It’s time for the annual report, and I don’t know where to start or how to start. Last year, as the world was slowly emerging from the horrors of covid, we thought that things would get better because they couldn’t possibly get worse. It turned out, they could. I won’t dwell on it too long because there are really no words to describe the pain and the sorrow. My heart is with Ukraine, as well as with my friends in Russia who have lost their jobs and are branded as foreign agents with a real risk of getting arrested any day. My best friend says I will never understand because I am too far away. I am trying. What is inconceivable for me is that so many people who I believed shared my values have chosen the other side. I guess this is how Americans feel about Trump or the British about Brexit. Families are divided, and you lose friends.
I have done my humble share in supporting Ukrainian refugees in Sweden, but of course I could have done more.
The big question when the war broke out was whether to cancel every plan for indefinite future: everything felt pointless, almost sacrilegious. Yet most of us eventually decided that refraining from fun wasn’t the best coping strategy. After all, to be cynical, cancelling a party will not stop the war, and maybe we all needed some fun in the middle of general misery. So my oldest son’s girlfriend celebrated her 50th, and to her – and everybody’s - surprise he proposed to her in front of all the guests. (They married in a quiet ceremony a few months later). My daughter celebrated her 40th with a fancy-dress party. And I celebrated my three-score and ten with a luxury weekend at a countryside manor for family and closest friends. During this memorable event I was introduced to disc golf, which hasn’t become my new favourite pastime, but was a joy to try as an extra entertainment.