Bye bye 2020, Hello 2021

For many 2020 was a terrible year. To be sure it was a difficult year in some aspects for me but in many ways it was a great year! The year started out poorly (even before covid). I had some pretty major gut issues going on (ulcer and acid reflux). The medicine I was put on worked great, along with a clear liquid diet (they thought I had pancreatitis at first). Then the medicine worked too well and pretty much blocked all acids including what is needed to break down co.plex proteins in nightshades and other food. I stareted having allergic reactions to foods I never had am issue with. So I stopped the medicine and after a few weeks was fine. With the ulcer healed I was fine with just OTC medicine for any remaining reflux.

Then covid hit! I didn’t get it but school went virtual and I began teleworking from home. That was tough at first but we are used to it now. We have rough days for sure but as long as the school work gets done at some point in the day I am good with it! Work from home is fine most days. Internet connectivity or phone signals can be an issue at home sometimes! That is a pain. Somedays my best phone signal is outside. That’s ok on nice days, not so fun on cold day! The dogs are not going to like it when we go back to the office at some point. Brayden is going to miss Fortnite time when he goes back to school next year! 😆

We have managed to stay covid free as far as we know. I have taken one test that was negative but with a lingering cough who knows. Whitney and her boyfriend both had covid but stayed away from us for several weeks. I have also had several other relatives who have had it. Thankfully all are well now.

This has been a year with some pretty important milestones for me. I have hit 30 years as a federal public servant this year! I started in high school, got a co-op (trainee) position in college and was hired permanently within 4 months of graduating. It has been great! 19 years with the Forest Service, 10 with US Fish & Wildlife Service, and odd months with USDA Food and Nutrition Setivce and The Natural Resources Conservation Service. It has been a great career path. I will come back to this career path in a minute.

I also hit 50 years of age this year! Yikes! Some days I feel my age in the achiness of my body and tired mind but then I also feel like I am barely a day over 30! 😊 I have had a good life filled with challenges and trials but also with a lot of joy. Every moment has made me who I am and I am not unhappy with the woman I am. I have made good choices and some not so good choices. But they all make me – me!

Back to my career path. Just before Christmas vacation, I was offered and accepted a new job. I am not moving anywhere and I have been in a temporary detail doing this job for the past few months. I will start the new job on Monday January 4th. I am the Planning and Collaboration Staff Officer for the Mark Twain National Forest. I am looking forward to this challenge and opportunity. This will be a good stretch for me. I will be supervising a highly competent staff of 6 (5 right now but filling a vacant position soon). I will be learning new staff areas outside of the wildlife and fisheries world I have lived in for almost 30 years. I am excited.

I hope you all are healthy. Keep wearing the masks and distancing. I am looking forward to seeing more friends in 2021. May God bless you. Happy New Year!

#HappyNewYear2021 #bye2020