Metatalktail Hour: One Good Thing December 27, 2020 6:08 PM   Subscribe

As the bouncers begin to haul 2020 to the door, please tell me one good thing that happened for you during this shitshow of a year.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:08 PM (117 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Our baby was born!
posted by freethefeet at 6:13 PM on December 27, 2020 [58 favorites]

Welcome babyfeet!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:15 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yay babyfeet!

...On Thanksgiving, I officially became completely and 100% debt-free for the first time since I was 17 years old. Nine months prior to that, I turned 50 - on the same day as Mardi Gras, and I indulged a dream in taking myself to New Orleans for the occasion. I JUST managed to give myself that one last Big Good Time right before everything closed up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 PM on December 27, 2020 [42 favorites]

Another baby, this one our first grandchild, Victor Eli, born on December 24.
posted by angiep at 6:48 PM on December 27, 2020 [18 favorites]

Got back on my bike and lost forty pounds.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:05 PM on December 27, 2020 [30 favorites]

I bought a little house ten minutes from work!
posted by ChodenKal at 7:09 PM on December 27, 2020 [18 favorites]

The silver lining for me was getting my left knee replaced in September (after two postponements)--right one is happening Wednesday. It has worked out well--no pressure about when are you going back to work, when can you drive...or other things. Working from home, no need to drive. I am lucky to have great insurance and a supportive husband to drive to PT and generally make things easier for me.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 7:21 PM on December 27, 2020 [15 favorites]

our baby was born too! and she started smiling at us this week! :') :') :')
posted by dismas at 7:27 PM on December 27, 2020 [35 favorites]

I got a new job that I absolutely love. On top of that, it's got growth potential and is also a bit of a career shift that should open up some more doors in the future.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 7:34 PM on December 27, 2020 [23 favorites]

The halloween/reunion party I've gone to for, like, 30 years went virtual this year. The One Good Thing about this is, the Discord server we set up for the party has been continued to be used by many of the people I'd normally only interact with for one weekend a year and it's like suddenly we're all hanging out again together all the time. Some of my oldest friends. It's miraculous. Truly a One Good Thing in my life. :D
posted by hippybear at 7:45 PM on December 27, 2020 [18 favorites]

My boss told me he's putting me in for a promotion. It's not a sure thing - needs to get approved by the promotions committee and they don't meet till September - but after a decade at my last job where I was constantly told I wasn't doing enough it's nice to feel recognized.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:47 PM on December 27, 2020 [12 favorites]

We bought a camper and spent 30 nights camping this summer. Now re-thinking all our plans and considering a move out west in 2022, so we can explore that side of a county for a couple of years.
posted by COD at 7:52 PM on December 27, 2020 [13 favorites]

Working from home meant that I got to spend a ton more time with my wife (also working from home due to Covid) and dog, and that has been such a treat. I still can't get enough of either of them.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2020 [14 favorites]

(and can I count the Biden-Harris win as a good thing for me? Because that's felt like a good thing for me)
posted by DingoMutt at 7:54 PM on December 27, 2020 [10 favorites]

Although they may still be super confused why I'm still in graduate school, everyone in my family is now convinced my research (field: RNA biology) is extremely worthwhile.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:54 PM on December 27, 2020 [44 favorites]

The kids in this house stepped up. I like them as people. I would want them as friends if that wasn't already the case and I tell them so and they blush.

We had a small bear on the roof night of the 24rth. They thought I was pranking them and set up an ambush and thats what that shadow was behind the chimney. It was too small to be me but they had already made snowballs.

The skylights we found in a dumpster and put in ourselves are intact. They cut that tree the fuck down xmas morning they did. They just do things like that now. Good things.

16 told me what it would cost to add her to my auto insurance like she hasn't ever taken the old truck on pavement before. I said it's a Volvo and it has five cylinders and the younger two frowned. What plans had they?

We talked alone about that and codependency and the romeo with the blue lives matter family and she gets a phone too. Her bow stays in the damn truck. That was not negotiable.

The bear is physically fine and there are lots of other trees. I think momma weaned this one? Timing has been odd for bears too this year.

I feel ambitious. Cue sirens.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:57 PM on December 27, 2020 [11 favorites]

Oh and one of the little baby grad students* in a neighboring lab found a doctor to do their top surgery next year after they get vaccinated and I'm so excited for them.

*a talented adult human who is much, much younger than me
posted by deludingmyself at 7:59 PM on December 27, 2020 [14 favorites]

I built a wood shed. I've always wanted to build a shed.
posted by bondcliff at 8:05 PM on December 27, 2020 [26 favorites]

I started gardening and grew my own food! Next year I am going to grow more!
posted by msali at 8:12 PM on December 27, 2020 [21 favorites]

I didn’t paint very much this year, but I was able to take some time off from work and I finished a large painting yesterday.
posted by gt2 at 8:15 PM on December 27, 2020 [16 favorites]

In August, I saw a black bear!!!! It was tromping around doing bear things near a trail by Mount Greylock where my boyfriend and I had stopped to find a geocache en route to a waterfall and honestly the whole day was magic. Every few days, I remember that I saw a bear and it's like a dopamine hit all over again. I saw a bear!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:20 PM on December 27, 2020 [21 favorites]

I moved to a new city in a new country and I really love it!
posted by wesleyac at 8:53 PM on December 27, 2020 [13 favorites]

I will cheat and list several:
1) I had the foresight to celebrate my 40th birthday six months early, back when travel still existed :)
2) To deal with working from home, I finally got my home desk set up as a usable space that makes me happy.
3) My first cat has gradually grown pretty affectionate with the pair of younger cats I adopted on New Year's Day 2020, despite being a total scaredy cat who was pretty freaked out when the younger ones moved in as fosters. My heart bursts all the time to see their relationship growing.
posted by ktkt at 9:04 PM on December 27, 2020 [12 favorites]

