Life, Life, Life

2020 was a rollercoaster, wasn’t it?

Just when we think lockdown is over and life is getting back to some sort of normal, another Covid spike will happen and we’ll get restricted again. Here in the UK, we’re currently in our third national lockdown. I’ve found the whole thing all very strange to be honest. There’s a strong juxtaposition between the reality I see around me and then how I feel inside: I have the anxiety of reintegrating into society when there is still this high risk and scary topic around and then there’s other people who feel like there’s nothing to worry about. My region has been up and down over the year with low cases to high cases to low cases and you never really know whether you’re coming or going! Rules change daily in the UK, whether you can travel, whether you should work from home or go to the office, whether shops are open or not. The uncertainty just puts you on alert like another threat is going to pop out of somewhere!

The good news (in a way!) is that I’m taking my mind off it though by being the busiest I’ve ever been. Yeah, it’s probably not giving me the time to process and deal with what’s happening around me but it’s giving me focus, tackling each day and problem as it comes. It’s one way to deal with it!

So what’s been happening in the Wooliefeatures’ world?

Well, my husband and I bought a house together in the summer of 2020 so we’re still in full decorating mode right now. The house is also a prime candidate for the next season of Hoarders with my entire life bundled into a collection of rooms while we try and decorate others! But this is increasingly becoming my creative outlet right now, designing the decors and painting the rooms and working in the garden so I haven’t done a tonne of knitting or crafting recently. It’s a lot of work! We’re dashing after our full time jobs to work on the house in the evenings and weekends meaning that by the time I sit down, I’m zonked! But we’ll get there, I’m sure of it!

At the moment, we have more or less completed our living room, our kitchen, our upstairs hallway and our bathroom. Next is the main bedroom once Mr. Wooliefeatures’ has finished making and installing our TV unit storage and our under the stairs storage. I will say though that owning a home is a test of patience – I want it all done now! All at once! And when you’re doing all the work by yourselves, more or less, that really isn’t possible! Especially in lockdown! But like I said, we’ll get there eventually.

I was promoted in my day job so now I’m responsible for an entire engineering team who come with lots of complexity and ambition and drive, and I feel the weight of this responsibility on my shoulders! Not necessarily in a bad way! But being responsible for people in a work environment, helping them achieve their career goals and objectives, seeing them perform and ultimately feeling proud of the contribution we make to the projects we work on, has been quite the experience! It’s a new challenge for me even if it has been something I’ve been working towards and pursuing for the last couple of years and I have lots to learn. I’ve been lucky enough to be accepted on company talent programmes, giving me the opportunity to grow even more in my career and attend a lot of in-depth training courses on developing others and being a good leader – it’s been a real eye opener! These trainings have made me question what my values and principles are, what is important to me, what sort of team I want to lead, what sort of leader I want to be, and it’s been a real journey in self-understanding and self-reflection. I sort of feel it’s allowing me to become overall a better person in a way. It’s such a wealth of knowledge!

And on top of that, my health plummeted over Christmas meaning I had to spend a few weeks in hospital. Thankfully it was nothing relating to Covid but it was a ropey experience that meant I became severely dehydrated, majorly underweight and my body started shutting down. It all required an intensive couple of weeks of care from the UK’s national health service and I believe I’m now on the mend! Long may it continue!

Since my stint in hospital, I did start to pick up my knitting tentatively mainly thanks to TheCraftSessions. Felicia from TheCraftSessions has been sharing recently this idea of 10 minutes of making over on Instagram, about how there are these mind blockers stopping us from being creative whether it be, “I can’t knit right now because I should be doing something else…” Or, “I need to block a whole afternoon if I want to make this item.” Or “it’s too hard to start that right now”, and really all it takes is 10 minutes a day to do something a little bit creative. It’s been super helpful hearing this point of view. My mojo for making disappeared a lot over the last few months, mainly due to the burden of work and moving house and COVID and my health degrading, and well it saddened me that that had been the case. I had gotten bogged down with the trials of life that I had forgotten the hobbies and simple pleasures that I did do to disconnect from the stresses of work or whatever. Knitting has always been something that has quietened my mind, stilled my anxiety and helped me through the hard times but I had left it by the wayside. it almost felt like I had forgotten a part of myself, you know what I mean? Anyway, Felicia reminded me that progress, even if it’s only one row of knitting a day, is still progress! So I’ve picked up my needles again and I’m working away on a couple of projects. I’ve actually got some projects to show off and show you all and I’m excited to make more in 2021!

I think the lesson 2020 really taught me is how to live in the present and take each day as it comes. With the current situation you never really know what each day is going to bring so resilience and going with the flow are sort of the key really. It’s also been reminding me that we’re all faceted and in order to feel satisfied in our lives, we need to remember all the parts of ourselves, for example, I need to remember not to progress my career ambitions at the expense of my self-care and health! I hope to lead more with that in 2021 though with the working at home, it’s very easy for the boundaries to be blurred!

What do you think? Has your making suffered at all during the pandemic? Or have you really hit your stride and are making all the things? Let’s chat in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it.

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