Well, what is there to say about 2020 that hasn't been said before!!??
Not a lot!
Shitshow and unprecedented seem to be popular words, I prefer Susan Orlean's "Circumstances of the moment".
2020 showed us the Earth and our surrounds are really fragile. I guess we knew that, or should have known that but maybe took it for granted. But it also showed us how resilient we actually are. And whilst COVID was truly awful, soooo many deaths, I do hope it made us look at ourselves and our lives, and see what we can do better. I think we did brilliant to get through such a rough year!
The extreme weather at the beginning of 2020 left me terrified then and more for our future. And I was really not effected badly at all.
I took COVID very seriously from the get go, I cut my holidays short to get home and self isolated before isolating became a 'thing'. I was horrified by the dimwits that did not take it seriously...I still am. Working during COVID was challenging, especially with those that refused to do the right thing, but it was mostly wonderful with people being truly grateful for the service. Let's face it reading and books were quite the winner this year...once we got our reading mojo sorted.
Like most, I suffered from lost reading mojo on and off during the year. It was painful and annoying, but when it came back I was on fire!
I know people really suffered great losses this year and I send each and every one of them love. I was one of the lucky ones. My only major worry was my sister stuck in lockdown in her home in St Kilda, Melbourne. She did it rough and we worried we wouldn't see her for Christmas. But due to the brilliant job done by Dan Andrews we did, although it was cut short by NSW not learning the lesson well enough.
2020 did continue to be stressful for me, not due to COVID, but due to continued work restructures and some minor health issues. COVID, of course, enhanced all of that. My anxiety was not great this year. But support from those that really love me helped me through these times and I cannot be thankful enough to be surrounded by beautiful, kind, and generous people.
And despite all of that, there was a lot to be thankful for.
Here are some of my highlights.
WOMAD and my trip to Adelaide - what a great time I had. Two weeks in Adelaide and 4 days soaking up World Music, Arts, and Culture at WOMAD. I was in heaven.
Despite a LOT of cancelled cultural plans, I did manage some: Fleabag the play, Chats 10, Looks 3 Live including meeting Annabel and Leigh, Yes Commissioner, Gin High Tea at Babylon, Daniel Champagne at Lizottes, Fishfry and Pow Wow, Friday on Mind launch with JPY, visits to local art galleries, and a mini holiday to Forster.
I also managed a couple of movies, dinners out, and some picnics at King Edward Park.
And then there was online!
My bookclub moved online and possibly worked better than in person! NWF was online, Trent Dalton and Richard Fidler book launches, Jimmy Barnes at Lizottes online, and I completed 2 art courses via the NGV. But like everyone, I missed live experiences, regular eating out, and travel.
Other online excitement were the Twins reaction videos, Sam Neill, Annie Lennox, Tim Rogers, Jimmy Barnes, The Bull Sister's Sunday Sessions. Nat's What I Reckon, Robbie Williams' Coronaoke, and much more. I found all this additional entertainment wonderful yet overwhelming. Sooo much!
I got new ducted air at Club Cathy which was a relief. I finished another round of decluttering. My bank account was healthier due to not going out as much!
I also started as the stand-in for Rosemarie Milson on 1233 ABC radio on Saturdays doing book reviews with Craig Hamilton, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I finally finished cataloguing all my vinyl, which was quite the undertaking. My vinyl and my music - as always - saved me.
And as always the markets were always there, and my reviews of Books, movies, television, podcasts, and music. My Lists of favourites for the year can be found here.
I also enjoyed slowing down. Due to the continued stress of work and health during the past 3 years I have been slowing down anyway. So COVID was business as usual for this introvert. I have always enjoyed being still and contemplating 'stuff' and I continued to hone these skills during 2020. This helped me get through the tougher periods of the year.
And in the last few weeks of the year things started to turn around! I kept full time work and was transferred to our Belmont Branch. I am still not a Librarian, but I am very grateful for continued employment in a job I love during these challenging times economically.
But my highlight of the year is easily dating and love!
What, I hear you say!!??
I dated through COVID, this was interesting and challenging but mostly fun. But when things got messy (health and work) in the later part of the year I decided to give dating a miss, despite 50 looming. I had no patience for online dating when other things were taking up my headspace.
However, I had swiped on someone interesting prior to all this and he swiped on me after my decision to temporarily give up, and an unexpected match was made. It has been 3 months and I deleted my Tinder app yesterday. I have kept it all fairly close and quiet as my track record isn't great. But I have lucked out with A, he is lovely and kind and fun. He also is a huge music fan and a High School History and Geography teacher, so super intelligent, and we have much to chat about and connect over. I knew he was the one almost immediately. The night we talked on the phone about The Beatles (he loves them too, phew!) for over 2 hours, I had a shower and cried tears of joy. I have been seemingly waiting half my life for someone like him. The connection we have is very different to anything else I have experienced, and I feel so very much at home in his presence. We feel really lucky our paths have crossed, and I am very happy and very much in love.
I do not think we are anywhere near over the COVID BS. I didn't think we were prior to the NSW clusterfuck, and I certainly don't think it now. It seems we still have much to learn from COVID. I do think things will improve, but I also think we will never really see the end of it or other strains similar to it. We've made a bit of a mess of our world and Mother Earth is understandably pissed off!
My hopes for 2021 is that we all learn how to appreciate what we have in our lives. We enjoy being still and taking in the nature around us. If you haven't read Phosphoresence by Julia Baird, you simply must, it will help you acclimatise to our new world. Despite being written and published prior to COVID, it is the book for our times, it is a beautiful book about enjoying nature and being yourself, and I found it a very peaceful and zen book to read, comforting too.
I am looking forward to a productive and fun year at work.
I am looking forward to my health continuing to improve.
I am really content with what I have in my life, the people I know, the things I like to do. So I want more of that, more of the good things that happened - due to COVID and staying put.
I finished 2020 turning 50! And the mess that was my life prior miraculously tidied itself up just in time. I had grand plans for a big party, but that was never going to happen under COVID. I celebrated with my nearest and dearest and I am hoping to continue celebrating through 2021 - my year of 50. If you want to celebrate with me, give me a call.
And I commenced 2021 in the company of my lovely boyfriend. I feel blessed, happy, and confident that we will continue through this year with love and happiness. Because that will keep us moving through whatever 2021 will throw at us. Who knows what will happen this year, I think we need to be prepared for anything. But we got through 2020 and that means we can get through anything.
I wish all my friends and readers strength and resilience to get through whatever burdens you have or come across. Don't think about what you cannot do, but what you can do! May you be creative and free, enjoy the beautiful world around you, take time to smell the roses, watch the clouds and be still, dream big dreams, and embrace those that you love every day.