I think it’s fair to say that most people will not look back on 2020 very fondly. That might be an understatement!
There seems to be an eagerness to get to 2021 and blot out 2020 from our minds as best we can.
This year has felt like a bit of a write off so it’s easy to forget about all the positives that have come out of it.
I know that a negative mindset certainly doesn’t do me any favours!
For my own wellbeing, I challenged myself to think of 20 things I’m grateful for this year. It was a lot easier than I initially thought it would be.
Here is my 2020 gratitude list. Writing it reminded me of how fortunate I am.
1. My best friend announced she was having a baby! I’m going to be Auntie Helen!
2. I’ve been able to spend more time with the hubby. He’s not had chance to forget what I look like this year!
3. My car passed its MOT. It’s a 2020 miracle. Seriously, this hardly ever happens.
4. We made friends with our neighbours. We probably would never have got to know each other so well had it not been for lockdown.
5. I had an amazing 30th birthday. I felt so loved and so lucky to have so many special people in my life that care about me.
6. We’ve made progress on our house. It feels like a never-ending, mammoth task doing our house up but nevertheless we’ve got another room done!
7. Time spent with family and friends has felt even more special. We’ve had to spend a lot of time apart this year so when we have been able to see each other it’s been so good. I don’t think any of us will ever take spending time with our loved ones for granted after this year.
8. I’ve realised just how much of a blessing having the countryside on my doorstep is. We went on quite a few walks over the first lockdown. We didn’t venture too far and just did walks from home but I often felt like I was in the Lake District or Scotland when I was on them.
9. I chipped away at a fear. I had to have my first blood test this year. Nobody could quite believe I’d managed to make it to 30 without having one. I have a needle phobia and even teared up when I was told I had to have one. However, I managed to survive the test without crying and I didn’t faint! I’ve definitely not conquered my fear yet and I still stand by my testament that needles hurt but this was a big step forward for me!
10. I’m slowly learning to live in the present. I’m a planner. I’m always looking ahead to the next thing and organising the months to come. This year’s diary was chock-a-block by January the 1st but then the global pandemic came along in March and pulled the rug from under my feet. I’ve had to adapt and live day by day and week to week. There’s a lot to be said for appreciating the present as opposed to obsessing over the future and what may or may not happen.
11. I made it on to the telly along with the staff and clients at STEPS Rehabilitation! I run dance sessions for STEPS and we decided to take part in the Strictly Dance Challenge for Children in Need. A little snippet of our video featured in the final montage of members of the Great British Public doing the routine alongside the Strictly pros and celebrities on Children in Need!
12. I feel stronger. It’s been a tough old year but I’ve kept going. It’s not been easy but I’ve tried my best to tackle every challenge this year has thrown me. It’s hard work showing up every day but I think I’ve done myself proud.
13. I had an amazing weekend away courtesy of my dance family. They surprised me with this for my 30th. I felt well and truly spoiled!
14. I’ve had time to reflect. I think everyone will agree that this year has made us realise what’s important to us and perhaps rethink certain aspects of our lives.
15. Lockdown helped me feel more creative. When I went back to teaching at the end of July, I had lots of new ideas.
16. My dance students are brilliant. They have handled this year so well. They’ve kept working hard in challenging times and have made lots of improvements. I’m so proud of them.
17. My class members are brilliant. The support I’ve had from them has been incredible and they’ve been so understanding of all the changes I’ve had to put in place. Over the first lockdown I was worried about the future of my classes and didn’t know if anybody would want to come back to them when they were able to restart. I needn’t have worried though and for that I’m so thankful.
18. I’ve read. Reading was one of my biggest passions when I was younger but ever since hitting adulthood I’ve not had the time for it or when I have, I’ve been too tired to read. This year has meant a lot of quiet evenings and weekends for me, times when I would usually be working. It has been nice to pick up a book again in those quiet moments.
19. I have the best family and friends. I don’t know what I would do without them. I’ve needed them more than ever this year and they’ve been there for me.
20. I’m grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones. 2020 has been a massive reminder that health is wealth.