It seems conventional on blogs to produce a year-end review, often consisting of your best photos. I do not have any photos from 2020 that leap to mind, and I expect that our year has been a little different from many of you, so I am just going to offer you a few thoughts.
Determination vs Acceptance
At some point last summer we both reflected independently that we were getting frustrated because of unfulfilled expectations and were no longer really enjoying life. Our physiotherapist and occupational therapist were trying to get me to stand up (in a. machine), and get me into a manual chair, almost it seemed, determined to get me walking again. But I was not making much progress. We were getting increasingly frustrated and realizing that there were limits to how far I could recover my former life.
Instead we thought it would be most effective if we focussed on adapting to this new life, and making the best of our situation. The biggest example of this was switching our attention to our own backyard, putting in that nice patio that will allow me more mobility, at least in the summer months. Between that and the planters on the deck We have a whole new set of opportunities, at least for half the year.
We are all going to say it, we will be glad when this is all over and we can get back to normal. But for me and many others, this is normal. We are not able to just up and go visit friends; often going out to events means making special arrangements. True, our life has closed in on us much more than usual, but we have a pretty closed life as it is. Other than stores that offer essential services, there are few that I can get into or maneuvre around easily. And parking is always an issue.
And that is only talking about the warmer 6 months of the year. There are very few days warm enough or streets clean and dry enough that I could get out for a ride in the winter! As for the virus we are very lucky to live in a corner of southern Ontario that has not been heavily affected - no deaths yet and only a few hospitalizations since the very beginning of this. We do miss getting together with our family; that has been the biggest impact for us. But we stay in touch by phone and Facetime as much as we can.
I have to say, that because of the U.S. presidential election and all that came before it, as well as after it, I feel I learned more about the American political system than I ever did in 71 previous years! For someone observing from outside, it has been really mesmerizing! I now understand (at least superficially) the three branches (or is it four) of the U.S. government, the Congress and Senate, the Supreme Court, and over all this, the President. I even have a vague understanding of how the Electoral College works. Sometimes I think I understand the American system better than our own.
Two things surprise me. One is the individual personal power of the President, who seems to be able to run the country any way he wants, regardless of which side you may be on. The other is the awesome stability of the politicians. Here it is not uncommon for one party to get almost wiped out in the polls, and one election cycle later to come roaring back to claim a majority. There are actual policies that get debated and make a big difference in elections. American politicians seem to stay in office for decades, and parties control the voting to such an extent that the party in power never changes. I can only put this down to gerrymandering, a phenomenon I still do not understand.
But certainly I will remember 2020 as the year I learned all about American politics.
Best wishes for a great 2021!