I had a garden this year, and I was able to share with my neighbors. My duplex neighbors also really got into gardening, now we have flowers out back, they have sunflowers in bloom right now! We have a small neighborhood "group" that is a source of distanced but nice social stuff. I still have one tomato on the vine, and a few peppers, and Thai basil that is producing still.
posted by Oyéah at 9:08 PM on December 27, 2020 [12 favorites]

Every good thing that happened this year was guitar-related. That thing keeps me sane. When I feel like I can‘t go on, I play for an hour or three. It works every fucking time. I don‘t know, there used to be other good things that happened to me, this year it‘s pretty narrowly defined around six strings on a cheapo Yamaha.
posted by The Toad at 9:10 PM on December 27, 2020 [20 favorites]

We bought a beautiful 1925 very large cape cod house in our city and have renovated most of it. It was a steal. We fixed our old house up to sell and it sold in 5 days at 20k over asking price. So my partner and I did all of the landscaping at both houses all year, so selling our old house was a relief. The SIP was a good thing for me because I could get my work done and then spend time with my kid, who is remote lea, and I could work on the houses, or roam the wooded ravines searching or mushrooms. I do miss my parents and siblings, eating out and travel but on the other hand a break from them has been good. I’m falling asleep do I have to go now.
posted by waving at 9:31 PM on December 27, 2020 [12 favorites]

I finished a novel I had started shortly before I got pregnant with my last child; while pregnant and nursing I could not write because all my creative energy was going into biological creativity and I had no left over for artistic creativity. But in 2019 and 2020 I pushed hard and GOT IT DONE and I'm really excited! I did a thing! A complete thing!

I also got a new niece (yay!) and at this very late date in my life I learned that visual arts can be taught and I've started learning to paint watercolors. :) I always assumed you just COULD draw/paint or COULDN'T, but it turns out these are skills you can learn!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:46 PM on December 27, 2020 [36 favorites]

*I have never spent this much uninterrupted time with my two youngest. The 14 year old might not think that’s great, but I do.
*Our 11 year old has been feeling pretty crappy-no pun intended-and it turns out he has Crohn’s. A pretty nasty diagnosis, especially for a kid, but makes us so thankful that he’s not having to deal with being in class while we get his symptoms under control.
*Mr. Purenitrous was able to putter away in the garden while working from home all summer and it was the best it’s been in years. Dahlias and zinnias were extra spectacular.
*We did a big remodel that finished last winter and included a kitchen move-went from a tiny 1940s kitchen to a big lovely room with soapstone and an amazing six burner gas stove. And it’s been so nice to have this lovely space if we are stuck in the house, and I cooked thanksgiving dinner since we couldn’t go to my folks for the first time ever, and we are cooking great food much more regularly because I’m mostly working at home and can start dinner, instead of coming home at 6 and then driving a kid to soccer and then...
posted by purenitrous at 9:48 PM on December 27, 2020 [10 favorites]

this is a great thread!
I have to think about this more, but one good thing is I got myself a little propane cookstove so I don't have to do all my cooking on the wood stove- now if anyone comes to visit I can make them a coffee in 2 minutes instead of 10!
posted by cabin fever at 10:13 PM on December 27, 2020 [11 favorites]

Not a big picture good thing, but a good thing nonetheless, I just won $1,000 in my Fantasy Football league today. I have added Alvin Kamara and Mike Evans to my Holiday card list.
posted by AugustWest at 10:51 PM on December 27, 2020 [11 favorites]

Oh nothing much
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:07 AM on December 28, 2020 [35 favorites]

Did a long-held ambition, to be at Avebury during a clear night and slowly watch dawn approach and the sun rise between the stones. This was part of a long, and mostly outdoors (for obvious reasons), adventure through the late summer and autumn in my childhood land and the West Country. Complete photo set.
posted by Wordshore at 12:17 AM on December 28, 2020 [23 favorites]

Among our friend group there have been at least three pandemic weddings, including our own (scaled down to about one tenth size, after being delayed from March). And also including the lovely one we “went” to today, with an entirely virtual reception on (the actual ceremony was five people and an officiant, but they did a great job of sharing the feel of the event with us virtual reception guests).

If anyone else is getting COVID-married soon and needs a pretty mask or two, I made two extra masks with an extra layer of shiny tulle. They’re ivory in color and have a nose wire and filter pocket, and they haven’t been used, since the few in person guests we had were all responsible and brought their masks! (I actually have a stash of non shiny ones too, that are similarly unused; but those we will eventually use. Getting married isn’t gonna happen again though). Anyhow memail me if you need a pair of kinda pretty weddingy masks!
posted by nat at 12:24 AM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

I quit smoking this year after 22 years! And it feels permanent this time, no cravings really.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:28 AM on December 28, 2020 [41 favorites]

We moved, and the extra space and more interesting neighborhood have been pretty good even under the current lockdown situation. Also my favorite Mefite continues to be amazing, but that's a good thing that happens to me every year so I don't know if it counts.
posted by each day we work at 1:32 AM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

New kitten continues to be a delight

Got a temp job in September just as emergency unemployment payments were about to end; the job has since extended my contract into May 2021 with a raise and everything.
posted by janepanic at 2:01 AM on December 28, 2020 [22 favorites]

We have had the best early winter here that I can remember in years- it has been cold but not too cold, there has been enough snow and we haven’t been Chinooked but once (and got a snow dump the next day to fix it). *So*much snow biking and cross-country skiing and skijoring and tomorrow I get to (outside, distanced, etc.) be a rabbit with my dog and help a friend’s kid and dog learn to skijor and I am excited; friend and kid are indoor people mostly so I have not seen them since warmer days made backyard distanced drinks possible. I am doing a dumb little virtual race across the state that is bringing me much joy and motivation and a community, too (so much motivation that I’m going to need to switch to a longer distance! I was briefly in first place today and I am not a person who should ever be in first place in any athletic endeavor).
posted by charmedimsure at 2:56 AM on December 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

I escaped a very bad job for a much better one with a very good salary. The impact this has had on every other aspect of my life is significant.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 3:05 AM on December 28, 2020 [22 favorites] promoted in March. Better yet, I'm still doing basically the same job as I was before, just for quite a bit more money and with a fancier title.

