By Katalin Tarjan • December 31, 2020•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence
Like all of 2020, our year-end reviews feel different this year. As an avid planner and reviewer I find it hard this time to put a full stop at the end of a chapter and form expectations about a fresh new one.
In Michelle Obama’s „Becoming” journal (who else loves guided journals?) the other day I arrived to the end of the year question „How has this year been different from last year?”. At first I laughed. My short answer would be „in every single way”. Then I really started counting the ways…
During these last days of the year I like to take stock of the happenings of the past twelve months, my achievements, the places I’ve been to, the things I’ve done. This year’s list is not very impressive, mostly it’s about the things I had to give up. I did have a few successes at work, but I feel like their light got dimmed by everything else. Working from home, being away from the office makes everything feel so distant and less real.
It’s been more than a year since my last travel aside from three short domestic trips during the summer months. As a frequent traveler, I was in a constant state of wanderlust this year and I can’t wait for the next time to be able to board an airplane and travel for fun.
Despite myself, I really miss crowds. It’s been almost a year since my last event in a closed venue (I went to an open air play during the summer). I guess this year many of us who often complained about the crowds at concerts, the theater, or any big event really, find that they are just not the same without the people around you. Yes, you can sit back on your couch to enjoy a concert, but the whole vibe of it will never come through.
Working from home has its perks, but once they wore out, it’s just the bed to desk to couch to bed and over again circle every single day. I am very conscious about maintaining my physical and mental health through it all, but this situation, the feeling of imprisonment, the uncertainty, the fear and worry takes its toll on every one of us, no matter what we do. I always said the last thing I liked about my job was the pretty long commute, but sometimes I find myself missing even that.
After I’m done with reviewing the last year, and revisiting the goals I set, I look forward and set new goals and make new plans. This part is especially hard this year as we have no way of knowing what the next year will bring. My approach is making lists, making loose plans, dreaming about where I want to go first, how I want to spend my next vacation, etc. Plus there are always the things that couldn’t get spoiled by these times, like the books I want to read, the things I want to learn, the shows I want to watch. Perhaps the layout of my next year plan doesn’t look quite as developed as I like it, but for me it’s important to see I have something to work on and think about in the coming months.
One definitely positive aspect that this year brought for me was being part of the Ms.JD blogger community. I was truly honored to be one of Ms.JD’s Writers in Residence in 2020 and had great pleasure in sharing my thoughts on this platform. I thank Ms.JD and my fellow writers this year and can’t wait to hear from next year’s Writers in Residence.
I wish a better 2021 for all of us!