It’s that time of year again, where we look back and reflect over the past 12 months as the year comes to an end. It’s been quite a strange year to say the least, and slightly different to what we’ve been used to. We’ve had to make changes to our lives, in even the simplest of things like shopping, working and goodness knows what else. For many it has been quite a difficult year. People have found things very difficult over the past few months, and have struggled with the whole pandemic and all the changes that it brought with it. For me I don’t know what to think, to be honest for me it hasn’t felt like the worst year ever, or had too many negative affects for me. Yes I have had negative thoughts and feelings during some moments, but it has been a lot worse for others, and for me it could have been far more worse than what it was.
This year has meant we’ve had to make many changes during the year, we’ve had to learn new ways of doing things. We’ve had to work from home, change the way we shop, the way we enjoy meals from outside, and even how we socialise with our peers and family. Some of these experiences and changes have been strange, or having had to get used to. I didn’t go out for most of the year, so most of these changes didn’t really bother me at first, until I actually had to start going out again.
The year started off quite badly for me, I was in and out of hospital with another one of my usual flare ups with my eyes. I was at this point thinking that this would be the rest of my life, and already cursing the year thinking that I’d be spending a good majority of the year journeying to the hospital. Most of 2019 after all had been spent doing just that with new diagnosis being given and plenty of trips there and back. With the first few days of January being one of those moments I already had the feeling the year would be bad, it had already started terribly, although I never imagined how bad the year would get. Although this year my eyes hadn’t been too bad at all. In fact I barely needed to go hospital that much so it wasn’t all bad.
I thought things were starting to improve in February, I’d just been introduced to digital art, I’d made plans to meet up with a friend in March, and not to mention I’d been invited to a wedding with my actual name on the invitation; which is very rare for me. People don’t usually give me personal invitations to their weddings, this one in particular was my second, or perhaps third personal invitation. So it was all rather exciting, even though I hate weddings and big social events. Just the fact that I’d been invited was enough. I was both dreading and looking forward to it all at the same time. But as you can imagine by the end of February things started to take a turn for the worst. All those plans were ruined and everything changed.
For one the wedding ended up being cancelled and I never got to keep those plans of meeting up with that friend. We had to scrap that plan. While I found the pandemic scary and rather worrying, the lock down didn’t affect me as much as it did other people. I’m one of those people who barely goes out. I’m not a social butterfly as such, so staying indoors wasn’t too much of a bad thing. It meant I had an excuse to not have to go to social events, and not having to socialise with people I don’t feel comfortable with. I’m one of these people I’m quite comfortable in my own company, although that doesn’t mean I don’t like socialising at all. We are after all social animals weather we like it or not, and we need some form of social contact. I love social networking, so I wasn’t missing out on the social aspects of things too much. That’s not to say I don’t like being around people at all, because depending on the people, I do like being around those I’m comfortable with. Just not too often or for too long I guess.
It was also nice not to have to get up and make an effort to look presentable, spending ages getting ready for the day etc. I also liked not having to make a journey here and there every day. Although I did miss work a bit, and all my work friends and everyone. I was glad to be back at work by September, I just didn’t miss the journey there and back. I did miss the routine and having structure to the day so it was good to be back. Although going out anywhere, being out and about still scares me a bit. Because I don’t want this virus, I don’t know what it would do to me if I got it with a heart condition. And quite frankly I don’t want to find out. So in the beginning I didn’t really mind staying at home for a few months while things were bad.
That’s not to say I didn’t have any anxieties while at home, or during this whole pandemic thing. The amount of changes that were made, almost on a daily basis had my head in a spin. My worries were partly about some of the changes to the way we do things, like shopping, and other things. I was worried about how I’d know where the floor markings are, making mistakes on which directions we had to walk where it was all one way, knowing where I needed to stand in the line. Then there was the two metre, rule, like what if I stood too close to people, and people got angry at me etc? Being visually impaired and not having dept perception etc and not being able to judge distance, makes things slightly hard for us. All these things were quite worrying. These things had me feeling anxious when we started coming out of lockdown.
Having to deal with change for me means lots of opportunities to make mistakes. I don’t like making mistakes and it can often make me feel very anxious, so I don’t do well with change. I don’t like the unknown either, and not knowing how things are to be done. Once I was out there though, and once I learned what the shopping rules were for our local shops etc, I was fine. Although I still only continue to go out for essential shopping only, and work. I’ve not dared to go into town or anything else. I’ve only been on a bus once, just to activate a new disabled bus pass, and that’s it. In a way this pandemic has kind of made me regress, where I had progressed with my independence. In the new year I will have to get back into using the bus, as and when we come out of tier 4 and when we can do proper shopping again. I have not even attempted to go clothes shopping, and that’s something that I am worried about when the time comes that it becomes a need. Because I have yet to see what changes there are in that regard. But in the meantime I will not think of that until the time comes.
The Only major negative thing that I’ve really had to deal with during this pandemic is not being able to see family during Eid, or any other time during the year. That was one of the hardest things I had to deal with, because on the 21st of November this year, we lost my Grandma who had been paralised from a stroke for 31 years. We didn’t get to see her when she was in hospital for the last time, we couldn’t spend proper time with her for her last Eid, and we couldn’t go see and sit with her or be with her during her last days on this earth. Out of our four Grandparents, she was the last of them all. We never got to say goodbye, and the last time I saw her, was when she was being shrouded by cloth and put into a wooden box. While I enjoyed being at home, and not having to socialise with people, this pandemic took away the chance to see my Grandma in her last few days for the last time before she took her last breath. Thankfully she was the only loss during this year, and hopefully we won’t lose anyone else for a long time yet. I am also thankful that covid hasn’t taken anyone in our family, or caused any serious problems for us. And I hope it stays that way.
So in conclusion and looking back on the year, it hasn’t been too bad for me. But I am sick of all these new rules, of having to do things in these new ways. I’m sick of being stuck at home now, sick of not being able to travel and do things normally, of being afraid and the fear this virus brings. I cannot say 2021 will be any better, I am dreading this year for different reasons. i will be dealing with more changes that will impact my life in bigger ways than this pandemic has done so far. But I wish for this year to bring us some form of normality again, to end this pandemic, to be able to go back to how things were before the pandemic. I want this year to bring us something positive and good. I don’t believe anything will change. There is none of this new year, clean slate business. The only thing the new year is bringing for now is a new number to the days on our calendars. But we can only hope that as the days go by, that we will have a successful vaccine and answers to end this pandemic, and for things to start looking up for the future. We can only hope.
May this new year bring you all prosperity and blessings, and may it be a better year for everyone!!!