Last new year as we turned into a new decennium as well as a new year, the world looked so different in many ways than it does today. It felt as if time itself was spinning faster than ever, and a roaring twenties was upon us. Little did I know how time would slow down as the pandemic hit and we all went into lockdown for much of the year. Most new years I make new years resolutions, but somehow this year I didn't get around to it. Perhaps it is because considering the circumstances I am quite content, which after 2020 that in so many ways was an annus horribles for so many people is a blessing. My normally busy life has come to a standstill, and that's ok. Being in one place and not travelling, avoiding shops and gatherings, seeing more of my family and talking more often on the phone with closest friends I have come to realise that actually a simple life suits me very well. This stillness won't last forever (as nothing ever does), and when life quickens again at least I shall be well rested.
My Grandmother always used to say "It is darkest just before dawn" and as we go into a new year and a very quiet January in isolation from the corona virus I think about this as I take long and solitary walks. I do miss the creative impulses of travel and visiting exhibitions, of wandering through other peoples gardens and having long dinners in witty company. These days I sometimes feel engulfed by boredom in the tedious repetition of routine that daily life in semi-lockdown offers, and then I purposefully count my blessings. It has been wonderful to have my youngsters and godfathers at home for much of the year, and all the time spent together has brought us much closer. At least I live on a farm surrounded by nature and animals. And as my besties all have been in family bubbles too we do sometimes meet up for dinners and appreciate the fun so much more, starved as we are for each others company.
Last year I came to cement my theory on happiness, which is that it is the little things that count the most. The strange thing about suddenly being gifted with endless amounts of time, is that I find myself procrastinating and plagued by inactivity. While life was hectic and time was a rare commodity, I was so much more productive than I have been since time stopped and life stood still. Yet, even during the weeks that felt like an endless expanse of inertia I found myself having ticked off some items low down on the to-do list simply because with so much time on my hands there was room for them. For once I got around to doing the small projects in the garden that I always think I should do, but never get around to, and it feels wonderful! Little still life arrangements give me as much pleasure as the big borders filled with plants, and just stopping in the middle of the day to look at something in the garden is oddly soothing.
The one thing though, that has stood out more than anything else last year, is that things we so often take for granted are actually grace; like health and vitality, friendships, creativity and nurturing. This coming year I hope my back stays in good shape, and that I shall be able to continue my long rambling walks around the countryside all winter and spring while the garden is sleeping. I hope to see more of my friends in person and how I long for the possibility to travel overseas and visit those who live further away! I shall endeavour to be more creative and less critical of my own work, as I think the inner critic is the person that most impedes all creative activity. Therefore I shall endeavour to nurture myself as much as I by nature always nurture those close to me.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year 2021!!