Reflecting on 2020

I thought to myself “writing a summary of my year on New Year’s Eve/early New Year’s Day has started to become an annual tradition, hasn’t it?” but taking a look, it seems I didn’t do that last year, which is odd. Either way, I’m writing one this year.

Obviously, on the world stage, this year has been pretty bad. There’s been a global pandemic which has claimed countless lives and the UK has been particularly badly hit due to our evil incompetent government. This year has been the year that I’ve stopped reading the news and I’m sure that many people have done the same. As a consequence of all that’s been going on, my life changed quite a lot. I used to be visiting friends in different places, sometimes as often as four days a week. I’d be going to different towns, different restaurants, different pubs and generally leading the life of a highly social person. This year I’ve gone out to visit friends only a very small number of times.

On top of all that, I was made redundant from the nice, well paying job which I was enjoying this time last year. Furthermore, I was more ill this year than I’ve ever been before, with various trips to the doctor and the hospital, including an emergency trip to the hospital in what I would later learn was a life-threatening condition – one which could only be treated with an extremely painful procedure and took months to full recover from.

But despite all that… it’s not really been a bad year for me, personally. My house friend Sophie and I have sat peacefully in our little bubble while not thinking too hard about the problems that we have no power to influence. In terms of the things which society at large places value on, I’ve achieved nothing – I’ve lost a lot of money and I’ve not used the lockdown to cultivate a new skill or anything like that. But I’ve enjoyed having more time to read (and I’ve done a lot of reading this year) and I’ve enjoyed having more time for video games and, also, I’ve very much enjoyed having more time to write. I don’t mind that everything went came to a standstill (or go-backwards) for me this year.

I’ve missed a lot of friends who I haven’t had a chance to see… but they’re still there. The bonds formed are strong enough that things will resume and be just as they were once it is safe for us to see one another again. Plus, I also heard from a penpal I’d not heard from in a long time (nice to know she’s alive) and I made a new friend who I was introduced to online. So there were definite positives. In some ways, I wonder how I ever had the energy to do all the things I did before the lockdown first started and I’ve appreciated the opportunity to enjoy an easier way of life. Though, I have to admit, a big part of that is down to having a very comfortable living situation at the moment. I know that it won’t have been so easy for some. Who knows what my life will be like this time next year? Not me. I have no goals or expectations, I’ll just wait and see what happens. At very least, I know I’ll be watching a new episode of Doctor Who on the first day of 2021. That’s a good start.

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