Good Riddance 2021: A Pandemic-Filled Holiday

Jan 3, 2022

How many of us don’t wish we can just fast-forward to our ideal selves and be living our own Adele versions. I just watched her One Night Only interview x tear-jerking performance of late 2021 and I’m definitely in my feels at the moment. I’ve been meaning to write something for the end/start of the new year and I’ve been combating a little bit of writer’s anxiety. What else is new? 

The truth is, these last two weeks of the year 2021, which typically should be overwhelmed with positive familial x warm vibes, were not so warm and familial. My mental health plummeted while I aided someone else in their battle with mental health and welp, I’m feeling quite low. 

But this isn’t meant to be a sad post. The end of the year has me feeling hopeful despite my personal protest to the construct of time. A few years back while sitting alone in my apartment I decided to give up on the whole new years’ resolution ‘cause I was never really good at keeping them and also because why wait weeks and months for the end of the year to appear to commit to bettering ourselves. But I’m not going to lie, the positive notes and wishes circling my Instagram feed has me feeling wishful despite the constant headache I’m experiencing these days.

As far as new years resolutions go, ill just stick to breaking those horrible habits I’ve slowly grown over the past two years. Instagram in bed is the one that sticks out the most like a sore thumb. It really does take so much time from my mornings and truly makes me feel so shitty for wasting sometimes 20-40 mins lounging in bed, distracting my day ahead or personal plans to do this or that in the morning in efforts to start the morning “right”. Maybe this is alluring to avoiding something deeper. At this stage of constant personal work, I’m not ruling anything out. 

With COVID heavy circling Los Angeles during the holidays, a lot of plans fell through at the last minute. For example, Christmas day plans were canceled on Christmas just a few short hours before departing for the day to family activities and New Year’s Eve was also just canceled 1-hour before meeting up with others for the countdown celebration. A new record. So naturally, I spent the better parts of the last 3 rainy days of the year cooking, drinking, and watching a lot of television. A lot.

The first day (new years eve eve) Luis and I strolled over to Albertsons in the rain, tea x Stojo cup in hand, my Mexico-bought colorful Mexican shopping bags, and fueled up for the next couple of days. I absolutely love grocery shopping and treading through the isles. I don’t usually write out a grocery list and so my market footrail is certainly a zig-zag throughout the store – Vinos, nonperishables, fridge aisle, back to nonperishables, restroom, sale section, freezer aisle, perishables, and finally cheese, maybe, if the budget allows. 

Once arriving home we (or I) didn’t want to cook so I cooked us some easy vegan mac and cheese straight from the box. I did spruce it up with some Beyond Meat beef, bread crumbs, and a side of cheap wine. The Barefoot Cellars Fruitscato -Mango- is a favorite for a light drinking day. After Luis showered and we ate, he made us some coffee x Kahlua topped with marshmallows and whip cream and I set up Scarface for us to watch. It was a first-timer for me and despite the constant shooting and deaths, I loved the plot.

On New Year’s eve, I spent most of my morning baking rusks. A South African delicacy and perfect pair to your tea or coffee. Ever since I first tried them back in maybe 2017 South Korea thanks to my dear friend Natalie I’ve been hooked. Sorry for all those rusks I ate from your pantry Nat, I could not resist. Last year in 2020, my dear friend Toni baked me some as my Christmas gift. And as a godsend South African she taught me how to bake them and later baked me my own batch and welp, I no longer have my Saffas here with me in LA to depend on so im left to my own demises. After a borrowed scale and that trip to Albertsons, I had it all ready to bake. 6 hours later, including 5 of baking, we had a good batch of rusks to probably last us a week. At our rate of coffee x tea consumption (especially during flu/tea season) and sharing some with close friends and family they are sure not to last much. 

During those long baking hours, Luis, Phoebe, and I drove over to Longbeach to enjoy a much-needed drive x drink near the beach. The rain had ceased and Phoebe was growing anxious (just one of the many traits shared with the fam) from being indoors for so long. And alas the appetizers, cool breeze, and micheladas made for a perfectly quiet New Years’ Eve evening before the party started. Or so we thought. This actually ended up being our short celebration since a few hours later our plans got canceled. I was in bed by 11. Walked out for the fireworks show happening all around, and climbed back into bed. Just thinking that last year I was celebrating out in a pub, drinking and dancing my life away to live music with friends. Oh, how the tables have turned. China is doing something right with this pandemic – believe me. 

I’m skipping out a lot of the not-so-fun in-between details here. Because I’m sure a lot of New Year’s events in the US looked rather similar. Quiet. 

Dare I say I enjoyed the quietness? But as the pandemic continues to drag out, the impatience to go out, drink and dance are becoming more and more prevalent. 

Next step: at-home party with me, myself and I. Bring out the booze. 

Goodbye 2021 and good riddance 🙂

Author

Author

Natalie Amezcua

Natalie (she/her/hers) is a humane educator and solutionary writer living in Los Angeles.

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Natalie is the author of sonatsays – blog. She is a solutionary thinker, dog mom, writer, and advocate for animal protection, environmental conservation, and human rights. Natalie has recently moved to her hometown of Los Angeles after living in Asia for several years to focus on her studies.

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