Every year I start a process of reviewing what has happened in the previous 12 months.
My 2020 review feels more important than ever before, especially as I believe the UK will be entering lockdown again before too long. (stupid Covid!)
My 2020 Review Highlights Include:
- Making time for me
- Passing AAT level 3 course
- Knitting,audiobooks and gardening
- Writing progress
Like many parents this year my husband and I experienced the delights of homeschooling our children. Fortunately my husband was off work for the first part (although that brought its own financial challenges), and he took the lead with childcare while I continued to work, mainly making sure key workers got paid correctly.
As I write this it is looking likely that at least some form of Homeschooling will happen in the New Year here in the UK. I no longer look on this with terror, but am reassured that we got through it last time, and will do so again. My kids are more prepared this time, dare I say it feels like a brave new form of normal.
Taking time for me.
During this summer the universe sent me a message that I was doing too much. This message came in the form of being seriously unwell and spending time in hospital (not with Covid). Still down as a mystery illness but it forced me to refocus on what is important in my life.
Most importantly my illness forced me to slow down and make time for me. When lockdown happened back in March I fell into the trap of trying to do everything, worse I stopped working my regular office hours. I was working way more than my paid hours, in an attempt to make sure everything was completed. Never a good thing.
Now I log off from my work computer at a set time and don’t look at work things again until I’m next at work. My home office is also in my living room, so I physically clear the space so my eye isn’t caught by work stuff during the evening.
Passing AAT Level 3
My day job is as a bookkeeper for a social care charity, over the last two years I have been working to complete my Level 3 AAT qualification. I now understand the principles of double entry bookkeeping and other terminology. (Or at least I hope I do).
Strangely enough I think this qualification will also help with my writing, as the principle that every transaction has an equal and opposite transaction (or number of transactions) applies to story planning and ties in with the principles explored in the Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.
Mostly though I am super proud of completing the necessary exams and coursework for this course, while working full time, looking after the family, surviving lockdown and homeschooling. I took my final exam a four weeks after returning to work from my illness in July.
The plan for 2021 is to channel this energy into my writing.
Knitting, Audiobooks & gardening.
As I review 2020 one of the highlights has to be discovering knitting, more specifically the pleasure of finishing work then listening to an audiobook while knitting in my garden.
Our garden was a lifesaver this year, providing an extra room for us to escape to. Watching the different plants and flowers growing and thriving helped to remind us that the difficulties of lockdown were temporary and would pass eventually.
I’d never really knitted before this year, but found the process of concentrating on the wool very meditative, especially while listening to a grisly mystery. My local library has an app (Borrowbox) which lets me download free audiobooks.
2020 review: Writing
Writing is an area of my life that has suffered in 2020, this was a year when I was forced by necessity to re-evaluate my workload and slow down. I have learnt not to put too much pressure on myself, and to ask for help when I need to.
At the beginning of November I wrote about my plan for achieving Christmas calm and succeeding in Nanowrimo.
Did I write 50,000 words in November? No I didn’t I wrote about 8000. But this is my most successful Nanowrimo for several years and I wrote nearly every day.
I wasn’t completely ready for Christmas this year, but I was more prepared than I have been for years. This is a massive achievement for me and proves that a little bit of consistent effort works wonders.
Time for Me