Bright spots in a shitty year

There is so much bad shit that’s gone down this year it’s almost satire.

Rampaging virus. Wildfires. Murder hornets. Elections. Zombie minks. That last one, what the actual fuck?

So amidst all that, I decided to think about some of the good things that I’ve managed to do in this dumpster fire of a year. Believe it or not, there were a few. Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Dungeons & Dragons
Moragg, my half-orc barbarian.

This was the year I finally started playing D&D. I had no fucking idea how, but after suggestions from folks in the know, I joined a campaign at the library back in January. We only got a few sessions into the campaign when the lockdown hit, but we decided to continue it online through Roll20.net

This little group has continued to meet up online almost every week since then, and it has helped keep me sane. Essentially playing make believe with like-minded folks has been so good for my mental health, it’s rather astounding.

We’ve completed two campaigns, and I’ve created two characters that I kind of adore. I’m actually planning to crochet dolls of my characters at some point, because I kinda want to keep them around.

We’re now trying the original campaign we did, but this time we’re all playing monster races with evil alignments. It’s been ridiculous and I love every minute of it.

2. Writer’s group

Back at the start of the lockdown, I saw an email from the regional arts council saying an online writer’s group was looking to start up as a way for writers to get together (virtually) and encourage each other in their work.

Since then, I’ve discovered that I can sorta write poetry, and that I’m not completely terrible at prose. I’ve even submitted to a couple of writing contests, which I doubt I would have even considered if I hadn’t joined this group. I’m not expecting accolades or anything, but it’s helped boost my confidence a lot.

We were even featured at a writing festival that was normally in person , but like everything had to go virtual this year.

I think that’s pretty cool.

4. Cross stitch

After humming and hawing for like two years, I finally decided I wanted to learn to cross stitch. Over the Easter weekend, I got some supplies, watched some tutorials, and got started.

You’re goddamn right.

I. Am. OBSESSED.

Taking something that feels dainty and frilly and using it to make statements about female empowerment just does it for me.

I’ve also found a whole community dedicated to witchy cross stitch, which includes horror movies, ghosts, and other delights.

If I’m not crocheting, I’m cross-stitching. There’s always something on the go now.

I have plans to do some pretty massive pieces, but I also wanna do the tiny little quick ones. So many patterns, so little time.

3. Audiobooks

My favourite thing in school was always silent reading time. Second to that was when the teacher read to us out loud.

So it’s not a wonder that I finally got into audiobooks this year.

It was great for when I was driving to Dawson Creek and back every day for work. Listening to a story made the drive go by so much faster.

But then I found going for a walk and listening to a book was just as nice. And then I realized I could multitask by crafting not with the TV on like I usually do, but while listening to a book.

I have whiled away many a Sunday this year with selections from my sci-fi/fantasy book club. And I just adore it.

5. Animal Crossing

This one’s a late addition, but still worth noting.

When it became apparent that the Province wasn’t going to drop any and all restrictions for the holiday season and that I’d be spending my Christmas alone, I decided to splurge and get myself something I’d been humming and hawing about for the last year and a half.

Christmas Eve selfie.

I bought a Nintendo Switch.

Literally one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for myself. Mine came with MarioKart 8 Deluxe and I proceeded to win every grand prix cup in the game. I loved original MarioKart, and this version is spectacular.

Back in March when it originally came out, I saw everyone and their dog posting about Animal Crossing on Twitter. I had no idea what it was, but people seemed to really enjoy it. Once I got my Switch, I debated spending the money to buy this game that others had been playing for like 10 months.

I finally caved, and oh my fucking god, I’m so glad I did.

I love Animal Crossing. It’s so chill and laid back and exactly what I needed to wind down this dumpster fire of a year.

So there you have it. 2020 sucked all kinds of ass, but there were a few bright spots, at least for me.

I’m making no predictions about 2021, just that I’m assuming the universe isn’t obliterated at midnight tonight.

Happy Fucking New Year.

-A.

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