Dear 2020,

I remember our first days together being so dreamy. You were so exciting with all of your plans and promises. I was dazzled by our first trip together to the Galapagos in January. Felt like a honeymoon really, with hiking, snorkeling, and plenty of sun and decadent tropical drinks with dinner. I trusted that all of the other trips we had on the calendar this year would be just as much fun.

But the honeymoon didn’t last, did it? Not quite six weeks later, your true personality started to emerge. You became possessive, wanting me to stay home and cancel plans with everyone. “Cover your face and stop hugging your friends,” you said. “Stock up on toilet paper, too!” My calendar quickly turned into an Etch-a-Sketch, with all of the trips, graduations and parties we had planned disappearing with a quick swipe.

At first it was a treat to stay home, like an unexpected “snow day” when the kids were little. Imagine having unlimited time to get cozy and curl up on the couch to read or watch movies. You made the days seem like a vacation by tempting me with day drinking and a bag of chips. I even found myself looking forward to the ritual of playing Scrabble every night.

Your pioneer spirit was alluring, too. “Let’s bake bread and plant a garden,” you suggested. And your enthusiasm for cleaning out closets, drawers and storage units made a huge difference in the apartment.

When I got depressed, you suggested romantic walks on the waterfront. The days were getting longer and the flowers and trees were so beautiful that I found myself easily distracted, even happy. Eventually though, the neighborhood walks became so repetitive that even the dog would hide when I went to get the leash.

Finally, we were able to start hiking trails again and that really boosted my mood. I pushed aside my concerns about you, trusting we would work through our differences and come out on the other side stronger, more resilient.

That’s when everything went up in smoke: thick, stinky, eye-watering smoke with zero visibility. No more hikes. No more dog walks. Even the windows have to be closed. Our tiny apartment is stuffy and hot and the fan and cold showers have been working overtime.

What’s next 2020, locusts?

I have to admit, I’ve met someone else online. Someone who is health conscious, wants to travel, loves hiking and the company of friends. Someone who likes to eat out occasionally and really loves adventure. Someone kind, loving and easy-on-the-eyes.

2020, you’re just not working for me anymore. As alluring as it is is to imagine a different life though, I feel I have to end things with you before moving on.

2021 promises that he’ll wait for me.

Counting the days,