Hey all – how are you doing on this Monday? Me, well, although I write this a few days earlier, I’m not great at all. So much has happened already in 2020, and yet it’s the year that hasn’t even started and may not at all. Where will be in December? Today I wanted to do a bit of a personal update and reflection, if you’d be so good as to indulge me a little because sometimes you need to get stuff out.
I sit here at a table and bench in Karkarook Park writing. It’s nice I guess to get out of the house today, my day off (this is Saturday for reference). I was feeling incredibly unproductive at home, so I went out and walked around the lake, pretty beautiful at sunset I guess, a walk of two or three kilometres. It’s in the suburbs and is no sort of tourist spot, but these days, a sunny if windy autumn day with the temperature reaching around 18 degrees, it’s very popular with locals. In fact It would have to be as busy as it’s ever been I guess!
Will I start with Corona? I’m off writing about it to be honest. But well, restrictions are sort of being eased here. I went to my parents’ house last night for the first time in three months for dinner. I’ve barely seen them in the last two months. Mum was rushed to hospital early March and is lucky to still be with us. Dad also was in hospital (not serious) in April, which was basically the only time I saw them in that month.
Monday (today I guess) is the first of June, and restaurants and cafes can now have up to 20 people inside. I’m not sure exactly of the rules. We’ve been able to visits family and friends for a couple of weeks, no more than five people though. People have been flocking to shopping centres in thousands, not sure why exactly because nothing’s changed there. Although it was supposedly only ‘essential services and shops’ that were supposed to be open, a lot remained open which raised an eyebrow or three.
A second wave is certainly a fear here too, as it is around the world. If we have to go back into lockdown again, well, I’m not sure what happens then.
I started the year with plans and goals. This was to be a year to achieve stuff. I was to have three trips, one or two overseas, not going that far including to the Philippines at the start of May. That isn’t how it’s happened. BUT – Kudos to SCOOT and Air Swift (read HERE) who have given me FULL refunds. Cebu Pacific have a travel fund for my $1000AUD and are suggesting I use it to buy a ticket for September to January. Bit ridiculous really because I doubt whether international travel will be possible for Australians in September and possibly until the end of the year, with the exception of New Zealand. Right now several states in Australia have closed borders and no plans to open them, so I can’t even head to Queensland in the foreseeable future.
I had a break last month though, took annual leave for a week and a bit. Got sick on the first day and was sick for basically all of it. I did buy and assemble an Ikea cabinet though, so it wasn’t a total loss. Also I have done well putting money aside for the dream of possibly buying a house one day in the future. But that’s part of a five-year plan that I have, which I am five months into right now. But to be comfortably ahead of my savings’ goals by the end of 2020 would be something positive. On top of that, my wife and I have now dabbled, ever so gently, in the stock market.
It’s probably silly to some, but I am now 45 years old as of late-April, and I have an eye to retirement. Presumably my dream is to travel loads once retired. But realistically how far away is that? I know that I don’t want to be still working at 70 years of age. If I want a house, the mortgage may well be 25 to 30 years. So that could put me paying it off until I’m potentially 75 to 80 years. Much as I love travel, financial security has to be a factor when you get to this sort of age. So I look to find a way that I can pay off a house substantially quicker than that.
And so, it’s been a stressful year. Work. I don’t and won’t talk much about work. I work in disability, and it’s an ‘essential service’. I have lost a couple of shifts per fortnight – community access, but generally I am on similar hours to before Covid-19. But it’s a heightened and more stressful environment. And work right now is a real stressor in my life.
We’re still in the mire at the moment. Will life EVER feel normal again?? What was normal, anyways?? It’s really bizarre looking forward to the rest of the year without ANY travel plans. The best I can hope for is a quick trip later in the year to New Zealand or more likely elsewhere in Australia. But when and where I don’t know. We could yet regress to more stringent lockdown.
And on top of all that’s happening to me personally, there is the whole world which right now is a state of madness. It’s scary. The blame-game for Covid-19 is not helping the world heal. The way politicians are trying to seek political gains in their own countries right now is disappointing but predictable. And in America the place looks from afar like it could explore in a thousand ways now.
How are you doing? Is it all too much for you?
Thanks for reading the ramblings of a somewhat-lost 45 year old.
May the Journey Never End.