This is the time of year when tradition means we reflect on the year past and wonder about the future. This time round, we may be afraid that there may not be a future for us at all. The reporting of ‘those we have lost’ now takes up page after page of our newspapers. Perhaps we wonder if we will be among them.
But if we survive, what then? This year has forced us to face some fundamental questions. Some are posed for us as individuals, such as, ‘How can I be safe from the virus?’ Others are relevant to us as the human race, such as ‘How can we respond together to find a vaccine?’ And beneath the COVID-19 and its new variants issue lie existential issues, like ‘What am I living for? What is most important in my life?’
I remember asking these questions of myself at different stages of my life. Perhaps most recently when I retired. Looking back I feel reasonably content with the choices I made then. Finding an allotment, beginning a blogging website, attending a local Quaker Meeting, joining a community choir all promised to offer opportunities to be active and reflective.
What now? Nearly ten years later, I am still fairly fit so the allotment, though hard work, still appears to be a worthwhile activity. It produces organic vegetables as well as giving me outdoor exercise. My involvement with Friends did become overwhelming in the latter part of of this year and I had to readjust my priorities and set boundaries to the time I was committing to Trustee work. The enjoyment of the choir faded with lockdown. It was not the same via Zoom. So we have, perhaps temporarily, ceased our participation.
I am still undecided about the future of my website, though I think I will keep on blogging. However, the two are linked. The blog goes to a few subscribers via the website, and occasionally I receive comments. But the website otherwise gets hardly any visits. Not that I want to end up with thousands of followers like those on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels. I do not want ‘fame’ and in fact it scares me to think of even that possibility. But, if I am writing, it seems pointless to write only for myself.
So I am thinking of giving up on the website. It has not achieved what I hoped, which was a for more of a dialogue with others. It does have my collections of short stories about Quarks, and the fifty or so hymns gathered into ‘Seeking Songs’. That means they are available should anyone want to access them. If the website goes what should I do with them? And what of you my faithful subscribers? I could set up an email list and send you the blog direct. Or we could call it a day and instead I may write a journal.
What do you think? Have you any advice?
Meanwhile, I wish you well and hope you looking to the future with the expectation that things will be better next year.