Happy holidays, whichever and however you celebrate! I've had a quiet and lazy time so far; I worked Monday and had the rest of the week off, and then I work part of tomorrow and have the whole rest of that week off. And I got pretty caught up on work so I can actually relax!
I'm eating and drinking a little too much and not getting much exercise, but I plan to get a little bit back into healthy habits next week and then really try to get back to normal after Jan. 1. I've been maintaining my shape this whole pandemic but starting around Thanksgiving it's gotten kind of rocky and I can see the difference in the mirror, even though I haven't been weighing myself since the lockdown started. So I really want to get active, cut out the snacks and cut down the drinking. But I've been so good all year considering the circumstances, that I'm letting myself slide a little bit longer.
I'm also being a little more lax about my creative goals this month. I wrote another song and another novel in November and I've got an older manuscript out with some beta readers, and I'm co-writing a novel with an old college friend. I have another couple I could be working on revising as well. But other than writing my chapters when it's my turn on the friend one, I haven't been doing much in December. I've been more or less keeping up on guitar practice/lessons at least.
Our new budget goes into effect 1/1, and so far we're only $1000 away from fully funding the January budget--all essentials are funded so it's just a couple of variables left. Once we do I'll start putting money toward the February budget, essentials first and working my way down the list. We need a bit over $8K (gross; that's just over $5K after tax/retirement) to fully fund February. AS has about $17K coming to her from projects that are mostly already done, so I'm not worried about hitting January and February and maybe even part of March, and by then she and NT will have some more money lined up hopefully.
NT's severance ran out so he's getting unemployment, not the maximum amount as he's been able to work a little doing admin work for our downstairs neighbors. He's also been able to help AS with her business so she was able to take a couple of extra proofreading jobs for him to do. So he is bringing in a little money from various sources and that'll help us fund our 2021 budget too.
The kids are on break and will be starting school fully from home in January; we're not sending them to the Y three days a week like we did the first semester. Partly because we were disturbed by skyrocketing cases here (though our numbers have decreased quite a bit over the past month) but also because with NT working part time, he's able to take care of the kids during the school day. And they've gotten very self-sufficient as they've become acclimated to distance learning. They're not doing perfectly at school, but good enough for me.
Our governor has said schools can start going back in person in mid-January if they meet certain conditions, but he's leaving the decision up to the individual districts. Our district has said they'll let us know over the break, so they still have another week before they need to announce their plans. I'm hoping for in-person, especially if our teachers can get vaccinated, but I trust them to be cautious and do what they think is best. Overall I've been satisfied and even impressed with how our school administrators and teachers have adapted. (Bad news for our kids though: now that everyone is set up for remote learning, there's going to be no such thing as snow days anymore, even if they do start going back in person!)
What else? Just waiting for a vaccine (I'm about the last person on the list so it'll be a while) and hoping things get normalish at some point next year. Now that I'm a full-time remote worker, and NT and AS too, it could get really interesting to possibly extend trips by working part of the time in another place. So I'm eager for travel and tourism to become a more feasible option again.
AS took part in a vaccine trial (for the Johnson & Johnson one that's still being tested) so she possibly already got the vaccine, but she won't be sure for a while. The rest of us are in the last groups that will get it--non-frontline workers, no health factors, middle-aged and under 16. But I'm excited for the rollout and really hope this helps us get to a place where we can be with other people again!