• Mike

363 days down - An early review of 2021

The year that was but wasn't really.

How would you describe the last year in a few lines. There would be many interpretations and most of them better than mine... but here goes.

Firstly, it was a year of loss.

I lost my Dad unexpectedly in February (not related to Covid) and this was a shock to all our family - one that has taken and still takes some adjustment to. It enables us to have some awareness of what others may be feeling after the loss of their loved ones throughout the year whether Covid was the cause or not. We had the socially restricted funeral and even had a web-based video feed for his brother in France and family and friends who were not able to attend. Many families go through loss every year of course, but this year there were more deaths that had attendant restrictions and hurtful consequences than usual.

It was a year of lost time.

Interrupted schooling meant pupils lost learning and social contact and social skills. Parents discovered how hard it is to make children sit and study - especially when they were hard at work in another room or premises. Colleagues couldn't work in the same office and suppliers and customers couldn't meet to build and maintain relationships. Virtual working and living made an unwelcome return.

It was a year of lost opportunities

Weddings that couldn't happen. Relationships that people couldn't maintain face to face. Holidays that were cancelled. People stuck at home and people stuck away from home. Shows, sporting events and flights cancelled. Disruption, despair and despondency.

It was a year of loss - and don't even mention the Ashes!

Secondly, despite all the loss it was also a year of Joy.

It seemed against all odds but after one cancellation I married the wonderful lady, Lynn Phillips, in Leicester Cathedral on June 26th with a hundred guests in attendance. We had a ball - if you call it that when no dancing is allowed!

On October 16th I had the very proud privilege of walking my beautiful daughter down the aisle as she married a wonderful young man and this time there were 120 guests and lots of dancing!

My son has taken another adult step in his life and has had an offer accepted on his first home and is set to move in with his lovely girlfriend in the new year.

So nothing is ever all bad and nothing is ever all good. The year had some balance and although the world seems skewed on it's axis and grinding like it has sand in its gears it has still gone round the sun 363 times. I expect it to make the next two and then we will have a New Year to work with - to be frustrated by, to make the best of and to accept that we don't control very much but our own perspective and actions.

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