I think the true gift of 2020 has been perspective.
Some people have found it and kept it close, others have spent months swinging like a pendulum with fleeting glances of it before fixating on other things.
Remember the first lockdown season in March/April, before “unprecedented” became a meaningless word?
My parents are both immune compromised and had gone into self imposed isolation a couple of weeks before Boris made a decision. They lived a five minute drive away, and we had been seeing them at least once a week for several years. Suddenly they wouldn’t come to the door. I could leave supplies on the front step and they’d open the door when I got back to the car. We’ve always been affectionate, but it was painful not being able to hug them.
I wasn’t allowed to cuddle the dog either. My hairy little brother found it very difficult to understand why I suddenly didn’t appear to love him.
All I wanted was to hug my parents.
All the way through the lockdown diaries, it’s a constant.
Other people were moaning about missing travel, I just wanted to hug my parents.
2020 showed me that what is truly important in my life is my family. The ones I share blood with, and the ones I choose.
This Christmas, we made plans for being able to be together, or not. I am now extremely grateful that Mum and Dad made the decision a few weeks ago that it was a silly risk. At the time I was sad, but then I realised how much easier they had made our lives. If the internet holds out, we will open presents together over zoom and in the afternoon we’ll attempt charades, Uno and 20 questions. Nobody has to get dressed for longer than the dog walk. Nobody has to tidy up. The important thing is that we will find a way to be “together”.
So many other groups have shifted their cultural and religious celebrations into the virtual sphere this year, why not Christmas? Anyway, if we’re all at home, it makes it easier for Santa to find us ;D
I know for a lot of people, the news over the weekend has been very upsetting. They were looking forward to being together with loved ones that they can no longer see.
It’s important to express how you feel, and it’s also important to make a choice about whether you’re going to let how you feel one day dictate how you’re going to feel the next.
I choose to feel grateful for not needing to worry that I’m an asymptomatic disease vector.
I choose to feel grateful that the internet exists and that even if it crashes under the weight of togetherness, there’s landlines. When my mum moved to Australia to be with my Dad, talking to her parents at Christmas meant booking a call time and it was so expensive that a couple of minutes was all they shared.
I choose to feel grateful that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and more than enough to keep us occupied.
How are you feeling about this Christmas? Xx