s i x ,
f i v e ,
f o u r ,
t h r e e ,
t w o o o ,
I drew that first, magical, breath of of 2022 into my lungs;
and with that I’d like to wish you, my dear companion, a very
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Pretty sure ABBA’s Happy New Year is the best New Year’s song ever…
Welcome to 2022, my friend. There was a time there when I wasn’t so sure we’d see the dawn of this new day together, but here we are. Me and you. Feeling lost and feeling blue.
Given how many of us didn’t make it here, however, I find it hard to rejoice, or feel particularly blessed. It’s always struck me as odd, and bordering on the offensive, when survivors praise some higher power as if the others weren’t worth saving. Or, worse, meant to die.
I have “lost” a year of my life to this sodding pandemic, too bogged down by the realities of extended isolation and all it’s brought about. No, don’t worry, I won’t burden you with the details. Suffice to say there have been some truly heartbreaking moments, and we’ve had to have some tough and unpleasant conversations.
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I hope you did, or are doing, something nice to celebrate the start of a new cycle. Here we had the third unusually quiet and rather sad new year’s night in a row. There were no celebrations, as I can’t bring myself to feel particularly excited about the year ahead.
With this new covid variant causing mayhem, and even more people refusing to do their bit to help stamp it out, I suspect we’re in for yet another dreadful year in the Rapunzel towers.
Yeah, I’m afraid that’s the level I’m at tonight…
And yes, I’m well aware of the fact that it’s silly to be moping over something I cannot change, and that it’s just the three-year-old in me throwing another tantrum. But guess what? I don’t care, I’m going to say it anyway:
And fuck Covid too!
I made the rookie mistake of hoping to spend the holiday season with my family. I know I shouldn’t have, as that was the reason I spiralled into complete and utter AWOL darkness in November 2020. But still. With full vaccinations and our already rigorous immune protocol, it didn’t seem all that impossible. Enter Omicron.
Right. No visits. A third holiday season alone. Well, in fairness I’m not alone. #3, the one currently tasked with the care of this weird pet I’ve become, is here with me. And so is his girlfriend. They live and work upstairs, but they have their dinner with me (almost) every day. I’m very glad, and ever so grateful that they do.
But even so, it’s disturbingly quiet here…
You’d think I’d be used to it by now, given that I’ve spent the last two years in solitary confinement, but I’m afraid not. Living in a quiet house is an experience I don’t know if I can get used to. Ever.
I have five (adult) kids, a grandson, a dog and four cats. Plus a rather large and boisterous extended family. Before the Brexit and Corona disasters, only #2 had left the nest, and he’s not the one with a child.
The rest of us, two daughters, two sons, the grandson and five pets lived together in what we call a house share here in England. And we had a neverending stream of visiting friends, relatives and family members, so the house was always crowded and bustling with life.
Are you beginning to get the picture?
Okay, now add the fact that this house is not accessible, so I live in the front room. And because English houses tend to have kitchens we’d call a kitchenette (kokvrå) in Sweden, my room also doubled as the family’s dining, gaming and general hanging out room.
I’m well aware of how privileged I am to have kids who decided to sack my carers, and shoulder the responsibility for my care themselves. I do realise how lucky I am, and I’m beyond grateful for everything they’ve done, and continue to do, for me. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were times I felt like I was living on a bleeding tube platform.
There were times it took its toll on me to have people sitting around, having teas and coffees, playing games, crafting, doing homework or crosswords, making music, reading books or just hanging out, less than two feet from my bed. Times when I dreamed of that little island. Remote. Far away. And, most importantly, silent and inaccessible even for normies.
Yep, it’s true. There were days, like one out of every 30 or so, when I wanted things to be different. But the remaining 29 days, I was thanking the moon and my lucky star for my great, goofy, gorgeous family. And the life they gave me.
BUT NOW THEY'RE ALL GONE
There’s just me and #3 here now. He was meant to be leaving too, but he got stuck here with me. Like one of them migratory birds who thought it was too cold to move, and got left behind when the rest of the flock took off at sunrise.
I guess it’s a fitting analogy, somehow, seeing as we’re like birds of a feather #3 and I. It bothers me that he’s stuck here, and I worry about him getting bored and lonely. I think he should move closer to his siblings, so they can hang out and support each other. Meanwhile, it bothers him that I won’t drop the subject. He worries about leaving me in the hands of social services, and insists that it makes much more sense for us to stay together, and help each other out in our creative pursuits.
For the moment, I think we’ve both resigned ourselves to the fact that the other one isn’t very likely to budge. So, for now, it’s just us. The middle child and I. Plus his girlfriend. My dog. His two cats. And this thunderous silence!
“But,” I hear you wondering, “where did the others go then?”
Well, they had the good sense to take off with the sunrise. But that’s a long and upsetting story, so we’ll save that for some other time. Tonight, I’m going to let myself be as salty as fuck over Brexit and Covid. And if I have any energy left for anything else, I may try to iron out a few more blog-related issues that need to be solved for my big blogging adventure to take off this year.
And it will!
Even if, or maybe I should say particularly if, my worst fears turn out to be true, and we won’t see an end to the pandemic this year either. If this really turns into the crap year I fully expect it to be.
And on that high note, it’s time for me to bid you a good night. Tomorrow is another day, and technically speaking it’s already here. I’m going to try to get some more work done and get some sleep before it’s time to get back on track.
For you, my friend, I hope you have your game plan worked out, and that you’re ready to grab the year ahead by the antlers.
If not, no worries, we can share my plan. I promise it’s wild enough for the pair of us, and I really do appreciate your company.
Puss och kram and Happy New Year!
© Evalena Styf, 2021
- The text in the red card at the top of the page is, of course, a part of the lyrics from ABBA’s Happy New Year.
After more than 25 years of amateur blogging on various free platforms, I decided to go pro. To make a long story short, I wanted to clear out my archives in true Swedish death cleaning fashion, and see if I could find a way of piecing over 40 years (!) of writing together. I had this idea of covering an entire wall with all my texts.
It was an interesting idea, for sure, but as it turns out, a single wall cannot bear thousands of texts. However, if you think that was The End to my dream, you do not know me very well. 😏
I created The Resilience to be my fantasy pirate ship where everything fits, anything is possible and everyone can participate. It was born out of a life in tatters to take on my last great adventure. From the Captain’s Quarters, I now curate my content, that is largely focussed on writing, personal and professional development, following your dreams, making a difference, and how to go on living, and loving, when everything seems to be falling apart.
From the stormy seas of my life, I try to fish out a wide range of topics, memories and stories. I season them with care, cook them in my love for the written word and serve them up on the various blogs that together make up the imaginary ship that bears the name of one of my main character traits. Resilience. Bon Appétit!