2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Each New Year starts of with such promise and hope but this year that was quickly replaced with anxiety and fear.
Each year I set out a list of goals for myself, both personal and professional. You could call them resolutions, but resolutions are usually broken so I don't. I write them down with an action plan to help me achieve them. Do I manage to do many of them? No, no I don't! I do enjoy the planning and the process a lot though, it helps me focus for the year ahead.
Like a lot of people I had a lot planned for 2020. Steve and I were seeing one of my favourite bands, Madness at Thetford Forrest, we were taking the girls on trips and to top it all off Steve and I were heading to New York for a week, just the two of us.
The beginning of the year saw the devastating fires in Australia, drone strikes and the Impeachment trial of President Trump began. A volcano erupted, the UK confirmed they were leaving the EU & the WHO announced the arrival of a little something called Covid-19!
What was Covid going to mean for us all? It was something that was affecting people on the other side of the world, surely it's not going to affect us that much. That's what I initially thought about it, I would make jokes at work with my customers about it and make light of a situation that nobody here understood the magnitude of.
I remember sitting on our sofa with Steve when Boris announced the first Lockdown, I was overcome with a sense of dread and sadness. This was unprecedented, how were we going to cope? We all sat glued to the TV as the Prime Minister made his daily briefings and we learned how our life was changing day by day. The number of Covid-19 cases and deaths was increasing day by day to alarming levels and we were staying home to try and combat the disease. The term "Essential Worker" was born. Those of us that work in retail & delivery drivers to name a few along with those angels that walk the Earth who work for the NHS became the driving force to keep the country moving. We looked for comfort in our communities and online friends and bonded with decorating our homes and clapping for the NHS.. Rainbows became a symbol of unity and hope as we tried to make sense of what was going on.
The days, weeks and eventually months started to go by with little change with the Covid situation. I decided to not go ahead with my Bluebell Mini Sittings as it was still very unclear as to what were and weren't able to do. We could go out and spend time with others while keeping a distance, but I didn't want to ask people to do that.
In May astronomers announce the discovery of the first black hole located in a star system visible to the naked eye.... WHAT!!! Yes, something that is interesting and not Covid related!
Over the Summer we saw some relaxation on the restrictions, we were enjoying the outdoors and meeting up with family and friends, of course while maintaining a distance. Slowly and surely we started to re open local businesses; schools opened again before the Summer holidays for the younger children while the rest carried on with their remote learning. Photographers ventured outside and shops were allowed to open their doors and introduce a new way of shopping, something that we would have to get used to.
I thought that I would take this time to try something that I have wanted to do for ages. I got my family together, we went to a field and threw paint at each other! It was truly amazing and I have the canvas and images hanging on my living room wall!
As the schools reopened in September everything seemed to be ticking along nicely and I started to plan for Halloween and Christmas. I had teamed up with the wonderful team at Twinkle Twinkle Little Party to provide a location where I could do them in one place... and this was the amazing result of the Halloween sittings....
This was the first time that I had introduced Halloween Sittings to my business and even though I only had a couple of sittings, it was a huge success. I can't wait to do more next year! Within a few days of doing these I was also doing the Christmas Mini Sittings at the Twinkle venue in town. I did Christmas "In The Box" Sittings and opened The Christmas Kitchen!
But alas, with a rise in Covid-19 cases and an increase in deaths we sadly went into a further Lockdown and I had to close early. I had to cancel all remaining sittings and pack up my set, but this did give me extra time to work on editing. The country was in a 4 week Lockdown with restaurants & non essential shops closed, schools remained open and we started to look towards Christmas and how we were going to safely spend it with our loved ones. I thought this was going to be difficult enough with everything going on, but to hear the way that people are so dismissive of the situation I just knew that it wasn't going to be an easy task.
As Christmas grew closer the government gave us guidelines to follow around who we could see and when over the festive period, but that was very short lived. The cases and deaths began to rise quite significantly again and the plans that we had made needed to be changed. We were looking forward to seeing loved ones but have been put in tough restrictions stopping us from leaving our home for anything other than essential travel and work.
And that's how we enter 2021
At home with our family waiting to be told what we can do and when.
It's scary, it's worrying and we are all looking for the end.
We have so much to look forward to in 2021...... I have so many things planned which I can't wait to share with you all!
Until then, Happy New Year to you all x