Twenty twenty, twenty twenty-one

A new page in a notebook, titled with the date.

2020 was something, wasn’t it?

We stayed in, had lessons at home, cancelled plans, shopped only sparingly, wore masks, washed hands, kept our distance. We lost a friend to the COVID and others within a couple of steps of remove. Our older son had a couple of weeks in hospital with an appendix that turned nasty. The younger boy has gone off the idea of groups of people for fear of who might be spreading the virus.

But as a family, we were definitely among the most fortunate. Neither my wife or I had to be furloughed, and we both remain securely employed. Working from home was already my normal routine. While the abandonment of routines and the boys being always there took some getting used to, it really was a joy to spend so much time together as a family. We made some new routines and we made the most of it.

I haven’t touched a bow since March. For much of the year I have technically been allowed to visit the archery club, but I’d rather be cautious. Eighteen months or so out won’t do me any harm.

Instead I’ve remembered how much I love playing guitar. Years of neglect mean I’m not the player I used to be, but I’m working on it. And I’m finding that I’ve a very different ear and different approach to the instrument at 40 than I did at 18, or at 25. That’s fun.

Like I said, as a family we’ve been pretty lucky.

Now for 2021. More time waiting for politicians to reassess plans and figure out what’s next. More staying in, more waiting. COVID hasn’t gone away. But maybe the last year can leave us ready to make best of the next, to grab it (and ourselves) and haul it into the light.

One past colleague read Ring Out, Wild Bells for Advent. I hadn’t come across it before. Another posted the same to Instagram on New Year’s Eve. Those are the words that take me into the new year.