A million butterfly wings

Hi,

Well, I think we can safely say that 2020 was as much year to remember, as one we’d like to forget. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am hopeful that you’ve escaped the worst of this year, be they issues around health (mental and/or physical), employment, or other matters. Looking back to last January, the idea of that there would be a global pandemic seemed incredulous…. and yet, here we are. One might say that we are where we are because some folk have decided not to believe the evidence or science, but then we’d be into a discussion on society and politics. Moving on…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This post has been somewhat tricky to write. How do you sum up all that’s happened this year? Ignoring the COVID19 situation, there’s the Black Lives Matter movement, the ongoing anti-trans issues in the UK, the long shadow of certain folk (frequently rich men) abusing their privilege, the sheer amount of bare faced lies uttered by certain leaders, etc. When I list those out, it feels like looking up a very tall cliff. There’s so much going on it there, it’s difficult to focus on any one element.

So, and perhaps time for a deep breath, maybe I should not go there. Pointing out the liars, well, we’d be here a long time wouldn’t we? ๐Ÿ˜› Plus, to dwell on those negatives with the year that’s nearly passed, it feels a bit like poking a bruise. So while things need to improve – especially around race and gender – I think there are folk better placed than I to cover those.

In terms of looking back at the good things this year, seeing scientists and experts collaborate across the world has been inspiring. That and the incredible work done by front line workers in somehow keeping things going. Plus there’s Marcus Rashford’s efforts this year. His work on championing the need for children to be fed and now to help boost child literacy is breathtaking. What an amazing man, IMHO.

Resolution

To go from talking about those achievements to reflecting on my own little world seems both odd and egocentric. Okay, you got me in the last, but this is a blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ Self-deprecating gags aside, I’m conscious of the risk in comparing yourself to others. That and I’m not one for competition. I’m more a collaboration kinda, uhh, part time guy ๐Ÿ™‚. I think the world and the society we live in feels overwhelming at times: particularly when it comes to things big topics like Black Lives Matter, the gender pay gap, trans rights, climate, food poverty, etc.

Still, perhaps we should try – a million butterfly wings, if you will – and maybe we can start that with kindness towards others next year. Providing donations to food banks, trying to recycle more, speaking out when you hear inequality, give money to a good cause, etc. Perhaps small scale, yes, but if we all did a little. I think there’s a lot to be said about a bit of kindness.

Personal

On a personal note, I have loved working from home. Not traveling means I gain about two to three hours a day. With that gain, I am able to do so much more and the benefits play very much into home life too. A full lunch hour, sometimes even a little longer, and I actually eat something that I make, rather than a prepack sandwich, or – and sadly on too many occasions, no time for lunch at all. Now it’s a scratch cook lunch and a dog walk in the open air. It’s easier to pop the washing on while the kids get ready for school and so we gain time at the weekend by clearing chores midweek.

Not driving in and out has saved us money. I’ve of our main outgoings was around a weekly restaurant visit and given two lockdowns and the county going into Tier 3, they were massively curtailed. However, by not going into the nearby city and avoiding supermarkets, we are shopping locally a lot more. I’ve tried to buy things from the other local shops as well (make your own League references ๐Ÿ˜›) even if we’ve bought more online than last year. Our usual weekend routine of a restaurant visit was swapped with buying a takeaway once a week instead. Indeed, it was great to see a few ‘pop up’ vendors arranging different evenings and bringing a wide selection of street food options. Fortune favours the brave. ๐Ÿ‘

Blog matters

Less travel and more time outside means being less tired. As such, I think I’ve written more for this blog than ever before. Odd considering I’m actually dressing a lot less and meetings have been very limited. ๐Ÿ™‚ With more time to think, I felt I was able to cover topics I’d not approached previously.