Also, I had my dreaded 50th birthday this year, and one of my presents from Mrs. Example was a nice leisurely ride on a steam train through some really beautiful parts of Yorkshire.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:59 AM on December 28, 2020 [12 favorites]

I found my person and we fell madly, gloriously, disgustingly in love with each other. Honestly, I never knew it could be like this - so easy and safe and joyous. I've read so many AskMeFi threads that say "you'll know when you know" and, reader, I finally know.
posted by kinsey at 4:38 AM on December 28, 2020 [34 favorites]

Second grandchild born. Not sure when I will get to meet her.
posted by adamvasco at 5:05 AM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

It's so great to read about people's bright spots. High-five, everyone! (with my elbows?)

I spend a lot of my day with a view of a little sign that says "Napoli 2020" because we spent February in Naples and Sicily. And it's easy to forget, god knows, but there was a sliver of 2020 before the pandemic exploded. This is my reminder. It was painted by the guy who makes a lot of the signs for vendors in Naples. We visited him in his tiny workshop as part of an awesome food/tasting tour of Naples. And while I sometimes have trouble walking, my legs held up and we covered a good amount of ground! It was a really good day.

Professionally, I got my FOURTH book deal. You may wonder if book No. 4 would be the point at which the impostor syndrome finally starts to show cracks. I can say in this case, not so much. But, hey. I'll take it.
posted by veggieboy at 5:24 AM on December 28, 2020 [18 favorites]

Got diagnosed with diabetes at the beginning of December: boo!
Completely revamped my diet and have lost ten pounds since the beginning of December: yay!
posted by Daily Alice at 5:49 AM on December 28, 2020 [20 favorites]

I can’t pick a single good thing. My life is full of blessings, even when they are hidden from me by all the other things going on in the world.

I wake up in the morning in a warm house, in a warm bed, with someone I love next to me. I know there is food in my home and I have clothes to wear. I try to keep in my mind that this, all of this, is not something I have always had, not something everyone has. And I am truly, deeply grateful for these things.
posted by hilaryjade at 6:34 AM on December 28, 2020 [29 favorites]

Wow Alice, losing weight in December counts double! That's great!
posted by biffa at 6:36 AM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Strangely enough the whole... situation... made losing weight in December easier, an ordinary year would have been full of parties and restaurants and people bringing treats in everywhere, but this year I just have to make it through the grocery store without buying any of the stuff and I'm golden. But yes, a wee jump on the whole New Year's resolution thing.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:49 AM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

As I’ve mentioned before, I got to keep working throughout, which is kind of a mixed blessing because I can’t do my job from home, but I did actually manage, between stimulus check and tax return, to pay off my credit card this year, and earlier than I thought. This is pretty much the most exciting thing that happened to me this year (other than voting), and I’m prouder of it than I thought I would be.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:10 AM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Another baby here to add to the Mefi crèche. This second one was a complete shock after our first was the result of years of unexplained infertility and finally an egg donor. So, much to our chagrin and delight we are one of those cliches people like to tell people who are having difficulty conceiving.

But my cup runneth over.

But also I AM TIRED.
posted by like_neon at 7:24 AM on December 28, 2020 [21 favorites]

My answer is pretty clear: All this bonus time with Little eirias, at exactly the right moment. 2019 was such a difficult parenting year for us and getting to be as involved in her growing-up as we have been this year has been a blessing.

Most of the rest of what was good this year was stability. Reconnecting with old friends online, that sort of thing. Some college friends put together a Slack server a little over a year ago and after a decade+ of being in only weak contact I’ve now been in pretty close touch with them for the past year. It’s been nice.
posted by eirias at 7:39 AM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

On July 5, 2020, YouTube suggested just the right video at just the right moment. The next day, I switched to a whole-food plant-based diet (from pescetarian), and have been losing weight weekly ever since. Down 58 pounds with 10 or so to go, and a sustainable lifestyle I don't plan to quit.

Here is the video, and here is the documentary that sealed the deal. (Are you interested? If you live in the US, send me a message and I'll send you the dvd. I've got a few to share.)

Congrats for all the lil babies, positive social connections, weight loss, quitting of bad habits and introduction of good ones around here!
posted by Glinn at 7:51 AM on December 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

A new kitten: Naga! My first bass! At which I still suck, but am getting better sloooooowly.
posted by signal at 7:55 AM on December 28, 2020 [12 favorites]

I've made a dent in my fabric stash! I made a few things, including some hand-painted stenciled t-shirts, that have been in my project pile for 20 years.

(But then I went out and bought more fabric.)
posted by Melismata at 8:06 AM on December 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

A few months ago I relocated to the city where my kid and their family moved about 18 months ago so the kid and their partner could attend university. Because I wanted to be near them (and they wanted that as well), I was powerfully motivated to do many things that are difficult for my ADHD brain, including:

* Taking a course for folks with ADHD to help them meet their most important goals.
* Moving my one-person company legally to my new country (which involved SO MANY STEPS!).
* Dragging my clients into the painful (for both of us) process of making deposits to my foreign (to them) bank instead of their usual process.
* Getting a glowing recommendation from a former US landlord to use with any future landlords.
* Signing up for the rental housing queue system at two places in the town where I wanted to move.
* Monitoring closely a third management company and applying for a studio apartment that was under construction.
* Finding an accountant.
* Managing my oppositional nature and rewarding myself for every bit of progress alone the way.

