2020/2021 Year in Review

January 1, 2022 at 5:29 am

A double year review this time around. Of course I planned on doing one for last year but I kept putting it off and by the time I thought of working on it we were already halfway through the year.

Fortunately for my family COVID-19 hasn't been too bad. While a few have gotten it no one was ever in serious condition. It's still been emotionally taxing. For example pretty much all of 2020 I didn't visit parents--something I usually do once a week--out of fear that I may be a carrier and while my mother would be serious because of her age and a couple medical conditions it would likely have been really bad for my father. Of their three kids I lived the furthest away which made me think if anyone would get it I would and then transmit it to rest of family. Thus I setup a county-level quarantine and didn't leave the county for a little over 12 months. Only once vaccines were out and parents got it did I finally come back over. As I write this we're in the midst of another wave that's highly contagious and even vaccinated people are transmitting it. While I'm still going over to parents that's pretty much all I'm going out to do.

Work has been fairly uneventful. We're still working from home with no real date set for when we return to office. With work as my main socializing outlet this has been a pretty rough couple years. Fortunately it sounds like they are now embracing a hybrid work flow where people will work some days from home and others from office. Prior to this I worked from home twice a week and it was really useful. Especially when I always made Tuesday a specific day off. This allowed me to make appointments and such for Tuesday and know I will be working from home.

About the middle of 2019? Wow it's been that long... Anyway around that time I said to myself I'm tired of being a loner. I'm going to start dating again. Keep in mind my last girlfriend was back in 2000 or so and even that was... "complicated." But I've been on a few of the dating apps that whole time usually go on and get discouraged after a couple weeks and stop. Not this time. I went through cleared out all the old pictures, updated profiles, and was ready to go. I spent at least an hour every day almost without fail. Liking profiles, if it's a platform that lets you leave messages then I do. I did this till probably around mid December of 2021. In that whole period, like 2 1/2 years, of spending all this time I never met a single person. A few weeks I've basically come to the conclusion that if I ever do meet someone again it's not going to be on a dating app. What really made me stop is when I do get a match I then assume it's a fake account because I've been on these for over two years, have seen these profiles pop up multiple times, why now did they match and not the other dozen times? Having a bit of skepticism isn't a bad thing but when I'm convinced anyone I match with now is just a fake account trying to get money from me I should call it quits. Where do I go from here? I don't know. Perhaps I should just deal with the fact I'm going to be forever alone.

In 2019 I mentioned starting to get in to woodworking. Well I'm still doing that. Again haven't done too many notable things. One thing I want to do is gather up pictures I have of everything and toss it in the gallery. Also at some point I took up leatherworking as well. Mainly when it was cold out and didn't want be in garage. Haven't gotten to involved with that hobby just yet. Though I already find myself looking at leather goods and knowing if it really was hand sewn or sewed via machine.

Shooting competitions have been on hold partly because of COVID and partly I haven't really been practicing, also because of not wanting to go in a crowded shooting range during COVID. There's an outdoor range nearby but I always went there to shoot shotguns since I can shoot out to 200 yards. Hopefully next year things will have settled enough that I can go to a shooting range. Also I hope to have the sight on my open gun working again (Never again getting C-More... maybe other models are good but the one I used failed twice and then after coming back the battery tab broke off...)

That's all the regular update stuff. If you don't like depressing stories feel free to ignore the rest of this post.

The other big even that happened the past 2 years was the passing of my two cats. Buster was a himalayan (adopted, so not known for certain but he looked like a himalayan) born around March of 2009. Couple years later I got Bandit, another adopted cat that was a mix between a siamese and a maine coon--Imagine a more furry, darker siamese and that's about what he looks like. I'm intentionally not showing a picture as it just feels wrong to show pictures of them somehow, kinda hard to explain. Anyway a few years ago Bandit was diagnosed with lymphoma (aka cancer). He had to take a pill every day which was quite a chore at first but we both got used to this. For 18 months or so, every day without skipping, I gave him this pill. Had to skip out on going on sometimes and others I just had to go home first and make sure he got his pill. Well then in middle of January I went to pick him up and he started to scream, which he never did. I gave it overnight and next day he did the same thing... You ask anyone how you know when it's time to have a pet euthanized and the answer is always "You will know when." Well that doesn't really help any but it is the unfortunate truth of things. That was when I knew it was his time. Then towards the end of that year Buster would barely eat anything. After a couple days of this I knew it was time for him. So I made an appointment for next morning. I checked on him and went to take a shower and when I came back saw him laying on the floor apparently having a stroke perhaps 30 minutes before his appointment.

This is the point where I say it doesn't suck. Well it does suck, a lot. What was worse part was having one cat get sick and then right after the other cat gets sick so it was just a couple years of uncertainty when it's the time for it. Only thing I wish I did more was confide in friends I had but I thought I would just be a hinderance or something. Even though if the same thing happened with a friend and they wanted me to come over or whatever I would without hesitation as it just seems like the right thing to do. This is a common thing with me where I assume it would be a bother for someone else but if the roles reversed I wouldn't be bothered.

Originally I was going to give a step by step of the process as it's something I couldn't find online but I've gone on about this enough. The one thing I will say is pay the extra for having them put asleep before euthanized. It spreads the process out as it takes a few minutes to take effect but I'll never forget those final moments I had. I stayed with them till the end as again it felt like what I should do. Though a couple times they asked if I was going to be present so if you don't think you can handle it then don't feel bad about leaving. From what I found people will leave after they are asleep but again every person is different. The other tip I will give just from what I read online is to not look at their eyes. Some of the descriptions I heard were rather heartbreaking. Reason being when they do administer the drug to stop their heart it takes effect extremely fast, like within 60 seconds. This is why I suggest opting for having them put asleep first. The place I took it to automatically did it but some places you may have to ask for it. One last thing I'll mention is the cost. With everything including having them cremated and ashed returned was about $600 for each. So if your cats are starting to get sick just make sure to have some money saved up because it's not cheap. Though $600 was about average price from what I read online.

It's not all doom and gloom. After about 7 months I felt I could finally start looking at getting another cat. Well about a month later a friend messaged me they caught some strays they were going to put up for adoption and asked if I wanted any. I said sure but I only wanted to get one so not having to possible deal with an extended period of time with two getting sick. Well then they said they wanted to adopt two because the two were always hanging out together. So I ended up getting two cats. Hopefully it won't be the same situation as before.

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