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2020: The Double Edged Sword!

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate - Oprah Winfrey

What great thing came out of 2020 for you?

It's so easy to focus on the negative stuff isn't it?! And flipping heck, we have a lot of choice where negativity is concerned this year. But my Mum always said, "Out of something bad, comes something good!" Every year I fill in this life wheel, scoring each section of my life out of 10 and compare it against previous years. So, here goes. Here's a review of my 2020.

My Top Achievements This Year

  1. Launched 'The Violin Academy' and hit my student numbers target for this year.

  2. 100% of my students that I put in for ABRSM exams passed.

  3. Got my mortgage, my house is officially mine.

  4. I learned to build websites and do graphic design

  5. I qualified as a Wedding Planner

  6. Found my new violin coach - Professor Smart

  7. Met Sach and made our relationship survive throughout 2020 (even when forced to move in together due to lockdown, after only 8 weeks of dating). It was either going to really really wrong, or really really good. Also, managed to not get pregnant through lockdown, that's an achievement all on it's own this year haha. Everyone seems to have either got pregnant or begun a divorce as a result of lockdowns.

  8. I learned to be a barber (I'm a one style wonder though)

What Did I Learn This Year?

  1. Patience & careful planning can improve any situation and sort (almost) any problem

  2. When stressed or overwhelmed, focus on one thing at a time

  3. Not seeing my friends and family really impacts my overall mood

  4. That I really can rely on a man other than my Dad and that it's ok to let my guard down

  5. Not watching the tv, listening to the news or reading newspapers and magazines keeps you in a happy little positive bubble (although it is good to keep informed). I'd ask my Dad for an update on important events every Monday haha. However, because you're not allowed to go anywhere or do anything, already there isn't much to talk about on the phone when your friend calls. So if you avoid tv etc as well, it makes for a very short conversation.

What were the most challenging situations this year and how did you grow from them?

The one thing that comes to mind immediately is when my dad was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties having contracted COVID-19 which had caused him to also develop Pneumonia. This is absolutely at the top of my 'most challenging situations' list for 2020. The doctor rang to tell me that he didn't know which way it was going to go, and although the experimental drugs were helping Dad's condition to improve, COVID-19 is so unpredictable that it could quite easily take a turn the other way, and there would be nothing that they could do.

It took me straight back to when my Mum died. That painful, unbearable, lonely, and out of control feeling. I felt sick, and sweaty, and I could hear and feel my heart beating so loudly in my head. I hold my hands up and admit that I just couldn't cope with it. My anxiety came back with a vengeance. I was having panic attacks, I couldn't eat or sleep, and I ended up in A&E, having had what I thought, was a seizure. It turned out to be sleep paralysis which the doctor said is brought on by extreme stress and failure to eat or sleep. I was sent home with strict orders from the doctor to start looking after myself.

Thank fully, my Dad made a full recovery!

When he was better, we met up to go out for some lunch. "We need to talk!" He said. "Why, what have I done?!" I was pretty confident there was nothing he could tell me off for, bearing in mind, I am a grown-up now. "You know I'm going to die one day don't you? I need to know that you're not going to fall apart." There was no way on this earth that I could deal with this conversation. My eyes started to feel warm and I could feel them filling up with tears. My Dad is very practical, logical and...well, he'd say that he's pragmatic. He deals with everything without emotion. Anyway I've been told that I need to address the issue so that I don't fall to pieces when it happens. *sigh*

How bloody depressing! But in all seriousness, I suppose he is right.

Conclusion: No growth obtained!

What Were My Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses This Year?

- Learning to be ok with relying on others in order to keep a roof over my head. I'm not sure if this falls under strength or weakness if I'm honest. When lockdown was announced, all of my 2020 bookings for weddings and events were either postponed or cancelled, which left me with no income. After spending all of my savings in 2019 to give me freedom and allow me to live the life I wanted, I had nothing to fall back on. My Dad & Sach were amazing! Although I felt nothing but guilt every time Dad paid my mortgage & bills and every time Sach did a food shop. I was very lucky to be able to have that kind of life line. It could have been a very different story.

- Resilience. I needed that quality this year. I decided to launch a new business that I could operate online and/or in person: The Violin Academy. A music school based in Epworth, teaching violin, music theory, GCSE music, Duke Of Edinburgh Award (skills section), business development and offering violin hire. I have been so excited about this and officially launched in August.

- Procrastination and overwhelm. I can list this weakness annually. I am mostly referring to social media here. I wish that I had pulled my finger out and just posted what was going on but I just felt like I had nothing of value to post.

What Little Things Did I Enjoy The Most During My Day-To-Day Life?

- I began morning meditation and do you know what, I really loved it. The calmness I felt and how empty my mind was of worries for the rest of the day was incredible. It gave me the ability to focus. I didn't keep it up unfortunately, but this is something that I most definitely want to put into my morning routine.

- Walking. Heading out over the fields with Roxy and actually having the time for lengthy walks has been amazing.

- Reading. I love to read, though you'll never see me reading fiction. In the hustle and bustle of life before 2020 I didn't often find the time to delve into a book. Just 15 minutes of reading a day keeps me happy.

How Did I Love, Give or Contribute This Year To Myself And Others?

It doesn't feel like much of a contribution but every Thursday I would play electric violin on the street for 10 minutes before 'Clap For Our Carers'. I found these nights really emotional when I could hear everyone clapping, cheering and banging on pots and pans at their front doors. The first Thursday, I didn't hear anyone clapping on my street, so the second week I decided to take to the street with my violin. Everyone came out of their houses from that night and it created such a lovely warm sense of community. When everyone finished clapping, a few of the ladies on my street would sit on the curb (socially distanced) with a bottle of wine and chat for hours. I miss those nights actually. It's a bit chilly to be doing that now though.

What Am I Most Grateful For This Year?

People! Life really is nothing if you don't have people to share it with. I have thoroughly missed my friends and family this year and can't wait to make up for it. It has made me even more grateful for the people who I have in my life and I can't wait to be able to give them all a big squeeze.

So although it's been a really crappy year which somewhat resembles a film, some pretty amazing things, life changing things in fact, have come out of it. So thank you 2020, it's been a rollercoaster. You've made me realise things that I need to address, you've enabled me to open a new business, which I probably would never have done, and you've reminded me that the most important things in life, are people!

Much Love (and also a bit of hatred)

Alexandra xxx

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