Taking care of this huge thing (the business and tax parts) so I could take care of the housing thing seemed nearly impossible when I first started. Many tears and recriminations later (sigh), I found out I had been approved for the new apartment. That made me happy and relieved and sad and all those things that one may feel after reaching a milestone. Speaking of milestones, a third grandchild is expected to arrive in a few months. I will be needed all the more then, and will be all the happier about living nearby.

Congrats to everyone for all of the wonderful events, accomplishments, and experiences you have had this year–no matter how small. It may seem small to some but I promise, whatever you did will never seem small to me.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:53 AM on December 28, 2020 [17 favorites]

I got a promotion, of sorts; a co-worker who had been with the library since 1974 (!) retired in November and I was asked to take over his collection and curation duties in the Special Collections and Rare Books department I work in, which included the photography and art collections. No raise or change in job title, but these collections are more in line with my interests than the ones I was working with before (manuscripts, mostly) and it was a humbling (if somewhat intimidating) honour to take over for the guy who retired, who was beloved and respected by everyone in the organization.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:06 AM on December 28, 2020 [16 favorites]

I got a little promotion at work, and it actually involves using some of my coding/ data analysis skills.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:07 AM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

I also want to mention that I had relapsed into active alcoholism early this year and had a rough time until October when I got sober during remote IOP. I had been feeling so physically sick and needing to be here for my kid, who was remote learning on top of being a tween who needed me to be her mom. Pretending you feel OK is a massive stress and also probably not that effective anyway. The daily nausea and depression were constant. My husband was very, very sad for me but stuck with me and was able to see me for who I am, or at least hoped for the best. I’m feeling like I came back from the dead, and it’s a beautiful world when I let it be. Heh, I recently discovered the joy of rolling in the snow wearing shorts and a t shirt, getting very cold and then running into the house for a warm bath. OMG it feels so good! I have been doing this every day, sober, mind you.
posted by waving at 9:27 AM on December 28, 2020 [37 favorites]

I had a bunch of blood clots in my leg! No, it turns out this really is a good thing: So I've mentioned my weird deformity before and that it fairly regularly lands me in the hospital with infections. It started hurting a bunch this fall. At first it seemed like an infection, but it didn't seem to get better with stronger antibiotics, and the only real symptom was pain - not the other sickness feelings, chills, etc that I usually get. So I had them give me an ultrasound and there you go - thrombosed from mid-calf to upper thigh!

It had never thrown clots before, so this was kind of new, but was the kick in the ass I needed to finally get back in touch with the folks at the Mayo Clinic, who I hadn't seen since 2009 despite living just up the road.

Turns out medical science has made progress in the last decade! Who knew, right? I'm now scheduled for a crazy "we're gonna burn your veins from the inside" procedure that's supposed to increase bloodflow (I love that the technical term for like half the veins in my leg is "incompetent") which will happen in January. Even crazier is that they're going to see about having me participate in a study of a new gene therapy. But the coolest thing is that it's a topical gene therapy! I might get to rub DNA lotion on my leg twice a day - for science! Also to hopefully help close up the open wound on my thigh and reduce the incidence of infections, but the really important thing is: gene lotion! Living in the future is crazy, man.
posted by nickmark at 9:37 AM on December 28, 2020 [34 favorites]

In July I realized I hadn't hugged anyone since March. So I loaded my dog and my mountain bike into my car and drove two days to the mountains of Colorado, and ended up spending two months with my brother and his wife and his two wonderful boys. And their awesome dogs. And the snake. And the mountains, river, and prairie dogs.

It was the high point of my year; I got hugs every day, and I got to introduce my nephews to Hamilton and Star Wars: Rebels. And we did a ton of mountain-biking.

In other news, I got a promotion last week. I won't start officially for some time, but it's nice to learn that people think I'm sufficiently competent to manage a team.
posted by suelac at 10:06 AM on December 28, 2020 [16 favorites]

Checked off one of my recreational list items and finally camped overnight on the peak of the highest local mountain.
posted by Mitheral at 10:43 AM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Working from home has been a great experience for me, and I got promoted to Vice President this summer at the bank where I work, skipping over the Associate VP step that would usually come first (but depriving me of the chance to make various AVP/Alien Vs Predator jokes). The promotion was in part because of the work I put in helping businesses get approved for Payroll Protection Program loans at the start of the pandemic, including a 19 hour day i worked the day before the money in the first round of funding ran out. I felt terrible being stuck in the house and not being able to help people besides throwing money at the local food bank when I could, and spending hours a day processing PPP applications, helping clients fix mistakes, solving obscure error messages the SBA system gave me, etc made me feel like I was actually helping and not just a useless lump.

It has been a terrible year globally, but I am lucky enough to have mostly escaped 2020 unscathed on a personal level. My family is healthy, my job is secure (well as secure as possible in our rotten capitalist society), we adopted a cat in January before all this happened. I’m so glad to see all the lovely things that have happened to the other folks here this year, and I wish a better, brighter 2021 full of joy and dreams for all my fellow MeFites.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:27 AM on December 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

I finally found a therapist that suits me and is covered by my insurance. (Also I’m going to count as a runner up that a bakery opened up a block from my apartment.)
posted by bixfrankonis at 11:30 AM on December 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

I was planning on retiring at the end of May, from my second career, teaching ESL; but since I was an early Zoom adapter and I realized my school needed me, I've stayed on for another year, at least. It's only one class, I'm really already semi-retired, but since I am now the Zoomeister I've been setting up regular conference calls with my three brothers. Now we have video since this is the 21st century. And it's free!

Also installed electric valves and a timer for the house's existing, was-manual irrigation system. Just shut it down for the rainy season; last summer it was a new alarm, waking me up in the morning (as the heater does in these winter months).
posted by Rash at 11:59 AM on December 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

I got a pretty awesome new job, found motivation to stay committed to taking care of my health and fitness, and was re-inspired to get my art on. doing art and all the fantastic reading I have gotten to this year has taken some edge off of missing friends, family, hugs.
posted by supermedusa at 12:57 PM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Well, I'm ~11 weeks pregnant (am I still pregnant? How do I know in between OB visits? what if I'm just chubby and sleepy?), turned 30, and got married (only legally; we slipped a judge $200 in a park, and we will have ceremonies as times allow).

