Necessary Magic

21 Lessons I've learned in 2020

1. Saturn and Pluto don't fuck around. Nor does Jupiter in Capricorn. In January, back before we knew about the impending doom of coronavirus, catastrophic wildfires, heightened police oppression, and every other calamity 2020 would bring, astrologers were warning us that this would be a humdinger year of reckoning. They weren't kidding.

2. "Relentless" is a more powerful word than I ever understood. Can you raise a toddler without a village during the era of social distancing? Yes. Do I recommend it? No. Can you work in mental health during a pandemic and be glad you have job security? Yes. But are you ready to be totally exhausted by a job where everyone's in escalating cycles of crisis? No.

3. Compassion fatigue is real.

4. Tiny daily freedoms are way more precious than I ever thought. Hugging a friend goodbye or feeling safe working at a coffee shop—I'm never gonna take those for granted again.

5. Some of the white ladies in Santa Fe are even more entitled and clueless than we thought. That woman wearing masks as a bikini in the Trader Joe's parking lot as some kind of "artivism" to protest the public health orders? And all the people who acted like she was some kind of freedom fighter? What the fuck, Santa Fe? WTF.

6. Speaking of masks, my ears are way more sensitive than I knew. Turns out I'm one of those people who has to wear the masks with straps that go all the way around my head, and it also turns out I have to wash them constantly cause I get maskne really fast. Also, the term "maskne" (acne from masks). Thanks, 2020!

7. Zoom sucks. I mean, it's a lifesaver, but working through it every day sucks. Sharing space with three-dimensional people is infinitely better.

8. Reading the news is an extra terrible way to start the day. Having an app like Freedom on my phone that can block me from social media and headlines is essential to my sanity.

9. Speaking of news, Trump is an even more dangerous, incompetent, racist, self-centered megalomaniac than we thought. No worse man to (mis)lead a country during a global pandemic. Enough said.

10. However, a coalition of mainly BIPOC organizers can and did flip formerly deep-red Georgia. And Trump is leaving the White House in January. Who knew that was possible?

11. Also, turns out a group of protesters can pull off tearing down the racist obelisk in the center of our city. And cities across the US are having meaningful conversations about defunding or abolishing police. Damn. Power to the people.

12. When current events get too overwhelming, watching The Great British Baking Show is an effective form of stress relief, except for the fact that you can't have all the fancy desserts you're salivating over and instead must settle for another bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Sigh.

13. Speaking of dessert, toddlers cannot handle sugar. Toddlers losing their shit over melted popsicles and broken cookies is probably what will start World War III. Unless it's parents losing their shit because toddlers are losing their shit for the 8th time today.

14. Feeling trapped is even worse for my mental health than I thought.

15. I need to connect with something larger than myself in order to survive these times. This fall, I took a deep dive into learning more about the pre-Christian spirituality that may have shaped my ancestors in Europe. The wheel of the year, various deities and the spirit of the earth itself are pulling me through.

16. Thank God for summer. I miss it like hell.

17. Backyard chickens are a great pandemic project, but they poop more than you can imagine and will completely destroy your garden if left unattended. Whoops. No strawberry patch next Spring…

18. Art really does save lives. It is an indispensable space of freedom.

19. Being brave with your friends is rigorous and necessary. And, good lord, are friends necessary right now.

20. Sometimes ugly crying is the only way forward.

21. Nope—sometimes organizing with and for the people we love is the only way forward.

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