At the start of 2020 I decided not to set any new year resolutions but to have goals which would challenge me but feel attainable. Little did I know!!
I walk every day, often twice or three times a day, with my little dog. It is usually the same route – down our street, into the park or along the beach, and sometimes up into the woods behind us. So I thought at the start of 2020 I would challenge myself to, at least once a week, look for a new walk myself and then on the weekends dog and I could go for a new walk with my husband. We even had a jar that we had filled with walk suggestions, and planned to add to during the year. Well then Covid-19 struck and lockdown and the five mile rule, where we couldn’t go further than 5 miles from home to exercise, and were encouraged to not drive at all. For over three months we walked lots but always over the six similar routes. Then come October I fell of the horse and bruised my ribs and wasn’t able to drive so, once I was able to get back walking, it was back to those same regular walks. So we did lose about half the year! Also I found that even when lockdowns lifted we were lethargic and didn’t pull out any of those suggested walks in the jar because we wanted to go back to tried and trusted ones that were not too far away.
But in fact we did add to our list of local walks, and explored new places on those three times we were able to get away, So even with all the disruptions we did manage to do 48 new walks, all recorded on Instagram. I am pleased with this because even though the goal was not achieved this year, in a “normal” year it would be doable.
But through it I have learned something – that when things are tough we do need the familiar because sometimes doing something new is too much to have to think and plan. And you know what? That is alright. So I will be kind to myself that I didn’t achieve this goal and will look forward to this year. Even though I have not set a walking goal I will still count the new walks I do and see what happens.
I suppose my biggest achievement I have learned from this walking goal challenge is a great understanding of myself – which is not a bad thing.
2020 they said was the going to be the year of perfect vision – Twenty twenty vision! Then they panicked because suddenly we were all locked inside, unless we were key workers. Suddenly they were talking about how this lockdown/pandemic had been predicted before. Lots of prophecies bouncing out. But not once, at least on the ones I listened to, did I hear anything about this 20/20 vision.
Let me list the things I think this year of 2020 is revealing: (&these are in no particular order so apologies if some look like they are of more importance. That is not my intention)
who the key workers really are. Not just health and care workers but delivery drivers, both food and parcels, those who empty the bins, not just our household ones but the ones in the parks and streets, the takeaway food and coffee workers, those who work in food producing factories. I’m sure I’ve missed some.
the fragility of the world economy
poverty and how people teeter on the edge and losing 20% of their wages pushes them over the edge
the huge one that is causing riots and protests across the world – including social media infiltrations via K-Pop fans – is racism. Not just slurs and comments but institutionalised racism.
But this is also showing how connected the world is and how people don’t agree with all that is going on and will speak out, will do something. And perhaps it is because so many are at home and have time to do something about it. I am seeing websites starting gathering info, people doing things they would not have had the time or energy to do.
Not forgetting climate change
Child abuse – interesting how during this time Police say they may have found the real abductor of Madeline McCann which happened so many years ago. Things coming into the light, things being truly seen
mental health issues
the fragility and incompetence of our government and other governments around the world
the strange system in the USA where one man speaks for all no matter how sound he is
But you know what? All these issues have been raised before. It seems not so long ago another middle aged black man was crying out “I can’t breath” but things did not explode like they have done. It did not become a worldwide thing. Why now? Some say it is because people have less to do, but I would like to raise the issue of 20/20 vision, the prediction that this year we would see things clearly.
It looks too like I might not be the only one thinking this. Here is this great poem by Leslie Dwight going around which says
“What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw —
that it finally forces us to grow,”
“A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us
from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.”
“A year we finally band together, instead of
pushing each other further apart.
2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather
the most important year of them all.”
What if we can look back on 2020 and say that things really did change, that we would not settle for what was again. I must say I am so proud of my daughter and others being brave and going out there and protesting. That takes courage. But they aren’t just doing that. They are reading, they are learning, they are looking, really looking with their eyes wide open.