Well, what naïve little shits we were this time last year, right? “Oh it’ll all be over in 2021,” “by Christmas next year it will have all gone” – fucking hell. Sorry for starting off on a negative note, but honestly, I think I speak for everyone when I say that the current situation with the pandemic is well and truly getting on our collective tits more than ever. I think it’s safe to say we’re all done with Covid now, if we weren’t already before.
Thinking back to early 2021, when the roadmap out of lockdown here in the UK was unveiled, it all seemed like we were heading towards the end of this shit for good, especially with the vaccine rollout. However, new variants, people believing that the vaccine was a way for the government to track us and the big bunch of cheating, lying fucknuggets running this country have all meant that we have to endure this bloody situation for longer. At the time of writing, no one really knows what’s going on, aside from the fact that we’re probably going to have to get a loyalty card for all of these bloody booster vaccines. To be honest I’ve read more news than I probably should have in the run up to Christmas and I think I need to give my mind a break from it.
Before I sat down to write this post, I looked back over my goals that I set this time last year. Oh dear. None of them have come even close to being met, but to be honest, I’m not surprised. It’s been a shitty year once again, so I’m going to attempt to cut myself some slack.
despite me failing to meet my goals for the year and losing all tolerance for members of the general public who are refusing to wear masks, refusing to get vaccinated and still going into work with “the worst cold of my life” because “my lateral flow test was negative” (I literally don’t care hun. Stay TF away from me), there were a few good things that happened in 2021. So, as is tradition in my yearly wrap up, I’m going to do my best to focus on them.
I Revised My 30 Before 30
Okay, so the entire reason behind me doing this was actually a negative one, but I’m counting it as a sort-of positive because the revised list (I hope) should be a lot more achievable. As it stands, I have yet to complete any of the new things on the list, so…we’ll see. How much shit can I get done in four months? Watch this space.
I Got A New Job
I didn’t exactly expect to get a new job during a pandemic, let alone one working for my local hospice charity, but here we are. Starting the new job was a positive all in itself, but I feel incredibly grateful to be working for such an incredible organisation that’s much loved in the community. I work with an amazing team that consists of the loveliest, kindest people, I enjoy what I do, and most importantly, my mental health has seen the benefits.
I Did More CBT
Around the middle of 2021, I realised that my worsening IBS was down to crippling anxiety and stress (as a result of the job I would soon be leaving). After another (phone) appointment with the doctor, we established I needed to do something about it, and I was referred to the Talking Therapies service. Those who’ve read my blog from the start will know this was something I was reluctant to do because I was worried I’d had my “quota” back when I had high-intensity CBT for my OCD. Thankfully, as the wellbeing practitioner pointed out, at that present time, my OCD wasn’t the issue. So, I ended up with six sessions of low intensity CBT, along with some fantastic employment support (which I had no idea was even a thing), which ultimately led me to getting my new job. I’ll be filling you in soon in a new edition of The Therapy Diaries, so again, watch this space.
Live Comedy Came Back
During my 2020 wrap up, I mentioned that a LOT of the comedy shows we booked for the year had been moved to 2021. Surprise surprise, a large chunk of them got moved to 2022. However, despite that, we still ended up seeing a few shows. The first one was supposed to be Russell Howard in July, but when Covid cases went up and numbers at venues were restricted, it was moved from the Bristol Hippodrome to Ashton Gate Stadium to allow for social distancing. Don’t get me wrong, I was relieved to not be squished up against randomers for 2 and half hours, but I wasn’t best thrilled about sitting in a freezing cold stadium with no allocated seating and the potential of a crappy view (I know it was July, but I live in the UK. We had a week of sunshine in May and that was our summer). We were in two minds whether or not to go, but the decision was pretty much made for us when they decided to change the time of the show so that people could be home in time to watch the England match. The 8pm start became 6pm, meaning it would be impossible to get to Bristol in time after I finished work at 5.30. Still, I wasn’t exactly upset, as it meant I could defer one of the post-covid things I was dreading for a little longer.
We ended up seeing our first live comedy show post-covid in November, and it was Iain Stirling. Again, I was dreading it, but thankfully, we got very lucky with our seats and ended up having a little table just for the two of us at the side of the main seating area. I actually felt safe enough to take my mask off. The show was hilarious, and because we were just in town, we were able to have a bottle of wine and get a taxi home. It was good to be back. We also saw Jayde Adams and Rachel Parris, both at smaller venues, so they both felt very safe. Next year we’ve got a few bigger shows booked, so I’m not sure how they’ll go down (if they go ahead, that is), but it’s still a couple of nights out to hopefully be looking forward to.
No, I can’t write a blog post and NOT mention Taylor Swift. Sorry. 2021 was the year she gave us the re-recordings of Red and Fearless, both of which also featured some amazing never heard-before tracks “from The Vault,” and I (along with every other Swiftie on the planet) lost my shit. Both albums, along with Folklore and Evermore were the soundtrack to my year, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for her to drop the next Taylor’s Version.
What’s Happening in 2022?
I’m scared to write this one. I feel like we all went into this year with such optimism and now we’re at the end of another shitty year that’s been tiring and depressing, and we’re all pretty pissed off. I don’t want to say I’m excited for 2022, because I fear it’s going to be another year of shite. So, I’m going to be cautious instead. There’s lots potentially happening in 2022, but I don’t really want to get my hopes up. As I mentioned, there’s live comedy shows – Joel Dommett, Flo & Joan, and Ed Gamble – coming up, and even a couple of music gigs – Michael Bublé which was rescheduled from July (previously rescheduled from 2020), and Steps, which was rescheduled at the last minute a few weeks ago (although with Omicron making its way in I wasn’t exactly disappointed at this one).
2022 is also the year I turn 30. I swear to God, if I have to spend it in lockdown I will not be responsible for my actions. I desperately want to do something for it (manifesting a Taylor Swift themed party, obvs), but at the moment, I can’t see it happening. So, instead, lots of booze please. I’m determined to tick off a few more bits from my 30 Before 30 as I mentioned, but whether I’ll actually complete it is iffy. Send me your tips on how I can actually motivate myself to do stuff.
Anyway, I think that’s how we should all enter 2022. Cautious. Don’t do anything to scare it away. Get your vaccines/boosters and stay TF at home if you’re sick. We’ll be ringing in the new year at home again this year because of the old ‘rona, but rest assured, I will be going into it hammered and full of chicken nuggets. Whatever you’re doing, I hope you all have a healthy and happy new year. Let’s not fuck it all up now, kay?