Two things before I start this blog post which as the name suggests are my general thoughts and reflections about 2020. Firstly I don’t think anyone should compare their year to another persons. The global pandemic impacted everyone worldwide. Each country, each city faced their battles with it. I don’t think you should feel guilty or lucky because your experience during it wasn’t the same as someone living in another country or even living across the road. Each household, each person had different experiences and issues they dealt with. I’m sure one day someone will write a book about 2020 and interview people from across the globe. Each persons story will be different and it would be an interesting book. Secondly during this post I’m not going to keep saying I’m grateful. Believe me I’m grateful for a lot of things that happened, a lot of people this year.
Discarded face mask an all too common scene in 2020
2020 was always going to be a big year in the house of StitchNSew. At the start of the year we knew we would be moving, Mr StitchNSew would have his surgery at some point and I was turning 40 (which is just another number to me) A lot of big milestones in the year. What no one knew was the global pandemic which would impact us all. I work in a hospital which I think made understanding how serious the virus was easier. Australia hasn’t had the high numbers of infections as other countries. In Sydney the outbreak that is currently going on is the worse we’ve had. Some people are taking the risk of infection seriously and are doing what they can to prevent it but its frustrating seeing others that don’t take it seriously. Part of Sydney is in lockdown at the moment due to the outbreak but we did have wider lockdown which lasted a couple of months earlier this year. Even after lockdown restrictions were lifted we continued living our lives in pretty much the same fashion. We only leave the house to go to the shops if we need something. We don’t go out socialising, go to cafes or just go to the shops for something to do. It just isn’t worth the risk. Working in a hospital I’m around a lot of people and I don’t want to be the asymptomatic person who unknowingly passes things on to other people if that was the case. Daily temperature checks and wearing face masks has just become part of my normal routine in 2020. One thing I did discover is that I always have a low body temperature, one day I had 3 thermometer guns fail on me and the last one was after 3 cups of coffee! Now I can give a reason for always wearing a jacket indoors even in summer (I also hate air con) I’m clearly always cold. Mr StitchNSew and I are both introverts and prefer to be at home. Living like we are at present doesn’t make us feel like we are missing out on anything.
Like a lot of people we used Zoom for the first time this year. I’ve used a similar program at work the last few years so the concept wasn’t completely foreign to me. Thanks to Zoom I attended more of my knitting group meetings this year than I had in previous years. It was nice to catch up with people and chat all things yarn. I liked that from the comfort of my loungeroom I could login on meeting days at the time I wanted too and stay for as long as I feel comfortable for. I didn’t have the travel time or need to carry my projects with me I just turned the laptop on. Zoom also gave us the opportunity to listen to author talks hosted by different libraries. If the talk had been at an actual library we wouldn’t have gone due to the timing and the need to travel. Online we were able to sit in our loungeroom and hear the author speak no matter how tired we were or what the weather was like. One talk I attended was hosted by a library in Victoria (another state within Australia) and people were logged in from around the world to hear the talk. That’s a positive that came out of this year as if it hadn’t been hosted on Zoom a lot of us couldn’t have attended.
Packing and moving house did open up my eyes to what we actually own and use. I’m glad I spent the couple of years prior to it slowing starting to declutter beforehand because we had accumulated a lot of stuff that we weren’t using. As we packed over a number of months seeing what left to the final stages of packing as that was what we were using every day there really wasn’t a lot of stuff. In your mind you think you use more things than you do. We’re not perfect and yes we still do have items that we kept that we really don’t need. We will get rid of them eventually. I still do like the minimalism concept. We’re still trying to work out what our level of minimalism is. Each person has their own level, ours is still a work in progress. Decluttering continues, as I come across things I often stop and think do really do we need this or have we been using something else in its place the last 6 – 12 months. Importantly we are watching what we are bringing into the house so the cycle of clutter doesn’t continue.
Waste Not by Erin Rhoads
We have always been pretty environmentally conscious and done what we could in terms of recycling. This year we’ve changed our behavior in terms of our choices for items. We are making conscious decisions trying to use more sustainable item, moving away from single use plastics if we can and using what we’ve already got. Some things have been easy like reusable kitchen towels or using a piece of newspaper to wipe any remaining grease out of a frying pan. I am struggling in terms of using zip lock bags. I have OCD and a big part of it revolves around food. If I’m not at home I can’t touch my food whilst I’m eating. I can’t eat my sandwich unless I’m holding it in a bag. I know there are beeswax wraps but I haven’t tried one yet to see if it will still keep my sandwich fresh in the fridge if it gets made the day before. I do recommend reading Erin’s book Waste Not as she has a lot of tips in it, she was actually the author I heard from Victoria speak. We still have a long way to go to being more sustainable but the important thing is we are conscious of what we are doing and we are trying. In my previous post I mentioned not buying fabric, that’s one of the conscious decisions I’m making to use what I already have first. I have decided I’m no longer going to get an acrylic yarn I like as I get it posted from the UK, I’m conscious of the carbon footprint of having it flown by air. At the shops I can get some nice yarns which come to Australia via sea rather then air mail so in future if I need to purchase any I will do it that way, that’s of course after I have checked my yarn stash first.
In 2019 I lost of heaps weight, 2020 not so good. It has been a culmination of not having 40+ steps to walk up each day anymore, stress and the hecticness of 2020. I trained on the day of my 40th and I told my trainer “I’m 40 and fat and I don’t want to be like this at 41” Bad habits have crept in which I need to break. I’m not beating myself up over what has happened. I never had to be conscious before as to what I ate but now I do. I will kick myself back into gear, I need to focus on me a little which I haven’t done in 2020.
2020 wasn’t the disastrous year for us. We had a lot of good moments. Yes the global pandemic made things difficult at times but you just had a deal with things and take each day as it came.
I don’t make new years resolutions or set myself goals, I believe if you want to change something you start now and not wait for some magic date on the calendar. We have no big events in 2021 so we’ll just keep doing what we are doing.