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September has always felt like the “new year” to me, much more than the first of January, with its post summer holiday back-to-school feeling of everything starting over again. But this year, not so much. Of course this is in part due to Covid, but even last September felt more… hopeful?… with several tapas bars reopening after an extra long lockdown. It felt like things were getting better and people were still more or less pulling together. But I have to say that in these past twelve months I have been feeling more and more discouraged. Not so much by Covid, which is still proving to be a serious daily issue, but because people have been showing themselves to be… well, themselves. I do cling to the hope that there are still good people out there, simply because I know a few myself and so there must be more, but there are days when I truly despair.

But the way I feel most let down by this past year is how I’ve let myself down. I mean I knew – we all knew – that things weren’t about to get back to any semblance of “normal” until we had a vaccine, so I put off any chance of being able to work again until spring 2021 at the earliest (turns out my first tapas tour in 18 months will be this week). So I knew there was all this TIME there that needed filling. I looked at people I knew doing stuff like learning a new language, taking online courses, getting extra fit, and working on other various “self improvement” projects. Me? I did fuck all. And now I am rebooting my life again with nothing to show for the past year. Where did it go? Where did I go?

I have cut myself slack for those first six months when nobody really knew what was going on, and I admit that I kind of bottomed out a couple of times, feeling alone and overwhelmed by everything. But once last September came and there was talk of a vaccine on the horizon, with shops and restaurants were reopening, and people travelling again… wasn’t it time for me to pull myself together and get on with things? Especially as there was actually a whole year looming in which all I would have is time. Remember last January when I came up with The Schedule? Honestly, if that wasn’t a cry for help then I don’t know what. Having to schedule basic daily tasks just to make sure I got SOMETHING done during the day. What the hell is wrong with me?

There’s also the fact that I have barely slept for the past 18 months. I reckon I average about 3-5 hours a night, but hardly ever all together. This means lots of tossing and turning, phone scrolling in the wee hours, getting up and down, and then maybe catching another blessed hour of sleep after sunrise. Which means I am seldom up before 10 am and then most of my morning has gone after I’ve had coffee and pulled myself together again. Thing is, I keep thinking that I could have fought this, and I probably could have, if not “won”, at least done better. I could have improved my Spanish (which has deteriorated during lockdown simply because I never talk to anybody in Spanish), I could have lost some fucking weight, because I only had ALL DAY to get out and walk and stay active, and I could have worked on what I was actually going to do next in terms of work, once the Covid cloud cleared. I could have fought. Instead I languished.

I fucking languished.

I’ve often compared this whole pandemic experience to when I had cancer, which was something that actually helped me through the initial lockdown. I didn’t feel as constrained as others as I had already been through the whole not being able to go out thing, etc, but this time I wasn’t sick, so that actually felt like a bonus. I knew how to stay home, take my time, not push myself too much. But I never gave up back then. So why did I give up this time?

Anyhow, here it is September 1st. Again. The New Year. And I’m scared I’m just going to keep fucking things up. How are things going with you?