2020 was a year no one could have predicted and certainly not the year I anticipated when I wrote last years goals and plans. Even though like most of us, I definitely felt my fair share of challenges, I’m thankful that it wasn’t all bad so as I plan for 2021 I thought I’d take a moment to look back on the past year and hopefully remember it for the good bits.
ONE // Family time
If you had told me last Christmas I’d be moving home as well as my younger sibling, and spending the best part of 6 months living back at my parents house (or “the mother ship” as I’ve often called it) I honestly wouldn’t have believed you, but that’s exactly what happened this year. After some adjustment from all of us, we found our grove again just like old times. We all worked the entire way through both 2020 lockdowns, and were all effected in different ways, it was definitely a very busy lockdown for us. But, on those heatwave evenings and weekends we still made some memories that no doubt we’ll look back on for years to come. Lockdown was extra time spent all under the same roof and it’s definitely the silver lining to my year.
TWO // Long Distance
Not wanting to risk living in a share flat at the start of the pandemic my boyfriend and I both moved home to our separate parents and went into 6 months long distance we were not at all prepared for. With both of us having spent the first part of last year working and travelling for work, we’d barely seen each other! So lockdown 1.0 long distance was very hard at first, but we made Tuesday movie nights on the phone a thing again like we did at uni and kept a rolling WhatsApp stream going at all times. When it looked like lockdown 1.0 might have be easing up, we started looking at 1 bed flats all of our own. After one speedy socially distanced viewing we decided to take the plunge, and we moved back to London in mid August. We’ve spent the last 3/4 months making our new flat feel like home and thanks to lockdown 2.0 we’ve had plenty of time at home together to do that. Going long distance again after 6 years together is not what we expected but being close to our families was the most important thing for us and we never could have predicted as we were packing to go home that we’d still be there 5 and a bit months later! Thankful for our relationship and how well we both bounced back
THREE // Running
A very unexpected addition to my 2020 roundup, I was always a self proclaimed “anti-runner” who hated nothing more than a treadmill, until this year. I downloaded the couch to 5K app from the BBC in mid May and decided to stick to that as my interim workout plan whilst I was home and the gyms were obviously shut. For anyone not familiar you run 3 times per week for 9 weeks and with each run the distances get longer and you have a narrator in your ear telling you when to run and when to walk and how long you’ve got left etc. I really got into it in lockdown and upped my runs to every other day instead of just three per week. By the end of August I was comfortably running 5K’s three times per week! The biggest thing for me was the impact on my mental health, having tried every kind of workout under the sun I thought spin was my “thing” and I was so wrong, having experienced the runners high so many people talk about I am now a true running convert with (dare I even say it in case the internet holds me accountable) my eyes firmly set on a half marathon by the end of 2021! If anyone has any tips on getting 5K pace down and transitioning into those longer runs, please let me know I am all ears! I can’t wait for the clocks to change in March so I can get back to my warm evening runs.
FOUR // Health
Following on nicely from running, another highlight of 2020 for me has been the slower pace of working from home and having the time away from London living to prioritise my health, both mentally and physically. With my boyfriend and I both having a very busy start to the year and with me travelling a lot for work (read – a lot of hotel meals and eating out) I’d stopped prioritising my health and was very burnt out by the time I moved home in March. Not having to commute everyday has meant I have more time in the evenings and mornings, I can sleep more, go on runs and prep healthier meals. Between May and October I lost just over 30lbs and have kept it off since, between uni life and London having their effect, I’ve not been this weight since second year of uni over 5 years ago! My relationship with food and my body is improving more and more and I’m excited to build on that in 2021 (and hopefully run that half marathon)
FIVE // Reading
I narrowly missed my GoodReads reading challenge for 2020 but I still put in a good innings, reading 21 books. I definitely wasn’t as consistent as I’ve been in previous years but there were some seriously good titles released last year and a few still left on my to read list. Notable favourites include “Greenlights” which is the memoir from Matthew McConaughey, and “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. On the fiction front I loved “In Five Years” although warning it’s an emotional rollercoaster! And the winter series by Elin Hilderbrand. I’ve set my target for 30 books this year, which is 2 and a bit each month, so fingers crossed I can stick to that. As I’m starting a new job later this month (which would be a blogpost all of its own I’m so excited) my routine will be changing a little bit so I’ll build reading into that somehow. I’ve never been a podcast/audiobook whilst you run kind of person but maybe I can give that a go?
SIX // Solo Travel
Bizarre to be putting travel as a highlight for 2020 but at the end of Feb last year before the pandemic was in full swing, I found myself with a week off straight after a VERY full on busy season (think 12-14 hour days for 5 weeks with no days off and you get the picture) and considering I was looking at going away mid week, my boyfriend, friends and family were all working, so I decided to be brave and go solo! I spent 3 days in Nice in the south of France and it was absolute heaven. It took me a little adjusting to realise every choice I made was only about me but knowing my way around the city I had the best time! I took myself for dinner, read books, sat on the beach, visited the galleries and antique shops and took some time to recharge. I loved my mini escape and once the pandemic is behind us I’ll absolutely be booking another one!
So there we have it! A small roundup of my highlights from last year, but important things to look back on, especially as I’m sure history wont remember 2020 as one of the good ones!