Bonjour. It’s November, and it’s a month that has so much happening for so many. For YouTubers, it’s Nonstop November, where creators aim to post videos daily. In the sporting world, it’s No Shave November where the men are allowing their beards to grow. And then, I heard of No Sex November. I’m not sure of who’s participating in that—I mean what group of people developed it—but it’s happening. Additionally, for many of my fellow writers, it’s National Novel Writing Month, also, known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo, that has a goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month. I’m sure there are so many more, but the final one I’m going to mention is the media trend of posting daily what is thankful for, especially here in the United States, where many people are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving—well, that is, the people who didn’t jump from Halloween to Christmas. Granted, my social media presence has been lacking from some platforms, but thus far, I have not been seeing many Thirty Days of Thanks posts. I imagine for many people, that is hitting very differently this year. It’s hitting me differently, too. That’s why today will be a different kind of post for me, but hopefully one that is found to be uplifting and inspiring.
On January 1, 2020, when people where celebrating the ringing in of the new year and making resolutions to follow their hearts’ desires, I don’t believe anyone knew the swift kick in the teeth the year was bringing with it. I can’t speak for other countries, but I know here in the US where people are used to doing nearly anything (legal) that they want, being told what to do on a large scale by the government was shock. Our go-go nature was dumped in timeout, and people had no idea what they were supposed to do sequestered in their home for weeks. Face it, I live in the south, and we get antsy when we have to spend a day inside because of hurricanes. (We throw parties during that time, BTW). And, oh my gosh, it was not just having to remain sheltered-in-place, it was that what we normally do inside was gone, too. For a culture that binge watches, many of us flew threw Hulu and Netflix in no time. Resources become like a forge. Mask-wearing was viewed as something from a B-film Sci-Fi. People lost their jobs and homes. Education became a nightmare. People got sick and died. And politically… Whew! Now, eleven months in, and it is no surprise to me that some people are struggling to find a happy or thankful place. But there have been some shining spots in 2020, and that’s what I will focus on today.
- Woke culture.
I’m one of those people who can walk through life, and if something does not bother or affect me, I will not notice. I think most people are like this, and that’s not a criticism. It’s human nature. Again, I live in the south. I do not on a regular think about how to react in a blizzard. Likely, I define and would behave differently in a snowstorm than persons who live in areas where winter is actually a thing. I mean, if there are snow flurries here, chances are, businesses are going to close. Now, I know that seems laughable to many, but why would southerners spend a lot of time thinking and preparing for icy conditions when it happens once every five years or so? We don’t know how to drive in it because we do not have an opportunity to practice. Most of us do not have the proper clothes for it because our coats are made for fashion and not warmth. Currently, the temperature outside is seventy-three degrees, and for us, that’s getting a bit chilly. I can count on both hands the number of times in my life that there has been one-inch or more snow in my yard and still have fingers left over. So, I get it when Northerners laugh when Southerners freak out about snow flurries. The perspectives are different.
I think woke culture, which some people criticize for being too thinned-skinned, is nothing more than the intention of viewing a situation or event from a different perspective or point of view. It is a call to be objective and instead of subjective. It’s going beyond our small box of a world and showing empathy and compassion to others around us. How many times during an argument in relationships does one partner want the other partner to agree with him/her? The disagreement has sparked because of two varying points of view most times. Stepping back and considering from a different angle does not mean that one will agree, change positions, or diminish his/her morality. All it does is allow a person to stand a moment in another person’s shoes to understand that their feelings are valid to them. They are entitled and have a right to how they feel. And their feelings are independent to your feelings and have nothing to do with you. How does a wife feel when she attempts to communicate with her husband that she does not feel appreciated by him and he brushes her off with a “you’re being silly” or “get over it”? He might even shove in her face something that he has done for her in the past and insist that she be appreciative that he did it for her and attempt to make her feel guilty or belittled for asking for more? That’s the same in woke culture. It’s not asking a person to change. It’s asking for awareness, acknowledgement, and respect.
I think 2020 has been a year of wokeness for many. I for one had my eyes opened about a lot. Two of the biggest areas that I’ve come to learn about has been the struggle of Indigenous people and the treatment of the transsexual community. These were things that I had never heard discussed and was not aware that existed. I’m not around people who were affected by these issues. But once I heard them mentioned, I stopped to listen and learn. I’d assumed things that weren’t factual. And instead of arguing to hold steadfast the beliefs I’ve been taught, I grew quiet and opened myself to take in new information. Am I an expert now? No. Do I understand everything? No. Do I still have much to learn? Yes. Am I willing to learn those things? Yes.
When I write, I write with love. I write with the belief that true love exists. I write with the hope of bringing smiles and happiness to readers. To be able to do that, I need to understand people and multiple points of views. For me, twenty-twenty has been humbling. I have experienced human growth in ways I could not have imagined. And I don’t believe I’m alone in this. I have watched some of my closest friends grow as well. Hopefully, this growth will be seen in my writing and in my acts as a person. I always strive to better my craft. But on a personal level, I strive to be a better person—a better friend, daughter, sibling, parent, and neighbor.
