It’s here again. No, not another strain of covid, but that time of year when, in theory at least, we feel a sense of peace and goodwill to our fellow man*. As 2021 draws to a close, I suspect with almost as much a sense of relief as we welcomed the end of 2020, so I find myself in a state of mild despondency.
I can’t put my finger on the precise reason why. It’s not only the ongoing ding-dong battle with a virus that seems to mutate almost as often as members of our government are caught out breaching their own rules. It’s not only the spite, bile and mistruths I see flung about on social media as though common rules of decency no longer apply in this world. (I’ve been finding social media such a poisonous, divisive, lie-laden, attention-seeking, drama-driven cesspit that I rarely post on Facebook and Twitter these days.) It’s not only the spiralling costs of effective advertising and my dwindling book sales—I feel almost as invisible now as I did when I first started out.
No, it’s none of those things in isolation. Yet it’s all of them, and more. They’re all getting together (ignoring the rules against gatherings in the best governmental traditions) and contributing to a general feeling of melancholy.
It’ll pass, even if I’m not hopeful that the causes are going to alleviate any time soon. Despite the occasional grumpy-old-man demeanour, I’m generally an upbeat, optimistic person.
Have yourself the merriest Christmas** and here’s to a kinder 2022.
* meaning, of course, man, woman and those who identify otherwise.
** meaning, of course, other holidays too.