This New Year’s Eve was a bigger and an even more dramatic, “end of era” celebration world over (despite all the restrictions), honoured with even more zest and jubilation, than the change of millennia, some20 yrs back which I, a 20 something then, had participated in all its glory.
It’s heartening to see people embrace hope and positivity and look ahead wishing for a “normal “ year ahead. While I’m honouring positivity this January, I don’t much care for all the flak that the last year got.
Did you know that the word January originated from the two-faced, Roman god of doors (and transitions) called JANUS… with one face looking ahead to what will be, and the other looking back to what has been. The transition between a new beginning and an ending.
And looking back to the notorious year 2020, I honestly don’t have particularly strong negative emotions.
Accepting that “life as we knew“ dramatically changed, the last year was a unique time in all our lives.
• A unique opportunity to stay at home and wear PJ’s all day! It was like a summer vacation that we grown-ups never get.
• Even if there was work from home, getting up late (No horrid commute) and still enough time to enjoy brekkers with family.
• Potential morning hours for a quick run or spin.
• Casual dressing!! Yay! Bath, totally optional😂
• Leisurely lunches (despite having to have prepared it on your own)
• And the added advantage of having learnt new culinary skills!
• Now that we were spending so much time at home… the house was cleaner and better organised.
• My eyes opened to the fact that I have a beautiful house with many nooks and cosy crannies to lounge in all day. And Work could be done lounging in a recliner or on a deck chair!
• Made the effort to be in touch with family and friends with regular calls (no more excuses of a very busy day)
• I read so much more.
• Some others “watched” so much more.
• Had time to appreciate the sunrise and the sunset… the glorious skies and the cool breezes!
• …. and the silence in the neighbourhood.
• Which meant we could hear the melodious song of the birds!
• For a change, life did not revolve about “me and mine”… but I felt part of a larger community, “the human race“ and part of a global phenomenon… the pandemic.
• Learnt to be more grateful. Grateful to God for keeping my family safe, grateful for a wonderful family, an awesome support group of friends, a comfortable house to be cooped up in, a cooperative neighbourhood and grateful to all public workers who made our lives easy while risking theirs every day.
• Learnt to be content. Life during last year was surely not about acquiring more but learning to make do with what we already had and being content with it. Be it the lack of fanciful groceries, premium wines or imported products that we thought we couldn’t do without. Well, we did manage with what was available and fairly well!
• Learnt to be calm. By basically tuning out negative news and negative people. Honestly, life is too short to waste on people that don’t add value and positivity to your life.
• Learnt the advantage of healthy habits- the endorphin rush! The most positive aspect of the whole year was the fitness regime that we started and have managed to make part of daily practice. A friend introduced me to a “20K steps for 20days” challenge… which thankfully lasted rest of 2020 and propagated to a fitter lifestyle where I started running and cycling as well.
So, you might see my point of view, that all was not lost and all did not go awry last year.
I don’t need to list the downside of this period, in our personal lives or through the world. There is no way we can ever forget. People lost their lives, their dear ones, their jobs, financial stability, basic freedom of movement and social interactions. But.
But. We survived. We adapted. We learnt and we grew. And perhaps become a better version of ourselves compared to the year before. We learnt to count our blessings. We learnt to be content. We deciphered how little one needed to still be happy and we identified true friends which add meaning to life.
Weed out unhealthy habits, useless people, and maximalist, unsustainable lifestyles.
And welcome the year to be, riding proudly on the small and big achievements of the year gone by. Be happy to be alive and be hopeful.