Soul ★★★★★

2020 has been a hard year. Obviously. The world's in turmoil and I'm sure many of you have had your own personal tragedies in a year where we probably should have come a whole lot closer than we actually did (not too close, socially distancing appropriately).

For me, 2020 was incredibly tough, for many reasons I won't go into. What I will do is highlight one particular aspect that resonates through daily life to this very day. I am a person that needs the energy of other people around him to function properly. This is one of the main reasons why I became a teacher. What I struglle with on a daily basis is that this energy is cut off from me pretty severely. I don't see most of my students anymore, sure, I meet online with colleagues and friends for drinks and a chat and on occasion have people over, but it is that constant awareness that you can't get to close, you can't act the way you'd usually do. I find this extremely tiring, especially this time in our country's second lockdown.

I shortcircuited when my eldest daughter tested positive for Covid-19. She's thirteen, was pretty ill and ridden with guilt for causing us to go into quarantine. That was an unbearable thing to see and I was done with the whole situation. That virus hung above our heads like the sword of Damocles. I'm not a person who worries much, but the worries I felt for my wife and two other children was an energy I was not used to.

Relationships, be they within a family or among friends or lovers, take on a certain rythm. And with that rythm come patterns and expected behaviours. These rythms are often comfortable, but always carry the risk that you start taking things for granted. And sometimes you need a jarring experience to wake you up.

I have always felt that I needed to be in the midst of a large social circle, making connections, being there for friends and family. And while that hasn't changed, this whole situation made me realise that so many times you only need a handful of people to keep you in the moment. And in that quarantine I realised just that, by experiencing the resolve of my children and the quiet patience of my wife. This was a rythm I had started to take for granted.

It is so easy to look at your life and pinpoint what is missing and it is so hard to fully appreciate the moments you have. And especially in this bizarre time I wish everyone that realization.

Oh and before I forget, Soul is about all of this. And it is superb, the perfect band aid for the wound that was 2020.

I wish you all nothing but the best in the coming year.