Some of you may recall the late great Ian Drury. “Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3” was released by Stiff Records in 1979 and reached number 3 in the UK singles chart. The link takes you to an inspiring live performance with the Blockheads in 2010.
As 2020 comes to an end, there are indeed reasons to be cheerful, quite apart from the vaccines on the way. Its been a really tough year and next year will be even tougher for many people, but we've also seen waves of unprecedented compassion and courage which should be celebrated and valued in the future. Local communities have rallied to help people in need, whether through isolation, poor health, financial difficulties or bereavement. The pandemic has highlighted those essential services we depend on for a semblance of normality, and the courage of those who keep them going often at risk to themselves and their families. Not only hospital and health care staff, but also teachers and social care workers, supermarket workers, delivery people, factory and farm workers, hospitality and public transport workers.
The experiences of 2020 have enabled a wider public discussion around mental health, with better recognition of how looking after our mental health can be just as important as our physical health. The potential is there for a kinder, more accepting and enabling approach to mental health care and support in our communities and public services.
Ian Drury's 'Reason's to be Cheerful Pt 3' may not be everyone's cup of tea, so here's an uplifting poem I found from a collection by Ana Sampson . It resonated with me as a New Year message.
New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge
Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.
Wishing you well in these challenging times, and for the year ahead,