Start of 2021 Newsletter


I planned on starting 2021 with a nice little newsletter about 2020, trying to grasp at the straws that were the small items to celebrate in spite of what an awful year it was.

In light of the terrorism in America this week, it feels weird and bad to talk about celebrations. There’s a lot of ugliness that’s come to a head, and we’re not out of the woods.

But I decided to talk anyway, albeit in a more subdued tone. The fact that there are horrors and that there is work to be done should not also siphon the joy we worked hard to capture.

In 2020, I attempted to revive the blog over the summer in hopes of not only reviving it but me.

I modified my post frequency and built up momentum within it, but this proved ambitious. In August, the world (as a metaphor for my time and energy) shook: I ended up with significantly more work than ever. I simultaneously headed into the worst semester I’ve faced. Like before, Beauty Skeptic had to take a back seat.

I’ve casually mentioned it before, but in addition to my career, I started college in May 2019. My ultimate higher-ed goal is to get a bachelor’s, but have happily just completed (with much exhaustion) a shiny new Associate’s degree in my day job field. I pulled this off in 18 months and achieved magna cum laude, and a bunch of boring academic honors. I’m not particularly good at celebrating my accomplishments, but I think that is worth celebrating.

In spite of trying to push myself to celebrate, I also feel that weird, “unproductive guilt,” that is new(er) for a lot of people. That is wild because I have been anything other than unproductive. Do you struggle with celebrating your accomplishments too? Share yours! We can celebrate together in spirit without the oppression of yet another video call. (I am so tired of seeing my fucking face on webcam, and I bet you are too!) Only demand is to throw on a lipstick you like. Or don’t. Whatever.

Smol Celebrations

The school stuff I mentioned! I completed a degree in 75% of the time it, “usually,” takes and with high marks while working 50+ hour weeks in a high-stress career.

In addition to all of that, I earned a valuable professional credential.

I learned several new skills:

  • I can operate a sewing machine, sew at a novice level, and make masks to keep my family safer.
  • I can make soap (and it’s REALLY FUN and very appropriate for Beauty Skeptic).
  • I can make candles.
  • I tint and wax my own brows now.
  • I can passably-enough cut my hair.
  • I’ve elevated my DIY nail skills to include polygel usage.
  • I successfully grew some produce.

Meanwhile, I’ve learned more about the balance I need and will push a bit more gently going forward to preserve my mental state.

Here’s hoping that I can do better for this site in 2021.