2020 Week 53


I’m not going to do a big “2020 Retrospective Extravaganza” post, but it might be useful to capture what the end of 2020 was like.

In general, 2020 fucking sucked. I’m not going to dwell on that. Everyone knows it, and everyone knows why. I’m pretty tired of the pandemic, and look forward to things starting to return to normal sometime in 2021.

But, 2020 had some high points as well. Top of the list for me was completing my PhD candidacy in August. That was a pretty amazing burst of academic productivity, doing the whole thing in under a month, over the summer, during a pandemic, while working full time to help support the COVID Pivot™.

I got my lab results back this afternoon, and my Hb is the highest it’s been in years, well into the normal range. That’s awesome.

And J is amazing. We’ve been together for 30 years now, and still going strong.

Other than that? Not much in the plus column.

Dad died in April, trapped inside his own head, in the unfamiliar environment of a long-term care facility during a COVID outbreak lockdown so he wasn’t able to have visitors for what turned out to be the last month of his life.

And a bunch of other challenges that I’m just not going to publish on the internet1.

It was a year. But, really, so was 2019, where I was off work for 5 months to go through chemo and start to recover. And, 2018, where I was deciding if the cancer was bad enough to trigger treatment yet. And, 2017, when I was diagnosed and everything changed. So, there’s a 4 year stretch of things generally sucking, and every time I say “hey, next year has to be better” I get reminded that no, it doesn’t. But it might. Who knows. But, I do know that I can push through several shitty years and come out the other side, so I guess that’s something.

I also know that since I was diagnosed, I’ve managed to put on 20 pounds and lose anything resembling muscle mass. That’s not healthy, so I need to get serious about getting back into some approximation of “in shape”. I’ve been getting out to do some socially-distanced skiing, and that’s made me realize just how out of shape I am. I’d set up my rower in the basement, and used it… twice. I hate using the rower. So, I’m going to move some furniture around and set my bike up on the trainer and try to keep motivated to riding it regularly. I hate riding on the trainer too…

And I need to finish this PhD (which has dragged on after pausing it for medical leave for 2 years) and then figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

I’m seriously thinking of deleting my twitter account2 because it’s just not helping my mental state. The constant stream of reminders about how my provincial government is systematically dismantling anything good in this province, and how a carpetbagging religious libertarian trickle-downer with a high school diploma3 is intentionally burning this place to the ground and half of the population is chanting “more more more” is just not healthy. I logged out of twitter over the christmas break, and it made a big difference in my mental state. That’s data.

Anyway. 2021 has to be better.


  1. he says, in a blog post published on the internet. ↩︎

  2. for the third time? ↩︎

  3. I have nothing against people without post-secondary education. But - someone wanting to lead a province of 4.4 million people through some incredibly complex times should have some background in… anything. We have a guy who has never held a job outside of politics, who cosplays a Blue Collar Worker™ in his never-actually-used pickup truck, and my neighbours say “yeah! he’s our guy!” ↩︎


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