2020: The Most Extra Year

Dear Friends, Family, Hate Followers, and Strangers,

To quote the Grateful Dead, “What a long, strange trip it’s been…

Around this time last year, I was licking my wounds from a work fallout which would later turn into a work catastrophe. I was planning my first ever international trip (as an adult) to visit my best friend in Germany. I dreamed about selling my house and moving to a place with more than two seasons. In short, plans were underway.

No sooner did the ball drop and humanity found itself under attack by the year 2020, with a rapacity usually reserved for predator against prey. This is a visual representation of my year thus far:

The only major events that prompted joy in my life were:

(1) Finding a new job right before the pandemic struck and employment tanked; and

(2) Donald Trump being voted out of office.

You’ll also notice that my line trends downward after November. Many Americans demonstrated that they were unable to follow CDC guidelines regarding holiday travel, thus resulting in unprecedented COVID suffering. A significant low for us all.

Wait. I hear you through the computer screen. Not another Debbie downer post, Sara. All you ever write about is politics and COVID.

True. I hear you. I’ll back up.

In between those two events, I traveled thousands of miles in my mind and explored new territories. Let’s start with the books I read in 2020:

Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life

Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found my Faith

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

The Last Romantics

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life

The Proposal

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Death by Darjeeling

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Tell No One

Mrs. Everything


Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life

Run Away

How to Be an Antiracist

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Normal People

When Breath Becomes Air

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

Every Body Yoga: Let Go of the Fear. Get on the Mat. Love Your Body.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them

By the Book

Fahrenheit 451

Squeeze Me

Big Summer

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

I fell short of my goal to read 36 books this year. Reading was very challenging for me and I often lost focused. Out of the 27 books I did read, here are my top three picks:


Mrs. Everything

How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them

The things I watched:

Hamilton (for the very FIRST time) and I LOVED it.

The Office (also for the very FIRST time) and how did I live without it?

The Crown (Fourth Season)…still incredible.

The Queen’s Gambit

An ungodly amount of CNN. Shout out to my faves, Wolf Blitzer and Jim Acosta.

I wrote 35 pages in my journal. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s an 8.5 x 11 situation.

Discovered the joys of yoga on my terms. I think what I found most enjoyable was not doing yoga in a class setting. However, I do miss yoga nidra or in-person meditation.

I am continuing to work my way through this incredible course:


I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve been a bit busy, so I took a pause. Luckily, my work closes for a week and a half so I will have plenty of time to get back to coding.

Cleaning out my garage. Grumble. I wouldn’t call it the highlight of my year, but I finally had the time to start tackling this project with Mark. And it moves us one step closer to one of our post-vaccine goals of moving.

I also learned how to shave a poodle. Cut my husband’s hair (preferred) and cut my own hair (not preferred).

Through all the noise of 2020, I discovered within myself a profound resiliency. I very much miss daily routines, socializing, and the freedoms we take for granted. But I refuse to be a part of the problem. Under no circumstances will I knowingly contribute to the enormous problem that America faces with COVID. I am resilient enough to know that this will pass and life will resume. I have enough patience to wait this out.

So until we have universal access to a vaccine and herd immunity on the horizon, I will continue to read my books and retreat to the inner sanctum of my home, husband, and my soft fur babies.

Happy New Year!

2 thoughts on “2020: The Most Extra Year

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