This is about the time of year when I’d usually start offering up retrospective views of the year-to-date. That may still happen but it occurs to me that it may be redundant at this point. What more is there to be said about 2020? There has been a trend in the last decade or so, from internet culture into traditional media, to curse and condemn a year and reach for the next as if there is some guarantee or promise that it will be better and that better things will come. Then the new year comes and goes and everyone calls it the worst ever.
I can’t do that for any year. Every period of time has its own challenges and some that carry forward from previous times. This year has brought in some novel twists but for those of us lucky enough to have not lost loved ones for who have not been struggling for our lives on ventilators in hospitals, how bad has it been? For most it’s only been a question of not being able to go the places we planned on going or doing the things we are used to doing. Is that terrible? No, it’s been challenging psychically. It made many aware of uncertainty and how tenuous or lives and lifestyles are. It wasn’t even enough to wake people up, as we’ve witnessed. Everyone was back to brunch at the very first opportunity. For those of us not desperate to return to these banalities, we can only look on and say… how utterly pedestrian.
That’s all that needs to be said for 2020. Sure, we could go into the political upheaval and the protests in the street but looking back not even six months later, where were we left. This year has been no different, aside from the addition of COVID-19, than each and every year preceding it. Most people are still using the terminology, “getting back to normal.” Few people seem to be able to envision anything different, or are desperately frightened that things will be different and they’ll have to wake up in the morning, have coffee, and think about mortality and morality and inequity.
That’s why I have doomer soundtracks. That I don’t understand the words (technically speaking) it doesn’t seem to matter. I understand nonetheless.
This year, this 2020, hasn’t been horrible for me. There have been challenges and troubles. There were the same old cluster headaches and a health issue. There was rejection and heartbreak. Throw in some uncertainty and fear, because nobody is immune to that. It would be dishonest, as well as unfair for those who truly suffered, to say that it was a bad year for me. It hasn’t, but a lot of that has to do with having had horror-show years in the past. More has to do with not feeling entitled to things going the way I would prefer them to go. I’ve prepared for all this my entire life. You take care of all your business with the best of intentions. You dream. You aspire. You plan. You work. The result may or may not be what you hoped it would be. Success in these things isn’t an entitlement so you make sure as you’re doing all these things to find some joy in every single day. Find your joy. Don’t feel entitled to it, but if you look, you will find something out there for you. Just don’t move about thinking you are entitled for everything to be just so. You’re not and that’s okay. Better people that you have been disappointed.
No, 2020 has not been a horrible year for me, because the pace of life slowed to a point where it was easier to find that joy. There was time to think. None of this looks like what I imagined it would be when the New Year rang in nearly a year ago. There was never any realistic reason to believe it would. It was just hope. The things I hoped for, or many of them, didn’t come to be. At the same time these hopes were falling apart, I was granted other things.