We all know that 2020 has been a challenging time, but our team in the Nottingham Cat Watch decided to think about just a few of the things that made us smile in 2020 and kept us going.
Here are our HOORAYS for 2020!
Like everyone else I know, 2020 is not going to be remembered fondly but when I took the time to look for positives there were some there after all.
When lockdown first hit I was furloughed for three weeks and having only recently started my new role I was upset and worried what this might mean for the future. I had to find a new focus and just at the right moment an advert popped up in my Facebook feed for ‘Kathy Smith – fit over 40 challenge’.
Like a lot of people I have gone through periods in my life when fitness was very important to me and others when I just couldn’t find the time or motivation to even think about doing ten minutes of exercise a week!
Something made me read through this challenge and I am very glad I did as the tone of the programme was not about punishing yourself for fitness and diet failings, rather it encouraged self-respect and feeling that you were worth taking care of. The exercises were varied and fun and lasted between ten and forty minutes a day so were easy to fit into my new free time.
There was also a meal plan which I largely ignored and instead focussed on cutting down on my sugar intake – not easy to start with but so worth it.
I have never stuck to an exercise programme before but this worked for me and became my focus over the three weeks I was on furlough. By the time I was back at work I was looking at ways to make sure I did at least ten minutes of exercise each day and I am happy to say I am still doing so now.
There are so many benefits to regular exercise for our physical and mental wellbeing and I know that had I not had the time off from work and the incentive of a pandemic to improve my health, I would still be a bit of a couch potato!
So all in all 2020 helped me get fit and improve my health through eating well (most of the time…) - hooray for 2020!
My hooray for 2020 is learning to slow down a little! Life can be so hectic at times and last year finally gave us all the opportunity to slow down and take stock. I have spent a lot more time on my own and for the first time in my life, I have loved it. I have even started cooking real meals!
I also discovered a new hobby on a walk around Colwick Park lakes – open water swimming! I’m not going to lie, I was first attracted to the idea due to the Wired coffee van that parked up next to the swimming entrance, but I took my first dip in June and I’m hooked! It’s such a beautiful place but bobbing in the water gives you a whole new perspective; especially when a duck paddles past right next to you. Magic.
One benefit of lockdown and being stuck at home all day every day was the opportunity to see more of the wildlife that visits when I’m usually out of the house. I saw foxes and rabbits, found an injured buzzard that the RSPCA came out for, and had a visit from a racing pigeon who needed a rest. My favourite visitor was this duckling, who appeared in my garden during a huge storm in June. I have no idea where he came from, as I couldn’t find any other ducks nearby. I took him inside and looked after him for a couple of days before taking him to a wildlife rescue, where he was raised with other ducklings until he was old enough to be released at a local lake. As cute as he was, he also demanded round the clock care and peeped as loud as he could if I was out of his sight for more than a second. He was also really stinky. Handing him in to the rescue was really hard, as we had become very attached to each other! But I’m so happy that I could help to give him the best chance to survive J
My hooray for 2020 I would say has to be me getting back into my love for sewing! I honestly didn’t realise how much I missed it until I started again! I’ve been sewing since I was little really and for the last few years abandoned my sewing machine but with having more time in 2020 it has reunited me with it!! Been making lots of bits and bobs! But one of my favourites has to be Bernard the bear! Never made teddies before, jointed teddies anyway and thought I would give myself a challenge and here was the result!
So although 2020 has been full of ups and downs, we hope that showing you our hooray moments, will help you to remember yours!
Happy 2021 everyone!
If you would like to learn more about our work:
Nottingham Cat Watch