks about mine, and no, that’s not a euphemism*)

Can I just mention again how much (a) I enjoy my new job and (b) how consistently nice they are there? There’s a project I’m working on that we definitely want this phase to be done with by the end of the month, and, because of the vacation and holidays, I only have six more working days. So I hit a particular deadline mid-afternoon Friday with no wiggle room, and sent out an apologetic email saying, “I finished doing this stuff, please review, if you have changes, I won’t get to them until the 21st unless you need them earlier…” with the idea that, sure, I could do a little work this weekend or whatever. And the responsible parties were like, “enjoy your vacation!”. Wow.

Also, in lieu of a holiday party, we were given the opportunity to choose a gift from a service called “Snappy” – that was a nice surprise. The gifts were things like coffee makers and bluetooth speakers, and our team was having a great time discussing our possible choices on our Slack thread. I ended up choosing a snack basket, because most of the other intriguing things I already had, but of course since then I keep making messes and thinking “dammit, I should have gotten the hand vac, that would be perfect right now”. We also got a little extra in our paycheck, that was a nice surprise. I’m also due for a combined “first three months” and “end of year” performance evaluation, which should probably result in a salary increase. That will then allow me to budget 2021, including savings and donations and subscriptions.

For media consumption, we’re on Xmas stuff now, alternating between our annual classics (White Christmas, every Scrooge adaptation) and new stuff, which are mostly Hallmarky things from Netflix or Amazon. They can be fun. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square isn’t good, but boy is it a hoot to watch. After all the buzz, we didn’t like Jingle Jangle, but liked the idea of it. The gay one with all the buzz is Happiest Season, but we don’t have Hulu, so may have to wait on that one.

The FB forum I’m on where everyone talks like Nathan Pyle beings had a funny thread about Christmas movies, where everyone was listing movies in ‘being-speak’. Mine was “Winter Festival without Hue”, but there were a lot of good ones: Wondrous Occurrence on 34th Road, Winter Holiday in a New England State, Mischievous Being, The Scared Imagination Sequence Before Religious Day of Emergence, In the Dwelling in Solitude, The Frigid Locomotive and many versions of “Perish Forcefully”.

Enjoy the holidays with all your might!

This post is part of a larger project, #MOC19. Read more about the Mass Observation COVID-19 project here

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