2020 has been the year of years. It knocked us all for a loop whether through lost jobs, working from home, being sick, or even trying to homeschool your kids while also working from home. And that’s how a pandemic helped us learn new things.

Everyone is learning something new this year mostly out of necessity. And that’s what happened with my husband. He lost his job. And he’s not going to find one in his field for a very long time. He was a banquet chef at a major hotel in the Orlando area and the hotel doesn’t expect to start doing “normal” banquets again until late spring or early summer 2021.

He’s been applying for job after job…but so have hundreds of other chefs that also lost their jobs in this area. He’s been on several interviews, some we even promising, but they’ve gone nowhere. He was feeling pretty down about it until I reminded him that there are things he always wanted to learn more about.

So he started taking more photos and studying photoshop. But he didn’t stop there. While going on interviews and being required to wear a mask each time, he saw the future of kitchen work. And decided to create his own masks such as this fun 86 It mask.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I took up crocheting. It’s something that my sister tried to teach me over and over and over again. But I had no patience for it. Then my sister passed and that person pushing me to try crocheting was not there. But somehow, during this pandemic, I found the time to practice. And somehow I found the patience to practice. There was nothing else going on.

So I crocheted. I made three scarves and gave them to my Orlando family. I know, scarves in Orlando. But it was more about playing dress-up than practical use. Maybe, just maybe in January or February, they might be able to use them for real. (Newsflash…it’s actually 45 degrees at 9:00 am in Orlando today!)

Then I decided I wanted to make crocheted daisies. And I started watching YouTube videos and learning to read patterns. That last part I’m still not good at. I have to look at a pattern, then watch it being created (several bajillion times!) And then I’m able to look at the pattern and understand what I’m supposed to do. I’ve even learned enough about creating the particular daisy that I wanted, that I modified the pattern that I originally started working with.

It might not seem like a breakthrough to anyone else, but to me it is huge. And it makes me feel like my sister is sitting next to me showing me how to do it. Trying something new can be big, but it doesn’t have to be huge and it most definitely can be done during a pandemic.

But that’s not all I was doing during the month of November. If I recall correctly, and I believe I do since I wrote it in this blog, I set a goal to try new things…perhaps 60…or perhaps 12. We’ll see how the rest of the pandemic goes, but I can tell you that I created a new eBook.

This one is completely different from my last book. It’s called Making Christmas Memories. I designed it to be helpful for families to create meaningful and fun Christmas memories while still practicing safety and social distancing. It’s filled with stories, poems, games, puzzles, and recipes. There is an included calendar that you can follow or modify to suit your needs.

Don’t scramble to figure out what to do in December. And don’t let the month pass by just like all the other months in 2020. It’s a special month and let’s celebrate Christmas throughout the entire month.