Wow! We should all take a sigh of relief that this year is coming to an end. It’s been chaotic and stressful and I’m glad we are going to be seeing vaccinations roll out in 2021. I wanted to send through a final Social Distancing Diaries for the year, though no much has changed since my last update.
Fortunately, my job is still here, and they also provided some support to remote workers by sending a stipend of $500, but with taxes taken out it was about half that. I used it to buy proper office chairs (it’s these incase anyone is curious) for both me and Josh. Later, employees were offered laptops and/or desktops, I opted for a laptop. It arrived quickly, and it’s been working so well! And is a strong indication that we’ll remain remote for most of 2021. (Plus employees have been given surveys to better assess how we can do remote work going forward, so that’s a good sign.) It has been a relief to get the laptop. Mine was starting to crash pretty regularly.
Josh still hasn’t been offered a job. He tried out working for a startup, but there were a lot of red flags during the training period and it turns out wouldn’t even be a steady salary (commission only) so those were among the handful of reasons he left. To say the least, it’s been frustrating dealing with job searching for going on 9 months. We’re still (thankfully) using our wedding savings until he can get a job, plus I’ve been able to save a lot while student loans have been suspended and adjusting my credit card payoff schedule.
As you can imagine, we have been a bit more budget conscious with our gifting this year. We picked some family members to receive handmade gifts. It has been an experience all on its own to prepare and ship the gifts!! I’m going to go into some more detail on a separate blog post once all the gifting has happened. So just know that this year is especially tight, and if you sent a gift and I didn’t reciprocate, there’s a reason.
The holidays are always a weird time, where we’re constantly being told to BUY, BUY, BUY, and be around family, and I’m concerned that large corporations would still try to push this message when so many people are affected by the virus. This year we haven’t traveled to see family, we have bought some gifts, but nothing large, we’ve changed everything about how we shop. It’s important to remember that personal safety and security come above any other feelings, like guilt, that might bubble up if you’re not having a ‘traditional’ holiday.
Looking forward to having a couple weeks off of work through the New Year to relax (i.e. read a ton of books).
Some joys I found this week:
1. This season of The Mandalorian is so good! So many reveals! The season finale was so emotional!
2. Wayward Children* series of novellas by Seannan McGuire – Featuring a diverse cast of characters, the premise is that children go through portals to other fairytale-type lands, but sometimes they have to return (reluctantly) to this realm. To help them adjust back to normal life they are sent to a boarding school that specializes in how to cope. Naturally, not everyone wants to stay in this reality. (*I’m a Bookshop.org affiliate now!)
3. Part four of this delightful/wonderful/amazing year-long series is here!!
4. Here’s my year in books! I definitely will not be reaching my Goodreads goal this year, but to be honest it was maybe too ambitious in the best of times. 🙃
5. We are getting a @yaboi_toby_toad calendar for 2021. Never thought I would be in love with a toad Instagram.
Donate: Adopt a letter with USPS’s Operation Santa or donate to your local mutual aid group.
Read: Evicted* by Matthew Desmond: Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
Watch: Jingle Jangle on Netflix, it’s so festive and fun, plus the costumes/set are phenomenal. The story is sweet, and Forest Whitaker is so cute as a grumpy grandpa.
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Stay safe ♥ Happy Holidays!