For the 4th year in a row we’ve had a big year. In June Mr StitchNSew underwent more spinal surgery. It did takes us a little by surprise as we were expecting it later in the year if not next year. The timing was perfect as Sydney went into its 2nd major Covid lockdown 4 days after his operation. The last couple days of his hospital stay were hard as I wasn’t allowed to visit him due to hospital visitor restrictions brought in after we went into the new lockdown. He recovered well post surgery. Not only is he back doing hobbies he hadn’t been able to do for about 12 months he is also now cooking more than I am! I have my own chef and not complaining one bit. At the start of August all non urgent elective surgery in Sydney was cancelled so my job became a little busier as the hospital surgery lists were juggled around to do all the urgent elective surgeries.
As mentioned in Sydney we faced lockdown in June. There were more restrictions in this year’s lockdown due to the more contagious Delta variant making lockdown harder this time. Some parts of Sydney classed as hotspots and were under tighter restrictions and rules which included the suburb we live and I work. In the Sydney region only 1 person could go to the shops. This year we still able to get weekly online groceries delivered which we couldn’t last year however at times drivers couldn’t come into the building so I needed to go down to the front door and bring the groceries up to the apartment myself. Normally Mr StitchNSew and I go to the shops together and pick up any items we don’t get in the home delivery and he carries them home on the back of his wheelchair. He wasn’t allowed out to help so if a grocery item didn’t arrive in the online order and I couldn’t carry it home by myself we didn’t get it. Fortunately we are both good list makers and planners so our meals were planned out based on what we had already and lists were written out for what essentials I needed to carry home. Due to our location being a hotspot I was having 3 day testing done. I don’t flinch now when a swab comes nears me. I will say it is really hard to have a swab done if you can’t stop laughing. Often I knew the people doing my swabs and we would be busy chatting and laughing through the test. I was fortunate to be double vaccinated just prior to the start of the June outbreak and Mr StitchNSew was double vaccinated in September. Earlier this month I had my booster shot just before the Omicron variant started to hit Sydney. Mr StitchNSew will hopefully get his booster next month. I’m very cautious at the moment as this latest version seems to be hitting those vaccinated. I know it is milder but I just don’t want to risk things with Mr StitchNSew’s health.
My fitness took a hit this year. Like many people I gained some Covid kilos. Gyms closed in the June lockdown and didn’t reopen until mid October. You could train with a trainer outdoors which I did once after Mr StitchNSew came out of hospital but I stopped after that as Covid case numbers increased and I didn’t want to risk it. Once Mr StitchNSew was vaccinated I more comfortable and commenced training outdoors with my trainer so I missed about 8 weeks of training. My focus was keeping Mr StitchNSew safe so I was avoiding anything not 100% necessary. I find training outside different to training in a gym (not the same intensity) When gyms reopened I felt like I had gone backwards by a lot. I knew I gained weight (we had started eating fruit, jelly and custard/ice cream every night after the surgery as it was easy for Mr StitchNSew to chew) I didn’t have the same stamina and my hips were sore more. Last year on my 40th birthday I swore I didn’t want to be like this at 41 but here I was feeling even worse. For weeks after gyms reopened it was getting me down. I was training the day before my 41st thinking about what I said, I stopped to think what exercise my trainer had me doing. It was a new one that involved kneeling on knee whilst I lifted weights. I was almost in tears when I realised that I was doing a challenging exercise and not doing basic entry level exercises. Yes my fitness is down a little but talking to a Doctor in E.D one night (I had to take my dad in) a lot of people were returning to the gym expecting to start back where they finished in June and that won’t happen as everyone has lost fitness no matter what you did during lockdown and how hard you trained. The slight weight gained isn’t helping my hips but the reason they are sore is now I’m getting more range of movement in them as I gain strength and flexibility. They are protesting as they are not used to moving in this way. There is still room for improvement but I’m working at it even doing more exercises at home than I did before.
Sustainability and reducing waste has been a big focus for us this year. We are now more conscious of items we purchase, packaging and using produce all up instead of wasting it. It has changed the way we shop and cook. I call it Mr StitchNSew’s kitchen. He is good at planning our meals dependant on what we have at hand in the fridge and freezer. Often we get 2 meals from one and I’m good on thinking of different ways to use leftovers. We introduced a rule that leftovers must be properly put away in a container and used in another dish within a few days so they don’t get forgotten. We do have the occasional mishap which results in food waste but for the most part we have reduced down significantly the amount that we toss out. We recycle more now too so overall less bin waste. We have a large garden for a small balcony and have been enjoying tomatoes for most of the year. I’ll be honest and say that I’m still struggling with some parts of reducing waste with my OCD issues. I hate touching my food to eat when I’m not at home. I can’t stand if my hands or face feel sticky or even just the slight bit greasy so I’m still using disposable baby wipes and plastic sandwich bags. I haven’t looked into beeswax wraps yet, I have to feel them first as I think I will still have issues of the texture on my hands. I’m starting to look at other reusable options I can make myself to help reduce some of my disposables.
This year was eventful and busy but it was a good year for us. We have settled into our new place. We got to make it a home as we fully unpacked and found our way. We are still tweaking small storage areas around the apartment that we are finding aren’t working for us but now that we have the time and space we can focus on that.