I think we're all glad/relieved/thankful/etc., to see the back of it, too, aren't we? Holy cow.
So, I will take this moment to wish you all a Happy New Year. Here's hoping for a brighter, lighter, more hopeful year. I wish you all health, wealth and some magic.
So, what did I do last year?
In February I got a stonking raise: 10%!! In truth, it was two years' worth of raises in one go, but who am I to argue? A good start.
(End of) March - July: lockdown. Had grand plans to utilise the time productively. The only thing my flatmate and I managed was a 5,000 piece puzzle. Otherwise, it was full of frustration, anxiety, etc. I couldn't read, I couldn't write, I couldn't concentrate on anything. Mind you, I've not slept so well in YEARS. Like the proverbial log, for weeks. It was amazing.
July 1: returned to work. It's been absolutely mad since. We've never been so busy. This is good for us, but also trickles down/over into estate agents, solicitors, movers, etc. The backlog - thanks in part to the stamp duty holiday, which runs through until March - is tremendous. People are reasonably understanding, but some still want what they want when they want it, and we're at the point where if someone cancels, it's not a problem, because there are probably a dozen more waiting.
20 July: I registered for an online proofreading course. I thought it might be a good way to eventually bring in a little extra income.
September: my last month at the corner shop, because...
October: I MOVED! Again. This time, however, it was on my own. Finally! I had a list and it checks EVERY. SINGLE. BOX. I honestly hadn't intended to move again so quickly, but this showed up and I literally could not say 'no' (there's a bit of a long story around that). I'm now walking distance to the office (1.4 miles/25 mins) and have walked every (work)day but one since I moved in.
I live directly across the road from a reserve which is beautiful and home to a plethora of birdlife. The road itself is probably the only drawback. It's a direct route to Salisbury and therefore is very busy. I'm on the opposite side of the road to the pavement, so need to use extreme caution when I'm crossing. The driveway to the property is on a slight bend, so a bit nervewracking to negotiate, but fortunately I can walk a short distance to a much easier crossing spot.
I've spent the last several months settling myself in and still have a couple of boxes and bags to work on. But the flat is warm, cosy, compact, quiet, modern. It's wonderful. I've recently added a bird feeder outside my living room window, and now have some blue tits and robins feeding on seeds. Lovely!
As for my course, I've finished it and sent the final assignments several weeks ago. I got 60%, but need 80% to pass in order to get any work with the affiliate company. There are three opportunities to pass, and I've spent some time chatting with one of the staff to go over what I did wrong. I *should* be able to pass the second time. The trouble is that it's mostly academic stuff, and I'm not academically inclined. Having said that, though, it's just a matter of practice. The more I do it, the better I'll get. I can take as long as I need on the final assignments, too, which is great, so I just have to 'fine tooth comb' it and be patient. I know I rushed a bit the first time.
I go back to work on Monday after two weeks' break. One of my colleagues is retiring at the end of January, so we'll be breaking in a new one. There will be some big changes, I'm sure. I've been resting, reading (finally), cleaning, organising my thoughts, and have done a couple of walks at the reserve. The weather hasn't been great - wet and mild mostly - but from Monday, I'll be walking daily again and that helps clear my mind for the day.
So that's my year in a nutshell, really. I haven't decided whether I'll be regularly updating or not at this point, but I'd like to. Perhaps monthly. Regardless, I hope this finds you safe and well, and that 2021 is easier for all of us, in as much as it can be.