Reset time in my calendar usually takes place at the beginning of January. This year, however, did not go according to plan. The tragic death of my daughter, Anne, on 27 December 2020 threw any plans I may have had for 2021 into disarray.
Grief and mourning take their toll. Unrelenting, they extort enormous energy from those who suffer loss. Disbelief and denial, anger, bargaining, questioning and depression follow each other in rapid succession. They repeat themselves over and over as a person tries to come to terms with a major loss. They leave exhaustion and lethargy in their wake.
The final stage in the grieving process, acceptance, comes slowly and quietly, but no clear markers appear to say, ‘The pain is over‘. Fortunately, a sharp COVID-19-induced lockdown this week helped me to rethink my situation.
You can read more about the stages of grief here and here.
Is this really reset time?
Six months may be far to early for me to say that my mourning and grief have ended. I cannot yet imagine what that will be like. But for now I need to reassess my life and begin to live differently. That sounds like some sort of plan, a reset.
What do I hope for for the next six months?
I’ll be satisfied if I make a little progress towards a normal (for me) life. Then, I’d have more energy. Plans and lists would again be part of my life because I function best with structure. I’d spend less time drifting through my days, less time putting things off.
For the rest of this year, my plans will be more sedate and simple, but will still take me a few steps forward..
Modest plans for the rest of 2021
Below a list of activities for my next six months.
- Create a sensible to-do list which is also achievable in a reasonable time. This will include tasks such as clean the oven door and wash the curtains.
- Do regular exercise to reverse the physical toll of the past six months. This includes strength training at a Strength for Life gym in Subiaco, walking with my Nordic sticks and swimming three kilometres a week.
- Write morning pages every day and take artist’s dates as advised by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and many other books.
- Read more about, and play with, writing creative non-fiction.
- Enter one writing competition.
- Go out for dinner, to the movies and the theatre.
- Read one book per week and review one a month.
Join this challenge
For many people, 2021 seems little better than 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck. Maybe this would be a good time to reset your own thinking for the rest of the year. I’d love to hear your plans. You can leave a comment below so we can enjoy your ideas.