It seems like a very long time ago since I started writing a looking-backwards-looking-forwards post and I almost wasn’t going to write one this year; however a lot can change in a day and here we are. After a very dry year of blogging, two in a two-week period (it must be the holidays).
Last year I didn’t write one. Instead, I wrote something about wellbeing. You can read it here if you like. I can’t remember why this was; it certainly didn’t have anything to do with some sort of foresight. In fact, last year saw me not write very much at all for a whole bunch of reasons including not having either the time or energy. To be fair, I haven’t got much energy today (the young people in the family are determined to stay up til at least midnight on NYE and I haven’t yet reached that stage of my life where I am prepared to go to bed before them unless I am ill) so I’m going to keep it short and sweet.
Good things and Gratitude
One teatime in the summer we made a list together. Everything was getting on top of A – the anxiety, the enforced stillness, the nothingness to do – so we sat, after the tea had been eaten and before we tackled the washing up and made a list of things for which we were grateful in the face to trying circumstances.
- Clear air
- The garden
- Gaming with friends
- Home made curry and naan bread (this is fast becoming an institution)
- Online bingo
- Daily walks
- Lack of traffic
- Family time
- Bike rides
- TV series watching (Merlin, Dirk Gently, I-Zombie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Warehouse 13, Battlestar Gallactica) (we have yet to find another one we like as much as we are back to Merlin)
- Different zoom backgrounds
- Fixing up the house (that was R)
- Social distancing (that one was me)
- Seeing more of friends – I suspect I am not alone in ‘seeing’ more of my far-flung friends this year than I have for years.
It was a good thing to do, when everything seemed a bit much, and helped us to focus on the things that we have, right here, right now, instead of the things we lost. The only thing I have to add is that I am thankful that, so far, we are well.
At work, I have developed a mindset called ‘Steady as She Goes’ which I am taking forward into 2021. When I say it or think it I imagine a steam ship shuddering into darkened waters, not knowing what is ahead, only that it won’t be easy. There might be rocks upon which the great vessel may founder, or a storm or a tidal wave. No-one knows the details except that there is peril that might or might not be avoided. There is a certain relentlessness suggested in it that, for me, captures well how it has been and how we know it will be before the spring comes and we can breathe freely again.
It’s hard for me to look too far forward, which is something I have become, strangely, used to. When the future looks scary I have learned not to examine it too closely and I try not to spend too much time fretting over the difference between what ought to be and what isn’t, even though I fail sometimes and start thinking about the difference between my experience at 17, at 19 and theirs.
So that’s it. We are where we are and all that. Control what you can and try not to worry (or get too angry) about the things that you can’t etc. Better days will come (we hope) and when they do then we’ll see.