2020: The Year That Changed Everything
Who could have predicted how 2020 would pan out? This has been my most unpredictable year to date, and that’s saying something. It feels like the rug’s been pulled out from under me, and I’m not alone in feeling that way. It has been an unpredictable year for many reasons, both personal and external. Change and uncertainty can add to the emotional burden of the other world events such as the pandemic.
“Life is What Happens To Us When We’re Making Other Plans”
Allen Saunders, 1957
At the dawn of the New Year I wrote a post Don’t Hold Back. Full of optimism and excitement for the year ahead, I planned to learn new skills and apply for positions that would take my career into a new direction. My older son, inspired by my enthusiasm, planned to travel and push his music career to new levels. We often talk about how our year has not panned out in the way we planned it.
My son had to put his music on hold while we were in lockdown – he couldn’t drive to Brisbane to practice with his band, and gigs were cancelled for months while venues were closed. He was extremely frustrated – musicians need to perform. When their creativity is put on hold a major part of themselves is affected. Travel is also out of the question.
Changes in the Family Home
The first shock of the year came when my other son decided to move out. The Half Empty Nest is the post I wrote at the time when I was going through a grieving process as I came to terms with it. As it turns out, I’ve coped very well with my son moving out and very soon my other son is leaving too, then I’ll be an empty nester for the first time in 28 years! It’s wonderful to see my sons “adulting” – they need to move out for their own personal growth.
BRCA2 and its Impact on my Health
The next shock, in February, was my diagnosis of a genetic mutation, BRCA2, which increases my risk of cancer. At the beginning of this year I would not have believed that I would have four operations, two of them to fix complications from the other two, and that I would have most of this year off work. My recovery has been prolonged, and at this stage I’m looking at even more time off work.
As a Registered Nurse in a busy surgical ward, I am unable to return until I can complete my role 100%, including performing CPR and patient handling. The loss of that role has been extremely upsetting to me. I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years and it’s part of my identity. It’s taking me a while to come to terms with that. The impact of the surgeries and complications has also taken a toll. My body is different now, and I have new issues to deal with that will remain with me for life.
March saw the Pandemic drive us all into lockdown. I doubt if anyone in the world has not been affected in some way from Covid-19. I’ve been isolated from some of my family since then, and unable to spend time with some of my closest loved ones. Not being able to travel to be with family during life-changing events like a death in the family, has taken its toll on many of us.
I’ve now been at home recovering since mid-May, and had time off prior to that for my first operation. The only positive is that I’ve been able to spend time on my blog, and work on my website to get it the way I want. I really don’t know how I would have coped without this to do. I would have gone crazy with boredom!
New Home for Midlifestylist
In the last two weeks I have moved my website from WordPress.com to a different platform. I’ve been busy trying to get my website back up and functioning. In the transfer process the last seven blog posts did not migrate to the new host, so I’ve been republishing them. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.
I am so glad I took the plunge and transferred my website. The potential is amazing – I have lots of ideas on which direction I want to take Midlifestylist, so watch this space!
Ongoing Health Issues and the Emotional Toll
In order to cope with massive life changing events and my health issues, my ability to cope emotionally has been under strain. I’m not coping as well as I was a few weeks ago when I thought that my life would be back to normal by now. I reached out and I’m going to talk to a counselor to help me to adjust.
I don’t think there’s any shame in admitting that you need counseling. When your sleep is getting affected, and you’re crying at the drop of a hat, it’s time. I’ll be looking into other ways to assist as well, like meditation and mindfulness. Being proactive with your mental health is a sign of strength, not weakness.
I hope this resonates with some of my readers, and they find comfort in the fact that they are not alone in feeling stressed by the unpredictable events of this year. Our ability to cope with all that 2020 has given us has been pushed to the limit. Seek help if you’re not coping. Don’t struggle through on your own.
Please share – someone may need to read this today.