Taking Stock-Goodbye 2020

 31st Dec 2020

TAKING STOCK — 2020

Happy 7th Day of Christmas

Today is a good day for taking stock of the year now ending and making resolutions for the year about to begin.

There can’t be a single person in the world who thought that 2020 would turn out like it did. We were hit, every human person in the world, by the pandemic. Many lives lost, many lives changed — some for better , many for worse.

I feel guilty to report that in the main , it’s been a good year for me. Not easy, no, that’s not the same thing. I mean I know many people have suffered — family members dead either from the virus or a result of the constrains we’ve been put under due to the virus. 

A dear friend of mine died in June. Although she didn’t have it, she was most certainly a casualty of Covid. In her eighties with slight mobility problems, a dedicated creative, spending everyday out and about at art events in the local community, suddenly she was confined to the house. Loneliness, lack of movement , then an insignificant cold, all transpired to weaken her resolve. She posted her art on social media up to a week before she died. I miss her so much.

There will be many like her as well as others who didn’t get their operations and died or who will now die sooner. So it’s not just about the numbers who’ve died for the virus itself who’ve been lost to us.

My husband was one of the lucky ones. He had his urgent op, one of the last they did before lockdown, at the end of March. It was a stressful time, having to fight to get him on the list, praying that it would go ahead, then hubby having to go into hospital by himself. I wasn’t allowed to accompany him. Up until then we’d always been there for each other. And , of course, after the op I was unable to visit him. I tried to busy myself with jobs in the house ( not able to write just then) while I waited for the phone call to say I could go and pick him up.

Our trip to the Holy Land at the beginning of March was cancelled mid flight. The Holy sights were all closed and the whole country had gone into lockdown. We spent a night in Tel Aviv and got the plane home the next day, having first been taken on a whistle stop tour of Jerusalem. Who flies from the UK to Tel Aviv for dinner? But joking aside that’s when we realised that the things were more serious than we wanted to believe. Our lovely tour company, at no extra cost, booked us another pilgrimage for this March, 2021. What will happen ? It doesn’t seem likely at the moment.

And the good things?

It was while we were still getting over having the virus, probably late April, that a dear friend told me about the Writers Hour with the London Writers Salon. I can honestly say, it changed my life. Having the daily structure of writing at the same time and with others, many of whom have become good friends, gave me a purpose, helped me not to be anxious and , best of all encouraged me to write more than ever before.

Yes, there are still things that are difficult — mainly not being able to see family and friends.

And today and tomorrow especially would normally be extremely busy as we come together for our family Christmas. It’s a tradition we started when my eldest daughter got married twenty five years ago and had from then on to include the in laws in her deliberations. They would, at the beginning spend one year with us and the next with the in laws. Then we decided to celebrate on a different day so, in the future , hopefully we could all come together every year. It’s become a time that everyone looks forward to. It has morphed into it’s own shape though and still we have trouble all of us managing to be there. It doesn’t help that the numbers keep growing — there are now 48 of us.

My daughter now has 20 just in her immediate family. She has for the last ten years or so held an end of Christmas party on 6th Jan, the Feast of the Kings. Many of us, but again, not all, try to get there. In fact, it’s looking like the only time we all meet up now is at weddings and funerals. Oh well.

Who knows what 2021 will bring?

I hope that some sort of normality will soon be upon us, when I’ll be able to hug my grandchildren close, play on the floor, run, skip, make cakes, paint faces, read stories and just be, with them.

Also, I hope I’ll have friends round for dinner, talk late into the night, reminisce and enjoy each other.

I’d like to think I’ll meet up with friends who I’ve only known as little squares on my computer screen. Something to look forward to.

None of us have the luxury of 2020 vision, to see what the next year will hold.

However, I have now discovered a new joy waiting for me in the coming year. I will continue to write. I will, with a bit of hard work, actually get the memoir written, as well as the anthology.

My resolutions are geared to help with my vision of my future self. So three shifts:

1 Make better use of my time — early to bed, less time spent on social media.

2 Make time for contact with the important people in my life.

3 Set time aside every day for writing . I am a writer. It’s what I do. And when I’m writing , write, don’t get distracted.

I am grateful for this past year and I’m going into 2021 full of joy, hope and eager expectation.

What will it look like when I reflect again this time in 2021?

What about you, how was the last year for you and what will the next one bring?