I’m not sure it is!!
I’m tempted to just stick two fingers up to the year that was 2020 and look forward to 2021, which I hope will bring better things.
I’m tired. As I’m sure everyone is and I think we can all agree this year has taken it’s toll physically and emotionally.
However, maybe it’s worth a look back at the good, bad and the downright ugly that this year has been. It certainly has to be one of the most bizarre years that I’ve ever experienced.
The pandemic has impacted us all, it’s meant global upheaval to the extent that I have never imagined I would see in my lifetime. It’s affected us all, whether that’s because we have suffered from the virus, or know and lost others who have, whether we’ve lost jobs, or had to move to working from home, or just had to carry on working out there despite the risks. We’ve been prohibited from seeing our loved ones and social distancing and mask wearing has become the norm.
Some have found the respite from ‘normal’ life a blessing, enjoying the solitude, the pressures of our modern lives reduced for a time. Others have found it a curse, struggling intensely with the lack of social contact.
Work life has been turned on its head, here in the UK huge swathes of the population were suddenly forced to turn their homes into offices, others were immediately furloughed and found themselves ‘on leave’ effectively for who knows how long. Again, each scenario bringing it’s own pros and cons.
I was one of the ones who suddenly found themselves on the sofa using my own ancient laptop to try to carry on with my job. I will admit at the time I was a teeny bit jealous of those being furloughed – paid time off, that is the dream! But it came at a cost and anxiety was a frequent friend to those in that situation, as was the threat of redundancy at the end of it and I am forever grateful that I still have my job. It is heartbreaking to see the devastation that is being wreaked on so many businesses and livelihoods everywhere.
I had always wanted to be able to work from home…but I never imagined that this would be how it would come about.
I had returned in the middle of March from a month long trip to Australia and Cambodia on the Friday. I went back into work on the Monday and then on Tuesday, we were told that we should start working from home after that…talk about a whirlwind! And then we went into full lockdown on the following Monday.
As with everything I have learnt that working from home is not all plain sailing. I miss my two large monitors that I have in the office and the space of my desk. Working on a laptop isn’t ideal, but I’ve managed to set up a small work station at home and love the flexibility of being at home and not having to drag myself into the office everyday. Being able to do little things, like putting a load of washing on in the middle of the day…who knew it could be so life changing haha!
This year has been extraordinary for so many reasons. I’m not sure that I will fully understand the impact that it’s had on me, or the world in general, for many years. I am trying to find the positives, to learn from this experience, but I must admit with the sudden turn things have taken here, with this new strain of the virus, it’s all starting to feel quite gloomy again.
However, as I look back at this weird old year, I have realised a few things (not all of them particularly life changing!):
I am definitely an introvert!
Working from home does relieve the pressure somewhat, it’s been a learning curve, but it does make me feel like I have a bit more control over my time.
I am usually eager to get away and although sometimes the urge to be sat on a beach in South East Asia is excruciatingly strong, I have learnt to appreciate my immediate surroundings more. I love my local park and haven’t yet grown tired of my walks and very slow jogs around it!
My partner and I really can live and work together!!
I can go six months without getting my hair done…although that has been easy as I haven’t been seeing anyone!
And I am 100% grey under that hair dye!!
When I do finally return to the office, having to wear proper clothes and shoes (instead of slippers!) whilst I work is going to be a wrench.
It’s ok that I haven’t spent the pandemic crafting, learning a language or baking my body weight in cakes every day! I have been mainly working and trying to keep emotionally stable throughout this whole thing, with varying degrees of success with the latter.
Of course, it’s been a tough one and unfortunately it seems it’s going to get worse before it gets better here. I expect that we will be going back into full lockdown in the UK again soon and I am prepared to hunker down for the first of part of 2021 and just try to ride this out. I am grateful I am able to do that.
I hope 2021 brings some good news and improvement to the whole situation and that we are able to learn and build on our experience during 2020.
So, that just leaves me to say thank you.
Thank you to my friends and family who I haven’t seen throughout this time, but who have always been there, with words of advice, a shoulder to cry on and funny memes when needed! They’ve been the ones who have gotten me this far.
Thank you to those who have been making sure life can go on for us all. Those working tirelessly to help keep us safe, looking after us when we are ill, keeping the deliveries coming to our doors, stocking the supermarket shelves and producing vaccines in record time to try to help us get through this as quickly as possible.
And thank you to you! Thank you for reading, commenting and your continued support here on my teeny tiny piece of the internet! I know it’s been a tough year for us all and will be a difficult holiday period for many, but we have made it this far, that is something we should be proud of and thankful for.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you and your families stay safe and well.