Gina Penn, unabridged.

It’s Almost Over (2020)

Those sentiments are likely to be shared by many.

2020. What can be said? It’s been a helluva year. From the pandemic to the election, it’s been a roller coaster of a ride and many are begging to be let off, myself included.

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, or also referred to, in some quarters, as the “rona,” has ravaged the planet and the US is not sitting very pretty. Folks didn’t take the shelter-in-place seriously, summer failed to flatten the curve as so many had hoped, and hundreds of thousands have died and many more have been infected at least once, some even twice. Half the country is still taking it very carefully, dutifully wearing a mask every time they go out, using hand sanitizer after touching any type of surface, and social distancing.

Unfortunately, others are not taking it so seriously. They are refusing to wear a simple mask, using excuses such as they can’t breathe (they can), and it interferes with their rights (it doesn’t). They parade arrogantly and unflinchingly around crowds of people, breathing on everyone, spreading germs without even bothering to protect anyone else or themselves.

Personally, I find it rather selfish to refuse to wear a mask. Masks aren’t complete protection, nor are they perfect, but they do help and are much better than wearing nothing at all. Still, many hate them and refuse to wear one, even for a short period of time. Masks are not my favorite thing either. I still forget and have to go back to my car to grab it. They’re stuffy, ill-fitting, and uncomfortable. However, I do wear one anytime I’m in public. I also wash my hands constantly (I did before but even I could up the ante) and use my hand sanitizer spray. It’s only a temporary inconvenience for me and I would be devastated if I caught this virus and gave it to someone else.

Unbelievably, there are people who deny the virus’s existence. They behave as though it’s completely made up and just a hyped-up conspiracy. Regardless of verifiable science and hospitals full-to-bursting and many, many dead, they still think it’s all a lie. I had someone on Twitter the other day tell me that people in motorcycle accidents are being written up as Covid cases, which is completely unbelievable. The sad part is that so many actually believe it’s a conspiracy and don’t protect themselves and then get sick and die. Or, worse, get sick, infect others, and die. It’s becoming too common and even though I do believe the media gets it wrong sometimes, I am not one of those who subscribe to the belief that everything in print is fiction.

The ‘rona isn’t the only craziness we had this year. The other insanity was the US Presidential election.

The election can be summed up in two words but it is entirely more complicated than this: Trump lost. Despite the cries of an unfair election, despite the wails of fraud and illegal votes, regardless of all Trump’s attempts to overthrow the decision of more than 80 million Americans, Trump lost and that’s that. Social media blew up and depending on which side you were on, you were either extremely satisfied or extremely upset and crying. For me, I was one of the former group. I apologize to anyone who rooted for Trump and voted for him and wanted him to win but there’s one irrefutable fact: Trump was not only tearing the US apart, he was glad it was happening. And, not only was he glad it was happening, he was pushing the destruction along faster. He is far too emotional to lead. He runs hot and cold, depending on his mood and if someone disagrees with him. He only caters to half the population and is not a president for all. He doesn’t care for the environment, actually rolls protections back, and is allowing public lands to be sold to huge corporations and destroyed. He hires criminals and countless members of his cabinet have been tried and convicted for crimes. Trump himself is a criminal. He refused to share his taxes because in the last ten years (or more) he’s only paid around $750 in taxes and allows his children to write off millions and avoid paying taxes as well. He declared a national emergency to build a stupid wall and even that was a complete failure. This only names a few of the reasons he was a terrible president. I could go on but I don’t want Trump to dominate the blog, as he has dominated the country for the last four years. I will breathe a sigh of relief on Inauguration Day when he’s finally irrelevant and Biden is sworn in. It’ll be nice to have a grownup in charge again.

Has 2020 been all bad? For me, no. I admit, I am in the minority here. So many have lost loved ones and have had a difficult time dealing with the quarantine. With traveling being restricted and this year being one of being a homebody, it’s true most have struggled this year. Many are unemployed and worried about paying bills and rent/mortgage.

But for me, 2020 hasn’t been all bad. I am working from home now, which is glorious. This entire year, I have been able to simply walk into my home office and turn on a computer to go to work. It has saved me money, time, and resources. Working from home has also been good for me, mentally. So much stress has been relieved. I no longer have to get up super early, shower, dress, and fight traffic to the office. My car hasn’t racked up miles from the back and forth. My fur kids have been happier as well. My dog and cats are now so used to me being home that they’re a little freaked out when I leave. Working from home has truly been a blessing and I only hope the company makes it permanent.

Also, 2020 has been the year of school. I started back to school in August of ’19 and it’s been going very well. I recently transferred to a new school and will finish my Bachelors in IT Cybersecurity within the year (I hope!). A Masters degree is still solidly on the table but I won’t make that decision until I finish the Bachelors first. I am learning a lot and excited for what the future may hold.

To wrap it up, 2020 has had its challenges but overall, not the worst year ever, at least for me. The worst year of my life was 2012 and as long as things don’t go that way again, which they won’t, then it won’t ever be that bad again. No year can top 2012.

If you find yourself struggling because of 2020, remember to remind yourself that it will get better. Even the worst years go by and become a thing of the past (I’m looking at you, 2012). True, things can happen to make life extremely rough, even unbearable, but all things end. Change is the only constant and whatever bad things happen, remember, good things happen too. It’s easy to forget about the good stuff because we tend to take them for granted. I know it seems easy for some random person on the internet to say this; I just got finished blogging about how things haven’t been terrible for me in, of all years, 2020. However, I have had some bad years. Very bad years. I understand suffering and loss and pain. I have been betrayed and lied to and manipulated and humiliated. I’ve moved multiple times because I’ve lost my home and it took me a long time to come back from that. What little family I have is far spread out and we aren’t exactly close. I have had some hard times but I have also had some good fortune. I love my friends, my animals, and for the most part, my life. If you had told me this eight years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. Eight years ago, I was sure I would be dead by now, by my own hand. But I’m not. I’m still here. And if I can survive a hurricane of humiliation and terrible luck, completely on my own, then anyone can. It is possible and you only have to do one thing: keep waking up and fighting through another day.

Keep on, keeping on, friends. 2020 is almost over.



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