When I committed to writing my Monday post (being a minimum of 500 words) some time back in June I made it a ‘no matter what’ piece of work. Up to this week I have managed to put something up but I have to say some truly terrible news in my friends group a couple of days ago has completely floored me. I have no words to share on that because it is private, incomprehensible and brutally raw but I wonder if there has ever been a year where so many people have faced so many awful challenges. I can’t remember one.
This year there has obviously been the all-consuming pandemic that has devastated lives both on the health front and by crushing sectors and destroying economies. But there has been so much more, certainly among the people I know, and I’ve struggled with the sadness of hearing older people say they can’t see themselves getting out of this.
Marriages have broken down with the worst possible timing and in the most spectacular fashion, the fallout causing tsunami sized ripples throughout families and friends. Other families have lost numerous members, and not necessarily through covid, the loss seemingly out of all proportion.
The stresses caused by the way we are living this year are pressurising lives, obviously those who have found themselves out of work but even in those still able to do their jobs. The cracks are showing in people I’ve never seen this in before. So many, so close to the edge of what they can take, tears never far away and the slightest thing spinning emotions out of control.
I am sincerely hoping that for many the Christmas break will bring some sort of respite and restart. I think we need it more than ever this year. I will certainly be taking some proper time off. Usually I try to push out a bit more writing at this time as my day job client work is quiet but I feel like this year I’m staggering towards the break like it’s a finishing line I’m desperate to cross. And I’ll collapse when I get to the other side. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t feel tired, so a decent break is in order. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I know there will be an end to this eventually. The vaccine has started being rolled out and that has provided the first glimmer of hope like the initial hint of the sky lightening as the sun starts to rise. It does seem true that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Let’s hope that 2021 brings the eventual return to the normality, or at least something approaching it, that we all desire.
In the meantime, let’s be thankful to all those who have kept the country running, and to all our keyworkers out there. Those in healthcare and the caring sector are, quite rightly front and centre, along with the wonderful scientists who have developed the vaccine and the company’s manufacturing it, but there are so many others who do so much that we take for granted. The teachers and all staff that keep our schools running, the companies that are manufacturing, packaging, and processing, the testing kits, the mechanics keeping our ambulances and utility vehicles on the road, the rubbish collectors, the supermarkets and all stores keeping vital supplies on their shelves. Along with so many others I’ve not listed but if you’re feeling forgotten then I mean you, definitely you.
And… and this may be controversial, but to all those who have put in place so many new systems this year, with very little notice. Because, and this may come as a surprise to some, but like the rest of us our governments had no more idea of the extent of the carnage the pandemic would bring than any of us. It’s been a learning experience for us all. Yes, I know not everything has worked perfectly, yes I know this year has brought incredible frustrations for so many and it’s easy to lay the blame for everything at the feet of those in charge. But I tell you this. I organise, admittedly lower level, things for a living but I have been astonished at how quickly websites and systems have been created and rolled out to deal with the problems we have faced. These things can’t be done simply at the snap of someone’s fingers.
Sorry, this seems to have turned into a bit of a rant so I’ll take a breath. What I want to end on is that I wish you all a happy Christmas, but please stay safe, and make decisions to keep yourself well – remember it is only one day after all – and I wish you a peaceful New Year and a few days of rest between the two if your work allows it. Finally, I wish us all a considerably better 2021.
What do you think? Have you found this year to be worse than most in terms of the trouble and disaster it has brought? Or has your year been calmer than others? I’d love to know if it’s just me experiencing such turbulence.