Gratitude and hope – my cocktail of choice for 2021


New Year’s Eve 2020

Well, what a year it has been, and what mixed feelings it provokes in me as I sit here reflecting on the year that was 2020.

I am struck by people around me seemingly sticking two fingers up at 2020, and saying good riddance to it. And for good reason of course, as for many it has been a truly terrible year, losing loved ones, suffering serious illness and/or facing financial ruin.

Somehow though, I dont seem to feel that way, despite the huge impact it has had on us as a family. Thankfully we have not lost anybody close to us and have remained healthy throughout, although we have had our fair share of trials and tribulations.

Peter lost his job in January and because of the instability and financial consequences of Covid, he has not yet got another one. We have ridden a massive rollercoaster of emotions, as of course most people have, as over the course of the year, he has undergone several job interview processes, only to have each of the offers snatched away, as either the company folded or put the job offer on hold as the uncertainty of the pandemic continued apace.

Billy had his A-levels cancelled and the last term of his school life expunged and so denied that rite of passage at the end of a long school career. Daisy has had to navigate much of her A-level years learning from a laptop in her bedroom, and despite having completed my course and passed my final exams to become a Kinesiologist, my new business has been thwarted as we all lead our lives under social restrictions.

And yet when I reflect back on the year, I am filled with the warm smiling energy of gratitude. Gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for.

We may have spent much of our savings on living expenses for the year, but we have our health.

We have family, and we have joy and laughter.

We have the most beautiful countryside with the river Itchen literally on our doorstep, and we are witness to the changing seasons, which this year seem to have been more spectacular than ever (or is it just me?)

And we have hope and optimism for the new year and for the future.

Hope and optimism is one of the things that I have come to value and treasure this year. I, for one, can’t live without it. I admit its not always easy to hold onto, and there have been times during the year when I have lost it for a few weeks, but it has to be a conscious choice, and I choose to live with hope and optimism.

So I am welcoming in 2021 with hope and optimism and waving goodbye to 2020 with gratitude.

Much love to everybody