If like to say thanks to Calie & Co who keep T Central running and are kind enough to feature posts from here. ๐ŸŒŸ I’ll extend that thanks to trans positive bloggers and commenters who’ve kept me informed, entertained, and perhaps most of all in this odd year, connected. Given the number of hours clocked up sat in my own living room, I’m grateful for you keeping the sense of community going. Thank you. โค๏ธ

Having jumped ship from Blogspot last year, seeing the stats renew on this year’s posts has been interesting. In honesty, I don’t write for clicks or comments, I write about what interests me and I still say, if I can, anyone can. Taking a look at the numbers this year, it seems the popular articles this year were:

  1. Blogs – where you exit stage left to read other stuff! ๐Ÿ˜
  2. Fifteen Years Later aka just keep writing one post a week regularly and time passes ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. About – easier to digest than wading through those umpteen years of posts ๐Ÿ˜›
  4. Coming Out – should you, shouldn’t you? What might help, what might not, etc.
  5. Dressing up as a bloke – I’ve been doing this for years and getting away with it ๐Ÿ˜‰
  6. When it all goes well – aka the importance of enjoying the moment and being grateful. The latter seems a theme these days.
  7. A look back: April – early COVID19 filler content ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. A look back: August – ditto but for August.
  9. Partners – a huge part of our lives and a growing number are writing and sharing their stories (which I think is amazing โค๏ธ).
  10. Lessons Learned, Part II – part of a series on ideas or good practice that folk have shared or that I’ve found out along the way.

Given the above content, I’m curious if there’s topics you’d like to see covered. Let me know in the comments or get in touch if you’d like a private word.

Chameleons

The COVID19 situation had affected Nottingham Chameleons with us closing our doors for a large chunk of the year. The on again off again lockdown rules certainly didn’t help and I think that tried a lot of people’s patience. However, the dedicated have kept in touch via the forum and with online meetings. Thanks to help from the local council experts, we were are to reopen in the summer. Yes, numbers are reduced, but I still say a little is better than nothing. It’s absolutely not to judge anyone who can’t make it. I truly believe the group do their best that they can and right now, some folk need to isolate. Thanks to everyone in the group who’ve helped things keep going, you’re an amazing bunch. โค๏ธ

Let’s learn and move on

Closing

So what to hope for 2021? I hope that we are all safe and well. I hope that the tide will turn against the COVID19 infection and we continue to work together as a people. Despite a few blowhards trying to turn the clock back on humanity’s progress and on equality, I think these stumbles are temporary, and we will move on. I am hopeful that more people will see through the bluff and lies of the charlatans who promised much and delivered little. We deserve better. I feel we will have to push back against those who will not listen to the changes we need to keep ourselves alive and safe. Most of all, I wish that 2021 is kind to you and yours.

Stay safe,
Lynn โค๏ธ

4 Comments

  1. What an excellent end-of-year post, Lynn.

    It’s been quite a year, and yet, as you point out, there have been some positives – lemonades from lemons as the popular saying suggests. Your appreciation of home working and a better life/work balance really showed. I hope that allowing employees more flexible home working arrangements like this in future will be a positive step for mental health, family life and the environment, not to mention lower business and travel costs.

    For my part I have especially enjoyed your lookback posts – all those lovely outfits! There’s evidently something of a fashion runway at Nottingham Chamaeleons!

    But I have especially felt your concern for justice and rights in the face of many attacks this year.

    Keep up the good work. And may 2021 be a wonderful year for you.

    Sue x

    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Sue. Thanks for the kind words about the post and also the Looking Back items as well. Not sure what filler content I’ll be able to draw on for next year, so fingers crossed for some inspiration eh? ๐Ÿ˜

      The home working also keeps traffic light and I read the other day there’s plans to relax in planning to allow old business buildings to be converted into homes. The old barber shop in our village might make a lovely house, but we’re rather enjoying being mortgage free at the mo. ๐Ÿ™‚

      As to the attacks as you mention, I was reading the other day that providing your population with a target to hate is a typical populist approach. I feel it’ll have to get worse before it gets better.

    1. And a happy New Year to you and yours, Pandora. Here’s hoping 2021 guess well for you.

      The blogging passes the time. It’s not like we can go out ๐Ÿ˜

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