And earlier in the year, before COVID, we got our adorable dopey cat who has been very good for morale. I'm really glad that our friends got to meet him and take smol cat photos with him before we were all on quarantine.
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:31 PM on December 28, 2020 [17 favorites]

1. I’ve read many books this year—far more than usual. Some really great ones, too.

2. Two years ago, I chose my current apartment not because it was the cheapest option out there (for once), but because of how it made me feel. I have been grateful every day since March for its large, sunny windows and balcony ensconced by trees.

3. My Aloof Kitty became a Cuddly Kitty after 5 years of cohabitation.
posted by sugarbomb at 3:54 PM on December 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

Oldest daughter got married! And graduated from college!
posted by jquinby at 4:26 PM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

My running habit got a jump start in March and I lost about 15kg.

I also got to meet my parents twice and my sister once since the pandemic kicked off (this being good as I thought it would be impossible to see them at all).

But my god has there been a lot of shit to go along with those things.
posted by knapah at 4:39 PM on December 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

I successfully adopted a little rescue kitty. Her name is Hush The Darkness, so named because she makes a tiny little squeak and no meow. Purring, however, is just perfect.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:59 PM on December 28, 2020 [14 favorites]

I quit drinking in June!
posted by fancyoats at 5:15 PM on December 28, 2020 [21 favorites]

We got a new cat on Dec. 21, a week ago today. Maxine is a 2-year-old tortoiseshell tabby, and she had been hiding under the bed since we got her. Today, she finally came out and visited with us! She is a cuddlebug, she loves to have her head scratched and more.
posted by NotLost at 5:29 PM on December 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

I published an article that I'm really proud of, and that has practical use-value for scholars in a different field.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:38 PM on December 28, 2020 [13 favorites]

I finally got together the gear to go backcountry camping, and enjoyed that a few times this summer, with bigger plans for next summer.

While I wouldn't describe myself as a "runner," necessarily, I have been running way more regularly this year than ever, after a decade of kinda-sorta trying to get into it.

My dog is so happy and well adjusted with us home so much.
posted by geegollygosh at 5:46 PM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

I started a new job in March and was able to return to it in June and it's been a really good fit. We moved to within blocks of our best friends instead of a half hour drive and that was amazing when the weather was good and just last night my bestie was able to pick up split peas and a baguette for me while he was at the store and drop them off at my house literally on his way back to his house and that is amazing to me. The outdoor hangs will continue when the weather gets better, and we're really really looking forward to being able to have friends inside our new house when it's time.
posted by cooker girl at 5:55 PM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

I realised once and for all that I married entirely the right person.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 5:57 PM on December 28, 2020 [25 favorites]

My employer discovered that we are actually *more* productive working from home.

It appears that the cogs are turning to make that a permanent feature, maybe with just a smaller office space for any necessary in-person collaborations.

Probably something like hot desking also, so teams can go to the office together one day per week.

Either way, a return to business-as-usual M-F / 9-5 will probably never happen. The worst possible outcome is they'll probably approve as much WFH as reasonably requested, without question.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:32 PM on December 28, 2020 [13 favorites]

Can I have a second good thing, pretty please?

Not just Trump having his arse well and truly handed to him, but specifically Rudy Giuliani hearing the news for the first time during his press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a dildo shop and a crematorium.

I don't think anything can ever beat that.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:39 PM on December 28, 2020 [16 favorites]

Two good things!
- I reconnected with several old faraway friends who felt similarly pandemic-isolated and we're now communicating regularly, including Zoom cocktail hours. Next year (or the one after) it's gonna be Big Road Trip time to visit everyone.
- I'd been meaning to start studying a new language, so I did! I have a 28-day Duolingo streak going in Mandarin study; it's not perfect (no grammar lessons, plus I feel like I'm skating by with my limited Japanese knowledge for character recognition) but it's progress!
posted by sencha at 6:53 PM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

After 4 years as a visiting ass’t professor my partner accepted an offer of tenure track employment - without a search. An unequivocal good in this shit year.

We adopted a kitten. We paid off a car.

I baked a lot of bread and my kid grew things in pots and learned about tadpoles and a pair of owls raised their owlets in our yard in the spring.

My mother in law just spent 7 weeks with us which was a joy and a blessing. She and our kid will always have had that time together. All the other grands are out of luck, but in the good news thread I won’t complain too much. (I fucking miss my mom so much)
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:17 PM on December 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

I bought my first house. It has this view.
posted by thivaia at 8:03 PM on December 28, 2020 [27 favorites]

I too became completely debt-free this year, which feels amazing—and truly adult. I also changed jobs and really dig where I am now (anticipated a lateral move, got way better), overcame my irrational fear of being on cam (hello, useful this year!), and finally figured out the perfect layout for my living room, which is something that had eluded me for years and makes all the difference. My apartment has become a cozy, beautifully lit, comforting place to be. It's a nice thing.
posted by heyho at 8:06 PM on December 28, 2020 [9 favorites]

I came *thisclose* to organizing an honest to god strike at my old job when the director dragged her feet in taking COVID seriously. It didn’t end up coming down to that, and one of my co-workers ratted me out as the would-be organizer when she quit her position, but I managed to work my way out of that jam when my supervisor questioned me. I hate that I had to do that, but knowing that I have it in me to rally a bunch of co-workers on short notice is pretty cool.

