I totally want to write a blog about how 2020 has been eye opening and how it allowed me to search in my soul and see a completely different perspective of life. Of course I managed to meditate all the way through it and am a better person for it. Well… not really. I am here to tell you that I not only have accomplished absolutely nothing, I have also felt pretty shit for a better part of this year. While objectively I have nothing to complain about compared to a large percentage of people on this planet, I am still an entitled millennial and the misery of others can only make me feel worse, if anything. Yes, we live close to the beach, yes we are all healthy and yes we love each other and our child is so beautiful, clever and a source of endless love and emotion… but! And it’s this but that I want to talk about.
2020 was shit. Let’s start with that. I feel weary, tired and defeated. I am juggling conflicting thoughts in my head like what’s health without freedom but also we should be protecting those vulnerable in the community and I haven’t signed up for this. I know that it was our choice to live so far away from our home and family, but to be suddenly being denied the opportunity to go home is a total blow. Forget about the wedding that never happened. What about the babysitting that never happened? Again, I know I am not the only parent in the world that gets no help from family members, but damn it’s taxing. Generally the wellbeing of an individual human consist of being fulfilled in certain areas of life. For me, an introvert who loves to spend time alone, it’s first and foremost actually being alone. Ideally at least once a month, not for 8 hours, but for a whole day. In my eyes a ‘’whole’’ day consists of going to sleep and waking up. Selfcare is different to everyone, for me it’s sitting, reading, writing in my diary, knitting, listening to music and maybe making photo albums. Another necessary part of me is sport, yoga and running, hiking and swimming. Love life, family and friends. Feelings of achievement on the work front – or in other words, finding a different purpose in life other than being a mother, partner, daughter and that person that makes dinner every night. And of course having something to look forward to, like travel.
For me when I became a parent in 2019, it felt really easy and natural. Unlike for a lot of people the first six weeks just floated away on a love cloud. It wasn’t until after Josie turned one year and was able to physically run away when things started to get a little harder. And for the last six months, I have found myself longing for the girl that I used to be more and more. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the life that I have because ultimately I wouldn’t change it in any way, but let’s just take this for a fact and let me go on with my cry. I find myself being jealous of people that are free. Free to read a book in a coffee shop, free to sleep in on a day off, free to do nothing, free to do something, free to float in the sea, free to go to a yoga class, free to meet up with a friend and go try on jeans, free to sit on a couch after work, free to have time to browse new book titles online and then read them, free to write, free to pursue their dreams, free to update their Instagram accounts, free to figure out what their dreams might be, free too see their family.
I have lost my part time job to covid right at the beginning and unfortunately in my line of work, the only available options were full time. In a desperate attempt to run away from the “being a mother’’ part of my life, I took it. It seemed like a good idea, but it wasn’t. Me and Lukas managed to drive ourselves to an absolute exhaustion. Mentally and physically. I find a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that lot of time times we managed our desperation with a light hearted sense of humour. Sometimes we would just laugh lying at the carpet when our darling daughter just decided that not only she’s not going to sleep, but we also have to follow her everywhere she goes. More than anything this proved that I absolutely love and adore Lukas and it have me a great insurance that yes the rest of the life will be too short because there can never be enough time to spend with him.
Which brings me to another point, time with your partner is important, necessary, a must. Quality time that is. Time to talk, time to discuss world matters, philosophical questions, the future and the paintings that you will hang in your future house, time to get drunk together on a great whiskey and then fall asleep spooning. It’s not possible with an active toddler. I know that the time when kids are small is too short and everyone always looks back at it. But I can’t wait for my kids to become teenagers to drink coffees slowly, have long talks, stretch in the mornings and not having the house plants violated. I need all of this in my life now or else my will to live will fade away.
I have always been a slightly self-centred person, which I don’t think is necessary a wrong thing because how else can you make others happy when you can’t make yourself happy – the egoist mantra. I thought that naturally when one becomes a parent this personality trait quietens, it didn’t. I still want to make myself happy. I still have the same desires and needs while making the conscientious choice to put them aside to care for someone else.
In normal times, I usually manage to ignore the world’s bad news while staying in my happy bubble surrounded with likeminded people and following my yogi blogs and zero waste instagramers, but in ‘’times like these’’ it’s very hard to ignore where the world has shifted to. My greatest source of worry is the fact that fear is the easiest way to manipulate masses of people. And boy have we been manipulated left and right since late March. More than ever I am convinced that common sense is not that common anymore. Whilst the incredibly rich have made some money, lots of people that have worked hard all their lives have lost everything. Back home most government decisions were only benefiting large corporation whilst slowly eliminating small businesses. On the backhand of all of this making major decisions like bringing back a 600 year old plan for a river canal that we have been warned about from every specialist in the matter. Forget fighting climate change and finally opening eyes to what’s really happening, let’s make matters worse, fill our pockets now and fuck the future generations. But! In saying that, I am also a little bit disheartened by my efforts to single-handedly save the planet one reusable nappy at a time. While I am slowly damaging my hair using solid bar shampoos, there’s 100m of Styrofoam and bubble wrap and about 100 of plastic cups used every day in my work. I have no illusions that things are different elsewhere. Whilst I will be avoiding buying new clothes and avoiding evil brands, there will be people filling up their trolleys with plastic crap to put into Christmas stockings that will become landfill before the end of the year. So is there still point in trying?
And that’s a wrap 2020, you were not my year at all. Here’s to a better 2021. Here’s to finding purpose, here’s to easier days and conversations where you feel understood and free time, the most valuable commodity one can have.