2020 was a year like no other. And like everyone else, I’ve felt quite desperate about the whole virus situation and how it continues to dictate how we MUST lead our lives, to protect ourselves and others.
I know things will eventually return to normal (oh my goodness, I cannot wait). But for now, we have a vital role to play to make the UK and our world a safer place for us all. It really is a no brainer, that isolating if we have the virus, wearing a mask, social distancing, sanitising and giving our hands a good old scrub, and only leaving our homes for essential journeys is something that must be done. Such an easy part to play when you look at the whole picture.
But despite all we are going through right now and how tough it really is, I have optimism. Because, as I type people will be receiving their vaccination to protect them against the virus and that is AMAZING! So, hold on and keep strong. There is light at the end of this rather long tunnel.
Whilst I am feeling more optimistic about the current situation, like most people there has been times over the last year that I’ve really struggled. But I’m more fortunate than many people. And when I’m feeling a little rubbish, I remind myself of all the things that I’m grateful for. And here they are:
My 84-year-old dad lives close by. And despite lockdown, I’ve still been able to see him almost every day. I’ve also been able to do his shopping and cook and drop off meals. For the meal deliveries we have our own little system in place; Dad opens his door, pops a cardboard box on the step, then steps back whilst I whip out the previous days pots and replace with a fresh meal. And thanks to modern technology, I’ve been able to have regular chats with my brother and family who live in Australia. Chats, that never ever fail to lift my spirit. The thought of us all being together ASAP is my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Acts of kindness
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is every wasted” I spotted this quote on the lion pictured below. Something I snapped whilst in Singapore and I just love it! The silver lining from all the craziness over the last year, is there has been great kindness shown to me and the people I love. And I’m so grateful. From the text from one of my dad’s neighbours to say they would see to him if ever I couldn’t, my best friend’s daily phone calls and shopping drop off’s, the lovely people that wave to me when I’m out on a run, the smiley post office lady, our helpful and happy post girl, the gorgeous girls at the farm shop (who pop our order in the boot of the car every Saturday), our neighbour that has dropped gluten free goodies and prescriptions off on the doorstep, my friend, who came to the rescue in picking up a turkey joint for me just before Christmas, friends that get and support me (tagging me to let me know about gluten free products and recipes to check out),… and it goes on. Thank you. Your kindness means so much.
Sunshine, blue skies and a gentle breeze is the sort of weather I cannot get enough. And we had plenty of weather like that in the UK last year. The sunny days and light nights were at real tonic and gave me the chance to enjoy my morning coffee and toast in the garden, get out for walks and stand on my dad’s drive in the evening and chat, for just that little bit longer.
Getting out for a run
Running has always had a positive impact on my mental and physical health. But over the year’s silly niggles or lack of willpower has prevented me from getting out there to blow the cobwebs away. Fortunately, I was niggle free last March, so I got my runners on and started getting out most days for a mile run. I have the best ideas whilst I’m out running. I don’t know where they spring from but I’m grateful that they magically appear. And I always hope that I will still remember them, by the time I get home.
Tesco click and collect
Thank goodness for Tesco click and collect it has been my saving grace and stopped me having to venture into the supermarkets (for now). I used to love going food shopping and wandering up and down the aisles. Occasionally abandoning my trolley to run back for something I’d forgotten. And it will happen again I know. But right now, I feel far more relaxed to pop an order on online and collect from the designated click and collect area at our local Tesco store.
Unlike so many people, me and Neil have been financially OK throughout 2020. As although stressful at times, Neil’s job remained secure and he was able to go out to work and bring home enough money for us to live on. I’m so sorry that if you have not experienced the same good fortune and hope that brighter days, well stocked fridges and healthier bank accounts are around the corner for you very soon.
The luxury of a coffee machine
I love a proper coffee. And in normal times one of my favourite things to do is to take myself off for a cheeky coffee at Bents Garden and Home and do a spot of people watching as I sipped my flat white. But for now, until I’m brave enough to slip out to coffee shops, we have the luxury of a lovely Sage Nespresso coffee machine, which also produces delicious flat whites. Me and Neil dithered for ages about getting a coffee machine and we wouldn’t be without one now.
Food GLORIOUS food
Good food and drink really do punctuate the day for me, and I look forward to meals and snacks more than ever right now. I’d always presumed that food was a big deal for everyone, but chatting to others I realise that’s not the case. Whilst I do love to cook, I’m very much looking forward to a time when I can feel comfortable enough to venture out again to eat at my favourite cafes and restaurants and pick up our regular Friday night take away.
To the NHS and all key workers
You are incredible and so brave. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to stay at home throughout the pandemic. But not you. You have had to go into work and basically be on the frontline, when at times I’m sure it would have been the last place you’d have wanted to be.
I’m so proud of Neil, my best friend and another good friend who’ve continued to work when I know it’s not always been easy for them. Thank you to everyone in the NHS and every single person that has and continues to play a part in keeping our precious world ticking over. I’m so grateful for all you do.
Thanks for reading this post. I really hope that you are doing OK and I am so sorry for any personal loss or trauma that you, your family or friends may have experienced due to the virus.