So here we are, at the end of a year that’s been like a Netflix movie. And thank goodness it’s over!!
We often talk about how the years go so fast, but boy, didn’t this year just drag.
It’s New Year’s Eve here in Brisbane, and I remember 12 months ago to this day, having a deep and meaningful with Mr H about trying to find that internal spark in myself after a challenging 2019. It was then he encouraged me to pursue something I’ve always been interested in doing – writing. Writing was my childhood dream but I’m a practical person so it’s a goal that’s always been filed away in that cabinet in your mind that contains dreams and hopes. But here I am and I don’t mind saying that I’m proud of myself.
2020 was a year that literally has no words to describe it. Here in Australia 2020 started with the most horrendous bushfires. January 2020 we were already thinking, this is the worst year EVER.
Then of course, came an incredible global event that no one saw coming, and it impacted EVERYONE in the world. Literally.
Here in Australia, especially in Queensland, the State that I live in, we have been extremely lucky to escape the worst of the Pandemic. I know that there are still many places over the world where it’s still affecting people significantly. I know I can say this on behalf of all the wonderful humans on this planet – our hearts continue to stay with you.
I remember that instinctive sinking feeling when we heard about this new virus originating in Wuhan. But I shrugged that feeling off and naively thought that we would be exempt from any outbreak. How wrong I was. The next few weeks of the saga that became known as COVID19 were a blur for me. A mixture of anxiety, fear, shock, uncertainty. I do recall one clear thought that came to my mind:
Wait what???!!! School is closing?
I know that there were way bigger problems globally, but shamefully I confess that this was one of my main concerns leading into the peak of the Pandemic. To give a little context, and to lessen the amount of virtual rotten tomatoes thrown at me, when the Pandemic arrived, I was still reeling from the confirmation of my son’s ADHD diagnosis, and from the realisation that he had struggled considerably with schoolwork in 2019. I was still trying to problem solve how in the world I was going to help him improve in the areas where he was lagging behind, when it was announced that schools would be closing, and students would be learning online.
Breathe in, breathe out.
I had friends who had always dreamed of home-schooling, so they seemed thrilled with this announcement. For me, online learning sounded like a complete nightmare. All I could think of was how much further behind this could put JJ and other children with learning difficulties. My son couldn’t even do 10 minutes homework every day.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Needless to say ‘learning from home’ was not successful. It went exactly how I thought it would go.
I was convinced that COVID19 had just taken away JJ’s chance of becoming the next Bill Gates. How very white middle class of me. It’s right up there with becoming anxious about where we were going to get our next toilet roll from.
We were so lucky here in Queensland, our COVID19 outbreak was contained very quickly, so fortunately, to everyone’s relief. So, our school’s reopened in our state. And toilet paper returned aplenty on the shelves again. For the first time in my life, I was glad to be a Queenslander.
Just kidding!!!!! Put your tomatoes away again!
We watched in horror as around huge numbers of infections and deaths hit all parts of the world. There will never be another year like this.
And then of course, amongst it all, we had the shameful events that transcribed around the world where people had to be reminded that there is absolutely no room for racism. Without a doubt Black Lives Matter.
Then there was The Election. That was another Netflix movie, which is still playing out. I won’t comment anymore on that, because simply, I honestly don’t know what to say.
This year was insane, there’s no doubt about that.
But somehow it gave some of us some gifts as well. In my end of the world, we were forced to slow down. We stayed at home and reconnected with our family. We were forced to reflect on what was important to us, and suddenly had to think of creative ways to connect with our older or at-risk family members.
Apparently, animals all over the world came out to celebrate in the absence of humans (It’s true – I saw it on Facebook). It did slightly remind me of another frightening TV Series about animals turning against people. Another Netflix show, I think. Like we didn’t have enough nightmares this year.
As this year started to come to an end, you could feel everyone, exhausted, just from the constant worry, anxiety, added stress from the COVID19 fallout like financial hardship, unemployment, separation from family. Battles in the shops over things like tissues, frozen fruit, pasta and flour (as you know, I left the flour alone, no baking time for me!).
And here we are, New Year’s Eve, in Brisbane, the city that created Bluey (and that’s about it – it’s a joke, keep your tomatoes!), Australia, and all around the world I want to give a HUGE acknowledgement to all those people who kept humanity strong:
Early Childhood Educators
Public Servants – from the top to the frontline
Politicians (who would have thought……)
Let’s all raise a hand, open the door, and shove 2020 with a “don’t come back you bastard!)!!!
Fingers crossed for 2021.