Cold close to a crazy year.

If you thought this year was bad, you probably won’t like next year either. January 1st things won’t magically improve. You can be optimistic, and hopefully, things do turn around, but I have a feeling things are still going downhill – at least that’s what I think we’ll hear in the news. Fear sells. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. The country is divided, trust is a thing of the past. If everyone isn’t already looking out for number one, they soon will be. So what does one do in such uncertain times? Hold steady.

There is a lot of weird things going on everywhere. Christmas this year feels way too surreal and depressing, more than usual. I love the Christmas season, I enjoy the lights, the friendly exchange of people you meet when you go out shopping for gifts. This year has been very strange. I think it’s the masks that ruin it for me. I wear mine, but I don’t like it. I can’t visit people I want to see, everybody is getting tired of the restrictions. It’s hard to believe it’s really happening, but it is so we deal with it. On a positive note, I haven’t run into any zombies lately.

Now you have to be on your toes every day. It does get somewhat exhausting after a while, but you never know what to expect from day to day, or what is actually happening and what is more fake news just thrown out there to distract you from what you should be focused on – keeping the wheels of progress moving and staying safe in the process. On one hand, you have to keep up to date on what’s going on, and on the other, you have to filter out the nonsense.

If reliance on communication through the Internet was paramount before this pandemic, it’s even more now. For many working from home, it’s the only way to get any work done.

We all depend even more now on our technology to be productive. If the latest cybersecurity news hasn’t heightened your sensitivity to supply-chain vulnerabilities, then you’re probably asleep at the wheel. If you rely so heavily on a single piece of software or set of applications that you can’t function properly without them then you better know how to mitigate the weak link. If you haven’t used these last nine months to improve your skillset, now might be a good time to brush up on some basic system admin and networking skills. The old adage of doing more with less can be inspirational advice for navigating choppy waters. Get real familiar with the capabilities of your operating system, and take the time to learn how to use a Digital Multi-meter. The more bells and whistles you need to do some basic troubleshooting, the more potential weaknesses you may have to deal with.

Even though this may seem like a dark bleak winter, you should still keep some optimism that the future can get better. Yes, the Covid-19 vaccine might be a major game-changer, but I don’t see everything returning to the way the world was before the pandemic started. That could be a good thing for some people. Remote working certainly evolved rapidly. What was hypothetical a year ago became practical in short order. Preparedness is not just an offshoot of an eccentric culture but has proven to be a practical mindset that should leave a long-lasting impression on our daily lives. Hopefully, we don’t let down our guards and forget all the lessons learned during these trying times.

Soon enough the days will start to get longer. We have to get through the winter, so we might as well make the most of these dark days. Aside from working crazy long hours, it will be a good time to read a few books, watch some old movies and take some long walks in the snow. It’s still the Holidays, and a good time to reflect on how fortunate we all are to be here.

To all of you, Have a very Merry Christmas!

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