What a year


So far and throughout my life I never felt that there are good years or bad years, as we all know good or bad is a relative thing, what is good for me can be bad to another person. We need to always make choices that fit us and not what others suggest that we do.  Life can be very hard, and we do not need to compound it by doing the “wrong” things just because we follow someone’s advice.


Back to the years. I am going to be 65 soon, so basically, I had to think what I will do for retirement. Shall I retire or just continue to work and mentor? Or shall I just do small jobs like teaching one class for utter enjoyment? Or shall I dedicate my time to reading or editing other people’s work? Or shall I just go out, have coffees, meet friends and enjoy my years of “no work”.  Hard choices and this is compounded by a year that we all had to stay home worrying about Corona.


So, this is 2020, the year we all had to shield ourselves – literally shield ourselves- from everyone and stay home with no end date in the horizon.  Have we had that at all in our lives? To me with my 65ish years I had never been compelled to stay home, I was out and about all the time, either at work, at universities, at children birthday parties, at lunches or dinners with family and friends, at cinemas, at the beach, at book club meetings, literature festivals, art shows, going to museums, invited to book publishing ceremonies or having a great time at anything I was doing, and in between I am enjoying my time. Meeting family and friends for coffees and teas was the highlight of my days, sometimes we can go on without an end in mind; entertaining at home was endless, and we were not tired from doing that.  We feel that this is the spice of life. Life is actually made up of those small memories that we put together and make up a story.


2020 was the year I was grounded, normally I am in the air at least four times a month, or in a train or in a car, not a ship though unless I am cruising the canals of Amsterdam. Apart from three trips in the beginning of the year (Dubai, Bali and Dubai) all airports have suddenly stopped when a deadly virus invaded us.  The virus that looked like people from Mars with their head-spikes, and that was the end of everything as we know it. Children stayed home and schools were run remotely, I was teaching my classes online though Zoom or Discord (maybe there was another method), books became electronic, no movie houses,  but Netflix had quadrupled its sales, more people started to know each other through whatsapp.  Ok, since I mentioned Whatsapp, worst rumours about the virus were transferred like the speed of light and went viral through whatsapp.  All the rumours about the vaccine came through whatsapp, all the conspiracy theories came through whatsapp, to the extent that I started deleting the messages before even reading/viewing them, sometimes I delete legitimate messages in the fear of reading a rumour and then my friends or whoever had sent them would ask me why I didn’t reply to them. Embarrassing.


Even though I never dreamt of not doing anything, here I was not doing much, apart from reading or writing. Also, I started to do on the spot runs and walks around the house; what made me sane is being with my daughter and her kids, as they had kept me busy. So far this year I was able to read 117 books, the best one being “A movable feast- Ernest Hemingway” and have edited few books for friend. That is why I am thinking that book editing is something that I can get my teeth into and will not interfere with my retirement. Besides, there is an added advantage in editing books, I can read them before anyone else does, which makes life so special.


2020 is the year I completed a book which was staying in my computer for ages. Now its just needing some finishing touches and will go to print


2020 was the year of writing my memoir. So here it goes, I started with the early fifties, then the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, I still have three decades to write about.  It’s not hard to finish, but it’s hard to find the time to just set and complete it.


2020 is the year I used my apple watch religiously, I complete my exercise, my move, my breathing, my stands, and focused on my sleep pattern.


2020 is the year I had many good dreams and many bad ones. But none of them were about being bored.


2020 is the year I lost many of my dear friends, to cancer, heart attacks, corona, and many other diseases.


2020 is the year I became closer to my mother, and I am hoping it will continue to be that way.


2020 has one day to go and anything can happen. Miracles are a possibility every second of the day.


Dreams are given to us as gifts, the way we interpret them is up to us, if you think your dreams are bad, they will be bad, and if you think that they have no meaning, they will be with no meaning.  The winners in life are those that take their dreams seriously, as they are a continuum to our days; what we do during the day is gathered, cleansed and reprojected at night by our brain.  We actually can make our dreams come true.  I am reading a book about why we sleep, and it seems that dreaming is a big reason for sleeping, as it cleanses the brain from what we did during our awakening period. Watch out for your dreams and make sure to decipher them. There is a way to remember them, first you need to stay on your pillow with your eyes closed and remember what you dreamt, then think about it and then start your day. This is a great meditation habit to acquire.


Thoughts come to us like the speed of light, hold on to each thought as one of them will be an answer to your “one million dollars” question. I started (albeit too late) to have a sporadic time during the day to just breath and gather my thoughts. I feel great afterwards and I am hoping that I will continue to do that.


Ok, so you know of course that I love watching movies. This year there were weeks that I didn’t watch any movie at all. My focus on finishing every book that I started was a resolution and I did mean that resolution, so what I had decided to do I had actually accomplished, and it became a habit. I am so happy about this decision; I hope that I will maintain it years to come.


Finally, I would love to mention something to you, one of the books that I had read and dreaded, was one written by George Orwell, it was called 1984. Of course, the book was written in the forties, but was depicting a life where the world was split into three countries who were on continuous wars with one another. The Big brother conspiracy came about from this book. I assure you ladies and gentlemen, none of you would want to live in that life! Where your dreams, ambitions, thoughts, and your whole life is controlled by an elite few and you are reduced to nothing.


So, let’s come to my wishes for you in 2021 and the years to come, I wish you a life full of splendid dreams, a life where you are in control of everything, and a life where you are able to give to others from that wallet that is never ending.  I wish that all your dreams come true, and all your thoughts are captured. A year that no one can affect us by conspiracies, and agendas that are only suitable for the elite few.


Enjoy tomorrow and start your new year with a good thought.