Yesterday I had a look back at my year. It turned out that despite all the gloom of the pandemic there was still lots going on, lots to feel blessed about.
The good times came from some expected places such as holidays and days out which we still managed to squeeze in. They also came from people, just being with family and social activities with friends new and old.
There were some highs from sport – despite so many big events being cancelled – music and more mundane matters such as being out in the sunshine gardening which gives me an almost spiritual boost. I also had a few – not many – achievements that gave me a strong sense of satisfaction.
I found it useful to look back on a whole year and see where the good times came from. It was an interesting mix of the planned and spontaneous, ones that required effort and those that came from just going with the flow. I’m a great believer that the key to happiness is simply to do more of what makes you happy and will be looking to pursue that agenda next year.
There were also some bleak times in the year – almost all of which came from one source – coronavirus and its impact on my life. So here are some of the worst moments of the year which I only feature so I can avoid them as much as possible next year, though the truth is much of it is out of my control.
I still remember how I felt at the news that Boris had gone into intensive care but I felt sad for him, anxious about the country and worried that, if someone like him younger than me can be stricken by the virus it really was a morbid threat to all of us.
Then there were the some of the decisions that affected me – going into lockdown or quarantine or forcing me to cancel holidays. Outraged I was at the time but now I look back I think maybe I was being a little selfish, thinking of just myself not others.
Linked to this were bad feelings about ignoring Government advice – queuing up to get on a nearly empty ferry to France just as new quarantine announcements came into place – left me feeling panicky and anxious. And yet the risk was worth it as all turned out fine and led to two enjoyable weeks away.
There was the outrage at Government decisions and how organisations and individuals chose to behave at a time of crisis that led to everything from the crisis in care homes to locked in students and all the bad news around about the economy that led.
Then there were a couple of things that happened to me and my family, not least my Dad’s partner becoming terminally ill.
Personally, and I guess, I should view this as the most important thing, my physical health has been pretty good. Thankfully I haven’t had, as far as I know, coronavirus for which I am very grateful. I did suffer a bit with achy joints earlier in the year, perhaps brought on by moving from treadmill to outdoor running under the first lockdown. Worst thing has been my mental health, feeling very up and down – there were quite a few ‘lowest point’ blogs and long periods of anxiety first around the virus and then just generally in life. There were quite a few ‘lowest point’ blogs only to be trumped by an ever lower point blog which reminds me of one of my favourite moments in The Simpsons when Bart exclaims that he’s experiencing “The worst day ever” only for Homer to insensitively but truthfully add the killer words “so far”. That always makes me smile.
Surely the dreaded Rona will be in remission for a large part of next year so there’ll be even more ups and fewer downs. Roll on 2021.