Nearly six months since the quick fix was made to Big Ben, and the opening seconds of 2020 were chimed in. I think we can all agree that none of us could have pictured this physically dividing, yet unifying experience that the first six months of the year has brought. So much about it has felt completely surreal. Schools shut for the huge majority; no theatre, dance, or live music; no restaurants, no pubs, and no sport.
When lockdown came, I felt bombarded from so many angles with all of the things we could now achieved with our “extra time” – but I didn’t have any of that. I had less time. Two primary-age boys to homeschool, husband working full time at home, new puppy, and the whole house to feed three times a day – I just couldn’t squeeze in that crash course in Spanish I’ve been meaning to accomplish for the last 20 years.
It’s been tough at times, and certainly a juggling act, but I have managed to achieve some things. Here are my top achievements since March 2020.
Home learning has not been easy for any of us – in fact, it’s been a downright struggle at times. But finally, I can proudly say Yes – I have taught my children to tie their shoelaces. Not that they have them, which I think is part of the problem. I’m pretty sure I learned when I was about 5, because there weren’t such conveniences as Velcro if you wanted to run around in shoes that weren’t buckled – but the boys had, up to this point, slipped through the net of this particular life skill. No more! We have passed the laces milestone, and the footwear options available to them have now widened (although not by much, because I’m not sure I trust the little one with loose laces on concrete just yet).
I’ve never had a dog from a pup before, so this was all going to be brand new to me, regardless of lockdown – but I think, in the absence of puppy training classes and various familiarisation sessions, we’ve done a pretty good job. He’s learned where to wee and poo – which took my children far longer, I have to say – and he does a pretty good “sit” on command, along with “drop it”, “come” and “stay”. We are still mastering “shhhh”, especially when any of our neighbours has the temerity to use their outdoor space of an evening, which prompts a volley of puppy barks to show them who owns THIS garden, thank you.
Workout Goddess (who enjoys a glass or two of wine)
I am extremely proud to have started – and stuck to – regular high-intensity interval training. I started doing the daily PE with Joe workouts that the health and fitness guru, Joe Wicks started offering on YouTube, and I’ve kept them up. It’s meant to be for kids, but unfortunately my children’s commitment was somewhat lacking after Week 2. My six-pack is not quite ready yet, but I feel fitter than I have in a seriously long time, and I really would like to keep it up. So I am proud to have achieved the body of a workout goddess who trains hard during the week, and then counteracts it with cake and wine at the weekends. Well, you’ve got to have balance.
It’s been amazing, and I wouldn’t have missed this lockdown for the world. I don’t think I would have prized these achievements nearly so highly had I been operating under normal conditions – but given what we’re working with, you have to take your positives where you can. I bet we’ve all managed to do things this year that we never thought we would on 1 January.
I wonder what I can achieve in the second half of 2020? Perhaps I can train them to clean the house…