2020 – My Unpredictable Year

2020 My Unpredictable Year

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.

"Life is What Happens to Us When We're Making Other Plans" Allen Saunders.  Fits with this article on how unpredictable 2020 has been.
“Life is What Happens to Us When We’re Making Other Plans” Allen Saunders. Fits with this article on how unpredictable 2020 has been.

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.

Pandemic Pandemonium

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.

I need to follow my own advice and take time for self care.  Read my two articles If you’re feeling stressed – Prioritising Self Care and Journalling as a Self Care Activity.

Please share – someone may need to read this today.

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12 Comments

  1. It certainly has been a horror. Throw in health challenges and employment issues and I’m not surprising you feel the need to talk to someone. There is no shame at all in choosing counselling. I think it’s very sensible. #MLSTL

  2. You’ve certainly had a very tumultuous year on many levels. Huge operations with ongoing complications take a toll on everyone, adding the time off work and the empty nest into the mix means even more adjustments. I think self care and counselling are fantastic choices to make and the blogging would help too – I’ve found it to be a great way to work through a lot of issues in my own life over the years. Congrats on taking it to another level and I hope it pays off for you – I’m keeping mine free and low key so I don’t layer expectations onto a hobby and ruin it for myself (I know that I’m more than capable of allowing expectations to get the better of me if I’m not careful!) #MLSTL

    1. Hi Leanne, yes it has been a full-on year. I just have to remember to be patient and let recovery happen in it’s own time. I’m pretty hard on myself but if I look at the big picture it was definitely worth going through to know I won’t risk cancer at some stage in my life. Blogging has been the best outlet for me. Being in this supportive blogging community has been wonderful. I know what you mean by not layering expectations on to a hobby. My first blog was like that – I didn’t feel like I needed to have so many followers or write in a certain way to please the search engines. I probably should have taken that approach with this one but I’m enjoying it none-the-less. Thanks so much for your comment, regards Christina

  3. Oh gosh, reading this was sad and uplifting at once. So much happening. I am glad, even though it is hard, that you are going to get to chat to a counsellor. I am finding things a challenge right now after my big surgery. Glad to be recovering but it’s still hard. Take care. Denyse #mlstl

    1. Hi Denyse, You have been through a lot lately too. It is hard, and I think Covid has just added to how hard it is recovering from surgery. I wish you all the best for your recovery, take care, Christina

  4. What a year you’ve had Christina, it seems we’ve all been through the mill but with all your surgeries and upheaval it’s not surprising that you’ve needed some support. Thanks for writing this in such a way as to encourage others to seek help if they need it. All the best! #mlstl

  5. Thank you, Christina, for your willingness to be vulnerable and share your story. This year has not been at all what I anticipated either. I am working hard to be accepting of what is and finding joy and peace in each day. Sending healing energy your way!

    1. Thanks so much Christie. Sometimes we just have to accept that there’s things we can’t control. I agree – to find peace and joy in each day is the only way to deal with life when nothing goes the way you planned. I have to learn to be patient and let healing happen in its own time. I appreciate the healing energy! Regards Christina

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