I have a much better job now. I’m weirdly superstitious about talking about the details of my work on MeFi these days, but I will say that I don’t work in a potential COVID Petri dish anymore and I am much better compensated for my skills.
posted by I am a Sock, I am an Island at 8:12 PM on December 28, 2020 [13 favorites]

I am still alive.
posted by y2karl at 9:06 PM on December 28, 2020 [28 favorites]

I got a job that is flexible and not particularly stressful and pays the bills! One child came home recently and has recovered from COVID, one is pregnant with either the fifth or first grandbaby depending, and the others are all okay which means I am very grateful.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:18 PM on December 28, 2020 [7 favorites]

i recounted, in covid check-in threads, some of the many wonderful times i had with little lurk, mostly learning to ride bicycle, and early efforts to teach the child to play piano. we also camped, appreciated several impressive storms, swam in the ocean, planted (and harvested some of) a garden, listened to a lot of fine music, saw some beautiful birds, watched jupiter and saturn converge, and saw a blur of bluish haze where a comet probably was. more recently i described how the twitter algorithm, with an assist from metafilter, put me in touch with a long lost friend. i have been mostly employed, and, dear reader, very much prefer working at home to the alternative. finally, distribution of this year's edition of the annual xmas sux playlist prompted some very nice appreciation from several usually-mute recipients who may not have taken to this year's isolation quite as readily as i have.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:02 PM on December 28, 2020 [8 favorites]

I saw something yesterday morning that is pretty cool If not an unmitigated good for all concerned. Back in the first month or so of lockdown we found a pile of pigeon feathers in the garden. Naturally we blamed the cat, since he does have form. A week later my SO was exercising in the garden and while she was lying face down something whooshed above her at low level. A quick investigation revealed an explosion of sparrow feathers, with the evidence suggesting something had flown above her, under a garden chair and took the sparrow off the floor or on the wing. She didn't see the predator and we didn't spot it in subsequent days. Naturally we apologised to the cat for the injustice.

Anyway, I walk into the kitchen yesterday and through the window see there is a bird sitting on next doors fence, brown with white, speckled chest, too big for a songbird, I think we have a kestrel in the neighbourhood!
posted by biffa at 12:21 AM on December 29, 2020 [15 favorites]

Congrats to all for surviving and, in some cases, more. thivaia, that is quite the view. Super happy for you.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:21 AM on December 29, 2020 [6 favorites]

My weekday job called me back to work part-time in November which was just before I burned through the last of my savings. So, now, when my weekend retail job drastically cuts hours during winter, I have some wiggle room.
posted by mightshould at 4:49 AM on December 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

Working from home is amazing!

Wife and I discovered that we can be together all day, every day, month after month.

The dogs like it too!
posted by freakazoid at 4:53 AM on December 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

I want the bouncers that are hauling 2020 out the door to be good and goddamn tired of 2020's shit. I want 2020 to be dumb enough to kick one of them, hard, and then find that he's no longer just getting thrown out of the bar but is instead taken out into the side parking lot to get a couple of things explained. In detail

Because 2020 has been like a blackout alcoholic who should not *ever* drink tequila but drank a whole fifth of it, and then drank some Jack Daniels, too, and smoked some speed also, and done those things day after day, night after nigh, and has turned murderously insane. 2020 needs to get the living shit beaten out of it, needs to be kicked again and again with steel-toed boots on, needs to end up in the hospital with broken arms and broken ribs and teeth kicked out and nose broken so badly it never, ever breathes right again.


I've been around long enough to never, ever say "Jesus, it can't get any worse than that." But 2021 will have to really have some black magic tricks to get near to this bastard we are almost through. 2020 has been a Monkey's Paw of a year except with more than three wishes.


The good of 2020? Cops are now wide in the open, it is crystal clear to any and all that they do not give even one single damn about anyone's rights, that all they care about is protecting one another even in straight-up murder cases; they cannot pretend that they are decent human beings any longer.


More good. Trump is out. He'll never shut up, he'll never stop causing real trouble until the day he dies, he will absolutely rant and rave on Faux (count me amazed if he does not get his own show, may in fact start his own network. But at least that vile brain-dead hemorrhoid is no longer presiding over this thing.

Honestly, I don't see Trump as bad as Nixon, or as bad as Little Georgie II; Nixon (and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry "Roach-Face" Kissinger* bombed fuck out of countries that we had no reason to, other than to feed The Death Machine aka Military Industrial Complex. (Total Vietnamese death toll over 3,000,000 And Bush II killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan, again, to feed The Death Machine. I personally think that most of that blame ought not tot be laid at Bush II's feet, Bush is too fucking dumb to know how blow up a balloon, much less destroy a country that did us no harm; it was Cheney and Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld and Perl et all.
* Kissinger getting the Nobel Peace prize is absolutely hilarious. That is, if you really, really love the blackest black humor.


In any case, Trump didn't kill near as many blameless brown citizens of other countries than those other jerks. That's a big deal for me, I really loathe our empire. (The sun never sets on the US Empire.) Personally, I suspect that he was held in check by military leaders who, regardless they dig killing, they don't want Trump to blow the world up, and prevented him from doing do.


The best thing this year is that it's almost over. So far, I've lived through it; being as how you're reading this I'd venture to say you've made it through, also. We're both lucky.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:47 AM on December 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

I interviewed at a certain well-known internet search company a couple weeks ago. Their interviews are notoriously awful for a bunch of reasons, not least of which is that they ask you a bunch of questions whose actual answer is "I would go look up the answer on the internet, and wouldn't try to reinvent the wheel by solving it myself because that would be floridly insane and dangerous," but that they want you to solve anyway. The interviews also last an entire day and are grueling and exhausting and generally awful, but there you go.

