An Unexpected COVID Christmas

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2022, the year that has us all collectively afraid to set expectations. Let’s start with a reflective activity.

Things I did not accomplish over Christmas break:

  1. Write any posts for my blog
  2. Code the interviews for my ongoing research project
  3. Complete my dossier website (or even work on it)
  4. Research and plan an upcoming webinar

Things I did accomplish over Christmas break:

  1. Read 9 books of the Miss Fortune series by Jana DeLeon plus a handful of other books
  2. Finished reading/revising the second book of the series I’m writing as a hobby
  3. Played the Sims for two days straight
  4. Got a tattoo

Wow. I won’t lie, I started this with the intention of pointing out how unproductive I was over break, and how coming down with COVID derailed my whole two weeks of getting ahead, but honestly… seeing it written out like that, maybe it was good that my plans got derailed. I did just write a whole post about how great it is to disconnect and recharge. I should probably listen to myself sometimes.

I mean, look at those lists. Things I did not accomplish: stuff that requires deep thought and brain power. Things I did accomplish: relaxing activities that are hobbies (plus one painful activity that I’d been wanting for years, picture at the bottom of this post for the curious).

Which list would you rather accomplish?

I thrive on chaos and being busy. I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I do if I didn’t. One of the hardest parts of being sick was the few days that I didn’t even have it in me to read a book or play a video game because it was just so hard to sit and do nothing when I had a whole untouched to-do list. I’d grab my Switch and go to my island to just shake a couple trees and close the game again. The whole time, I felt guilty for not being more productive. While I am fully aware that my incessant need to be productive is often a flaw that will quickly lead me to burnout, I still find myself unable to see the problem until I’m looking at it in hindsight.

Talk about an effective reflective activity (same that five times fast).

I don’t want to go so far as to say coming down with COVID was a gift; far too many lives have been lost for me to even imply that. I definitely wish I could have remained healthy through my two weeks off, but I will say that at least being forced to slow down may have been a good thing.

I must also say that I am incredibly grateful for the vaccine. While the irony of contracting COVID immediately after getting my booster shot was annoying to say the least, I know that my husband and I both had very manageable cases that could be treated with theraflu and ibuprofen. Without the vaccine, this break could’ve gone very differently. I’ll continue to wear my mask and be grateful for a job that is still allowing me to work from home. And maybe in 2022, I’ll remember to read a few books and play a few video games without needing an illness to force me into slowing down.


I had the idea for this tattoo on a testing day way back when I was a high school teacher and finally scheduled it for the first week of break. I’ll need one more session to finish up some details and add another upright book on the left. The quote is from Doctor Who: “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.”

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