So long, 2020

The next person who says they can’t wait for 2020 to be over will get slapped. (Worry not, I’ll sanitise my hands beforehand.) Now, in all seriousness, I am tired of hearing “I just wish this year was finished already”.

First of all, why would anyone wish away the time that was given to them? To me that is an insult to those who do not have such gift. Time of being alive is the most precious thing given to every single one of us over and over again, yet we all take it for granted and only when we are at the end of the road, we realise that there wasn’t enough of it to do all we wanted. We have to stop wishing time away and start appreciating every second of it, whether it is a second of joy or sadness or pain, because quite often, pain is better than no feelings and no sensations whatsoever.

This September I did a 10K race at Dorney Lake. Initially, I was really excited about it, because it was my first race since lockdown and also my first 10K race this year. It didn’t go well. (I was on a second course of antibiotics and only just getting to back normal after a minor running injury.) The race was extremely painful and felt incredibly difficult, and the result was so disappointing I cried at the finish line. Still, it was a positive experience of a sort, because as I was running (and suffering), I thought of all the people who couldn’t run; all the people who consider conquering 10K a lifetime achievement, no matter the pace; all the people who would love to experience my pain because it is nothing compared to the pain they are feeling… So if this race was 2020, I can put my hand on my heart and say that, although it was crappy, I gave it my all, achieved the best I could given the circumstances, and grew a little stronger and wiser.

I appreciate that everyone’s 2020 represented different challenges and pitfalls. I have to admit that introverts like myself found social distancing and restrictions much more manageable than extraverts. (No social functions to attend, yay!) Although I cope quite well with not seeing my friends and family, I am still heartbroken after leaving a job and company I loved. So yes, everyone had different challenges to overcome, but the bottom line is, sitting around and dying for 2020 to end is no productive use of one’s life.

Also, why do people think that 2021 will be any better than 2020? We have absolutely no guarantee of that. It can be just as, or even more horrendous than 2020. (And there is a pretty good chance that it will.) But what if 2021 is our opportunity to stop waiting for good things to happen and for the world to return to its old self. We cannot just sit around and wait for outside conditions to be favourable in order to start living.

Frodo (sitting in a dark cold tunnel of Moria, probably hungry, with no spare clothest and all sorts of nasty creatures trying to track him down to kill him) said: “I wish none of this had happened.” Gandalf’s reply was: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

So while we might not have the power to change the current circumstances, what we have is the ability (a gift and an obligation) to decide how we spend our time.

Let’s stop wishing the world was different. Instead, let’s search for that silver lining and make the crapmost of the current circumstances regardless of what they are. Use that time. Achieve something. Make yourself proud. Inspire others. Be thankful no matter what. And by doing all that, you will play your own little (but important) part in changing this world and making 2021 better for yourself, for those close to you, for everyone.

So long 2020 and happy 2021!

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