Lesson 40: Not what you want but what you have.

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year!

Last night the world collectively said “Good bye and good-riddence” to 2020 – a year which will forever be cemented in the history books as the year which increased our awareness of “other people”. Where our lives were dictated by the oxymoron “Social Distancing”.

2020 was a year where some traditions had to be ignored as they were just not possible – such as going to the disco on 24th December and dancing to live music until the 25th. Sure – you can improvise, put up some disco lights in your living room and turn up the volume – but the absense of sweaty pervy people, dressed up in santa costumes ensures that the evening is not really going to be the same. (However this could in fact be for the better).

Tradition is a word which I have thought about a lot recently and I really didn’t think I had too many – however after now meeting someone who doesn’t really have any traditions, I’ve come to realise just how many I do have.

Decorating the xmas tree while listening to xmas music
Watching Xmas films (Die Hard, Love Actually and Elf)
Sitting around the breakfast table on Xmas morning with a cup of tea and some toast and cheese before opening our gifts to each other.
Even staying up until 01:00 AM so that I can wish my UK family a happy new year.

Luckily most of these I was able to do. However unfortunately I wasn’t able to open my gifts with my family this year, as I decided to fly back to Switzerland before all the borders were closed.

Yet thanks to technology we were still able to be together in some weird way.

With the absence of traditions, it makes me wonder if they are really necessary or do we do them because we feel we “have to”. I personally do enjoy my Xmas traditions of decorating the tree and watching films but there is also the tradition of being stressed on xmas day because you need to prepare a fantastic meal. Being stressed is something that I would actually like to avoid each year…

Most people I talk to repeat the same phrase “Good riddence to 2020” – and while I do share the sentiment that 2020 was a year resembling festering turd on your brand new white trainers, there is always some positive thoughts to be found.

I spent 20 days of December in quarantine – 10 days in the UK and then 10 days in Switzerland. Yesterday I was “allowed” out. It was only when I was in the fresh air, surrounded by people did I realise how mentally straining being inside was – and that was only after 10 days. Imagine being in prison for years or even being stuck a camp somewhere, unable to leave.

I admit that I am very priviledged to have lived the life I have. I have never gone hungry, I have always had a warm place to rest and sleep and I have been surrounded by people who have never caused me harm. I have never had to suffer and maybe it actually took a shit year to actually realise this.

2020 – was not the year for wishing for things you want, but rather for appreciating what you have.

I have: my health, amazing friends, a wonderful family, a fantastic place to live, my freedom and an amazing partner. What more do I want? (Sure – another trip to Japan would be amazing….)

On that note, I am going to start one my favourite traditions. Preparing and eating a delicious steak pie.

Wishing you all a fantastic start to 2021!

Thanks for reading,

Laura xoxoxoxo

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