2020: What A Year

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog,

I thought it would be nice to write some of my thoughts down about 2020 as I have so many going round and round my head. This post will be a little recap complete with my highlights, achievements, mess-ups and thoughts for 2021.

I hope you are all keeping well and that this blog post feels like we’re sitting down for a coffee and a catch-up with each other. Because it’s long overdue!

2020 started on a high for me – as one of our goals for the new year, my boyfriend and I had decided that we’d try and get away somewhere once every month. In January we visited Lake Bled in Slovenia and in February we visited his family in Italy. We had a trip planned for March but unfortunately that all went to pot.

The pandemic hit and I don’t think I need to dwell too much on it, but ultimately all our plans were cancelled and everything got turned upside down. Life became almost unrecognisable.

I was furloughed for a total of six months from my job, from March to September. I had never even heard of the word furlough before but now it’s a word we all know and use on the regular. I returned to work in September, only to be told in October that I was at risk of redundancy in the company. Following a lengthy and confusing process of my job trying to find me another role within the company, my redundancy was confirmed just before Christmas and I was told my last day would be 29th January. I have to say that it definitely seemed a lot further away the other side of Christmas; it now feels scarily close. Despite everything, I’m pleased that the situation is now over and I can finally stop feeling like I’m on a rollercoaster of emotions not knowing where I’ll be or what will happen. Of course, there’s still so much uncertainty but I’m happy this particular issue has been put to bed.

Though the year has been a complete and utter whirlwind and mess, I am pleased that throughout everything I have managed to post regularly on this blog. It has truly been a solace during these dark times. I do have a post about my reading and blogging goals for 2021 coming soon, so stay tuned for that! I hope you’ll continue with me on this jouney.

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that I managed to go the whole of 2020 without buying books. I’m proud of that considering that I thought I wouldn’t be able to last a year. It’s not something I’m continuing into 2021, however I am trying to be more mindful with my purchases.

I got back into driving and overcame a fear that had crippled me for quite a while. I wrote a blog post here and, if you’re experiencing similar thoughts and feelings with driving, I recommend you read it. It has opened up so many new doors for me, full of wonderful experiences and adventures.

Another thing that I did in 2020 which I haven’t discussed on my blog before was that I moved out of my family home and into a house with my boyfriend and some friends. Of course, as per me and my erraticness, it was impeccable timing and I moved out just before lockdown 2.0 here in the UK. This meant that everything felt slightly rushed and I ended up feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Fast-forward two months and I’m now feeling a lot more settled.

When I started to plan writing this blog post, I spent a lot of time mourning what 2020 should have been; all the plans we should have kept, the people we should have seen, the places we would have been… But there is comfort in knowing that everyone has had the same year. Though covid-19 has affected people disproportionately, there’s comfort in knowing that we’ve all been on similar rides. This has been hard for everyone.

Without a doubt, the pandemic has changed everyone’s outlook on life. What we thought was important no longer is. Amongst many awful things that it’s given us (or taken away from us), it’s given us the chance to slow down; to rekindle friendships, to appreciate the small things and to love harder knowing that life is fragile and tender, but also the greatest gift.

Isn’t it odd. 2020 will be the year that our children and our children’s children will learn about in school and I think that makes it a pretty remarkable year.

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Thanks for reading. I hope you’re feeling hopeful and grateful for the year ahead.

Lots of love, Zoë xx

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