It has been a roller coaster of a year. Seriously this is going down as one of the strangest and uncomfortable year of my life – unless 2021 wants to see if it can best 2020.
Let’s do a little recap until we get to the last few days…
January in Australia was like no other. Fires raged all over the place and it felt like it would never end. Communities caught on the beach with their only line of defence being a line of firemen, hoping for the boats to come and take them to safety. Watching the news play out, was seriously like watching the apocalypse happen right outside our door.
I live in Australia, and as the saying goes, almost everything here will kill you. We have the highest number of deadly animals anywhere in the world – even the mice in Central Australia will eat you! We have wild cyclones up north, temperatures in summer get to the very high 40 deg C, and sometimes even 50 deg C. Floods happen and then you get fire. This is the ONLY thing that I am scared of, actually make that terrified. It is unpredictable and fickle. The devastation that it leaves behind is incomprehensible.
March arrived and along came the pandemic. Yes, that one. The one that slowed the world down to a crawl. Where suddenly everyone fought for their right to do as they wished, and forgot that they are not the only people on the planet. We lived through lockdown. Moving no further than 5km from home, working from home and trying to make living situations less flammable. We discovered Zoom and Teams and desperately worked on relationships so that we would feel connected. 8 hour work days quickly became 10 or 12 as we fought to keep our jobs. So many impacted and lost their homes, their jobs and their families. The repercussions still being felt.
Summer arrived and restrictions loosened and people went stupid. I watch the northern hemisphere and I worry, what is in store for Australia in a couple of months time? We have quickly forgotten what we had to go through to get to almost 60 days (just in my state) community transmission free. I really do not want to spend my winter locked behind closed doors again.
Now it is the silly season, and never has it felt less like Christmas. I know the kids are all grown and we handle it differently. When the grandkids come (oh please not for a long fucking time!) it will become more about them and some of that childhood magic will reappear. Shopping was anti-climatic and the table looked so different this year.
If I thought that that was the end of what 2020 would throw at me, fuck me I was so wrong. Two weeks before Christmas, I give in and get the bloodwork done that I had been putting off for a while. I am diagnosed as diabetic. In itself not a bad thing, it is manageable. However, any form of sugar fucks up my system thanks to the new medication. So there goes the wine (or any form of alcoholic beverage) – no more 1/2 bottle and sitting around visiting. Now 1 glass, yes you read that right, ONE glass has to last the entire visit. Anything more, and it is fucking Niagara Falls out the other end. Chocolate and all the other yummy Christmas treats are down to birdlike quantities.
Christmas Eve, R went off to his partners house, and I had some time to myself and promptly went to sleep at 9pm. Fuck I am getting old!!! Christmas Day dawns bright-ish (summer in Melbourne is vastly overstated – the weather is as predictable as what is next coming out of the Orange Man’s mouth) and I start the days preparations. My little home will have 8 adults roaming around and it is really not an entertaining space.
We prepare the platters for lunch cause there ain’t no way I am cooking in the heat, and R prepares some gorgeous pork belly. Crackling that is amazing. Seriously good stuff! Stealing a piece while plating up and I feel something odd and ignore it. But it won’t GO AWAY, so off I go to check and yep, I have a cracked tooth! No, I promise the day gets better.
Prawns are a must on a Christmas table in Aus. The local store makes up this lovely platter and I go to open it. I could not have been thinking straight as I tried to open the child-proof packaging. I sliced my finger, not once, but MULTIPLE times in the same spot. Now there is a hole trying to heal.
I get one photo of the kids a year. The one I am allowed to put on social media – only one. So we line them up, after the usual 30 minutes of arguments, and I move forward slightly and stub my toe. But hey!, this is 2020, so it is not an ordinary stubbing, I break the nail below the bed, so blood everywhere. Of course the fucking day is not over yet! Cleaning up and bang my shin into a box which contains my Christmas gift!
I go to bed, battered and bruised and since Boxing Day is not at mine, think all will be ok. Absolute breakdown in the morning – no idea what the fuck for, and off we go. Once visiting, all is ok, except I dared have 1 rum and coke. Yeah, I dared. My guts I am sure are still at the ex’s place clogging up the toilet.
Fast forward to this morning. It is the 28th December, and Dora (the baby puppy) wakes me up as she considers that I have slept enough. I get up to go and sit on the throne (do not judge we all do it) and pick up my glasses and they are broken. My $500 glasses that without I cannot see, one side has come off. Luckily R found the missing screw – I wish he found the one missing from my head – and fixed them. While doing so he found my reading glasses were also not good and the screws holding in the lenses were very loose – one disaster avoided!
But honestly, with 4 days left in 2020, could I maybe, just maybe, get a break? I am medicated today, because let’s face it, I fucking deserve it. I really want to read the terms and conditions for 2021, just to know what I need to prepare for. Should I invest in that bunker in the ground, or go high and find a treehouse in the sky?
I am half-laughing and half-crying. It seriously has been a year that has tested every single limit, and I am still here. It reads like a litany of small hiccups and all I can do it laugh at the end of all of it and go – this is my life! Welcome to it!