Moments of Inertia by Rachel Crawford

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Hell Year in Review

2020 is not a year I will look back on fondly. I doubt many of us will! It started off so positive and energetic, but over the hill came a big bad pandemic. The time since has felt simultaneously short and long - a year that would never end, and yet also a year of which I have very few memories.

Nonetheless, I should write down some of the things I did and thought.

Working from Home

In March we all got kicked out of our office, about a week before the whole UK went into full lockdown. It was the right decision, even if it was a bit late. Thanks to a massive effort by the IT team we have all been able to work remotely ever since. Sure, there’s a bit more friction, but the technical side of remote working has been alright.

The personal side of remote working, however… I hate it!

It’s really hard to concentrate. I feel lonely. Isolated. Desperate for attention and stimulation, I distract easily. Home is where I do fun things and chill out, not get exasperated at work problems. By this point I’ve gotten okay (ish) at managing my issues but it sure has been a slog to get here, and there isn’t really an end in sight until perhaps the late Summer? (Please?)

On balance, however, working from home has kept us safe from COVID. It’s also meant a bit more time for hobby, gaming, and generally-not-paying-close-attention-to-work (one of my greatest talents). I’ve really appreciated having the whole flat to me and Natalie - it’s been a good time to live in a spacious abode. There are worse things to be in a pandemic than a comfortably middle-class programmer.

Love and Friendship

Me and Nat are doing well. She is so, so great, and we make an increasingly great team. I am intensely grateful for our relationship. Certain parts of 2020 would have been unbearably lonely without it.

Not being able to see much of my family has been a major bummer, especially as my brother and his wife had a baby this year. My first non-step- nibling, living in the same city as me - and I haven’t been able to spend any time with him yet. Meanwhile I haven’t seen any of my grandparents since February, and I miss them a lot.

Someone I like a lot moved to Edinburgh in the Summer and we’ve been going on nice, but distanced dates together. I want to kiss her! But alas.

I’ve appreciated my friends a great deal in 2020. Meeting up for walks, catching up over voicechat or IM, having quizzes and playing games over the internet - these moments have been beacons of light for me this year.

I feel like when things are better I’m gonna spend a lot more time with family and friends and going on dates. I’ve a major soul-deficit by this point.

I Live in a Failed State

I really don’t like the government of the UK! (Or even the Scottish government that much really!) It has handled the pandemic almost the worst in the world, making all the wrong decisions and fucking up the right ones at every opportunity. On top of this, nobody powerful is holding them to account - certainly not our weak-piss opposition and definitely not our sycophantic journalist class. We are in an incredibly awful situation.

It’s now very clear we should have pursued an elimination strategy, seeking to reduce cases to zero. Then we could have had slightly restricted, but otherwise normal lives until the vaccine arrived. Now even with the vaccine being rolled out, it’s going to be a long time before we can live normally again. Man, I just want to play Warhammer and hug my friends and drink a beer in a pub, you know? And not be afraid my country’s health service will collapse.

Meanwhile Britain’s anti-trans bullshit has really ramped up this year. Along with the rest of the bigotry. Do I really want to live here my whole life? Is living here worth dying for? I’m asking myself these questions a lot.

Hair

I have short hair again for the first time in like… 10 years? Feels good! And it makes me realise I was perhaps not a very convincing man back in the day, in spite of what I might have believed.

In January I had a fairly drastic cut to about neck length. Then it grew until, at some point in the summer, too wary to return to a hairdresser, I snipped it myself. At first I just made a ponytail and cut it off. Then I had to fix the mess that was left. Over the weeks and months I kept coming back to it, trimming a bit here and there until I had a properly short haircut. While I am proud of my personal haircutting efforts, I’d still like to see what a professional could achieve.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope 2021 is okay for you. No, scratch that - I hope 2021 is fucking great for all of us.