11 December 2020

Notes from Exile: End of a Weird Nano/Semester/Year/etc.

Well, that's that.
Well, that happened.

It happened a week ago, and I don't really have anything to say about it other than I am clearly NOT a horror writer and should stick to what I know, which is character-driven, has paranormal elements, and possibly includes some romance. 

I don't know what Legacy is going to become, but I haven't completely thrown it in the dumpster fire that has been 2020.

So here we are, in the last month of one of the weirdest years on record. I'm sure that the survivors of the Spanish Flu felt a similar sense of relief/trauma/fear mixed with a healthy dose of What the Hell was THAT? I'm also battling a lot of apathy, if I'm honest, about everything in my life, and I know I'm not alone in that.

My semester at the DayJob™ ended this past Friday and the students are in exam week now. They all went home at Thanksgiving and everything was online afterward, a decision that I think was very well reasoned. I mean, until we have a vaccine for this thing for a few months, I think that online everything is the way to go, but no one asked me. 

The end of the semester also signals the end of the calendar year, and as it always seems now that I work in academia, suddenly there is a flurry of things to do for Christmas/New Year. Only there isn't. I had so hoped that we would be going to the UK for Christmas this year. We were supposed to go in August for my father-in-law's 80th birthday but that didn't happen either.

Christmas hasn't been the same, if I'm honest, since we lost my father in April of 2018. Thanksgiving is hard now, without my mother, but Christmas was always my dad's holiday. The man was not cheap in his decoration of their house - garlands hung from every low hanging light fixture and there were wreaths with big red bows on every window. They had stockings on the mantel with a tangle of garland and plastic reindeer/Santa above it. Candles were in the windows that burned all night every night. Once he was no longer able to do these things, some of the sparkle went out of Christmas for me. 

I haven't found it since. Being unable to travel, unable to even go out for a long, loud, boozy meal with my friends here has made me just want to get this season over with and move on to 2021. I mean, I tried - I put up our tree and got hives from "Artificial Christmas Tree Syndrome." 

And this time next week I will be on Winter Break from Clemson - maybe then I can find my mojo. Or maybe I can get some editing done, or at least write a better, more uplifting blog post. Thanks for spending this year in exile with me. I hope you're well, and that your holiday season is as magical and bright as you can make it this year.

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