"Welcome to 2020" that's what we were all shouting New Year's Eve 2019.
"Whoop whoop a new decade, how terribly exciting!"
Most of us started our new year with New Years resolutions, for me: get fit, lose weight, run more, read more, take more time for myself and work hard on the Charity.
What a start to the year: we celebrated our youngest daughters twelfth birthday, we made plans for the party of the year to celebrate our middle daughters sixteenth birthday and James would be seventeen, my husband and I would be celebrating our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary, and no I'm not that old I married young ish!
Helen started work on her first home with an enormous house renovation with the help of me and my long list of tradesmen who have built many things for us over the years.
Jess was coming to the end of her second-year in her medical degree, Andrea moved into her new marital home and started her renovations with a light falling on her head from the ceiling with lots of sparks!
Trips, days out and holidays were getting planned, rota shifts being moved to accommodate lots of exciting plans for the next few months.
My husband and girls went on their annual skiing trip to France and with great sadness, my wonderful mother in law passed away after a long illness.
We all know what happened next....... mid-March arrived with the news that Covid 19 had come to the UK. Oh no what now? Well we as a family made the decision to split up so my girls and husband moved out while James and I stay at home to keep him as safe as possible. Our care team went into lockdown with us. The days became difficult and the reality became very very real. Online shopping became the norm, sanitising everything became second nature. The introduction of PPE was welcomed but not with open arms, nor was the need to take out stocks and shares in spot cream from wearing masks and our poor heads got regularly bumped due to our glasses steaming up! We seemed to take a downward spiral, the news updates became bleak and everyone's mood slumped to an all-time low.
But let's look on the bright side. The weather was fantastic and our tans came on brilliantly, the evenings would be spent outside reading or just chatting on the phone to loved ones and friends. The introduction of Zoom was a godsend for us all. We got in touch with long lost relatives and kept in touch with loved ones who had to shield.
What a fantastic year for Helen and I. Everything seemed to be falling into place with so much excitement. We welcomed our first corporate partner Hugh Jones Solicitors which was closely followed by Investec Wealth and Investment. We also secured much-needed help with pro bono work form Hogan Lovell: Global Lawyers. The release of our new front end website was successfully received by you all. We found our feet chatting to some wonderful disability bloggers who truly are inspiring to listen to and learn from their incredible journeys. I was asked to record a podcast for Frozen Light Theatre (who were not able to perform due to Covid) in aid of the PMLD community would be shielding.
Lockdown I suppose made Helen and I focus even more on the Charity as we couldn't go anywhere exciting or spend time with our family or friends. This redirection of energy is what enabled us to push forwards with becoming a registered Charity in Scotland, trying our hand at fundraising and setting up a Youtube channel. In the last month, we have welcomed Cath at People Junction who has been amazing and so kind in supporting us. We have also started to work with Julie who will be helping us with our PR. Julie has already lined up interviews with our local paper and Lancashire life! We need to look our best for that one as, we will be knocking around in dental surgeries for the next few years! To top it all, I have been nominated for an EVA award, not just in one catagory but two: Charity and Inspirational Woman. I am beyond chuffed.
So was 2020 the worst year ever, I have to say no. Yes it's been a challenge and we aren't finished yet. I can honestly say that I have missed my husband and girls so much it hurts, however I know this will have made them so strong and appreciate life so much more. We have also all had our moments of despair but we have all been able to relatively sane; been able to have a laugh and know our loved ones are safe and well.