Sayonara 2020

My 2020 started in Port Douglas. Ocean swims, dolphins, fun, sun and far too much food. Good times!

Nek minnite, we experienced bushfires, pandemic, iso lockdowns, change in working environment, home schooling, toilet paper hoarding, lines at the supermarket, blank grocery shelves, a resurgence in sourdough baking, mask wearing became the norm, zoom parties a thing and watching the Premier’s press conferences was a daily occurrence (North Face? Suit Jacket? Are we ready?). We are all now arm chair public health, epidemiology and virology experts.

What a roller coaster year of facing the unknown, and keeping on going. We all deserve a pat on the back – we made it. It has no doubt been hard to deal with all over the world. I only know my own lived experience here in Melbourne with one of the world’s longest and toughest novel coronavirus lockdowns and I really do appreciate the fragile peace we have arrived at with no current community transmission.

No wonder I feel tired and ready for a break. Whoa. Do you? I still haven’t ventured further than my local area and I’m ok with that. My reintegration into society will be slow and I only made it back into the office after 8 months in November.

This year though has also had some unexpected highlights.

I CAN GARDEN! This is an insanely awesome thing. Green things flourish given attention. Whoda thunk it? Also, having a Vegepod makes it easy. I’ve also discovered a superpower of bringing dead looking plants back to life. Sometimes. It’s a power I’m still learning how to use 😀

WORKING FROM HOME ROCKS! I’m one of those people who just relished working from home from day 1. Roll out of bed, clean teeth, ride stationery bike, coffee + work. More coffee. A late breakfast. More work. Lunch. Walk around the block. Play with the cat. Work. School pick up. Work. Early dinner. There has been a lot more work but also the intangible gain of flexibility and the ability to do school pick ups. It can be a struggle to disconnect but that’s a challenge for the new year.

HOME SCHOOLING WAS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! Said no Mum ever, right? We had a dream holiday to Italy booked for September this year. I kept thinking in March, April, May, surely this will be over by then? So we cancelled our holidays in the deepest and darkest part of winter. And in return I got to experience to so much time with my daughter. More time than we would have ever had in a rushed overseas holiday. I felt incredibly grateful to have that time with her. Still do. For the most part, she was a dream to home school too so I’m grateful for that as well:D

I GAVE UP ALCOHOL. DURING ISO! I’m not sure if this is a life long thing but I’m a better human with less alcohol. I have a trio of friends with whom I have done Dry July etc and we have each explored our own relationship with alcohol this year. For me, it becomes a stress numbing agent and iso forced me to confront this head on. I have a number of super effective naturopathic strategies for this and didn’t use them enough. It’s always hard though to recognise you need help amidst your busiest chaotic times. I belatedly read Annie Grace’s Naked Mind and I really recommend for a simple to read book on alcohol use and dependence. It has been an easy transition and the only time I have anything resembling a yearning (or is it more a reminiscence?) is when eating a really special epic meal that I would have normally matched with a wine. Who knows if I were to be suddenly gifted a Coravin maybe I’d have the occasional tipple. For now, all is good in the hood and I have started exploring non alcoholic drinks such as a Non.

I GAVE UP COFFEE! Yeah. That.Was.A.Struggle. I’m a slow metaboliser (more on that here), and just drank far too much. Coffee and alcohol can become such habitual bookends to the day like socially acceptable uppers and downers. I still drink tea but find it’s much harder to over do it.

I GET UP EARLY! Yeah. No.Longer.A.Struggle. I now love getting up early and having more time in the day. Pre pandemic I found mornings a blur of activity, school drop off, work tram/train/walk and it was tough to get going some days. The weekend was a great time for a sleep in (if possible). My constant, back of the mind lament was ‘if only I had more time’ I’d ….’

I FINISHED STUFF! Wow. How good is that feeling? Especially when confronting your fears of presenting at the same time?! I did a deep dive during iso into all things rosacea and built a really good resource to helping treat this chronic inflammatory skin condition in a Naturopathic way. It’s one of my favourite conditions to treat and I’ll be offering a rosacea program next year. I also *just* pressed send on a final assignment in the most insanely in-depth, tough slog, learnt so much, really going to change how I treat some conditions, Nutrigenetics course. I love that only the well studied gene variants with clinical utility (can clinically relevant diet and lifestyle recommendations be made from the result) were included. It’s made me really critically appraise the gene’s included in common DNA tests, and to evaluate the results holistically. Unfortunately this course was in a teach out mode and is no longer offered in its current form.

I LIMIT NEGATIVITY. I’ve found it necessary over this period to carve out space that isn’t crowded with negativity. I’ve unfollowed many of my Facebook friends who held polar opposite views to me in relation to the pandemic. I’ve limited time on social media. I’ve joined wonderful newsletters that are uplifting like ABC’s Virginia Trioli or contain great productivity advice like Postanly. I’ve stumbled across Dr Amy Silver’s approach to emotion management and look forward to reading her new book. I’ve rediscovered my love of music, reading and cooking (with all the extra time :P)

I appreciate some people have really struggled this year and my heart goes out to those who have lost friends and family to Coronavirus, lost their jobs and had relationship issues. I sincerely hope 2021 is better for all of us. Stay well x

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