December 2020 Gratitude List - Festivities & Farewell 2020

31 Dec 2020

Well, it's been a long time coming, but I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm kind of glad to be seeing the back of 2020. While it's had its positives for me and plenty of happy moments, the overriding feeling of the year is a bit meh. It's been rubbish not being able to explore as much as I'd like, there were days I didn't even want to hear the news, and social media became a bit of a minefield at times. We've been in lockdowns, out of lockdowns, in a variety of tiers and almost permanently in a state of "I don't know what's going on".

But yes, the day that this gratitude list is being published is the last day of the entire year and so I'm trying to make it a good one by thinking about all the good bits from December. It was a pretty lovely month, to be quite honest, and this was a very easy list to write, so I'm hoping that this smushy, happy feeling continues into 2021.

  1. Accepting a new job - I haven't made this a big secret, but I left my old job at the end of October with absolutely no backup plan (in the middle of a pandemic, I know). And I'll be honest, it's one of the most cathartic things I think I've ever done, but it was time to be a grown up again. About a week before Christmas, I accepted a brand new job that's fully remote, so I won't be back in an office any time soon, which my lockdown-conditioned brain is kind of enjoying. It'll still be a content-based job, but I'm looking forward to working with multiple clients.
  2. The Christmas fun - obviously, I loved Christmas despite things having to be slightly different. I'm lucky in that I still got to go and see my mum and help with making the dinner, and it's something that I definitely didn't take for granted. To aid with the social distancing and 'ventilation', we set up a marquee in the garden, complete with spaced seating, a firepit, heaters, twinkly lights, a hot chocolate station and baked treats. It was so much fun to get cosy in and I actually wouldn't mind having it every year!
  3. All of the snow - I know snow isn't for everyone, but living in Middlesbrough for years and years meant that I never got to see 'proper' snow. And now that I live out in the sticks, the snow we had towards the end of the month was just magical. There was something so pretty about looking out over the hills, watching the windmills turn and seeing the light bounce off the white ground. It also made the bells from the church over the street that extra bit more festive too.
  4. New blog ideas - you lot know me, I'm a big advocate for Teesside and one of the ideas that I had for my blog in 2021 was to really elevate the independent businesses that we have here. I'm really glad to say that this idea was warmly received and I've got a series of posts scheduled up until April! I don't think I've ever been so organised! So each Saturday, there'll be a new post in the Independent Tees Collective series that highlights an indie biz. I'm pretty proud of it and I'm hoping it proves to be useful!
  5. Feeling inspired and motivated with my blog - I'd say that inspiration and motivation comes in ebbs and flows with my blog, and there'll be months where I feel rubbish and not want to write. But there are months where all I wanna do is blog and that's what December was all about! Alongside the Independent Tees Collective series, I've just felt so excited and bursting with ideas. I feel like 2021 is going to be good for The Northernist, so watch this space!

So it's a not-so-fond farewell to 2020 and a hopeful hello to 2021. At the time of me writing this, it's just been announced that the North East is going into tier 4 (the highest tier of covid restrictions, for those reading in the future), so I've got everything crossed that everything gets back to normal soon and we can start living again!

What were you grateful for in December?

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