Christmas and the New Year will be upon us soon. As I reflect back on the year, there are many things to consider. Words like recovery, pandemic, social distancing, quarantine, work from home, fear, death, birthdays, election, and more. But for me, the word that really resonates in 2020 is…
2020 started out challenging for me personally and then changed dramatically for the world as the pandemic swept the globe. I began the year still recovering from a recent back surgery. My mobility was returning but I was still very limited in my lifting and activities. Angie and I spent a lot of time pondering what our life would be after my recovery. My doctor and surgeon both informed me I would no longer be able to lift my wife as a caregiver, but I would heal and recover enough to be able to occasionally transfer her from a wheelchair to another chair or restroom. Not being able to lift her on my own meant using lift assist devices at home and acquiring one we could take traveling as well. We pondered a lot during the first months of the year what home life and traveling would look like as her Multiple Sclerosis progressed and I aged. Even a year on from my back surgery, we are still working through changes at home, including acquiring a power wheelchair for Angie, which will provide her a lot more independence. Once this pandemic is over, we are looking forward to some small trips away from home to determine what travel does look like for us going forward.
Soon into 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed all our plans and we each had to ponder the significance. Everyone was impacted in unique ways. Early on for my family, it meant my daughters returning home from university to finish out their Spring semester online at Taylor University and me working from home. Two college students and a full-time employee all working online each day meant some juggling of internet resources and finding desk space for everyone. We also had to socially isolate more than other families to protect Angie as she is immunosuppressed. That frustrated many friends and family as they couldn’t quite understand our restrictions. Then as we got into summer and fall, we had to ponder what would returning to work would be like, how do we celebrate milestone birthdays like the 21st and 50th, and what would our daughter’s senior year of college be like during this ongoing pandemic. We are still pondering and managing the work and college aspects as this pandemic continues, but it does look like vaccines are coming soon which should help us return to some form of normalcy in our lives in 2021.
Early in 2020, but before the pandemic began, I decided to extend my break from tabletop game industry freelancing into a longer and purposeful hiatus. I wanted time to ponder what to do next creatively. Little did I know then my hiatus would be extended as a result of a pandemic. But to be honest, this was wonderful as it provided me more time to consider my creative interests. I did some videography, delved into my rpg storytelling, returned to learning to paint miniatures, did a lot of work in my garden and pondered some new ideas for next year, and took serious steps toward doing my own creative writing. I did return to limited freelancing on a project I have really enjoyed. That project helped me evaluate my freelance work, and acknowledge that with increased caregiving duties, I need to be more sensitive to my time commitments. I will still consider limited freelance editing, but I will not be returning to the level of work I was doing the past few years. Instead, I am focusing more on personal creative projects like my writing and art. Look for more to come in 2021!
Thanks for being a part of my ongoing creative journey. I have enjoyed your comments and questions throughout the year. What new things, changes, or challenges are to come in 2021 I do not know, but I do know my friends, family, and readers are here with me on the journey.