Well there we have it. After making it almost three years covid-free through this pandemic, I’ve been hobbled at the final hurdle – the 2022 Christmas family visit. As late as the morning of Christmas Eve, packing was being finalised and lists checked off. Cars were fuelled and tyre pressures correct. Departure was imminent, save for the pre-trip Covid check, which as you can now guess, in my case turned out to be disappointingly positive.
Sure, there are ways to manage these things and still make the trip, however suffice to say, our particular circumstances dictated the trip be cancelled. A somewhat quieter Christmas at either end of the two hour drive which separates us would now follow. Time for a little quiet reflection perhaps? Right you are, and of course that’s exactly what happened.
Amongst the kind (and certainly welcome) messages acknowledging the sad situation we found ourselves in, also came a certain clarity of thought around the reason for the trip. To see loved ones — as is the case with most of us this time of year. With many solutions offered in the well-wishing messages, summarised as: take a separate car/sit outside/wear a mask/just drop by at a distance, all consideration was given, however the decision to cancel was never in doubt.
You see, a little clarity of thought around what was being missed here is the key — at least in my mind. Yes, we are a family that celebrates Christmas in all the typical ways. All things going well, that is what has always occurred, and will continue every year into the future. The key however being it’s not the date that matters. The disappointment I feel in not being able to make a three day visit to see my family is no worse on December 25th than it might be on say, the 10th of June — or any other date.
Sure, it’s very disappointing. Seeing them on a particular “day” is not really what’s important to me — simply seeing them is. It’s about the visit not the date. And yes, plans are already in place to visit in about 10 days if things go our way.
So in the spirit of making the most of a bad situation, it’s a fine summer day here in Brisbane, and I’ll continue my recovery in front of the television, alternating between the Boxing Day cricket test match and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. A return to full health is best achieved with leftover ham and judicious amounts of pavlova — both of which are in plentiful supply. Add to that the real saviours and joy in this situation, my wife and kids, with whom I’ve just spent Christmas — albeit at a short distance through a mask. It wasn’t “as planned”, and despite feeling a little unwell, I can certainly not complain about these past few days.
In the midst of the chaos surrounding extreme weather, flight cancellations, health concerns, and many other challenges, I hope your plans went along as proposed. Mine certainly will — just a little later than expected.