A Little Comfort And A Better Year
Oh, the joy of turning over the page of a new year and looking forward with much optimism and hope for better times ahead. 2021 was an annus horribilis for so many, and my wish for all of us is better times ahead. After we all catch the new covid variant and recover from it, of course. Hey ho.
Paul finished his last chemo treatment at the beginning of December and is feeling better every day. He has some residual neuropathy (numbness in fingers, toes and tongue) but he is hopeful that the tongue numbness, at least, seems to be fading, and that the rest will follow. Paul's first week of 2022 includes a CT scan and a visit to the oncologist which will, in the ideal world that I am convinced exists for us this year, give Paul the all clear to go about his life in a cancer-free state. He is already firmly convinced this is the case, and I am following along in the wake of his beautiful optimism.
This year has been very difficult for for us and so many around the world. Every time I read the news I am caught up in the horror of so many lives falling to pieces. Fires, floods, tornadoes, violence, so much political conflict, the planet warming irretrievably. Between that and the difficulties closer to home I finished this year just wanting to curl up and not face any more problems. I am someone who is not really adept at finding comfort. I can find distraction very easily but that is not the same thing. I was brought up to just get on with things, and mostly that has worked for me, but this year it did not. I felt myself just falling apart at the seams and so overwhelmed. I found that talking a lot about my feelins helped. I am not really a natural at that, but I am learning. And just recently I have been feeling into other small ways of finding comfort in my daily life.
One of those things is giving myself permission to stay home. I am a homebody, but I have always felt compelled to go out and take part in the world. Last year I cancelled Christmas. This year I cancelled it even further, which was even better:) It was not hard to cancel Christmas, as covid finally came to Tasmania. We have had pretty much zero cases since July 2020, but on December 15 the state opened up to the rest of Australia to come visit without quarantine, just in time for Omicron. This has been wonderful for us because The Girl came to visit from Melbourne, but on the other hand, covid. We now have over one thousand cases. And masks. We have started to have to wear masks. I think Tasmania is one of the last places in the world to take up wearing masks, as we have been covid-free all this time. We are very fortunate, really, to have been able to wait until everyone is fully vaccinated before we are all exposed to covid. It has been a splendid excuse though, not to go out. Paul has had his covid booster, but his immune system still isn't fully functioning, so we are really limiting social contact. It's been wonderful. We had a tiny family Christmas with my three kiddos, and Paul. We did colouring in and played Boggle. Who remembers Boggle? For some reason, it's the one game my kids all love to play. We introduced Paul to it (our game is circa 1980, as I inherited our old family set), and made him play several round before Christmas lunch.
So yes. We stayed home. We had a tiny Christmas. We put up the Christmas branch. The Girl and I did the Christmas decorating and it took all of ten minutes. That was so calm and lovely. Last year I gave away about three quarters of our Christmas decorations plus our Christmas tree, and now we can only have a pared back Christmas. I liked it a lot.