Annus Horribilis

Queen Elizabeth II called 1992 an annus horribilis, (that’s Latin for horrible year). She added “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.”

I, Evelyne Fallows, call 2020 my annus horribilis (or shitty year) and will definitely not look back at the first six months with any kind of pleasure, undiluted or other. Multiple health problems and accidents plagued my family, my younger brother passed away at the age of 47; the Covid crisis followed by the lockdown and countless deaths, including the death of a dear friend at the age of 37; the wedding of my step-daughter postponed; the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis followed by demonstrations around the US and the world, the looting and curfew imposed on NYC…I think you get the picture. And 2020 is not even over yet! There are days when I wish I could press fast forward and slip into blissful amnesia.

In gold the places we still have to visit!

And yet, we are among the “lucky ones”. We were not directly impacted by Covid, we are alive and healthy (and loudly thank essential workers on our terrace every night at 7p.m.), and we have reorganized our life differently. We religiously wear a mask, wash our hands counting to twenty, respect social distancing, zoom friends and family, read, write and watch all sorts of movies and documentaries…

Surprisingly though, this has been a good time for me to take a break from doing into being, to reflect and reassess my life and priorities. Oh, nothing drastic, but the certitude that what I love is traveling, that in honor of my brother and my friend, I shall enjoy every single day to the max (sounds terribly cliche, but how many of us really do it?), rediscover the small pleasures like happy hour in the park with friends (masks on), planting celery on my balcony (miserable fail), excitedly discussing with my husband what we will watch/eat that night.

Although air travel will not fully resume anytime soon, I’m looking forward to the day I can travel again, visit my family and friends, discover new places and countries. To 2021! May that be an annus fantasticus.

Be safe, be well,


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