I’m not going to sugarcoat it, the past year has been a total and utter shit show. On a personal level, 2021 started off with a mental breakdown, resulting in almost two months off work. Pete’s dad passed away in March after a long battle with blood cancer that went full blown leukaemia. In April, my cat needed emergency vet treatment, and Pete was struggling with burnout. In June I was struggling with high stress levels, ending up in hospital with gastritis. In July, we both contracted COVID, my case was quite mild so I was able to still look after Pete who was laid up for almost a month. We’re both coping now with the long term fatigue that COVID leaves behind. Ok one minute, the next – utterly exhausted. Simple things such as changing the bed linen can wipe me out.
It seemed like a crazy notion when, in July, I applied for a new role at work. It was a step up, more money, more responsibility, but working internally instead of with external clients. I’d been recommended for the role, and took the plunge. Pete was worried I’d be taking on more stress, but I had to at least try, otherwise I’d never know. Thankfully, the new role is working out amazing, less stress, more time to manage workload, a great boss, and a fantastic team.
It was the same with my OU degree course. I felt like I’d missed out on the opportunity when I was younger, and really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I scored 75% on my very first assignment, which I’m really happy with. The course isn’t easy, and it really forces me to stretch my thinking, but I’m so thankful for all that I’ve learned so far.
So, the last couple of months had more positive things happening, but we were both so jaded that by the time it came to preparing for Christmas, it was a real struggle. Christmas spirit was definitely lacking, decorations didn’t go up until about a week before, present buying was uninspired (thank goodness for Not On The High Street!), even Christmas cards were sent out as an afterthought. We had an ok day on the 25th, made a nice dinner, had a few drinks, and opened our presents.
New Year has also been a total non-event. I haven’t celebrated NYE in years, it’s too much hassle. Bouncers on pub doors, entry fees to get in, nowhere to sit, tripled prices. Ugh. This year, we watched Cobra Kai on Netflix, looked at our phones when they hit midnight, said “thank fuck for that”, and went to bed.
I’ve said in previous years that I’m not really one to make resolutions as most people never keep them. Instead, I am going to make the effort to get myself back on track physically, mentally and spiritually. Next year, I hit the big 50, and by that time I want to be in much better place.
I realise this is all a bit doom and gloom, and it’s important to find the positives in a negative situation, but when you’re hit with ever higher mountains to climb, it all gets a bit tiring. However, I am nothing if not resilient, I have been burned to ash, and still I rise.