Oh 2020, what have you done?
I saw something I liked the other day. Someone had written on the pavement with chalk. They wrote “I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Instead it was the year I learned to appreciate everything I already have.”
2020 has been one mad, crazy hell of a ride. Even if I ignore the pandemic, my life is completely unrecognisable from this time 12 months ago. People have left my life, people have entered. Love has been lost, love has been found. Decisions have been made, with the results both good and bad in equal measure.
I feel like it will be a long time before any of us have fully processed this year. There is a bereavement, a grief we have to suffer. We have all experienced loss, each of us carrying our own personal pain. We are filled with a deep hole where something or someone once was. We are in shock. We have lost a lot this year. We are mourning friends and family, broken relationships, and sunken livelihoods. We are saying goodbye to an innocence we didn’t even realise we had.
But we’ve learnt a lot too. We’ve learnt to be resilient in a way we never dreamed we would have to be. We’ve learnt new ways of communication and ways of being together even when we are miles apart. We’ve heard stories that break our heart but teach us lessons we can take forward in life. We have learnt that we don’t need much to live. We don’t need cinemas, or shops, or pubs. We may want them and we may miss them but we don’t need them.
Most importantly, we have learnt that we have survived every single one of the crappy days 2020 has thrown at us and we can survive many, many more if we need to.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in a hole and I need to start climbing out. My life will never be how it was in 2019 for many different reasons, and I’m not asking it to be. But I also don’t want 2020 to have taken all these things away from me without allowing me at least a semblance of it. 2021 isn’t going to be the golden ticket out of all of this. The clock won’t strike midnight on New Year’s Eve and take all of this away. But there are things we can do now to take back some control and keep moving forward.
Put on a corona stone? Get your backside back to the gym when it's open.
Been holing up for months? Put your shoes on and force yourself outside.
Lost control of your finances? Work out a budget, write it down, and stick to it.
Look at what isn't working and make a change, however small it may seem. Things won't magically get better on their own and we have to take them into our own hands in order to make progress.
I'm shattered, I'm not going to lie. It's that kind of exhaustion that resides deep inside your bones and just settles there. But this is my favourite lyric of all time...
"There's a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout, But you're just as far in as you'll ever be out. These mistakes that you've made, you'll just make them again, If you only try turning around."
Keep going through the tunnel, the light is there somewhere.