Well, 2020 has been a hit (with a capital S), hasn’t it? I deliberately didn’t join in with the whole bloggy malarkey of documenting our every moment because – let’s face it – all the days just blurred into one, and it wasn’t all that exciting.
I don’t really remember the beginning or the middle of lockdown. Or last week. But it’s been long enough that, come September, I think I’ll have forgotten how to run the tight school-day ship that is needed to get 3 of us out the door by 8:30am. But…we survived. Relatively unscathed, too.
I became the least qualified teacher that has ever graced the earth, and am still baffled by conjunctive adverbs and adverbial conjunctions. And I have an English degree…
Yep, the joy of homeschooling was something we had to try and master sharpish, eh? Well, hats off to all teachers. I can say with absolute certainty that I would make the worst teacher – I couldn’t control my own kids, let alone other people’s. And yes, I am referring to the time all 3 of us were at the dining table and while I was doing maths with Bear, The Boy happily coloured. Then came those fateful words – “look mummy, I’ve got lipstick on.” Only by ‘lipstick’ he meant a black felt tip. All over his face. If I had a class of 30 to look after, I can only imagine they’d be picked up looking like an abstract art exhibition by 3:30.
It’s probably for the best that, come September, someone who knows what they’re doing takes the reins again. But before that new normal hits us like a tonne of bricks, Bear turns 7.
Turning 7 in a pandemic
In a year where she has spent more time than ever in the house, she has also learnt to ride a bike, swim a length, make her bed, bake cakes, grow her own carrots, strawberries and tomatoes, and operate the Sky remote (all the important life skills). Her resilience when it came to her school closing, not seeing her friends, and spending SO much time with her brother and me has made me proud.
She’s a drama queen (can’t think where she gets that from), and can strop with the best of them, and she is the kindest and most thoughtful little girl and big sister. I would not have got through lockdown quite as sane if I didn’t have my little sidekick following 2 paces behind asking for snacks. Even if she did yell “I love you!” to the Tesco click & collect man before ducking down and leaving me red-faced and in need of a new supermarket…
So happy 7th birthday to the happiest, chattiest, kindest and most thoughtful little lady I know. Thank you for being second-in-charge, and for being so unphased by the weirdness that 2020 is throwing up.
Level 30: Done
Also, tomorrow I turn 40.
“40? Surely not?!” I hear you cry! I know, I know. I don’t feel a day over 52. But it’s true. I enjoy gardening, early nights, peppermint tea and afternoon naps. It is definitely true.
Am I where I thought I’d be at 40? No. Am I where I want to be? Not really. But if I’ve learnt anything from my 30s it’s that life doesn’t always go according to plan, and sometimes the curveballs come from nowhere and knock the wind out of your sails only to make way for something else. Something new. Maybe even something better.
I have learnt more about myself and what it is I want from life, friendships and relationships that I feel ok and – dare I say it – optimistic about my next decade. My mental health is currently better than it’s been for a while. I’ve found a strength I didn’t know I had, and a perspective on life and the people in it that I am (finally) happy to accept. I’ve learnt who my friends are, the people I can trust and rely on to have my back. And I am forever grateful for my family.
So today is my own personal New Year’s Eve. I’m done with a lot of stuff – the anxiety, the doubt, the worry, the late-night procrastination, the overthinking and the constant questioning. I’m done with caring so much about what other people think, seeking approval, and saying yes to stuff when it often means saying no to myself. But mainly I’m done with my 30s.
Bear, The Boy and I are off to enjoy cake and drag out the birthday shenanigans for as long as we can get away with it. Tomorrow is a new chapter, and that – right now – is what makes me happy.