I thought this image was appropriate; I walk by these flags on the way to my (soon-to-be-former) office often, and I would always notice when they were at half mast, wondering what it was this time - hoping it was “just” one person who had some significance to the state or the university, and not another mass shooting or something. Now, I find it strange that they’re flying high all the time. I mean, you can’t run them half-mast for 5 months straight, right? Or can you? I don’t know. But somehow, the death of that adjacent tree really set me off. Come on, cut it down already. Give up. Move on. Somehow it seems like the perfect representation of 2020: Optimistically raised flags despite an ongoing worldwide catastrophe, and a looming dead tree just right in the middle of it all.
I wasn’t really looking for a new job, partly because I had no idea what I’d do, and partly because the job market is cukoo-bananas right now in several ways. So who knew I’d be taking on a new challenge and leaving this place behind, in the middle of what has proven to be one of the hardest years of my life - and I’m sure that’s true for MANY.
I went on furlough June 26th, had a planned week’s vacation at the end of that 4-week period, and came back to work to give my 2 weeks’ notice. My wife’s job is secure. My kids are healthy. We’re refinancing our house at historically low rates and raking in the, uh, savings over time I guess - but seriously, we will spend $100,000 less on INTEREST as a result of this refi. Oh I almost forgot, we bought land in January and cashed out a bunch of money right before the biggest market crash in a generation to do so.
All in all, 2020 has been weirdly good to us, all things considered. I can’t express the range of emotions I’ve been through this year but I have to look at the big picture and recognize these positives for what they are. It’ll help me in mid-September when I’m fully involved in my new teaching job and feeling totally overwhelmed because it’s all new again. But certainly the teaching position is a good move long-term, and I expect if I can get through this time, I’ll be there for the duration.
Just today I was feeling great about the beautiful weather and my coming opportunity and then I walked into the bank (weird, right?) and there are signs all over the place, Do Not this or that, people are super nervous around each other, and it’s all just crazy and kind of depressing.
What a year, Oppo. And hell, it’s only 2/3 over. I think we’d better buckle up for the finale.