Many people are glad to see the back of 2020. For all our projections of 2020 vision at the start of the year, our hopeful plans of what was to come, our 2020 hindsight is vastly different.
I know that when Victoria opened up (in November, out of our second lockdown, after nine months of iso), social events appeared in my diary again and I wondered, “Where did I find the time?” And that was with only one or two social events! It was a really different feeling after such a long time to be driving somewhere to something … rather than grabbing another cuppa to Zoom something …
With its enforced complete change of routine, 2020 allowed me to catch up on sleep for the first time in at least 20 years (since I joined the Motherhood Club) or even earlier! Consistently having one hour’s extra sleep because I was not commuting, alongside no social engagements keeping me up beyond my preferred bedtime, turns out to be a highly effective solution for wellness.
I wondered about my need for social interaction versus how much I – ‘endure’ is perhaps too strong a word (even if the sentiment is accurate). Turns out, as long as I have my husband around to cuddle I don’t need too much face-to-face contact with others. Not that I don’t like it, just that I can do without it. Another valuable learning from the year.
I realise how lucky I am to have a Significant Other around (my friends who live on their own had a vastly significantly different experience of lockdown), especially my Significant Other whose company I enjoy, and who enjoys my company. Our imposed working from home meant we spent a LOT of time together … and it turned out to be a rediscovery of things I hadn’t been aware we’d lost along the way, the busy demands of a modern lifestyle revolving around our children having slowly eroded our time together. How lovely to have the time to chat at leisure rather than firing off a curt reminder as we’re rushing out the door to our external demands. How amazing to find, looking back over three decades, that we still have things in common and WANT to share our time, that we both feel happier for that. I am grateful that the global Pause button turned out to be a Reconnect and Rediscover button (as it was for many people): that’s something I don’t want to lose sight of again.
Statements that 2020 hasn’t been all-bad have flushed the media, and I am certainly aware of the gains I have made personally. I am equally aware of the privilege of my position: living in a first-world country with stellar health care and government support for my trouble-and-strusband‘s lost work; my work (therefore, our income and as a flow-on, our ability to pay all our bills) unaffected; in a secure house not damaged by the Black Summer bushfires which preceded the Covid-19 lockdown by mere months (many are still living in caravans one year later); with fresh vegetables from our country garden forming the base of our daily meals … I recognise that we are very fortunate indeed and I am immensely grateful for that.
In terms of ushering in the New Year, Sydney is the first big display on the international circuit of fireworks. The multi-million dollar display from the Harbour Bridge is watched around the world. The ‘northern beaches outbreak’ (that’s where the best views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are from) has brought Sydney under lockdown again, over Christmas and into the New Year. This has necessitated curtailing of the New Year’s Eve festivities: no 9pm fireworks (the family-friendly version) and limited fireworks at midnight with few attendees, the “vantage points around the Harbour … reserved for frontline workers this New Year’s Eve to say thank you for keeping the community safe throughout the year“.
May we recognise – and appreciate – the positives of this incredibly difficult year.
May we give gratitude for the gains we made – and maintained – through iso.
May 2021 continue – and further – the blessings of 2020.
trouble-and-strusband: the equal opportunity version of trouble-and-strife?
trouble-and-strife: rhyming slang for ‘wife’. Rhyming slang arrived in Australia with the cockney convicts. No longer in common usage, especially by millenial generations, it’s still fun to use.