1.  100% of my posts this week have been written in some weird contortionist position.

2.  I’ll be sitting in an armchair, enjoying the Christmas tree, trying to start/edit/finish a post when along comes Mia.

3.  This sweet little pumpkin climbs right up and eyeballs my lap until I make space. Because kitties > laptops. Clearly.

4.  Which is how I end up with a fur baby curled up on my thighs as I balance my computer on the side table/armchair. It works, but it means I’ve twisted counterclockwise and leaned over to type.

5.  Every night we assume the position: kitty snoozing happily, a twist and lean, followed by an hour+ of contortionist writing.

6.  No wonder I have all these kinks in my neck. And shoulder and back, too.

7.  Geez, I’m old. I’m also not kicking this kitty off my lap.

8.  Pushover.

9.  Last night BrightSide and I logged on for a company zoom party.

10.  Welcome to the club, you say?

11.  Well, this is far from my typical world.

12.  I don’t zoom. Not really. And the truth is I’m struggling to adjust.

13.  I need in person cues to make conversation, you know?

14.  Eye contact, inflection, breathing – all of it helps conversation flow naturally; all of it gets masked over zoom.

15.  Apparently this isn’t a universal issue, other folks do just fine. Unfortunately I don’t land in the other folks category.

16.  The company zoom party wasn’t a big deal. It’s not like you can reasonably have forty people chatting away in there so it was a lot of listening and smiling with participatory hand gestures.

17.  Side note: Now I see what everyone’s talking about with the zoom gestures compulsion. And for 2020 I give you the latest small talk: The Wave and The Thumbs Up. Bless.

18.  Anyhoo, it wasn’t the business gathering that jammed me up. It’s our family calls that do me in.

19.  But it’s family, Laura. What’s the problem?

20.  I honestly don’t know other than to say I have a strong aversion to yelling at people I’m not angry with.

21.  On one of our calls I had something to add – nothing important, just something pertinent to the conversation – and tried (honest to God) no less than five times to say it. FIVE TIMES.

22.  I’d open my mouth and someone else would start speaking. Or I’d start speaking but someone else would start a second later and they’d keep barreling on so I’d stop.

23.  Eventually I decided it would be better for my blood pressure to answer any direct questions but otherwise just listen. And it worked.

24.  I realize I’m sitting here arguing for gatherings requiring small talk. Trust me, the irony is not lost on me.

25.  The zoom giveth and the zoom taketh away.

26.  We’re officially a week away from Christmas and things are weird.

27.  Usually by now we’ve at least had my family’s get together. I would have survived stressing about getting ready, dealing with food, and handling the fur babies. I would have hugged my sister and caught up with my family.

28.  But not this year.

29.  We didn’t have one of those holiday parties where you get all dressed up and go drink cocktails with other grownups.

30.  We don’t have plans to eat two more holiday meals with BrightSide’s family either. This is the emptiest December in, well, ever and it’s weird as hell.

31.  I know I’m not alone but somehow that isn’t easing the weirdness. I feel afloat. Like we’re in a vacuum or something.

32.  I’ve had years when I thought I wasn’t in the Christmas spirit but 2020 is next level meh.

33.  It’s putting up a sort of decorated tree so the kids feel like it’s Christmas.

34.  It’s avoiding the issue of cards altogether and wondering if I’ll be inspired to send something in January or if this is just a lost year.

35.  It’s vaguely thinking “I wonder what we should eat for Christmas dinner” but never actually choosing then buying the food.

36.  It’s knowing there’s a fifty/fifty shot I’ll realize I totally forgot to buy candy for the stockings.

37.  At a typical year end I tend to think about what I’ve gained in the last twelve months and woo boy, that’s a hard one this year.

38.  I guess you could say I’ve gained the ability to do extraordinarily unpopular things without beating myself up over it.

39.  And talk about simplifying. Nothing taught me how to appreciate what’s really important like this freaking pandemic.

40.  But I’ll say the biggest gift so far in December has to be the Ryan Reynolds/Taylor Swift/Satan commercials from Match. Have you seen these yet? They’re the gift that keep on giving.