“This is going to be my year,” many of us had said. I mean, let's be honest, the year 2020 had a nice ring to it. It was going to be big, like a milestone birthday or anniversary. It was a significant number on the calendar that we had lived to see, and we were excited. Little did we know that it would turn our lives upside down – perhaps forever.
Now that 2022 is here, many of us are cautious about planning just in case we see a repeat of 2020. Just as we had got over the shock of the Delta variant, Omicron, the newest novel coronavirus variant, joined the party in late 2021, bringing with it predictions of doom and gloom in certain quarters as it is said to spread rapidly.
We don't know what to expect in 2022. Or do we?
The new normal is a term many of us have grown to detest; however, if we embrace it, we will realise sooner than later that we have learnt much from it, enough to steer us forward. Here are a few things we already know:
• Plan your vacation, but stay close to home. If you wish to travel abroad, play it by air. Pun intended. Being stuck at sea is not for the faint of heart. If you are brave, go ahead and book that cruise.
• Do not buy too many clothes and shoes because you may not wear them beyond your front door.
• It is a great time for home-improvement projects. Transform your home into more than a place to sleep, but rather one which entertains.
• Buy plenty food and toiletries as you may be spending a lot of time at home.
• Entrepreneurship is on the rise. Check the stats for registrations in 2020 at the Companies Office of Jamaica. That dream you've had of being your boss, now is the time! Despite a decline in some industries, others like health supplies, technology, content creation, food, construction, e-commerce, and logistics are booming.
• You can definitely spend more time with family, given all that time you'll be spending at home.
• Fitness could fit more easily into your schedule. The gyms have reopened, and remote work offers an opportunity to take a jog around the community, television workout inside your house, or do a few jumping jacks and push-ups outside.
• You can have better control of your diet if you are preparing your own meals at home.
• Remote work also means you save on gas or transport fare by avoiding the daily commute to and from work. So think about putting those funds aside in a savings account.
• If you can't go to church, you can join in fellowship wherever you are as so many church services are now online.
The lessons we have learnt are endless, and they vary based on our individual realities. However, two years later, despite Omicron, we know a lot more than we did in 2020 when words like cough, sneeze, mask, curfew, and vaccine sent us scampering for cover. So go ahead and set those goals for '2020 too'. Happy New Year!