20 Things That Got Us Through 2020 – Rebecca Fasman’s 5

Rebecca in simpler, beardier times.

20 Things That Got Us Through 2020 is our year end recap of things musical and non that helped us navigate the undertow that was 2020. Since there’s no way anyone could come up with 20 nice things to say about this past year, we’ll each be doing 5 things for a cumulative team effort 20. Here’s our Fasman’s Finds columnist Rebecca Fasman’s list.

Whew this year. Undergirding every item on my things-that-got-me-through-2020 list are two things – therapy and my SSRI. While always helpful and a part of my life, these two things seemed even more necessary during this dumpster fire of a year. But onto the fun things, the things that kept me going, that got me excited about the world and the animals and people that live in it, in no particular order. 

5. Nature cams. I love them. I don’t really like the ones in zoos – it’s unbelievably depressing to watch animals in cages, whether you’re in person or watching from A CREEPY CAMERA THAT IS INSTALLED IN THEIR CAGE BECAUSE WE LOVE SURVEILLING WHAT WE CONSIDER OUR PROPERTY. Whew, sorry. But cameras just out there in nature, watching bears do their bear things, and wolves do their wolf things, and salmon trying to avoid getting killed by both? That is, as they say, my jam. Please enjoy this video from Brooke Falls, in Katmai National Park in Alaska, but also please go fall down a rabbit hole of nature cams on youtube. You will not be disappointed. 

4. Text to speech apps (sorry there is no fancy visual for this item). During the beginning of the pandemic especially, I was in heavy research mode. Between research, zoom meetings, zoom family calls, zoom lectures, etc, I found myself sitting in front of my computer for 8 or more hours a day. I was thinking about ways to mitigate the number of hours I was spending in front of a screen, and I thought of text to speech apps. These apps read material, whether a website or a pdf or other formats, outloud to the user. I started listening to my articles instead of reading them, and could get outside and take a long walk while also doing work. This completely changed the pandemic for me and made me far less dependent on my computer, which is always a good thing. I liked Speechify the best, though it is pricey to get the good, non-robot voices.

3. Sunday bake! Early on in this pandemic my friend Caroline suggested that we meet on zoom every Sunday at noon and bake or cook something. This has been a consistent part of my weekly pandemic routine, and it is something that I am deeply grateful for. Usually we pick a recipe that is fairly quick, sometimes we have guest appearances by a parent or sibling, but it is always just a small group of friends cooking, eating, and talking shit, aka my favorite things to do. Here is a recipe that we made that was a hit (and is very adaptable).

2. Podcasts! I listen to so many of them! Here are some that I loved this year. 

Point of Origin; about food, people, and history.

Lost Notes; deep dives into great music – this season is hosted by Hanif Abdurraqib and is all about 1980. https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/lost-notes

Unholier Than Thou; hosted by Phillip Picardi and is about belief and faith and what happens when those things are shaken or absent. 

Crime Junkie; because sometimes you need a real fucked up murder story to lull you to sleep at night.

1. Mutual aid! You know how the government sucks and they’re more interested in lining their own pockets and the pockets of their donors than actually providing services and resources to people during a pandemic? Well just because THEY are greedy assholes doesn’t mean YOU have to be! Mutual aid work isn’t new, but because the pandemic has compounded and magnified inequities, the gaps between what people have and what they need right now is huge. This is not about charity, this is about community solidarity, and working cooperatively to make sure that everyone has what they need. In Bloomington, you can join the Monroe County Area Mutual Aid group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mutualaidmoco), and if you live somewhere else, find your local mutual aid group and if there isn’t one, start one! In addition to mutual aid groups, most cities now have community fridges that you can stock, you can join or start your local Food not Bombs, and you can also just…talk to your neighbors and see how you can be of service to one another. 
See y’all in 2021, here’s hoping it will be better than 2020!

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