So here it is, the end of the year for 2020. Well, it is for me and The Pod anyway. We finished work on 18th December and we’re not coming back until 4th January 2021. This is a bit of a big blog so you might want to grab a cuppa. 
I have been looking back over the last 12 months (well the months I can remember anyway. Thanks, COVID!) and I’m really trying to look for the positive parts and lessons. 
I don’t really want to end the year with woulda, coulda, shoulda. So we’re ending it with a WOOHOO! (and probably several packets of mince pies). 
I’m grateful I’m here to bother you with at least one more blog so let’s keep things positive, shall we? :)  
So, what have I taken from this year? What has The Pod learned? What have I thought? 
The true value of friends and family. 
One thing I’m extremely grateful for this year is having a solid pod around me. I did a people purge at the end of 2020 and those who survived the cull really did shine through for me this year. 
As an introvert I am terrible for keeping in touch with people. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. I think about my loved ones an awful lot. I thought about a lot of people this year. I spoke to a LOT of people too. 
There was a sense of community again. We all come together (but keeping 2meters apart) to support each other more. I really hope this is something that carries on in the future. I miss the ‘good old days’ when you used to speak to your neighbour over the back fence or wave at strangers down the shops. 
I’ll hold my hands I can come across ungrateful sometimes. If something happens it takes my brain a while to recover, process, file it away and then I am thankful and grateful. I’ll then show that to whoever needs to hear it. But it does take a while. It’s something I am working on as I grow as a human bean / hippo. 
So, what did I take for granted but will be looking more closely at going forward? 
Not telling people I love them more often. I know I love them in my head. But it’s so important that we tell people out loud. I’ll even be telling myself ‘I Love You’ a little bit more often too. My body has done a great job keeping me a live and I need to give it a bit more love and attention. 
Popping to the shops. Do you remember when we’d shout out “popping to the shops”. We’d then leave and come back 20 minutes later? This year going to the shops has been like a military operation. Mask, gloves, sanitiser, bags, overalls, goggles… No more will I take for granted the freedom we used to have. 
Going for a walk. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t one of these 10k steps a day people before lockdown, but I do like the odd jaunt around a nature reserve or through the woods at the weekend. It just wasn’t the same in lockdown. There was a distinct lack of doggos for a start. How are you meant to tell a fur baby he’s a good boy if you can’t touch him and scratch him behind the ear? Devastated and something I won’t be taking for granted doing forward. 
Visiting people. Now this is a weird one for me, but I did miss visiting people. I missed being able to have tea dates with my bestie or going to see friends or family when the mood took me. I’m definitely a ‘once a year visitor’ but it made me realise I need to work less and go on adventures and visit people more often. 
Travelling. 2018-2019 was not a good year for me and I didn’t get a holiday. In fact, 2020 was going to be my “year of holidays!”. I was definitely going to move around more. I’ll have to do that when possible, but it made me realise that we had so much freedom before 2020 hit. As soon as the travel bans are lifted, I’m going places. 
HUGS! I miss them bad boys. I miss going to see friends and having big hugs because we haven’t seen each other for weeks or months. I miss hugging my mum. I missing seeing old school friend sin the street and saying “Hello mate” followed up with a big hug. 
Things I’ve LOVED! 
I have loved watching the world over the last 6 months or so. We’ve started to look away from our phone for 2 minutes and have started DOING things. You know, ACTUAL things. Arts & Crafts, reading, exercise, cooking, baking, organising closets. I’ve seen friends learn new skills, learn a language, pick up new hobbies. 
It’s really made my heart smile. If you focus on the negative, that is all you will see. I’ve fallen down many rabbit holes over the last year. In fact, at some points, I went full on Alice In Wonderland. But with the rabbit holes, also come the highs. There were a lot of those too. 
I finished work early so I could focus some time on me for a change. Well, me and my loved ones. I’ll be taking a moment to really think about the people less fortunate and that isn’t just the homeless. It’s probably the majority of the population right now. We all have struggles and they all manifest in different ways. So, as I take the time off I’ll be looking forward to resting, rebuilding, and planning for a year of the Hippo. 
A lot has changed. There will still be lots of changes to come. But we’ll all get through it together. 
I hope you get to take time off to rest and reflect this year. You deserve it. Even if you feel “fine”, you probably need a hug and nap like the rest of us. 
Until next time, 
See you next year!  
Dee and The Pod x 
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