Well, this is an overdue blog post! I broke my 5 year streak of posting at least once a month, with my last post being in August. But life has gotten in the way; work, dissertation and general life. However, this is the perfect time to collect my thoughts in this last blog post of 2020, with a reflection on five things I have learned in 2020.
A global pandemic was not something we all had in mind this time last year. Needless to say, it has affected us in more ways than possible.
We have been separated from families, friends and loved ones; either through lockdown or sadly losing them to the virus. As humans, we naturally crave some sort of social interaction as human beings; there is only so much we can do online. One day, we will be back to hugging each other and not have to stand apart awkwardly.
There have been disruptions to our routines, education, workplace and big life moments, which naturally is frustrating. We now have a new normal in adjusting to being at home more. Though, not all disruptions may have been a bad thing – you may have found it has been more beneficial to work from home, and in the future could cut down the commute to work. Others may have struggled to juggle with home schooling and zoom calls.
The information out there in relation to COVID-19, wherever it sits on the accuracy scale, has since caused a rift amongst our society. There is this divide, particularly of those who don’t believe or have experienced the severity of COVID-19; but as someone whose family works in the NHS and is currently teaching in a pandemic, I can assure you this is something that needs taking seriously.
Despite being careful, I still managed to catch COVID on the last week of 2020. I had cold symptoms and if it wasn’t for my mum and sister, I would have avoided getting tested. So even if you have a stuffy nose – get tested.
I have still been able to make the most of this year.
Whilst it has been a slow start to my thirties (with thanks to the pandemic…)I managed to tick off two points off my list on my blog post from this time last year:
Go on at least three dates – smashed that! I’ve now been with J for one year and he has been amazing throughout. We’ve been each other’s support bubble and he has made this hell of a year so enjoyable. Cheers for being you.
Complete my MA Dissertation – Also smashed that – I received 85% in my Dissertation and I have now graduated with Distinction! Whilst I sadly won’t have a physical graduation, I do have a virtual celebration which I recorded a video on behalf of my Faculty. Flashback to my SU President speech 6 years ago!
No matter what, there is always something to watch or listen to
I’m notorious for binge watching shows. Tiger King? Smashed it in two days. How I Met Your Mother? Two weeks. This year has brought us some excellent entertainment, some of which I have loved, hated and sobbed at. We particularly enjoyed the shuffle function as this got us watching People Just Do Nothing and it has been one of the highlights for J and I to watch together.
If I’m bored of watching shows, I’ve been listening to Podcasts; special mentions (not an ad) have been “Don’t be a Dickhead” “The John Borland Show” and “Happier with Gretchen Rubin”. Why not check them out?
I am grateful for my support network
When J is working, I am typically on my own (if I’m not teaching) so it does get lonely. I’ve had teary moments over the smallest things but as well as J, I have an amazing support network who are just on the other end of the phone or a video call away. It isn’t the same as a hug – believe me! I would do anything to give them a hug but right now, safety is a main priority.
This year in particular, I have gained some amazing people in my life and become closer to those I have known for years. You know who you are; I ruddy love you!
We can learn a lot from 2020 and apply the good of it into 2021
Basic things we can take from this year e.g. being kind to your community, helping wherever possible; but we can also reflect back on what we, individually and collectively, have gained. From our level of resilience to educating ourselves on how others are affected because of prejudice – and doing something about it. It will be hard. But let us give ourselves some credit on how far we have come through this crap year. With our resilience, our support networks and recipes for banana bread; we have got this in the bag. Just remember to unmute your microphone when in a meeting.
Thank you for listening to my waffles of 2020 – as always, you are amazing. I wish you a much happier 2021 and please do stay safe.
Until next time,