I’m a big bungled bag of mixed thoughts and emotions as I sit to write this.
Usually, my last blog of the year flows easily; full of nostalgia and positivity and hope and excitement… and actually, I’m feeling all of those things right now too. I just can’t seem to write them down in a way that will be meaningful to everyone. Because now, more than ever, none of us can fully understand how anyone else is feeling.
We’ve just come through the weirdest year of our lives.
I could start to talk about how “while it was bad, it was actually good”, or “In the midst of the chaos, was joy”, or “the lessons I’ve learned this year”. God I could write 20 pages on each of those titles if I’m honest.
It was good, in its own way.
I did learn loads about myself and about life in general. (80 pages coming on that…next year!)
In the midst of the chaos, there was joy.
We did make loads of memories.
Yes, 2020 was good for lots of reasons. 2
The main lessons I learned were that actually, life did NOT need to be as busy and chaotic as it was and that actually, as long as I have my own wee family safe within my own four walls, then all is right with the world, no matter how frightening the world is. (I wrote a LOT about our own four walls this year. I spent a lot of time looking at them I suppose!)
And while I could sit here and wax lyrical about how we must all look at the positives of 2020 and be grateful for this, that and the other, I can not let the year end without acknowledging that it was the hardest, most frightening, confusing, frustrating and heartbreaking fecking year that we have ever faced.
I am grateful. I’m so grateful for my family and for health and for work. And personally, I know so many people who have had too much sadness and hardship to bear this year. I’ve cried with lots of friends (virtually) and like everyone, I’ve had moments of WTF?
But as always, perspective is key. I can, and will, only ever speak for ME.
I’ve been afraid. I’ve been stressed. I’ve struggled. I’ve freaked out. (I’ve had panic attacks about going to do the fricken shopping for God’s sake.) I’ve spent more hours than I care to remember, looking at my children, terrified that they’re not OK. I’ve spent hours and hours stressing with my husband about our family business and wondering how many more slaps it can take, I’ve cried onto my laptop as I tried to figure out a whole new way of trying to do my job, while trying and failing to homeschool my own children. I’ve missed family. I’ve missed my friends. I’ve seen my best friend once since March… I’ve been angry. I’ve been frustrated. I’ve been sad. I’ve even been judgemental. Show me someone who at this stage, has NOT given out about someone else’s actions this year (and then send me whatever magic potion they’re using please.)
And yet, tonight as I sit watching the clock tick towards 2021, I can’t help but feel proud. I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my kids. (Kids are amazing!) I’m proud of my husband. I’m proud of every one of my family and friends who have clawed their way through the shitshow that was 2020.
We made so many memories this year. We found joy we’d never realised we could find within our four walls and indeed on our own doorsteps. We’ve been surprised by the things that we’ve missed and the things that we found that, actually, we didn’t miss at all.
We’ve been torn apart by the ferocity of missing people and being apart from people we love. And yet, we’ve also realised quite abruptly who is important to us and who is, maybe, not.
I can look back through my camera roll tonight and share my “highlights”. It is filled with photographs of 2020, each one telling a story to anyone who looks at it, and yet each one holds so many memories that no one but us could ever understand. Behind lots of those smiles are a million other emotions. Some of the smiles are real. Some of them are hilarious. And yet, some are frantic and frightened. Some don’t reach the eyes.
I have looked at some today. They’ve made me smile and laugh. But I won’t be sharing them anywhere. I’m not looking back. I’m too tired to be honest! And so I’m looking forward. I can’t wait for it to be tomorrow so I can close the metaphorical door on a year that I’ve been wishing away since March.
I’m ready for it to be over. And while I know full well that at midnight tonight, absolutely NOTHING but the date is going to actually change, I am excited for the new year. Every day will bring us one step closer to getting back to some sort of normality, where 2020 is a distant memory that we talk about and reminisce about.
So whether you’ve come through 2020 enlightened and empowered and energised, or you’ve skid towards the end, glass in hand, roots to your armpits and a bit delirious, I raise a glass to you tonight and wish you a better and more fablis 2021.
Give yourself a round of applause. You made it!
And no matter what 2021 brings with it, it’s a brand new year that we are at least a bit more ready for than last year.
From Emmet and the girls and myself, I wish you every best wish for 2021. May it be filled with brighter days, good health and hugs and smiles that reach your eyes. Love to all.
Until next year!