OPINION: 2021 reminded us that our lives are bigger than the pandemic

Ruth Davies and her family getting in the Christmas spirit

Ruth Davies and her family getting in the Christmas spirit - Credit: Ruth Davies

Perhaps having a new-born mid pandemic, with lockdown upon our shoulders made my last 12 months feel like they never really happened.

Or maybe it flew because, despite all that, through the rules, tests, home-schooling and worry, we seem to have had so much fun regardless

Then again, could it simply just be that the older we get, the faster the days go by, be they awesome times, or the rather ordinary kind, challenged or otherwise?

Whatever the reason, it feels to me like a nano second since we contemplated a new year with hope for something a little better than 2020.

This time last year, unable to celebrate outside our immediate bubbles, we were all hopeful for 2021. Hopeful for the better times to come with less missing of loved ones. Hopeful for an end in sight to restrictions, and, in all honesty, the virus itself. Hopeful that normality would soon be restored.

Now we are here, back at the end of another year, with not a tremendous amount of difference on paper to the last, however, I do have hope for the future and when I look a little more at close quarters I also see that we’ve moved on in leaps and bounds.

We’ve been doing this a while now and resourceful creatures that we humans are, we’ve adapted and changed to fit in with a new climate.

Most Read

Unlike the pandemic beginning we now have strategies and coping mechanisms as people. Businesses own the same and with their practiced drills they swiftly move from indoor to outdoor, home working to office, closures, furloughs and changing tack to make things work.

We have a vaccination programme which is working. Look at the graphs side by side and see the numbers of cases right now compared to this same time last year, they’ve shot up; however, deaths are down. That tells you something has gone right here.

There have been many failings too. These we should not forget and we must make sure we remain angry about them otherwise we’ve no hope of change.

With the discovery of government not practicing what they preached, news of nepotism (not expertise) delegating jobs to manage control of the virus, and many other conflicting instructions from the powers that be, it’s easy to see how these contradictory messages have left us feeling disparaged and discombobulated.

However, we can use those experiences to ensure we don’t allow it to happen again, to invite better times coming. We can listen to the science even if the powers that be won’t, and we know it has made a difference in creating the good.

And looking back on the past, oh-so-swiftly moving 12 months, I feel we have so much to be thankful for.

I do always try to see the good, it’s better for the soul than focusing on the pap.

While 2020 was such a dire year for many I looked back and knew that I had been a lucky one and I felt the warmth from that.

We, in my family, were not ill with Covid and the time afforded to my family a togetherness which gifted us something we’d have never experienced otherwise. We walked, talked, sang, cycled, watched television and the slower pace of life changed something for us for the good going forwards.

I learned that though I dearly love plans and being busy, sometimes the chance to stand still and just watch, breathe and soak up the slow, is invaluable. We made our fourth baby in those days which in turn gave us so much light for 2021.

And I, like everyone I’m sure, went into this year hoping for lighter elements all round. The main hope was for Covid to turn tail and us have life return to how we once knew it. Of course, things aren’t as easy as that, they don’t just go away but it’s all too easy to focus on the negatives. I don’t want to drown in the deep end,

I’m always planning on wading my way into the shallow, so though this year we did struggle in the choppy waters from time to time, our close family were incredibly unwell and moments were more than worrying, we are still trying to see that we are luckier than most and focus on the major good.

Having our baby girl, the little baby we made in the depths of 2020 when the world stood still, was the stand-out part of the year, and the reason I couldn’t call 2021 anything other than spectacular. She became the very beating heart of our family and I see now, before her, we were never quite complete.

So, for me, this fast, run away 12 months which has been unsettled for the world still, has been one of the very best yet even through the tough days. Hard times for sure, for all of us, but I feel lucky and am looking forward to 2022 with hope again. Just the hope that we end next year in the same way we have this, with us all angst together.

There’s probably more to come. More restrictions, another lockdown, who knows? But our lives are bigger than the pandemic so when looking back, try to wade into the shallow and find those sunnier days where we found we could float, we need to be optimistic.

Here’s to a brighter, lighter 2022. It will go just as fast as this last, for whatever reason time evaporates, so keeping the good times higher than the tricky is important. Wishing health and happiness for 2022 to all of you.

Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter