I'd always heard the phrase a lot can happen in a year. In the sedentary life I lead, the last excitement occurred in 2008, where I went from being comfortable financially to being broke in a matter of months (Recession). Still, I knew the only thing I had to do was find work. Whereas this year? Oh boy, where do I begin? At the beginning of this year, dazed with my first ever novel's success, I had a vision of getting through the next manuscript in the first three months. The submission of my diploma was out of the way, and I was sure I'd clear. I was on the cusp of launching my own business; I was belting out Fleetwood mac on my guitar without pausing between notes (A noteworthy achievement if you please.) And then, in one switch, it changed, and I am sure I was not the only one left completely out of my depth.
Cut to now, another eight days before this year from hell officially ends - The manuscript has been completely discarded, my guitar has not been touched in the last three months, I've not been able to register my business, and well moving from living room to backyard is a holiday enough. I think I say it for everyone that this year has been unprecedented in all ways. And ironically, every time I've thought I've come to terms with it, it's blown up on my face, again! This year has seen me being a master whinger, going round and round lamenting everything from panic buying to cancelled holidays. For some time, I even joined the bandwagon of toxic positivity, trying to force my joker smile on the world. This year has also seen me be an efficient meme forwarder, everything from masks to social distancing. I’ve felt helpless as people I know and cherish lost their loved ones without even a chance to say goodbye. It has seen me tearing my hair through arguments of the entire Covid being a hoax. As credits roll towards the end of this year – A year that was drama, tragedy, comedy, satire, and any other genre rolled into one, the biggest thing that’s coming up for me is surprise surprise - Gratitude!
Seesawing through the myriad of emotions this year, the one that has stayed and grown is - the feeling of being grateful. I'd often mistaken this feeling by thinking it's a privilege, something which I've had a hard time accepting. Being brought down on my knees and humbled by a virus, I've looked at, rather been forced to look towards things that are working. And I was bowled over. This year, I've discovered resilience; I've done more than 5k squats, (give or take a few hundred) despite my arthritic knees. This year has given my partner and me a lot of time to talk, just talk, instead of filing away our differences to be dealt with the next inopportune moment. I wrote short stories despite coping with giant chunks of writing blocks. I've had a lot fewer clients than I had predicted, but all of them stood by me and supported me through the pandemic. This year my tiny egg grew into a fledgeling and started reception away from his best mates. He took it in his stride without shedding a single tear! Yes, I am proud of him ;-) This year has forced me to slow down, It's given me perspective. It has given me the ability to appreciate the passing of time and make each moment count, realising that we are just specks on the pale blue dot in the grander scheme of things.
I digress; I guess what I am trying to say is this year, I planned a lot, I'd set out to achieve a lot, and I was forced to either give up or adapt on almost everything. Despite that, I'm ending the year with a note of gratitude - grateful to have lived through, grateful to have survived, grateful to be alive.
That though in no way means that this Christmas, I'd be asking for anything else other than take away this deadly virus! Santa are you listening?