A few weeks ago, I found a diary I wrote when I was five.
Reading about who my favourite musician was (Shayne Ward) and my goals for the year (to get dressed on my own and lie down on the bottom of the swimming pool), certainly provided a good laugh.
However, my nostalgic find also provided a lot of moments which made me not only reflect on this strangest of years, but on my life in general.
In answer to who my role models were, five-year-old Kathryn wrote “Grandma, Mummy & Olivia (my cousin)”, and in answer to my dream place to live – “Grandmas house”.
Despite being written almost 15 years ago, I feel if asked the same questions again today, my answers would remain very much the same.
My life has always revolved around my family. So, this year, to hear that I would not be able to see them due to Covid-19 was heartbreaking, as it was for many others across the globe.
Realising that like many, lockdown was going to cause my mental health to suffer, I threw myself into finding coping strategies and making the most of the huge amounts of time I found myself with. I do believe I have learnt a thing or two, both about myself and the world around me that I hope to carry into 2021.
- I love a good boogie
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, as a way to cope with the worries of lockdown, I decided to start an exercise regime – something that I always swore I never had the time to do. I started yoga, and initially took up running. Although I still sometimes run, I did find that it was not really for me in the long term. I found it a little boring and didn’t get much fulfillment from it.
Enter Emily Thorne. Emily is a fitness trainer who provides a wide range of themed ‘HIIT’ workouts on YouTube. Her videos provide all the same benefits as normal high-intensity workouts, only turned into dances. There is no pressure to be good at it or get it right, just to have fun. I first stumbled across the videos by chance, and have been doing them most days ever since.
There is something about locking yourself in the garage and dancing around to ‘Jai Ho’ that just hits completely differently than a 5k run! So, if you are like me and struggle with the concept of hardcore workouts, try ’emkfit’ as a fun stress reliever which works your body just as hard, yet leaves you in a very good mood!
You can access one of her videos below:
2. Its important to try new things – and find humour in failure
At some points this year, restrictions and lockdown measures meant it was feasible to meet family in a garden or open space. So, I managed to get to see my Grandma in her garden. She has always been a very good gardener – me on the other hand…not so much!
However, Grandma (against her better judgement, no doubt!) trusted me with looking after a little bit of her garden, to plant flowers and make it my own – and although I made a huge number of cock-ups, I ultimately got so much pride from the work I had done. I found myself excited to keep visiting it and checking up on its progress.
It was a wonderful thing to do and something I probably would never have done. I found it immensely therapeutic, allowing me to have some time to reflect and my funny mistakes have served as lovely lifelong memories which I am incredibly lucky to be able to have.
3. Do small things to work towards your dreams
Another thing from my little diary which still resonates today are my wishes and dreams – to be “an ortha” and to “rayt books”. This has always been a dream of mine, to write for a living, and this year has given me opportunities to get my ducks in a row and pursue that.
I have been able to take the opportunity to do some freelance content writing from home which I have adored, and my journalism university course is providing me with opportunities to publish articles, meet some incredible people and learn all of the history and legalities which surround such a career. Something I consider myself very lucky to be able to do.
I have learnt this year that doing something, however small, towards a dream you have, can give you such a huge feeling of accomplishment and pride.
There may be days where you don’t feel like being productive – and I’ve learnt that’s ok too.
Reflections and Resolutions
So, as we come to the end of this turbulent year, like many people, I am reflecting and making resolutions for the future. 2020 has taught me to count my blessings even more than I did before and to never give up on lifelong dreams and ambitions.
Perhaps the most sentimental of things to come out of finding my diary was reading what my future hopes were – simply, “always to be happy”.
Although you would think this the simplest of requests, life may make that goal feel incredibly out of reach at times. 2020 has challenged everybody’s happiness in real and extreme ways.
Therefore, my biggest resolution for 2021 is to strive to make the dream that five-year-old Kathryn had, a reality.
Finding (and keeping hold of) happiness is what it all boils down to in the end for everyone isn’t it? Regardless of what form it comes in.
I hope you continue to have a peaceful Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.
See you in 2021 🙂