Pandemic pessimism

March 13th was the last day I went to an office to work. Since then, I have mostly been at home, attempting to stomach the news of the horrible administration that existed at the start of the pandemic, the world in general, and people overall.

One of my main core beliefs is that what we hear constantly, becomes our reality. The previous administration proved that quite well with conspiracy theories and crackpot ideology. It was also proven in the overall tone of 2020 and how it was “The Worst Year in History”. You couldn’t go on the internet, watch tv, do anything without constantly being beaten over the head about how horrible 2020 was. Now, we are continuing that into 2021.

2020 was a year of major changes for everyone. Change is never easy, and harder still when it happens unwillingly. I get that the volume of extroverts end up talking over and dominating the introverts, making their world view the “majority”, but in their need to be vocal about their extreme dislike of having to stay home, they piled onto that negative viewpoint, putting more people who actually didn’t mind lockdown, preferred it, and some thriving in it, feel bad for having a pretty good 2020, overall. For some of us, the chance to be home, nurture our souls in the comforts of the walls we created, and not deal with the fast paced, hectic demands of daily life was actually a godsend.

For me, I had to stop watching the news, and watch programs that were far distanced from the current events due to so many people whining about how horrible 2020 had become, and come to a place where I could decide what to do with the space and time given. It seems we always complain about having to go to work and not having time to do the things we want to do but when we are no longer forced to deal with those limitations, we complain about something else, like how work is still exhausting because you are now away from your working support group, communication is poor, you feel alone in your work. These are all valid points, however those actually existed before the lockdown, it was just harder to see.

I have been employed on and off since 2018. Any time I have been unemployed, I have had plans, projects and things that I wanted to accomplish, from welding to creating art. 2020 was the first year that I didn’t have a plan. It showed a lot through this last year. Of course, plans were made, but forced to be changed because it is now an employer’s market for jobs. There are now more people looking for jobs than there are jobs to fill. That means employers can, and absolutely do, lower the wages they will pay because they can find someone easily who will take a job for the least amount of pay. Because of where I live, that puts me out of the market for a good paying job. Instead, I’ve had to take a part time job making $26 an hour less an hour, at a deficit of 20 hours a week. That’s over $1,200 a week I’m not making. Needless to say 2020, financially, has not been easy.

Despite my situation, I can’t say that 2020 was the worst year ever. I’ve definitely had worse, by far. I’m sure a lot of people, upon reflection, would agree they’ve had worse. But we all collectively want to focus on something beyond our control to claim we are being subverted to the worst ever. I guarantee, the over 3 million people who died of covid, or complications due to covid, had a far worse 2020 than the rest of us.

Our perspective on life is what we choose to focus on. The majority of us have chosen to focus on what we seemingly can’t do, the changes that were beyond control, and not focusing on the fact that we aren’t just careening through life without any ability to change, stop, or redirect our perspective. It’s what I’ve been working on since March 2020, and I’m still working on today.

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