Stranger things: reflections on 2020
What a year it’s been, huh? I think it’s safe to say that nobody expected 2020 to be like this. Yet, here we are. We’re doing our best to keep on keeping on. There have been challenges and there’s more to come. We’re not out of the woods yet. Such a strange world we’re living in right now.
Here in The Netherlands things aren’t going so well. Over the summer, measures were eased, which was great and it meant we could do a bit more than we had been able to. September came and stricter measures were installed, because the numbers weren’t good. Where previously we were allowed to go to the office in small numbers for important tasks or meetings, now we were told to work from home again completely. It took a toll on a lot of people, as expected. In general, I’ve been doing ok, but I have my moments and struggles.
At the end of November a bunch of us had an important meeting to attend to at work and we were allowed to come into the office. We hadn’t seen each other live in about three months, so you can imagine how elated everyone was! It was wonderful seeing my colleagues again. This gave me such a boost! The last month until the Christmas holidays were challenging once more. People were fed up with videoconferencing, not being able to talk face-to-face. Not to mention the deadlines we faced (and nailed!). I’ve failed to keep my blog going, other than the Which Way Challenge. Such a bummer, but I’ve simply not had the juice.
Last Tuesday the government announced a full lockdown. The numbers had gotten worse and social interactions had to be halted. This means all non-essential stores are closed, only essential trips by public transport are allowed…everything in order to limit the movement of people and thus the potential spread of the virus we’re all completely done with. The lockdown will last until the third week of January. Not the best way to start the new year, but hardly unexpected either.
That’s where we are now. Many people’s Christmas plans have to be changed to accommodate these stricter rules. I’m sure there are some idiots who defy these rules anyway, but you always have those folks whose sensibility is already lost to the world. For me, personally, nothing much changes. I’m going to be spending Christmas with my mom and cats, like I do every year.
As I reflect on this strange year, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s still not the worst year I’ve ever had. Granted, I know how fortunate I am family wise, job wise, house wise, health wise (knock on wood). For so many people and (small) businesses, this year has been horrible. It sucks and no-one deserves it. But here we are, still. For me, this year’s ‘overall theme’ has been to take a pause, evaluate my life and to really look deeper. I’m an introvert and naturally introspective, so spending this much time by myself isn’t necessarily good for me. Yet, I’ve made some important realisations and I’m working towards further improving my life immaterially because of it. I’m grateful for where I am in life, I’m so proud of what I have achieved and I’m generally happy with who I’ve become as a person. I will always strive to be the best person I can be and I think this year has solidified certain things I’ve been trying to grasp. If anything, I don’t want to this to be a wasted year. I want to look back and think ‘Yes, it was a difficult year, but look at what I learnt from it!’
It’s hard right now to look ahead and ponder on what 2021 will bring us. I hope that the vaccinations will be successful and we can start making our way back to some kind of ‘normal’. I don’t know what that normal will look like, but I sincerely hope I’ll be able to travel again. I hope to be able to see my friends, to meet my dear friend’s baby, to hike the Fjällräven Classic, to go anywhere but The Netherlands…to once more explore, dream, discover!
We’ll get through this, so hang in there!