As I sit down at my computer on 1 January 2021 to write a job application that’s due at midnight in 2 days, I’m already procrastinating on that to write here. Here being a place that has sat collecting dust for nearly 2 years. I think about this site occasionally, but it’s only recently that I’ve even had the inclination to write anything.
Today being the first day of a new year is usually the time to reflect on the past year. And what a year that was. It started as a year of hope. I hoped that the job I had been doing would be made ongoing as I’d been on I don’t know how many contracts for 6 years. Then COVID hit, we lost half our team and it became very apparent that my time was limited in that job. I finally finished there 2 days before another lockdown happened in November and started a new (contract) job the day before South Australia went into a hard lockdown. So while things didn’t go as I’d hoped I was lucky in that I actually had a job during the year unlike so many other people. And while my current contract isn’t a long-term one I had news just before the end of the 2020 working year that there’s more work for me there.
I’ve been working on a contracts of a year or shorter (some have been 2 months) for the last 10 years so I don’t stress as much about where the next one might be coming from now like I did earlier. And those many contracts have been at 2 work places, until the recent move making that 3 workplaces. As a couple of friends have said to me recently, ‘all will be well’ and so far it has been on the workfront.
The year 2020 started with planning which Adelaide Fringe and Festival events to attend. From mid February to mid March pretty much every weekend I attended some event or another, ending with Womadelaide. There were more and more whispers of this COVID thing and Italy was already in lockdown. I think we knew it was starting to get serious so I made the most of that weekend.
I had the last weekend in March planned to go away with on an annual trip with a bunch of girlfriends and after Womad people started pulling out. COVID restrictions started being put into place and we pulled the pin on the camping trip. The camp ground was shut from that weekend anyway so that was that and into lockdown we went.
I started working from home at the end of March and I was dreading it. While I love time by myself, I thought working from home would be too isolating. It wasn’t. The internet connection held up and we continued our daily ‘standup’ at home via Teams. We even held Friday afternoon drinks via Teams so had more of this social interaction with the team during lockdown than we did on a Friday afternoon in the office. After all we were all at home anyway, so didn’t need to leave the office to pick up kids, get ready to go out etc. When it came time to go back to the office it was with reluctance that we did. My new job lets me work 3 days at home and 2 in the office at the moment. I’m not sure how long that might last but my work doesn’t need me to be around people in the office anyway. I also employed a cleaner recently. It’s a huge load off knowing that I don’t have to clean so much in my spare time. I still do an inbetween clean and vacuum (dog doesn’t ever stop shedding) but knowing that my weekends are for what I want to do, not what I feel I have to do is a big load off my mind.
Another bonus with working at home means I get drop-ins from the dog and the son. Son started uni in 2020 and he’d embraced all the things that uni offers socially. He’d joined a couple of clubs, he went to the orientation week party, he won a gym membership on campus and all of this in the first 2-3 weeks of the uni year before all that got shutdown also. So we were both home together respectively studying and working. Luckily his online gaming career helped him quickly adapt to online study. He also started a new job in February, mainly working nights – midnight to 6am – so while he sorted out his sleep patterns some of my working days were very quiet. But on the occasions when he would pop into my office we’d have some great chats. I’ve loved seeing him finish high school and adapt to a new job and university. He did pretty well at uni in semester 1 despite what the pandemic threw at him. In semester 2 a friend of his was murdered and I immediately saw the drop off in his uni work while he dealt with going to his first funeral, and dealt with his grief. Despite this, he buckled down in the last couple of weeks of semester 2 and managed to pass his subjects.
At the beginning of lockdown in March, I made a list in my diary of the things I would do during lockdown. Huh! None of those cupboards got cleaned out. It was all I could do to work and keep the house running with cleaning and grocery shopping. I didn’t have any inclination to do much else apart from take up knitting again. Since March I’ve knitted 2 jumpers, a cardigan, 2 shawls, a short sleeved top I unravelled and am using that wool to knit another top, and a beanie. Upon reflection I think all this knitting provided a level of comfort and an excuse to binge-watch tv shows. For the most part I can knit and watch tv. If the pattern is a bit tricky the tv is paused or turned off while I sort things out and then back it goes. I’ve even bought some wool to try and knit socks. I now have what knitters call a wool stash. It’s not much but it will keep me going for at least a few months yet. I’m hoping I like the sock knitting/wearing as that’s something that takes up less room and something that’s worn often. Otherwise I’ll have to start knitting little things for other people/charities as there’s only so many jumpers I need to knit for myself.
During our first lockdown we were still allowed to leave the house to shop and exercise, so a way of catching up with friends was to meet them for a hike. We’re lucky in Adelaide that there’s some great places to hike. I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to organise more of these during the cooler weather as it’s something I really enjoy. For a while it was my ‘social’ fix and I much preferred it over the video catchups. I haven’t found my groove with those.
At the beginning of 2020 I auditioned for a women’s choir and got in. I’ve never auditioned for anything so it was a big step outside my comfort zone, and surprisingly I wasn’t nervous at all. Unfortunately we only had 2-3 practises before we had to shutdown. We didn’t convene online to practise but I always sing around the house anyway. My dog is a very appreciative audience.
The camping trip that was supposed to happen in late March, happened in mid-October instead. As mid-October is also my birthday, I took a week off to celebrate that and go away camping for 3 nights. We camped at a friend’s property near Delamere and it was just lovely. Going away with this bunch of girlfriends is always a priority for me and I leave these weekends feeling refreshed and refuelled. This one was no different.
I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but if it’s anything like 2020 there will be time to stop and appreciate the small things. I’m trying to focus on the silver linings and not the negative things.
All Will Be Well.