I hope your New Year is starting off well. The following is an article from Kosmo. I’ll be spending the weekend preparing some articles to help with typical New Year’s Resolutions for next week.
2020 has been a year that many of us would like to forget. As we finally flip the calendar, I’m looking forward to 2021 being much different. Here are the things I’m looking forward to in 2021.
The COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in the United States. I don’t have any health conditions that would put me in the highest risk category (although, like many Americans, I have hypertension), so I’ll be waiting a while until the higher risk people are inoculated. I look forward to the vaccine causing the curve to not only be flattened, but beaten into the ground.
Hopefully, we remember the lessons we’ve learned from COVID-19. There will be another epidemic of some sort in the future. It might be two years from now, or twenty, or two hundred. The next time we’re hit by an epidemic, we need to leverage what we’ve learned from this experience, rather than starting from square one.
Please do your part and get vaccinated, too. If you have concerns, discuss them with your doctor.
We visited Door County, Wisconsin in 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed it. We planned a return trip to the same Airbnb in 2019, but it was derailed a family health situation. The owner ended up refunding 100% of his portion – despite being entitled to keep half of it – and we only lost the AirBNB’s portion of the reservation.
We tried again for 2020, only to be derailed by COVID-19 this time. We were able to use the entire amount of the trip toward a rescheduled trip in 2021. I’m really looking forward to a nice vacation at the beach.
Kids back in school
Some kids have excelled in online school, whereas others have struggled. My kids have excelled. My 5th grader is in the gifted program, and my 7th grader recorded a 3.87 GPA in her first trimester. They’ve kept in contact with friends over the phone and the internet.
Nonetheless, it’s not the experience they want. Although they did choose online school for safety reasons, they look forward to physically returning to school next fall, so they can hang out with their friends.
I’m also looking forward to this. Mostly, I look forward to it because it will make my kids happy. But I’d also like to be able to attend a work audio meeting without hearing a fight breaking out upstairs. We could use a bit less togetherness at times.
Last pinewood derby ever
My son is in Cub Scouts. Honestly, it has been a great experience. The one thing I dread every year is the pinewood derby. I am not someone who is good at building things. Trying to figure out a design that my son will like and that we can actually pull off is always a challenge. I’m never more relieved than when his car successfully navigates the track for the third and final time. We’re never going to win the derby – the goal is to end up somewhere in the middle of the pack. Putting the pinewood derby in the rearview mirror will take some of the winter stress out of my life. The Scouts, however, will remain a part of our lives.
First scout weeklong camp
My daughter is a girl scout. She has always been shy. For several years, we have attended the “daddy and me” overnight camp at the girl scout camp. We have always had a great time. I even managed to be the talk of the camp one year, when I dumped my kayak in the lake. Most importantly, it has been a good experience for her to interact with a different group of kids and come out of her shell a bit.
Several times, we asked her if she wanted to do a solo camp for a week. The answer was always a firm “no”. She didn’t want to be in a group of strangers without a parent around.
After the 2019 camp, she changed her mind. Yes, she would like to go to camp by herself. This was a huge change. We booked her for a 2020 camp – and then had to cancel when COVID came. We’ll try this again in 2021.
A new job?
I have been casually job hunting lately. I may end up with a new job soon, or I may end up staying where I’m at. If I were a betting man, I’d bet that I’ll be starting something new in the next couple of months.
I’ve worked in the same industry for 20+ years, but many of the positions I’m looking at are in other industries. Quite honestly, I’d like to diversify my experience a bit, so that I’m not pigeonholed into one type of work.
I’m written a full article about the job hunt, so I won’t bore you with the details.
I began collecting stamps during the pandemic. My initial plan was pretty straightforward – collect every distinct design through 1970, but do not pursue watermark or paper variations. By my count, there are about 650 such stamps.
The good news is that I’ve collected about 540 of those stamps, including everything from 1941-1970. The bad news is that many of the remaining stamps are quite expensive. The mitigating factor is that many of these are fairly ugly postal fiscal stamps – stamps that could be used for either tax or postage. I won’t cry if my collection ends up missing a few expensive and ugly stamps that aren’t even normal postage stamps.
The bigger problem is that my collection has expanded beyond New Zealand. Someone in a Facebook group was nice enough to send me thousands of stamps. All I had to do was pay for the postage. I still have tons to sort through, but I’ve gotten exposed to enough other stamps that I’ve begun to diversify my collection. I have an album for the USA and a smaller one for Austria, and I’m sure I’ll be adding an album or two for the countries of the world. My goal is to collect a stamp for as many stamps-issuing entities as I can, as well as collected a few pages of stamps for countries of interest, such as Great Britain, Australia, and the Antarctic territories.
The International Olympic Committee postponed the Olympics when it became apparent that it would be a terrible idea to bring in hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, have them share common spaces, and send them back to their home countries. That would have been a recipe for a massive super spreader event.
The Olympics are, for now, scheduled for 2021. I love the Olympics, and I’ll be glued to the TV. I primarily watch track and field and swimming, but I’ll watch bits and pieces of many other sports as well.
What about you?
What are you looking forward to in 2021?