The clock has struck midnight. I lie here listening to  storm Bella rage outside my window & I’m grateful for the roof over my head. I can hear my parents sleeping in the next room & I’m deeply grateful to have been able to see them for Christmas. Another lockdown looms and as 2021 beckons with vaccinations, this year has left an indelible mark on our souls. 

I’ve sat down to write this many times over the last month. Each time I’ve tried to find the write words to summarise a year, that the history books will mention long after all of us have shuffled off this mortal coil. 

Who would’ve thought the sight of someone not wearing a mask in a public space now, would’ve provoked the exact same response a year previously for wearing a mask in a public space!!!! 

This year has been an endurance test for our minds, bodies & souls. The simplicity of a hug, holding drinks up as you shuffle through a crowded bar, a leisurely browse through the shops , concerts became distant memories. 

Language such as “flattening the curve, social distancing , level 5, herd immunity, etc became commonplace. 

A change of government in the middle of a worldwide pandemic didn’t help neither did a precarious Brexit. 

Frontline workers were seen by us all. From our lorry drivers to postal workers , pharmacists , dentists to doctors , nurses and every amazing brave human who placed themselves in the face of covid to serve the greater good. I don’t have the words to convey the depth of my gratitude, but trust me if this government don’t look after you I will use my vote to help you in any way I can. 

We began to wake up spiritually. Our eyes have been opened to our mass consumerism and how much pointless junk we buy and don’t need. The true value has been connection. Letting the people we love, know we love them.  keeping each other safe has become the priority. 

After the initial hubris of the first lockdown had died down and the novelty of banana bread and free online fitness had wore off, the underlying anxiety of infection numbers & death counts brought home the seriousness of what we were collectively facing worldwide. The lockdowns kept coming , businesses kept closing , numbers rising & falling alongside. 

Fractious groups watching too much conspiracy videos on social media started anti-mask marches , daft baseless theories on vaccines with embedded microchips started to spread and for a second I genuinely thought the world was slowly going mad….

Hope began to flourish.

A vaccine was found.

America found its voice and for now the politicians have found an agreement on Brexit. 

2021 was beginning to look promising until there was talk the virus had mutated & was spreading faster. 

We are all becoming seasoned armchair critics. We are also becoming more thirsty for solid facts not hyperbole or sensationalism. 

Just plain honest truth. 

That sense of truth is where we now stand as a civilisation as everything we hold dear has been called into question.

We have had to collectively face our mortalities together.

Lots of us lost loved ones in 2020.  Lots of us realised who we love in 2020. 

I have no doubt that some of those revelations will lead to a massive baby boom in 2021! 

Uncertainty, confusion , fear , anxiety , procrastination, determination , disappointment, devastation, hope, relief, anger, grief, happiness are only some of the covid coaster of emotions we have all collectively experienced. 

It has been a year unlike any other. 

Some of you will end this year with a heaviness in your heart and others gratitude for the lessons this year brought. 

2020 was about survival and anything that makes your heart leap or pulse quicken in 2021 should be seized as quickly as possible. Yes it’s true we will all die someday but 2020 was the year that we were reminded of this. Speaking our truth and living our truth is something worth fighting for. 2020 was the year we all collectively rudely awoken and dragged from our collective comfort zones. 

It was the year the required us to be honest with ourselves and placed the responsibility for our lives back in our hands once more. It was the year we had to look at our home environments, our jobs, our relationships and make some major realisations & subsequent changes. 

The truth will always set you free. In 2021 the work shall begin on our inner & outer selves. Know thyself. 

Use compassion often and never forget kindness costs nothing. 

©️Fiona Ní Mhuirri 

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