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23.11.2020- 30 at 30: Looking Back on the last year

As we near the end of the year, I'm sure that I'm not the only one reflecting on what 2020 has meant. Having a December birthday makes this time feel all the more pertinent, as I look back on what I wanted to achieve over the last twelve months, in my 30th year. Well. The best laid plans, etc etc. 

The sheer unpredictability of this year has made any sort of forward or future planning virtually impossible. So much of what I was looking forward to across 2020 has either been cancelled or curtailed, although I'm keeping everything crossed that I'll still be able to revisit some of my planned adventures over the next few years, although I'm reluctant to put any sort of timetable on anything anymore. Hopefully in the future, we'll all be able to look back on this year as one which felt like a bizarre, dystopian nightmare, but for now I find myself counting myself very lucky that I've made it to the (almost!) end of 2020 relatively unscathed. Reflecting on the list of things which I set out to achieve this time last year might seem like a bit of a futile exercise, but I think it's helpful in terms of giving me a little bit of perspective- e.g life isn't always going to be like this...

My 30 at 30 List 

1) Get rid of the rubbish I've been hanging on to- college work, old newspapers- all the stuff I've put in a box but never ever look at. - Halfway there with this one. For some strange reason I'm more emotionally attached to my coursework than I was expecting to be. 

2) Read at least 30 books without abandoning them halfway through. - I haven't quite managed this one, 2020 has not been the year for concentration, friends.

3) Get a new mattress and pillows. - I'm working on this! 

4) Spend less time on commuter trains. - Mission. Accomplished.

5) Visit new places- including Skye and Cornwall. - No. I wish. (Come on, 2021!)

6) Trek Hardrian's Wall for Trekstock! - postponed until March. I hope. But I did 26 miles in the garden to make up for it.

7) Save some money. - Success!

8) Visit Knepp Safaris. - Bumped until next year.

9) Write more. - This has been a big THING. 

10) Learn how to make pasta from scratch. - New kitchen, will cook.

11) Stress less. - This is a tricky one. I mean, there's no doubt that 2020 has been hugely stressful. I wouldn't say I've stressed less. But I've stressed about things which I guess are more significant than the tiny things which I was letting wind me up before. Perspective.

12) Donate to Underdog International as much a I can. - Yes! And a handful of other good causes too!

13) Get enough (more) sleep. - Yes, and no. Broken nights, big yes. Lie-ins, also possible. So all in all I'd say I'm about breaking even on my sleep balance.

14) Visit friends who have moved away. - God, I wish.

15) Read my poetry aloud in public. -  The chance would have been a fine thing!

16) Shop locally and support small independent businesses. - Big yes!

17) Have at least one London free weekend a month. - Hahaha, try a London free life for eight months.
18) Get back into baking. - My lockdown sanity saver!

19) Rewild a corner of the garden. - Working on it!

20) Wild swim. - Does standing in a bucket in the garden during the heatwave of the summer count?

21) Stop using the words 'just' and 'so sorry' in emails. - This. Definitely. Happened.

22) Blog redesign. - Welcome to the glow up!

23) Climb Slemish. - Achieved. And never again.

24) Stop buying tea towels at every tourist attraction I visit. - Success. Mainly due to lack of being able to visit said attractions. 

25) Get back on a horse. - I wish.

26) Plan a big trip for 2021...Costa Rica...?! - Maybe 2022/3 is more realistic.

27) Value my skills. - This has been a lot of work. Especially after being made redundant. But I think I'm getting there.

28) Go to the dentist. - Tried. Failed. Pandemic. 

29) Support This Is Our Period. - Yes!

30) Don't feel bad if I don't complete everything on this list! - Absolutely yes! Here's to 2020, the year of adapting everything!

All in all, not too much of a bad showing. Life in such an unpredictable time is tough. None of us are living it to the full, we're just getting through one day at a time, as best we can. And, do you know what? That is completely ok. 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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