Bye-bye 2020. Don't let the door hit you on the way out... This may just be the happiest new year there ever was. We get to bid adieu to Turnip face and hopefully inoculate the crap out of Covid. I am beyond ready to raise a glass of anything and cheer about the end of our darkest chapter.
This past year had taught us a lot about who we are. Possibly more than we wanted to know. It's made us find secret warts and hairs sprouting from places we didn't know we had. The thing is, we can't unknow what we know now. Much as I am not a free-spirited type, neither am I the natural-born happy-go-lucky type, either. Charlie Brown in drag, more like. The other night my son called me a goddess, and I almost spat out my bite of bean burger. "Yeah, the Goddess of Gloom." You have to admit, it has a ring. There's my glam rock stage name right there, people.
But in all seriousness now. This year has tried us and then tried us again. Smarter people than me have suggested mother nature has been avenging us for not doing jack about climate change. And yeah, I kinda believe them. We were about due for a bubonic plague anyhow. None of our white middle classes know a thing about hardship, beyond waiting in line at Costco or seeing our favourite Netflix show axed after one season. When it comes to resilience, compared to previous generations and folks in other parts of the world, we know diddly.
For a good many of us, the inconveniences of Covid are just that - trifling inconveniences. For those with poor mental health (hi!) lockdown is a test in endurance and resilience. Some people are naturally more athletic and fit mentally to manage that kind of workout. For others, lockdown and winter are a double whammy, Dumb and Dumber. I've been reading lots of advice on how to weather the months ahead. Every day it gets harder to wrangle my weary brain into shape. There is so, so much talk about gratitude and mindfulness, and gurus are a dime a dozen, with their tricks to inspire positivity and happiness. Heck, I even bought my son (who's a chip off the old goddess herself) a book called "What to do When you Grumble Too Much." Can these articles and books offer more than a quick fix? I feel like they are the equivalent of yo-yo diets. Sure, you may lose the weight for a bit, but ultimately you'll gain it back and then some. The eternal pessimist in me is dubious (obviously). But I'm game for trying. By all means, fill my half-empty glass, and I'll drink to the promise of a brighter day. Then I'll ask for a top-up. It is new years, after all. I will try, just like Charlie B, to put on a shiny happy face, even when it feels like work. I can be fun, even funny, and my heart is forever in the right place, but no matter what self-help book you throw at me I will never be that perenially sunny person. You know, the one everyone jostles to be around so they can bask in her perky glow. I am happy, in my own way. It just requires a whole lot of effort to be chipper right now. For prosperity's sake, here's my stab at a gratitude list:
- observing nature, even when she's throwing a hissy fit.
- making my belated way through Schitt's Creek. Eww, David.
- the plush leopard-print bathrobe gifted by my dear hubby, as well as my new ostrich pillow (Click on the link - I'll wait here).
- Jann Arden's latest book about wisdom and ageing. I'm not a fan of her music, but man alive, I could listen to her talk (on paper) all day long.
- Facetime with friends. Faces! Laughter!
- hugs with my humans and canine.
- junk food and bubble baths
In the spirit of the new year—in a world still rife with idiocy and hypocrisy—I will hold onto hope like the well-worn stone that it is. I will cling to the littlest of things. While we wait for the ball to drop, share some of your little things. And while we're at it, do you think optimism is a skill you can learn or acquire, like making a sourdough starter, or is it hardwired in some people but not others?