My Mid-Year Catch Up

Beautiful Spring flowers that had started blooming in Calderstones Park, from my last walk in there before ‘isolation’.

Happy 1st July! I can not believe that June is already over and we only have another six months left of 2020. Where has this year gone? The months seems to be flying by faster and faster the older that I get. Can I also say what an absolutely barmy six months it has been for everybody?!

I am sure that you can relate when I say that I have felt like I have been living in some kind of inescapable dream. But, things are starting to shift towards a new kind of normal: I have been able to see Graeme and some of my family again and I have been back to work for nearly a month. These small snippets of ‘real life’ are really uplifting for me at the moment, even work; I have learnt through all of this that I love the ordinary.

But I cannot lie, the last couple of months have been tough. I have struggled my way through the isolation period; I think I have cried at least once a day, if not more. I do not like change, and uncertainty scares me to no-end. I started 2020 so positively following a couple of difficult months prior to this; I had clear goals, hopes and ambitions in mind and it has been a little debilitating having to watch them slip further and further from my grasp as the months have progressed. There has been very little I could do but, let it happen.

Formby Dunes back in February, when the weather was still nice and chilly.

But, isolation can’t be all doom and gloom. There have been moments of positivity even if they have been few and far between. I have learnt a lot about myself and the relationships I have with the people that I love. I have been able to spend more time doing the things that bring me peace and I have been able to understand what aspects of my life really make me happy and which do not.

So I wanted to take moment and have a look back at the first six months of 2020, including the goals I set myself at the start of the year, to remind myself that I have achieved more than I thought possible already even amidst all of this mayhem:

This was taken back in March in Calderstones Park; it was the last photo taken before ‘isolation’ and I had just come down with a cold
  1. I want to focus on myself more – after being put into isolation, this goal became quite easy to achieve. The isolation time has allowed me to wholeheartedly spend time doing things that I want to do for myself, without the worry of upsetting other people. I have been reading, baking, writing, doing jig saw puzzles, moisturising my skin, exercising, getting outside, taking hot relaxing bubble baths, listening to music and really appreciating what they contribute to making me happy. But, for me to really achieve this goal this year I need to find/maintain the right balance between life and myself as different elements are reintroduced.
  2. I want to read more – like my first goal, this has been an easy goal to achieve. I have loved having more time to fill my days reading. I really feel as though I have rediscovered my passion for books, rather than merely picking one up as a tick box exercise. Books have allowed me to escape the bleak reality that we have found ourselves in. Already this year, I have enthusiastically consumed The Complete Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran and I am due to make a start on Angela Carter’s, The Magic Toyshop.   
  3. I want to spend more time offline – this goal has been a little bit trickier for me to achieve. I have found myself mindlessly picking up my phone and scrolling through my Instagram and Pinterest accounts when I have been struck by boredom. But, you can’t win them all and I have another six months to tame my obsession with my mobile phone.
  4. I want to spend less and save more – again, this goal has been made a little easier to achieve this year. Restaurants, theatres and bookshops have all had to close their doors, the summer holiday plans I had have been left in tatters and I have had no need for new clothes, so I have barely spent a penny since March (with the odd treat here and there). It has been great and I have come to know a less materialistic way of living that I would like to maintain throughout the rest of the year.
  5. I want to continue seeing more of the world – lets just not say anything about this one for the time being…
  6. I want to blog more – I have filled the majority of my days brainstorming and creating new content for my blog, despite struggling at the start. I had lost every ounce of creativity and concentration that I once felt that I possessed. I had been put on furlough with my real life job and blogging felt like the only productive use of my time, so I eventually adapted and carved a new ‘normal’ routine. I am contented by the progress I have made and the content I have created so far. Like with my first goal, it is now just about maintaining the balance as life restarts.  
  7. I want to pass my driving test – after nearly two years of trying, I finally passed my driving test in January. It was a very happy moment for me (there were actually tears of disbelief when the examiner gave me my results) as it had been a large obstacle looming over me for a very long time. I hadn’t planned on getting a car this year though, my priorities being elsewhere, but after a little help (which I am incredibly grateful for) I am now the owner of a little second hand car that has been keeping me off using public transport to get to work. It was really wonderful getting back behind the wheel again and I feel more confident than I ever did on my driving lessons.
  8. I want to be happier and worry less – where do I start with this goal? I have felt sad and worried almost everyday for the last three months, but I have learnt a lot about the physical things that I can do to contribute towards feeling happy and calm. As I mentioned earlier I have read The Anxiety Solution, which has proved an invaluable read for me and has given me insight into the barriers I create for myself that once eliminated will allow me to build a happier and calmer life. I think I will see how I have actually achieved this goal when life really does feel normal again, but until then, the sadness for the things you are missing and worry about what will happen will be a normal part of life.  
This is a photo that I managed to take during isolation in April; it was the first time wearing make-up since March and I wanted to celebrate the moment!

Whilst it has been hard to shake the feeling that life has been running away from me over the last couple of months, I am quite happy to realise that I have achieved in the first six months of 2020 than I actually thought possible. Around this time last year, I set myself some additional goals, but I think it would be counter productive to set myself any more goals this year, and instead strive to ensure that I achieve the ones that I have already set out for myself. So despite, life having truly had the ‘pause button’ pressed on it, it is raring to resume at the safest possible interval. And so am I.

I really hope that you are all having the best possible year as possible!

Jade x

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