I think most of us have been saying this for oooohhhh, two years now? It feels silly to be writing about something which most of the world has been forced to experience, but it does feel good to say, ‘Yep, I’m over it – over it a long time ago.’
However I’m also very grateful because unlike many unlucky people these past few years, I have reasonable health, a job, a home, and my family and friends are (mostly) okay.
But that’s not to say we haven’t had deep sadness and a lot of stress this year. As in my previous post earlier this year, Dad fell on Christmas Day last year, hurt his neck, went into hospital and sadly didn’t come out. He died on March 3rd, coincidentally his mother’s birthday, of complications following the fall. He (and we) had a bad experience with the rehabilitation place he was sent to, as he was supposedly well enough to leave the medical hospital.
Dad may have turned 95 while in hospital – an age most people are lucky to reach – but it was heart-wrenching to watch a loved one who spent most of his life in good health and mind deteriorate (to the point of becoming malnutritioned) because the staff who were meant to be looking after him were not doing their job properly and our visits were restricted due to Covid. He had been deteriorating slowly over the past year, we know that, but he was put in the wrong place and should have had an easier ending.
At least we were able to visit him. But our faith in our health system (or that rehab place in particular) was severely shaken. Complaints were made and the Coroners Court is investigating.
Vale Dad – you lived a long and amazing life and will be very much missed by your large family and the hundreds of friends and colleagues you made over the years.
We also recently lost my Aunt and Great-Aunt. While it’s inevitable that your elders will pass away, it leaves a hole in your family and these ladies will be greatly missed too. Vale Patti and Mim.
I am at least feeling better about my writing, which provided solace and escape this year compared to the last, when I’d put myself under too much pressure to finish things. This year I wrote for myself and enjoyed it. I entered a few competitions and residencies without success but that was okay, at least I’d done it. Plus I came up with a project that a number of writer friends agreed to take part in – it’s still being pitched and there’s no telling whether it will get picked up, but again, I’m glad I put myself out there as it’s a passion project for me, very green-themed!
Also putting myself out there, I took the leap and changed jobs after ten years with the one company… I was sorry to leave and it took much consideration but sometimes change needs to happen otherwise we stagnate. I highly recommend not stressing about so much change in a short period – just do what feels right at the time and ride it out!
On the same lines, I surprised myself by enrolling last week in a course – Certificate IV in Home Sustainability Assessment! It’s all online and involves learning how to assess an existing home or building plans for environmental efficiency. It’s something I can do while continuing my writing and my present job (administration & policy writing for a disability support company). Hopefully with less time to procrastinate, I’ll get more done! I’m excited to turn my interest in sustainability into something that will help people live more environmentally friendly lives and save money while they’re doing it.
Meanwhile the cats have loved having me work from home and are not-so-secretly enjoying their time as our only animals. We are slowly considering more chickens and adopting another dog when a suitable (cat & chook friendly) one becomes available. We finally managed to get away on a weekend break recently, after many Covid-delays, only to Sale in Gippsland, 2 hours’ drive away, but wow, how that break makes a difference after Melbourne’s record-breaking lockdown (over 260 days in total). I can’t even recall the date it ended – dates are a blur now. It’s fascinating how time has both stretched and shrunk for so many of us, worldwide.
So it’s into the New Year we go. Like many of us, I’m cautious about what that will bring but can only hope that change and sensible thinking is part of it (please, if you think you can’t do anything at your level to help the environment, look more closely, there’s hundreds of tiny things you can do – if we all think this way and lobby our governments and giant companies, we CAN make a difference!).
Apart from that, I wish health and happiness and stability for every one of us 😊