Do you know that 2022 is pronounced 2020 too? I bet you read that twice. Thinking of the New Year in that way feels somewhat ominous. But, quite frankly, as 2021 ends and the pandemic seems to be surging, I find myself having flashbacks to when it all started in 2020.
So, as per usual, we reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next. I found 2021 to be hopeful at times and other times not so much. Clearly most of our thoughts tend to be focused on the pandemic. By all appearances it controls our lives, regardless of which side of the debate we are on. There were numerous events that happened over the last year which are somewhat muted because of the focus on the pandemic.
Speaking of sides to the debate, perhaps I may have shown a slight bias but, trust me, I have managed to keep my opinions to myself. Through feedback I have been asked whether I have an opinion. Oh, I do. And each day I become a little more opinionated and each day I want to put it out there, but I don’t. Common sense has clearly left the building. See what I did there?
Sorry, I digress. Is it possible to reflect on the last year without referencing the pandemic? I tried but failed. By all appearances my life was controlled by all things pandemic. And as such I think can be classified as the good, the bad and the ugly. So here goes. I will start with the ugly first. That way I can end on a happy note.
It would be easy to say that the pandemic was the ugly but allow me to be more specific. The dynamics of the virus has created all kinds of relational divide, it has caused concern for the health and well being of many, it has caused consternation as people are feeling forced to do one thing or the other, it has brought out conspiracy theories and a host of other issues. Perhaps it has shown us who we really are. And some of that is really ugly.
Furthermore, it has messed with our mental health. There were times, during the year, that I felt hopeless, questioning what the purpose in life was. Due to various unknowns it added to my anxiety levels. At times my mood felt overcast, other times the sun did come out, but I couldn’t feel the warmth. Some of those feelings were quite ugly.
As much as working from home has its benefits, and I will get to that, working from home also comes with its own challenges. So I will refer to those as being bad. I truly miss the connection I had with the people I work with. I miss being able to meet with my clients. Yes, modern technology has at least given us the ability to meet virtually so there is that. But we have lost a certain ability for human connection.
So what could possibly be good after all that? Considering that I have a compromised lung issue I am happy that I have avoided the virus. Because I work from home, I spent less time driving to and fro and spent more time on the golf course. Being an introvert meant that being forced to stay home I didn’t have to attend certain get togethers or meetings that often make me feel uncomfortable. So there is some good there.
There you have it. As I have clearly shown it is impossible to look back without referencing the pandemic. That just simply is our reality. But what I also know is that there are positives. Some, like me, have a tendency to focus on the negative. But its interesting. Just going through this exercise has put just a small smile on my face. I found that, in spite of the pandemic, or should that say because of the pandemic, there were good things that did happen. And I know that can be my reality for 2022 as well. Make it a good one.