“Everything has to come to an end, sometime.”– L. Frank Baum,The Marvelous Land of Oz
It was a year of endings. We knew that going in.
The Eldest Son would finish his Masters of Software Engineering.
The Middle Son would finish his Bachelor of Arts degree.
The Youngest Son would finish his final year of school.
The Husband would finish his employment at a company for whom he had worked for 32 years.
Me? Mostly I was rolling along as before. But there were endings for me too. Changes. A new way of being.
“At such times the universe gets a little closer to us. They are strange times, times of beginnings and endings. Dangerous and powerful. And we feel it even if we don’t know what it is. These times are not necessarily good, and not necessarily bad. In fact, what they are depends on what *we* are.”– Terry Pratchett
Of course, like all of us, we weren’t expecting the added extremity of a global pandemic.
Finishing in midyear, would the Eldest Son be able to find work?
What would living on a university campus that was mostly shut down be like for the Middle Son?
How would an unmotivated Youngest Son cope with remote learning?
Would the Husband be able to find another job?
And how would I manage my mothering role of carrying the mental and emotional load for us all?
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
So what happened in the end? We survived.
The Eldest Son had a successful ending and a new beginning. He found a job within weeks of finishing his course. It was initiated by one of those ‘right person at the right time’ scenarios but given the company hadn’t intended to employ someone for another year but after interviewing our son, put him on right away, he totally got this on his own merits.
The Middle Son managed a not-quite-ending. He moved home temporarily in the first lockdown and when restrictions eased made a brief return but when the second more severe lockdown came into force, we moved him out permanently. After he contemplated pulling out of his course midyear, not being a fan of remote learning and struggling to achieve at the level to which he was accustomed, he pushed through and succeeded in all but one subject. He’ll catch that up this year.
The Youngest Son seemed destined for a rocky ending to match an unprecedented final year of school. He was lucky to be able to experience graduation, even if his family had to watch it on the tv at home, like it was the Oscars or something. Practice exams did not bode well for final results but somehow he pulled it off, passing all his subjects and gaining an entry score that would gain him admittance to his first choice of university study.
After remaining unemployed all year and just as I was beginning to wonder if I would need to find a temporary job as a barista over the non-teaching summer holidays, the Husband landed a job that ticked a lot of boxes. Managing a small staff for a not-for-profit organisation, four days a week and with flexible hours, it will hopefully make us all a little happier. It’s only funded to June but we’ll trust in the continuation.
My ending is happy. I find myself, weirdly, in a better place than I was a year ago. And I’m excited to discover what new beginnings await in this coming year.
“Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.”– Jonathan Lockwood Huie
What endings and beginnings did you experience in 2020?