2020. The year that changed us.
2020. The year that pushed me. Challenged me. Changed me. The year we all stayed home, stayed safe, stayed connected. We taught ourselves new skills, picked up new hobbies, got rid of old habits that were no longer serving us & started new rituals - Most of this achieved in our pj's on the sofa with endless cups of tea (or wine, you decide). As a new year dawns, I thought it was time to get pen to paper and reflect on another year gone by...
2020 started on a sad note with having to end our travels and return home after 4 amazing months in Australia. But despite coming home with only a couple of hundred pounds in the bank, we were excited to see the family we'd missed - Even if the cold weather was a shock!
When February came around we'd been back a few weeks and I scored a part time job at a local handbag & jewellery shop that I had admired for years. This gave me the income I needed to get back on my feet and start paying off my travelling debts...
Like the rest of the country when March started the word COVID wasn't really one we knew but by 23rd the whole country went into a national lockdown which in the end lasted 4 very long months. The first couple of weeks seemed to pass quickly whilst we adapted to a new, slower paced life where video calls & virtual date nights became a 'thing'. But as the days passed the time seemed to drag on, the uncertainty of the future ever changing.
April brought a new light to the darkness. At the time I was an Independent Consultant with a wellness brand called Arbonne and my days were filled with self development, journalling, calls, meetings & product IGTV's. There was a structured call plan where every evening of the week was something different and getting dressed up for a Zoom meeting was the new going out! During the month I read a LOT of self development books, meditated, created a 'miracle morning' and practiced gratitude & affirmations in the mornings - It was without doubt THE best I've ever felt in myself and although I no longer participate in the business, I have taken so many of the lessons I learnt forward with me through this year.
As well as Arbonne I met (virtually) and fell in love with the great Rachel Hollis who created a series of workshop videos that absolutely got me through the first lockdown. If you don't know her already, get to know her!
May was without doubt one of the best month's of this crazy year as this was the month that my social media agency Double J Media was brought to life!! I have always been entrepreneurial and for as long as I can remember I've always wanted to have my own business and work from a home office.
It started as a thought, which turned into an idea, which turned into a dream, which I made into a reality. I started to visualise how I wanted my brand to look, who I wanted to work with and where I wanted this to take me. I reached out to an old acquaintance who designed my logo and created a brand pack for me and the rest, they say, is history... Fast forward to the end of 2020 and I can now proudly say that my businesses has worked with a handful of amazing local brands and has afforded me to buy my very own rose gold Macbook Air - A dream of mine for foreverrrr (you should see her, she's a beauty!)
Another massive high in May was that my partner James & I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. At this point I hadn't seen him for over 8 weeks - thanks lockdown numero uno - but he came over the day before our anniversary and surprised me, literally shocking me in my garden to the point of hysterical tears! We weren't able to celebrate as we would have liked but we did at a later date.
As the mid point of the year rolled around the restrictions were eased and we were all - with caution - allowed to move around a little more. The weather was glorious throughout the whole of the 4 month lockdown which meant that we could at least get outdoors and bask in the sunshine. June was filled with many days out with James, catching up and reuniting with friends at the beach and gaining back some precious missed time with loved ones.
This was the month that a little normality returned for me I was able to return to work where they offered me full time hours and I went on a staycation to beautiful Cornwall with my best friend Mary. It was such a welcomed break and change of scenery and we both wondered why on earth we'd never ventured down there before...
My birthday month! This was the month I Turned a quarter of a century old and it really hit me. Towards the end of August my mental health took a turn and I ended having a series of mild panic attacks resulting in heart palpitations, dizziness & breathlessness at work. I spent a very unglamorous evening solo in A&E being poked and prodded before being sent home and being told to take some time off from work, slow down and rest. After a few weeks the fluttering in my chest subsided and I was back to my normal self for a few months. But in November with the announcement of a second lockdown, I had another bad few weeks ending up at the hospital where I was fitted with a 24 hour heart rate monitor to track my heart rhythms. At present I am still awaiting my results.
September was a special month. As well as being the start of one of my favourite seasons - autumn - it was also the month I was reunited with Grandma. She lives on the Isle of Wight and is high risk due to health problems so prior to visiting her in this month I had only seen her once in early March since returning from Australia. I took a few days off work and caught the ferry over to stay with her. We ate, drank, relaxed in our pjs and caught up on all the lost time, never leaving the house to keep her safe.
October came and went in a blur. This blog turned 2 and I celebrated how far it had come and reminisced on the places it had taken me.
The month of lockdown 2.0. As with the first I got fidgety and needed a project to keep me occupied. A friend of mine had suggested that I would be good at macramé so I looked into it, bought a few of the supplies I needed and started to get creative. Not long after I realised that I was good at it and it kept my mind occupied - saving my mental health on more than one occasion. Fast forward to the end of the year and I have a shop on Etsy, I have sold many pieces and I have plans to turn this into a second side business.
And now here we are, December. My all time favourite time of year... Christmas! This month flew by as I threw myself into shopping, crafting & wrapping. We spent Christmas Day at home for the first time EVER, my Mum cooked her first roast dinner (well done Mum!) and we all slowed down and enjoyed time with our loved ones.
So there you go, 2020 in a nutshell. Crazy, beautiful, memorable for all the right reasons. Looking back returning from Aus feels like a long time ago but on the other hand it's gone so fast it's scary!
Wishing you love, light & happiness for the New Year - See ya on the flip side!