|Season’s Greetings (2020)

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Peaceful (COVID free) New Year

Dec, 2020 | Saṃskṛti

Christmas 2020

I think it goes without saying that we are all glad that this year is finishing and there is some light towards the end of the tunnel. Especially, when we as a family have beaten SARS-COV2, so we are feeling blessed and grateful. This year we seem to be early with our preparations (I say ‘our’ in a royal manner as Gemma does the majority of it), getting the tree and the card exudes Christmas. I think the eargneress arises from a necessity for us  to reflect on this uncertain year together with loved ones.

In that reflection our resilience and serendipity in getting through this year will become evident. We didn’t act as one and even with the pandemic at its height globally, could not overcome our prejudiced, polarised, fragmented and nationalistic behaviour. We need strong leadership in all strata of our society in 2021 if we are to diverge from our of current chaotic path. Leadership that seeks to heal and deliver an inclusive vision that we all can see hope and opportunity in.

Somehow we have lost our leaders or maybe it’s just that modern leadership prioritises populism over integrity, cautiousness over courage, economy over the populus and simply lacks accountability. A key aspect of the 2020 US election that Donald Trump has failed to grasp is that Joe Biden was not more popular; it’s that Trump’s values were more abborrent to more voters. Let us hope we all demand more of democratically elected leaders in the coming years, otherwise the virtues of a democratic society become diminished.

Whilst the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement I believe was is a ray of light, I realise that it is a such melancholy and frightening thought that we have not overcome racism and prejudice to any great extent in our global societies. The sickening murder of George Floyd has at least taken politeness out of the debate and inspired more people to speak out, such as Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton has been an individual that I earned to hear from, his opinions on racism, his experience of racism and for him to utilise his profile to instigate change to progress the diversity agenda. I was glad that he found his voice this year. The movement also empowered me to express my opinions in my professional life. Giving me confidence to overcome my timidness and indecisiveness in articulating my perspective on these topics that I have had historically. I think it has heightened my leadership and self-belief. The dialogue needs to continue, the acknowledgement of the situation that occurred this year needs to become decisive, positive action to instil tangible change in our society.

I am optimistic for the future, I believe we do have hope and that hope can be translated to great harmony. Throughout 2020, all I had to do to seek solace was to look at my local community and my family.

The birth of our son was joyous and magical. We can’t thank the staff of St. Mary’s Hospital enough. They alleviated that subconscious anxiety we have all carried this year and dispersed it, allowing Gemma and I to indulge ourselves in the moment.

I have ‘working from home fatigue’. Discharging the competing duties of my job and family have been challenging for the both of us. The tensions of two competing careers in the context of the pandemic response was slightly relieved when Gemma went on maternity leave. However this then did introduce new fractious themes. The situation though has not been without its merits. The biggest of these has been the ability to spend more time with the children. I have managed to see our youngest daughter develop from a baby into a toddler first hand. These are moments I would not necessarily have had if this was a ‘normal’ year. How we as a couple approached our personal predicament has demonstrated that we do make a cohesive and loving team, able to surmount any challenge thrown at us. I believed this to be true before but the reality of the assurance and comfort of being in this team is far greater than I imagined.

Our eldest daughter understood the threat posed by ‘the germs’. She assimilated the situation quickly into her daily life, adapting to our ‘new normal’. She is only three. Her’s and the others resilience and buoyant approach to the challenges of the pandemic lifted me from pessimism. I am blessed. I hope that for you as well in 2020.

P.S.

One lament my eldest daughter expressed was not having had a foreign holiday this year. I have sympathy for her. However I do question what expectations we are creating in her and her siblings! At least she is not demanding business class flights (yet). The other frequent lament was not being able to see her grandparents and friends in the flesh. Which reassures me that Gemma and I must also be doing something right.

There were many resourceful DIY videos during lockdown. This is one I liked – Bigger by John Legend

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