Hindsight

It’s always 2020 isn’t it. Don’t tell me where I’ve stolen this joke from please – let my final moments of 2020 be me feeling like I’m clever even though doubtless I’m using the same starting line as a horrible number of other people.

It has been a right old year. Personally I got engaged, moved in with my fiancé, turned 30 and helped him do the same. We created two offices in our house, and I learned how to take minutes while on a video call. A number of video calls, in fact. A high number.

I’ve been sad for a lot of this year, and I have lost a lot of my faith in humanity. I am so lucky to associate with the best of people, but I’ve also found that a lot of the people I know are selfish, and their kindness is only performative, and deep down, they don’t actually care about other humans. For the avoidance of confusion, if you don’t wear a mask, break the lockdown rules because you somehow think they don’t apply to you, spread misinformation, disbelieve experts and health workers, and support the current UK government – I’m talking about you.

If you’re offended that I think you’re a selfish moron, please know that I just don’t care. But if you think I’m wrong, feel free to prove it to me by doing better in 2021. Maybe I’ll publish a retraction next year.

There is kindness and generosity in the world though, and for all the sadness, I have been amazed daily by the stories of the good which people keep doing, and finding. I intend to go into the new year supporting my 30 personal favourite charities, and I’d encourage anyone else earning a salary to do the same. You don’t have to give constantly, but if you’re earning money then you can probably spare a couple of quid once or twice a year. Don’t feel like you have to spend it on Facebook fundraisers either – a big lesson for me this year is that people are suckered in by the ability to showcase what a good person they are and it’s nonsense. Give with your heart, give time if you possibly can, and don’t give just to make yourself look good to people on social media, because people on social media are basically awful (she writes, knowing she will then publish this on social media).

I have always said I don’t do new year’s resolutions, because it’s hard to commit to new behaviours when it’s dark and cold. In the past, I’ve done April resolutions, but I didn’t manage that this year because, well, April 2020 was still a pretty cold and dark place if you ask me. Looking back at 2019, I didn’t do badly. I still don’t really read enough, but I certainly achieved the others. In January 2020, I went against my usual grain and while not resolving to do anything, I listed my plans for the year. Of the six things I suggested, I might have done one of them – if I have passed the exam, which I won’t know until February. What a perfect encapsulation of this complete write-off of a year.

But, as I said at the start, I have been lucky. Lots of wonderful things have happened to me (mostly featuring my lovely fiancé), and more than that, I have survived and so have all the people I hold dear. For that, I am beyond lucky. I am so sad for all of the lives we have lost this year, and if there is one thing to hope for going into 2021, it is that we will change that. 2020 has been a calamity for the whole of the human race (not to mention our poor planet, which suffers under our selfish use every day). I hope we can make 2021 better.

And in the spirit of new beginnings, some resolutions:

  1. I will eat more sustainably (including trying out the vegan life during January)
  2. I will keep supporting small independents and local shops
  3. I will drink less
  4. I will read more
  5. I will spend less time on misery, and give my time and energy to good people doing good things
  6. I will stay home, for as long as I am told to, to protect those around me

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