Vaccines are coming, holidays are upon us and it’s now nine months since the governor announced a lockdown for New Mexico. What does it all mean for our family and our businesses? Most of it is mundane, but really when I look at it, that’s such a privilege.
Home life is fine. The delivery of a new dishwasher has been delayed, so our evenings are punctuated by error beeps, either one of us getting up, opening the door of the dishwasher and slamming it closed, pressing the start button once again.
It’s as much of a routine now as everything else we do — another thing just to take in our stride.
Perhaps we have become more patient for mild irritations and just deal with them without getting bothered by them, but I don’t claim to be a better person because of 2020. We have just got on with it.
At work, things are fine, too. Because we focused on marketing earlier this year during a lull in production, we recently have been hiring to meet sales demand. Perhaps uninteresting is that we proved an essential truism of business (marketing leads to sales), but that’s what happened.
This time of year is particularly special to me, and a time to think about traditions.
For the last decade, the holidays have been a time to start the next year’s filing, purchase new hanging folders and clean out the previous year. It is a time to place documents into neatly arranged hanging folder boxes in the garage and make new labels for all the filing categories — insurance, purchases, health care, donations, mortgage, communications, finances.
I looked forward to the look of guilt on fathers’ faces as they, like me, shopped for presents at Best Buy on Christmas Eve. I am excited to get to the transfer station with the tree and empty boxes for recycling.
I might read a book, or at least make a pile of books and fall asleep next to them, only ever a few pages in, to be awoken by boys or the dog jumping on the sofa.
At work, it is a similar story: The down period between Christmas and New Year’s will allow me to catch up on reports and quotes that are long overdue, arrange thoughts for proposals, start the filing changeover and do a couple of transfer station runs.
I know I am privileged to participate in the alltäglich (the ordinary every day) and find humor in the banal details of life — I am one of a very fortunate many who can complain about faulty dishwashers, tax-document preparation and transfer station runs.
This year, not all have been nearly so fortunate, and next year there will be many more. My heart goes out to their families and friends, care workers and first responders, to those who are providing comfort to those hardest hit, and to those who have lost their livelihoods or have an increasing struggle, and to those whose every concern is not with the banal but with getting through the next hour.