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There will be lots of reviews written about this strange year.

For me, 2020 has been a year of less
– reading now I no longer have a work commute
– travel, planning, adventures, exploring, physical challenge
– art, cinema, exhibitions, theatre, performances, meals in restaurants
– spontaneity
– obligation
– feeling awkward and introverted at social occasions
– makeup; I don’t wear it any more although when I look in the mirror I often think ‘gosh, you look tired.’
– wearing dresses and boots. I’ve lived in jeans.
– alcohol. I did Dry January to Dry April. Non-alcoholic beer has helped me drink much less than usual for the rest of the year
– shower gel because we switched to Lush’s naked shower gel to save plastic and now just use soap
– FOMO because everyone’s missing out

There have been fewer hugs with my family and friends, cuddles with grandchildren, haircuts, parkruns, races, heart to heart conversations, opportunities to make new friends. It’s been a year on hold, of trying to stay safe.

It’s also been a year of more
– meals outdoors in the garden through all seasons, with accompanying fires in the chiminea
– regular contact with my mum and sisters on our weekly calls
– reading the news over breakfast and tracking the numbers
– zoom calls, Hangouts and Teams
– online snakes and ladders with Flo and Thea
– flowers on the allotment in the plum tree patch
– making lino prints and wooden spoons
– appreciation for the wood
– work angst – I would never choose to work from home full-time
– risk assessments and holding other people’s anxiety
– respect for people who work for the NHS; they are the best of us
– exercise – I’ve cycled more miles than ever before, I’ve run regularly and have swum when it’s been allowed
– connection with neighbours through the WhatsApp group we started
– produce made by Jonny – pickles, sourdough, lemon curd, ginger beer, yogurt, chutney, jam…
– regular yoga with Abi now it’s online (but I still prefer the in person classes)
– time with my friend Julia in her year’s special leave from her UN job in the Congo
– hope for my friend Michelle who has won her asylum claim
– online shopping
– cake – my contribution to this year’s making things
– avoiding other people when out and about
– reflection on racism
– success for Out of the Box Cards through making different connections and Daisy’s fabulous designs
– understanding of just how privileged I am

This time of year is usually full of future plans. Those are on hold too. Nothing will change anytime soon. But life goes on, and we’ll make the best of it. Here’s to 2021 and may it be full of love, hope and joy for all of us.

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