So long, farewell…

Auf Wiederzehn 2020! I’m sure that I’m not the only person who is glad to say goodbye to the year that was and is looking forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for us.

Let’s be honest, 2020 was an awful year. Definitely the worst in my living memory what with its fires, protests and pandemic. There are some people out there who had their lives completely ripped apart. I have to admit, I’m relatively unscathed as I haven’t been directly affected (other than following the restrictions).

I can’t write about how terrible and just how devastated people have been by 2020. That really wouldn’t be fair of me as I would be making assumptions on things that I know very little about and I’m not about to do that. So I thought I’d reflect on what 2020 meant and brought to me – always good to get a bit reflective at the turn of the year. Plus its been a while since I last wrote!

So what did 2020 do for me?

My health

When the year started, I wasn’t well enough to work. Thanks to my ME, both my body and mind were saying no. I was sleeping a lot, in a lot of pain and walking with my stick more than I’d like to admit. By the time March came around, I was doing slightly better. I was probably spurred on by the fact that my 40th birthday was coming up and I had a weekend away planned with the girls. I’m so glad (and was so lucky) that I was able to celebrate my birthday – especially as WHO declared the world wide pandemic on my birthday itself!

By the time June came around, I got back to work. Well, I say “back to work” what I actually mean is that I got logged on and set up at home to work! It felt a bit weird returning to work without leaving my house and heading in to the the office. But to be fair, it worked out nicely for me in order to get my head back in to it.

As the months went by I noticed that my walking was improving. I noticed I needed my stick less and less. I can’t even remember the last time I used it! I still tire after a wander around the supermarket or a walk up the lane but no stick!

I started to notice that I was struggling to wake up in the mornings. So I spoke to my doctor and I’ve been able to remove one of medications. This has been great as I’m not a fan of taking tablets just for taking them. My body obviously didn’t need this one anymore so its now gone!

I was feeling good. Ok, good might be a strong word but I was feeling better than I had for a long time. Still in pain, still fatigued but the brain was doing better – fewer attempts to put shoes in to the fridge was a good measure for this!

Something weird also happened. I could feel that my body wanted to move this year. A couple of ants in my pants I’d say! So I was getting out in to fresh air more. Even bought myself an electric scooter so I could meet my body’s demand without over doing it. It was great. I was doing more at the weekends than I had for a long time. Working from home was certainly agreeing with me.

Then winter hit! My body wanted desperately to hibernate. If I sat still long enough, I’d be asleep. But I managed to hold on as best I could this year and for the first time since 2017, I managed to work during December. This to me was a huge win. I wasn’t at my best, but I did it and I’m proud of that.

What about you? How are you feeling? Better? Worse? Just the same?

Working from home

I know there are many people that don’t like working from home. For me, it has so many benefits. No commute to zap my energy. Not constantly around people so I can monitor my energy usage better (although I do get very excited now when I occasionally see people in the flesh!). And I can work away at my own pace.

I’m lucky in the fact that I have a spare room that I have my “office” set up in. I’ve kitted it out with a comfy chair, radio and good screen – oh and an Ikea desk! Its a great space to work away in especially as it not too close to the kitchen so I’m not too tempted by snacks! The best thing is though, that at the end of the day, I can close the door and forget all about it until the next day. I feel for those who don’t have that luxury and have had to work on dining tables etc. I tip my hat to you for being able to cope with that.

More time on my own

Living on my own and working from home has meant that I’ve spent an awful lot more time by myself this year. I feel kind of sorry for the cat!

When we went in to the full lockdown back in March, I didn’t really know how I’d be. I’ve lived on my own for a very long time but I’m used to seeing people in the flesh most days. Now, I wouldn’t see anyone I knew for a long time.

But I’m lucky. I’ve got people in my life who I can call on for a chat, zoom call or even picnic in a park at a distance in October! When I’m working I spend time chatting away to colleagues. And when I go to the supermarket, I always say hi to some of the team. So I haven’t felt lonely. Yes, I’ve been on my own for the majority of the year, but I don’t feel alone. My folks are my extended household so I’ve been able to spend time with them and some friends were able to visit in the garden. I chat to my neighbours and of course, I chat away to my cat (who occasionally replies!).

Something I was able to do a lot of over the year was to sit and think about who I am, what I want and how life might be once this pandemic becomes part of history. And something I’ve discovered is that I actually like who I am! Yes I’ve got things in life that I still want to achieve, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m alright and that spending time with me isn’t really that bad!

Have you had the same opportunity? How do you feel about you now?

Zoom time

If you didn’t use Zoom or Teams in 2020 what were you doing?! It really wouldn’t be right to talk about 2020 without mentioning video calling!

I have to say, living on my own it’s been extremely useful using this technology. Getting groups of friends together for a quiz, Midsummer party or just a catch up one to one has been great. Being able to see faces makes a difference especially when the usual catch ups in person with those who don’t live nearby can’t happen.

Reflecting back lets me see that whilst the year was far from great, there have been some good things to come out of it; something I’m keen to keep going. I started a wee photography business back in May so I’ll be continuing to work away at that. I’m also working away on another business whereby I can coach and help others who are feeling stuck and need a change. 

Now to 2021

So whilst 2020 was rubbish and not quite the year we were all hoping for, there are moments to treasure. But now it’s time to move on and see what 2021 has in store. I’m not going to say that its going to be my year because I said that last year! I’m just hoping its going to be a happier year with more fun, laughter and adventures as well as spending more time with loved ones in person. So whilst it might not be the best year of our lives – lets make the most of it!

My heart goes out to those whose lives were directly affected by the pandemic and to those who gained their wings.

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