When the big day came, my first session was on a video call with one of their senior devs. The guy was a delight--he's a compiler guy who works on an open-source language that apparently has corporate sponsorship. I'm a compiler guy by training, though I haven't worked on them in years, and we hit it off immediately. I crushed the questions he threw at me, and we finished with some time to spare. We got to talking about the state of the world, and somehow got onto the subject of masks and mask protocol. He totally geeked out on this, telling me about the University of Minnesota's DIY N95 mask program and how he's been working on making enough of them in his own workshop to keep his family in stock, and to donate any excess supply to local aid groups needing high-quality PPE. This sounded really cool, and we were getting into the gritty details of it when our time ran out. He promised to email me some links, and I rushed off to the next interview segment.

A few days passed, and I didn't get an email from him. No big deal, I thought, it's the holidays, and people are busy. Then, about a week after we talked, a FedEx box showed up at my door with a return address I didn't recognize. Inside were:
  • cloth fasteners
  • wooden struts
  • a container of custom-made filtration material that was apparently designed as a diesel engine filter
  • a printed and stapled construction guide
  • three printed graphs of particulate matter permeability for various fabrics
  • several pages of printed notes about design considerations that the guy had assembled
  • a handwritten note on a sheet of looseleaf paper, saying "good luck on the interview/application. I of course cannot say a single thing more than just 'good luck'."
I'm not sure how he found my address, because it wasn't on my CV. This is by far the best thing I have ever gotten in the mail. And the recruiter called later that day to tell me I got the job.
posted by Mayor West at 9:09 AM on December 29, 2020 [47 favorites]

I lost 30 pounds.
I gained 10 pounds back in the form of cat.
Best exchange ever.
I can never ever sleep in again, however.
posted by Nieshka at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2020 [18 favorites]

Most of my really good things are not my doing: cousin's new baby, work friend's new baby, working from home, etc.

Things that are my doing: I am at 210 percent of my reading goal for the year and I finally completed an 8 x 10 cross stitch piece that I started back in the 90s. It is still in need of finishing and framing, of course. My craft room/office is about 1/3 cleaned out and there is a clear path from the door to the far corner.
posted by soelo at 12:11 PM on December 29, 2020 [11 favorites]

I got a prestigious academic side gig this summer by way of twitter, and cold-emailing someone to say "in the spirit of under-qualified but always-overreaching men, here's my cv" (which elicited a LOL!! you're hired! in response). It's a pretty neat gig that involves quick deep dives into various side holes of my area of study. I'm enjoying the work. My imposter syndrome has really flared quite painfully this year, though, so it's added to that constant struggle for functionality in the face of it.

I have not lost weight, I never do. I am allowing myself to be somewhat slothlike, since it's dead winter in a pandemic, and that's ok. I drink, moderately, and that's ok. This too shall all pass.
posted by Dashy at 1:04 PM on December 29, 2020 [10 favorites]

I had been working on a project from hell since June 2018 that required me to sift through 2000+ emails a day to find the 20 or so that required action from me, and to respond ASAP to those.

The project finally ended in April 2020, 15 months later than estimated. It's a small thing, but I am so glad that I can look at my email without pervasive anxiety that I might have missed something important.
posted by creepygirl at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2020 [9 favorites]

I finished my MFA - 37 years after getting my BFA - and managed to have an in-person exhibition although the university wouldn't anyone outside our campus community come.
posted by leslies at 2:33 PM on December 29, 2020 [17 favorites]

posted by jojo and the benjamins at 3:35 PM on December 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

I got to teach a course at the graduate level for the first time ever. I felt amazingly unqualified (like, I was a still a graduate student myself just one year before this class started), but I'm pretty sure I learned more in the last six months than I have in a few years.
posted by egregious theorem at 4:55 PM on December 29, 2020 [7 favorites]

I won't comment in this thread because I can't think of anything good that happened this year.
posted by bendy at 7:36 PM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

I won't comment in this thread

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Jokes aren't funny if you have to explain them....
posted by hippybear at 7:51 PM on December 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

OK fine.

My sister and I have never ever been close. I made her a photo book this year of my favorite photos of her and I together and the most recent one was taken in 1997.

I made a video telling the story of my first memory and sent the link to her. It ended with "my sister and I have always had a tenuous relationship but I'm sure it didn't begin that day."

She texted me and shared her regret that we had a tenuous relationship so I went to the Merriam-Webster site and found that one of the antonyms for tenuous is "rubbery" and I told her it was never too late to have a rubbery relationship and we emoji toasted. 🍻 🥂

I sent her 400 rubber bands and 50 tiny rubber ducks in celebration (feel guilty about so much unnecessary plastic stuff). We're not in close contact quite yet but I had a really great zoom meeting with her and her family and our mom on Christmas Eve. She's actually really cool and so are her kids.

So that was good.
posted by bendy at 8:31 PM on December 29, 2020 [26 favorites]

In September I started Couch to 5K, several years since I'd last done any running (due to a knee injury). A couple of weeks ago I smashed my 5K, actually doing 5.76K. I am very slow, and my speed has never increased, but my stamina has grown and I feel so much better than I did six months ago.
posted by essexjan at 2:50 PM on December 30, 2020 [16 favorites]

This is late in the year, but my younger sibling and their spouse are both health care workers. Today my sibling sent texted my family a photograph of the paperwork confirming that they had received a dose the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:41 PM on December 30, 2020 [9 favorites]

I also bought my first house this year, and I can walk to the grocery store!
posted by momus_window at 3:47 PM on December 30, 2020 [12 favorites]

A coworker and I, who were simply casually friendly at work, became very good friends via text and Zoom when our workplace was shut down for 8 weeks. We all went back to work at the end of May and the two of us not only deepened our friendship, but we’ve also initiated and are collaborating on two pretty big projects that are going really well. Incidentally, I’m literally old enough to be her mom, and I think it’s been fun for both of us to make a good friend of a different generation.
posted by bookmammal at 8:54 PM on December 30, 2020 [11 favorites]

I got a bicycle and started cycling. It's been such a pleasure. I mean, just look at me!

Also got 2 pet rats. I didn't realise how gentle and sweet and funny rats are.

