2020. Well that was interesting
As we draw closer to the end of 2020 and look towards 2021. the time has come for a spot of reflection. In most years, we would look at the new year as a time to celebrate the old year and look to the next with excitement and enthusiasm.
2020 however, has been a most interesting year. We started as normal, getting focused on our new goals, be it fitness, diet, DIY or career. Then there was this talk of a new virus sweeping across China, maybe a new bird flu. Most of us weren’t convinced this was anything to worry about, another nasty virus from across the pond, that wouldn’t really affect us very much and would be forgotten about in a few weeks or months at most.
Well we were wrong. Come March it was getting real and by the end we were in lockdown, fast forwards to June and we were allowed to start trickling out, by October we were back in again. Christmas has been limited to one day, and we face the prospect of another full lockdown. New year celebrations across the world have been vetoed.
This year has seen us limit our interaction with family and friends, opportunities to socialise, eat drink and be merry have been off the table. Our children haven’t had play dates, birthday parties, only interacting at school, and even then limited to year groups or own classes.
In short this year has been bloody tough. Not one person hasn’t felt the stress and worry during this year. One thing is for sure we can all look back at this year as one and say we got through this.
Covid has taught us some life lessons. For start it’s taught us how much we value other people. That could be being able to go on a walk, see family or even a coffee chat at work. We have all missed people. Not being able to hug one another has been equally if not more challenging. When someone I know told me she was undergoing cancer treatment, my instinct was to hug her, to give human comfort. Physical contact means so much, and is one of the ways we humans express our feelings for one another.
On the flip it’s taught us to appreciate those moments where we have been able to see each other, and wow how amazing was it going for a coffee, inside with a friend!?
We have learnt to be adaptable. I think we have all had the pleasure of Zoom. It’s been a life saver. From fitness classes, family quizzes, work ‘do’s’, teaching, even hairdressers guiding clients through a trim! For many of us this was a real learning curve. Being online is quite the challenge, particularly if you are the one leading the session! But we all managed to figure it out and get what we needed to done. I don’t see it going away any time soon. The convenience of not having to worry about childcare, getting back from work, a cold. or even dressed for some is too much to resist.
And of course we have had no choice but to be resilient. To the virus, to the challenges to our careers and businesses and to the stress that all this brings.
So what do we take from this?
We should take the pleasures and the lessons from the small things in life. That friend that sent the random Christmas card in the post, because they couldn’t see you. The clients who kept with you and adapted and showed patience (with Zoom!), the boss who was understanding when trying to juggle work and home schooling, the amazing walks in the fresh air and rediscovering nature. And finally the happiness that being around real humans brings us. Seeing their actual smiles and expressions, making actual eye contact.
From 2020 we celebrate our appreciation of each other, quality time with family and friends, and slowing down our pace of life.
In 2021 we should do the same. It will be better, things will improve and we will get back to hugs. But in the meantime we need to continue to be patient and look after ourselves. Focus on the things we can control and enjoy most. Let the small things go and allow ourselves to drop a plate or two.
But I for one will be raising a glass to a little less interesting 2021!