As we head towards another lockdown starting this week and ending, who knows when, it feels like the nation is falling apart.
Could this year get any worse?
We’re currently in a race to save the high street and support local businesses before we head into another period of shutdown here in the UK. As in Germany and France, we’re keeping schools open, but it’s the high street shops, bars and restaurants – the ‘non-essential’ businesses set to suffer the most during this next month.
And it’s one of the most crucial months of the year – that run-up to Christmas.
I’ve been blogging since 2012 and it has been a way of processing my thoughts, documenting milestones in my life and trying to make sense of the world.
Being the most bizarre year of my life so far, I couldn’t let 2020 go by without sharing my thoughts, that’s for sure, although it was difficult at first to find the words to express how I was feeling. I did eventually crack through though and even had a couple of pieces published in an anthology dedicated to stories written during the first lockdown.
With news of terrorist attacks in Europe and the impending election in America, this triggered a memory of a previous blog post I had written. It felt a little like Deja Vu (though I sincerely hope not), so I checked back and sure enough found my post written in November 2016, documenting my fortieth year.
Look at this post to remind yourself what went on that year, for it was a crazy one. There were terrorist attacks in Paris, Nice and Brussels. The UK voted to leave the EU, Jo Cox was murdered, there was ever-increasing desperation among migrants trying to reach the UK, and of course, Donald Trump was elected president of the USA.
I found 2016 incredibly upsetting and unsettling. Little did I know that four years later, with the addition of Covid, the year would be almost indescribable in its craziness.
Everybody has an opinion about what is the right thing to do when it comes to dealing with this crisis. It’s a cacophony of noise that has become deafening in its repetitiveness.
People are dying; losing businesses; their livelihoods are in danger; people’s mental health is hanging on a knife-edge – how are you supposed to balance all of that?
I have worked from home for a long time now. In March, I moved my creative writing club, Storymakers online, so for me, this year has been about reclusiveness, having removed myself from society even more so than I was already.
In the last few years, I had attempted to network – I had a writing group with whom I wrote my books. I had a mums-in-business networking group and another who are all writers of some description like myself. Zoom meetings have been a saviour for me because other than to take the dog for a walk, or to pop to the local shop (I try to avoid the supermarket) I barely leave the house.
I enjoyed August because we were able to go up to London a few times to visit galleries, or to go to a restaurant during the Eat-Out-to-Help-Out period.
I had a weekend in Center Parcs with my girls and we even managed a few days away in a cottage in Wiltshire, having cancelled our annual summer holiday to Corfu in July. For now, my tolerance tank of being stuck at home is pretty full again and I think I will be fine going into this lockdown in November. I have a writing project to lose myself in and I have my work. I appreciate that I am lucky in that sense.
It is my birthday on December 1st and we are due to come out of this lockdown on the 2nd. Back in March, I never would have believed for a second that we would still be in lockdown for my birthday. I will be forty-five, and since I wrote that blog post reflecting on my fortieth year, I have published three books and started a business. I didn’t want the craziness of the world to get me down or stop me achieving my dreams, so I used it as a motivator to get on and do things.