Also finished writing my latest book and I'm really proud of it.
posted by Zumbador at 1:53 AM on December 31, 2020 [11 favorites]

Career wise, the end of the year came to a satisfying end.

1. Finally had time to get my desk and my two "benches" completely clean. The benches usually live in "move stuff around mode to get current work done" and when I do have time to clean them, it's "good enough for now". But, they are clean! Monitor, keyboard, mouse and the cables to connect whatever computer I need to connect and that is it! The cables are all wrapped now, too, so there is on sense of clutter at all.

2. On the last day before our holiday break, my boss sent an e-mail to me while I was out in the field heavily implying I was about to be promoted after the start of the year. It had been discussed, but only in very vague terms and only over months.

3. Same said boss highly encouraged me to reach out to someone at the director level in an adjacent area for a different position, of which multiple spots will be open soon despite our hiring freeze because of CoVid.

For internal development of staff, said director actually paid out of his budget for me and one other to take training for a fairly advanced cert in our field. The training was more of a cram session for the exam, which was fine because, stunningly, I actually knew a lot of the material. But, the good thing was that training also came with a one-time opportunity to sit for the exam. The exam usually costs $700. (I passed the exam, btw.)

Anyway, he replied to me the same day of our break that he would let me know when the jobs were posted and would like to talk.

4. In hindsight, this will sound miniscule, but that same day, I finished all "official" work that I had to complete. That hasn't happened in four years! (Open tickets for various computer issues, essentially.)

It was a nice bow-tie on the end of the year, and it makes me slightly optimistic that I will get one of the open positions in the adjacent department, which is far more interesting to me and will have a considerably higher salary.

(After the break, I came back to a letter from the credentialing agency sitting on my desk, which just makes me think more and more the stars are aligning...)

In home news, (other than having a pretty awesome home life):


Our old one was almost completely dead. This one is massive! (~26 cu ft vs ~18). We are so very, very happy.

The rest of 2020 may have been crappy, but it ended well for us. I wish the same for all y'all.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:40 AM on December 31, 2020 [8 favorites]

I told my toddler a joke and he understood it. He's great.

I got back into playing guitar and it's been doing wonders for my mental health.
posted by ersatz at 12:26 PM on December 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

I had my gallbladder removed and found out the mysterious polyp that precipitated the operation had disappeared and that my ex-gallbladder had no cancer whatsoever in it!
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 2:08 PM on December 31, 2020 [9 favorites]

Two last good things for the last couple days of the year:

1. our oven broke a week before Christmas, and we finally got a new one yesterday - and it is gorgeous. The old range was kind of dinky and took forever to preheat, and the knobs for the stovetop were counterintuitive and the grills were nasty.

The new range not only has a much bigger oven and a much cleaner design, it also has an electronic panel in the top with a clock, a temperature sensor for the inside of the oven (so we know when it's done preheating!), and a built-in timer, and the way to light the stovetop gas jets makes a lot more sense. My roommate has commandeered it for the day to make bone broth, and then I have called dibs to bake two loaves of espresso banana bread (one for us, one as a gift for a downstairs neighbor who's offered occasional help during my recovery).

2. For the past couple weeks I've been starting each of my physical therapy sessions on a stationary bike; when I first started, I couldn't bend my knee enough for a full rotation of the pedals, and just kept pedaling forward and backward as much as I could each way, holding at the limit for a five-second stretch each time. Today - I got all the way around in a full rotation.

And - for the past two months, each time I've left the house, my roommate has come with me down the four flights of stairs from the apartment to the street, and gotten me into a car; and then when I'm coming home, he meets me at the door and walks me back up the stairs. At first he was carrying my crutches for me and spotting me in case I stumbled. But - we've noticed that he really just opens doors for me lately, and since I switched to just one crutch I can carry it on my own, and I'm pretty stable. So this time, as I was coming back from physical therapy, I deliberately decided not to tell him I was coming, and see how far I could get on my own. I got all the way up to our apartment by myself. So as of this moment, officially the only thing I may need my roommate to help me with is to carry the occasional "I need two hands for this" thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:09 PM on December 31, 2020 [12 favorites]

I got my first COVID vaccination last week and cried. I didn't realize how emotional it would be. The knot of fear in my chest started to unravel, and was replaced by hope.
posted by batbat at 5:56 PM on December 31, 2020 [11 favorites]

I left my bad job to return to my previous, good job a week before pandemic lockdown! Best decision, and timing, ever. I am grateful to my wonderful colleagues for rescuing me, and proud of myself for being the type of person they'd work hard to bring back aboard.
posted by ferret branca at 7:05 PM on December 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Oh! One final one: despite my digestive system's other shortcomings, I seem to be able to eat quite spicy foods and not be reminded of it ever again. We got Buffalo Wild Wings (a big corporate wings chain in the US)'s spiciest wing and it was painful exactly once.

(I realize I may be jinxing it, ah well)
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:54 PM on December 31, 2020

TikTok showed me how to shake my ass AND clean my couch. I accomplished both! The couch made me particularly proud.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:00 PM on January 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I released an album of the songs I've been playing for years, which will hopefully clear space for new songs. People seem to like it, which is nice.

And an album of instrumentals, which people are more sniffy about, but I like it.

After a total failure of electricity (which obviously wasn't fun, but it did make me realise I rather took electricity for granted) we got the kitchen rewired and now it's full of sockets and the kitchen light works for the first time in thirty years. It's now possible to make a cup of tea when the washing machine is on without tripping anything, which is amazing.

In order to do that I had to get rid of a lot of stuff, which is an enormous relief.
posted by Grangousier at 4:23 PM on January 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

I have seen and talked to my mother more this year then in 20.

that's enough.
posted by clavdivs at 8:45 PM on January 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

I got a nice pair of tits!
posted by SansPoint at 2:03 PM on January 2, 2021 [8 favorites]

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