I’ve watched dozens of videos of people completing home improvement projects or taking on life goals. People who lost their jobs spent their time doing the things that they have been postponing indefinitely. They now had time to clean out the garage or convert the basement into a media area. They had timing to put together a shelving unite or finally organize and catalog the items in their collections. Some had time to research their family history or write the novel they’ve been wanting to write their entire lives. Others reconnected with their families. A friend confessed to me that he had re-fallen in love with his wife during the pandemic. “I knew I loved her, but I think over the last ten years, I had forgotten why. Being at home with her and our children every day around the clock for three months reminded me not only why I fell in love with her but deepened my love and appreciation.” I beefed up my writing game. Another friend, who lives across the street from his parents, stated that he and his father finished restoring a car his father had purchased more than twenty years ago. “It sat in the garage as his ‘project’ and has always been a source of conflict between him and mother. Especially when they would argue, he would lock himself in the garage for hours and tinker with it. Us kids were never allowed to touch it. He’s owned it for as long as I could remember. I had to have been a toddler when he bought it. I’m now 42, and he and I completed it a couple of weeks ago. It allowed me to get to know my father on a completely different level, and we got a cool car out of it.”
I believe many people may have overlooked the role creativity has played during this pandemic. People have had to develop and devise ways to handle problems that they have never had before. Persons who lost their jobs have found other means of income. Some have allowed their artistic sides to bloom. Reflecting back to March when the news media was advising everyone not to wear masks because they would worsen the situation. Now, there is much debate about who put that information out there and why, but that’s not to point here. The point I am attempting to make is that by the time the public had been instructed mask-wearing would help slow (not prevent) the spread and suppress the curve of cases, there were no masks available for purchase. So many people with sewing skills took to making masks. Some made businesses out of it or vastly grew their small business. No one has released the numbers, but it is evident that mask-masking is a lucrative business, as mask-wearers want to express their personality in this 2020 accessory. I suppose some people enjoy wearing masks regardless of the reason why. For a great many others, though, I believe that since they have found themselves in this situation, they have simply found a way to make it a little more tolerable.
A coworker who is near seventy years old used a computer for the first time two months ago. She had avoided it, and the company had never pressured her to conform. She continues to do everything by hand. Any document that is electronic, someone must print it for her. Vehemently, she rejected change, and her stubbornness slowed the progress of her coworkers at times. However, a conference changed things. She needed to renew her professional license, and since all in-person conferences had been suspended, she was forced to do cyber attendance like the rest of us. What she found is that she didn’t like it, but it wasn’t as terrible as she’d expected. While it’s done little to convince her to change her ways or venture into the millennium, it has allowed her to see how her nonconformity makes it difficult for her other coworkers—not that she cares. However, she now remains silent when someone complains about her because she realizes her coworkers’ complaints are valid and have merit. Plus, she also recognizes that she now must tread lightly. Since she’s had some computer training, if she continues to upset coworkers, their complaints may be loud enough for administration to order that she comply with the same procedures as everyone else. She can no longer use the excuse that she does not know how. She knows very little about the computer, but she has demonstrated her ability to learn.
Another coworker stated that she was hoping to travel one day. Currently, she does not have the finances, and she contends that she may never earn enough to travel out of the country. In fact, she does not believe this will ever be possible for her. However, it is a dream, and as a dream she decided to work towards it in small ways that she can afford. One way is by learning a foreign language. She has downloaded apps that teach you to speak another language and listens to them in her spare time or while she is commuting to and from work. She admits that her progress has been slow but that she definitely knows more than when she began. Sometimes, achieving small goals can be as satisfying as reaching larger ones.
This one I found to be so much fun. People let their guards down and began attempting things they’d never done before. Take a look at TikTok and how many people joined during the pandemic. People who would barely pose for family photos were encouraged and branched out to do dancing challenges. People laughed at themselves and opened up to just have fun. Some looked at the pandemic as the pre-apocalypse and decided to begin checking off items on their bucket lists. People adopted the attitude, if this is the end, why wait any longer? Therefore, they began experimenting and trying new things.
While much of the focus has been on losses and gains, some people are very thankful for maintaining what they have. Although they haven’t had it easy, so many people are grateful that they have not been as effected by 2020 as others have been. Essential employees may have had to pull longer hours for the same pay and risk exposure to the virus more than others, but many are thankful to have been able to maintain their homes and livelihoods. They’ve taken everything in stride by taking recommended CDC precautions to keep themselves safe.
A YouTube content creator stated that her life has been minimally affected by the pandemic because she’s an introvert, used to living alone and working from home. Before shelter-in-place was an ordnance implemented by her city, she was already having most of her meals delivered and remaining in her home.
These are just a few of the ways that the year 2020 has not been a complete bomb and failure of a year. While there is a tendency to see all the things that have been troubling or traumatic this year, there have been some promising things to happen as well.
What good have you found in 2020? What are you thankful for this year? What are you doing this November? Will you be celebrating Thanksgiving?
And also, don’t forget to pick up a copy of my new steamy romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my sports romance Locker Room Love series.
Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him. Grab your copy of Ice Gladiators at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.
Missed the first two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.
Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.
Locker Room Love is a steamy standalone gay romance/ MM romance series revolving around professional hockey players. Set primarily in the Cajun and Creole bayous of south Louisiana, these love stories have a diverse cast of characters. These sexy athletes are discovering their own voice and the best romance of their lives, even if that isn’t their intention. Find tales of friends to lovers, enemies to loves, billionaires, bad boys, forbidden romance, first times, gay for you, and more. These alpha males are guaranteed to work up a sweat and melt the ice.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays (with bonus posts sometimes on Mondays), and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub.
Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Keep safe.