Happy New Year! 2022
Much as the year feels like twenty twenty too, it has got off to a different start to twenty twenty one. Last year, we were in a winter wonderland icescape and went on a daft trip to the windfarm to slip about and freeze. This year is a ridiculous 13 degrees and the windfarm was just windy, as it should be. Here’s hoping 2022 feels similarly different, as years go.
2021 was a year of two halves, I think. My diary is full of blank pages. The one thing that happened for me was an operation on my wrist which was a raging success, although has left me with a gammy hand in some respects – but it is undoubtedly better than before. (I can actually use my hand for things. I can stir things, hold things, grip things. Bonus.) Then the gammy hand recovery phase exacerbated an underlying gammy shoulder, so there was a weird phase in the second half of the year when, in response to the question, “Does anyone have any injuries?” I would respond with “Gammy hand; gammy shoulder”. It was good to have an answer to the question beyond my usual answer – “General decrepitude” – which doesn’t excuse one from any pressups.
So, the first half of the year was kneejerk educational policy from the SNP resulting in a lot of stress and creativity, plus the gammy hand. The second half of the year was borderline normal, plus the covid.
When we pared back everything in life in 2020, I was keen to learn from it and prioritise more effectively. In August 2021, I chose this as my verse for the academic year: “Seek first the kingdom of God” – in order to try and understand the concept and actually try to do it. Then, of course, I was overexcited with the prospect of normal life that my diary became jammy packed with fun things to do again – and I had a lot of fun in 2021.
Church has been great – and it is so much better “in person” than online – although when I was banged up with the Covid I was so appreciative of the online version. Trips to places beyond my local council area feel laughably exciting. Keeping up the exercise has been fun too – missing five weeks with the covid makes me glad I started to get fit when I did – it is so good to be back and feeling well enough to take part.
We also made two fun purchases in 2021. In lieu of a lockdown dog and a lockdown caravan, we got a vintagey BMW Z3 (that I had my eye on in 1999) and a summerhouse (that I took down the shed to make way for in 2018). So I now have the opportunity to have the wind in my hair and a place to look at a view, read, snack or nap. All good.
So, from where I am sitting (in the summerhouse), 2022 looks to be potentially pretty busy. I have an unrealistic pile of things to read, an infinite amount of housework to do, too many fitness goals, a fair few community commitments and all the things I know I won’t get around to – in terms of sewing, baking, writing and painting. In all of this is the advice from Jesus in the Sermon on the mount to “Seek first the Kingdom of God”. Here’s the verse in context. It’s all very good advice:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.