That 2020 has been a strange year is true of every single human. When we started the year, COVID was a foreign problem, something barely on the speck of the horizon.
But I’m not writing this to talk about the innumerable ways our lives have changed, for two reasons.
Firstly, we have all lived it. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly – that experience of change has been unique for each and every single individual – and there is nothing particularly noteworthy about my experience, besides perhaps that I eventually contracted the disease – an experience that I’ve already documented extensively.
What 2020 has also been about for me is timing.
Early this year, after a long search, my partner moved into a lovely flat in Bandra. We had been looking for an April 1 move date, but our landlord insisting on starting a lease in early March.
Two weeks later, right after we got all our major additional furniture in place, India officially went into lockdown.
It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.
I would have been miserable at my old place, and wouldn’t have been able to feel settled.
In May, the circumstances that led us to adopt our puppy, Angel, were similar. I had planned to get Angel for a friend and we were to adopt another dog, a beautiful four year old cocker spaniel named Zorro.
Our adoption of Zorro, unfortunately, fell through. The very next day, our original arrangements for Angel fell through.
After a brief discussion, my partner and I decided to adopt Angel. It was one of the best things we ever did. She is truly special and has brought a lot of joy into our lives, and no small amount of humour and love.
We are never bored, because there is always something to be shredded, or dug, or barked at. It made our lockdown experience a lot more fun.
Three days later, our housekeeper, bored by 1.5 months at home, decided to come back, something that made us taking care of a three-month-old puppy, much easier (potty training anyone?).
Fast forward to November. I had planned a trip to Delhi to surprise my mother for her birthday.
I landed on the 12th. On the 13th, her birthday, both my parents tested positive.
When I developed fever 4-5 days later, I went for a RT-PCR test. As some of you may have already read, I was negative.
I tested too early.
Why was this significant? Because when my mother was hospitalised a week later, and needed plasma, my father was still under home quarantine. He could not leave the house.
Thanks to my (likely false) negative result, I was able to do the running around (in a safe socially distant way), and contribute significantly towards her recovery. She is stronger than ever, thanks to the kindness of a few COVID survivors who stepped up to donate plasma.
I was also fortunate that in the week where I was very ill with COVID, my evening coaching classes (Monday to Wednesday 8-10 pm) were on Thanksgiving break.
These are small coincidences yes, but significant enough to make a difficult year, a little easier.
While 2020 has been a challenging year for me, I can’t help but feel the universe was taking care of me in its own way.
I have many goals for 2021, and like most of you I hope it will be a much better year. But I also find myself unable to complain much about my plight.
Even as I struggle with mental health issues post-COVID and my energy levels fluctuate, I am also incredibly grateful for the year that was, and all the small serendipitous moments I experienced.
I am incredibly privileged in so many different subtle, but important ways, I would like to keep this in perspective in 2021:
I have never been a fan of toxic positivity, and I’m not about to start now. But I will practice a greater acceptance of the good and the bad, and a feeling that it will all fall into place the way it is meant to.
When we shift our mindset, we shift our reaction to the mixed bag that is fate. And that’s all I can hope to do, to move forward, one baby step at a time, and to remember to count my blessings.
That thought gives me a great feeling of hope for the year to come.
Happy New Year folks! I’ll see you on the other side 🙂