Happy New Year everyone!  Phew aren’t we glad to put that one behind us? As the new year begins, I was looking back and wondering was 2020 all bad?

Yep – absolutely – it was dreadful. A once in a lifetime event occurred and no one was prepared for it.  Lots of people got really sick and many died, small businesses closed and some won’t reopen, countless people’s mental health really suffered during the restrictions, and for me personally right in the thick of the first wave my Mum died.  It was an unexpected and devastating blow and none of us got to say goodbye the way we wanted to.

Putting 2020 to bed was a tough one. Amid all the fear and restrictions, did anything positive come out of it? My Mum always used to say, “don’t dwell on it, keep your head up”.

So, this year I’m looking for the positives, the silver linings.  I witnessed some beautiful interactions from my neighbours: people putting signs on their fences offering to help, the spontaneous cheers for our frontline health workers, people celebrating ANZAC Day in their driveways, the incredible generosity of spirit that came out of a shared trauma.  The moments when we had to stop to smell the roses has really meant something in 2020.

In 2021 let’s celebrate the unique and the commonplace, the things that make you smile and colour the world.  Take that opportunity, hug your friends, tell that person you love them – purely because you can, and because going into 2021 we all need to keep our heads up.

Say Hi to your neighbour,

The Local Side