I know many will be happy to say goodbye to 2020. For me, the restrictions weren’t that bad. I am introverted – extremely so – and fairly misanthropic, so enjoyed having an easy out when it came to not dealing with humans. There were certainly people I missed, and activities – travel would be number one on that list – but in general, I did not find it rough going, as did others. I am lucky: I am not alone; I get along with Significant Other; I have shelter and food.
The low point was the death of my brother from Covid. We were not close, but he was my brother and the loss was painful for my sister-in-law. This doesn’t mean I am not worried about the effects of the pandemic and the decisions various governments have made about lockdowns and such. I take the pandemic seriously, but I am enough of a libertarian that I think we need/needed a better debate about how much personal freedom can be denied to people, as well as about risk-avoidance.
I tried to use the time I had productively: I finished one big writing project and made some headway with another – though I had hoped to finish that one, as well. One lives in hope.
On a superficial note, I gained weight this year — I am officially a “pandemic fattie” — something about which I am not happy. So Bridget Jones’ first resolution here is the only one we have in common. Obviously, will lose 20 pounds. Twenty years ago, when the film first came out, Bridget and I had all of the same resolutions. I gather I have made some progress in this life.
This has been making the rounds on the internets, and I think it’s lovely. Apparently, these were Jacques Brel’s New Year’s wishes for 1968 and they are just as suited to 2017. I’m too lazy to translate them for you, so if you can’t read French, it’s time to learn.
Friends, readers, please enjoy this New Year’s Eve greeting, brought to you by ABBA. May your 2017 be as excellent as ABBA’s lyrics. Not being ironic – I believe they were among the best pop music lyricists in modern times. And they weren’t even writing in their own languages. I love all the Scando-angst in this song, and the Bergman-esque angles in the video. (On another note, what I wouldn’t give for a dress like the one Agneta is wearing.)
Born on this day in 1449, Lorenzo de Medici, “Il Magnifico.” He wrote — among other things — the following words:
Quant’ e bella giovinezza,
Che si fugge tuttavia!
Chi vuol esser lieto, sia:
di doman non c’e certezza.
If you know any romance languages, you can probably figure that out, but just in case, it says (more or less), “How beautiful is youth (or how beautiful is it to be young)/which nevertheless disappears (runs away)/Be happy all who wish to be/of tomorrow there is no certainty.”
Basically, “enjoy life while you can.”
I am currently reading this book, from which I am learning a good deal. Tim Parks’ non-fiction are always terrific. (Not saying his novels aren’t terrific, I just haven’t read any of them — yet.)
Update: Ok, I just finished the afore-linked Tim Parks book and it includes his translation of the bit of poetry above. His translation is, obviously, better than mine. Here it is: How fine youth is/Though it flee away/Let he who wishes, enjoy/Nothing’s certain tomorrow.