Being thankful

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A quote by Charlotte Bronte.

This is how I feel right now as this year draws to a close and we enter the Christmas / Holiday season. I’m happy and thankful to have got this far, unscathed, but I can’t say I’m overjoyed either.

Health

Thankfully I am fit and healthy and haven’t been ill this year. I met with several friends over a weekend just before lockdown in March and quite a number went home with Covid. I’m really grateful for not having had to go through the experience, however bad. I’m also grateful that my family are all healthy.

I’ve just had my second year since breast cancer mammogram which was clear. I am mindful I still have to bring my breast cancer diaries across from my other blog. But I do plan to do so in the coming weeks.

I’d like to be lighter and I am sure long term being this weight will be detrimental. I am struggling to be bothered not to eat and drink the things I want to. But I know I will get my head around it sometime soon. However I haven’t gone above my start weight and am currently a similar weight to this time last year. Something to be thankful for.

Work

I never expected to pick up a job on the back of this year’s pandemic. But that is exactly what has happened. What’s more it has brought with it friendship which I think will enjoy. The life of a home working clinical contact tracer could easily be a lonely one. But I have one real life friend who is also beavering away a couple of hundred miles away and a whole community of people around the country. We formed a support group and are now chatting not just about the job but about everything else. Sharing photos, ideas, recipes etc.

I hadn’t realised how much I was missing the office banter side of not working, and am really thankful for discovering a new role and new colleagues this year. The work is sometimes dull, often challenging and usually fun. These colleagues make each day a treat.

The life we had and hopefully will have again

I didn’t realise I took my life for granted until I wasn’t able to live it any more. We are used to being able to pop out to the shops, grab groceries, browse for books and shoes. A trip to the theatre, a meal in a restaurant. All the things we took for granted until mid March. Since then then we’ve discovered what government and people think is essential and non essential. Restrictions on gathering inside means that theatres, galleries and museums have been closed for much of the year. Reopening meant social distancing, masks and a regimented process to access them.

Here in the UK we are coming to the end of lockdown 2. Shops, restaurants and pubs can reopen tomorrow. But we can only drink alcohol in a pub or restaurant now if eating a ‘substantial meal’. That isn’t a problem to us but it gives an indication of how life is being managed and controlled.

Limiting the spread of the virus is of course the plan, but often rules seem arbitrary and ill thought out. However we follow them even though they don’t always seem sensible. Hopefully the vaccine will bring us a return to some of the normality we had before. Unfortunately I fear we have lost some businesses forever – shops, hospitality and theatres.

Family and friends

The hardest thing has been the restrictions on meeting with family and friends. I have only seen my son a handful of times since March. Thankfully I’ve been able to visit my mum regularly because of her care needs. For her, contact with family has been more important than the risk of us bringing the virus to her. This has been a constant balancing act because we need to keep her safe and not only from coronavirus.

This year has made me realise how much I took times with others for granted. Something I don’t think I’ll do again. I’m looking forward to a meal with my son and daughter in law over Christmas more than most other things.

So in conclusion, this year has not been the best. But I’m thankful to have got through to this point relatively unscathed. It’s now December and I’m determined to see the rest of the year out with positivity. Watch this space for that!

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