Happy? New Year.

I think it is safe to say that this year hasn’t been the best for anyone, or maybe you’ve enjoyed having a global pandemic? (kidding). As it stands I hate New Year. There’s many reasons why, some I don’t even know but I do just hate it. I think one of the main reasons is OCD – new year and my OCD do not get on well with each other. I think a lot of that stems from the concept of screen-shotting the time. As you can imagine everyone makes such a big deal of new year that OCD tells me “you have to make a big deal of it in the way I want you to”. So yeah it isn’t nice and I guess aside from other reasons I dread it every year because of the high intensity ordeal that I face with my compulsions and thoughts.

I’d like to say that this year I am going to challenge that, but I don’t want to make promises to myself that I cannot keep. If I don’t I will only feel let down by myself and nobody needs that. So instead I have decided to write this blog post about the goodness of this year, what I have achieved, what I wish I had done differently etc. I didn’t want to list lots (as we all know what I am like for waffling on) so here is my top 12 (in no order!).

1. Firstly, I am grateful for the kindness from strangers I have experienced this year. I have come across so many people who have gone above and beyond to put a smile on our face and really shown what a good heart is.

2. I’m grateful for the friends I have met through online platforms, who have supported me throughout this year, supported Sissy & One and cared.

3. I’m proud of myself for having my first trip out of lockdown just thrown at me suddenly. It was two challenges in one. This year I delivered a baby in my car at the side of the road. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have typed that. Incredible experience, but I’m not handing in a midwife application any time soon. The other challenge was I haven’t driven to Scarborough on my own since I worked there – this time I had no choice and in a way I’m glad that happened because I didn’t have time to think about things.

4. I’ve learned to bake new recipes, pretending my kitchen was the bake off tent and trying my hand at sacher torte, espresso ganache, pastries and macaroons. Things I have always wanted to try but never thought I would.

5. Through lockdown I appreciated the quietness of the world. Hearing the birds tweeting early mornings and no other sounds. No traffic, no people noises just pure quiet bliss.

6. You can now call me Detective Chief Inspector Keets now because the amount of crime documentaries and thriller programmes I have binged on this year has clearly given me a qualification in being a detective.

7. OCD has been HARD this year, especially when I have been unable to see those who help – but I have bizarrely managed to not tap the ceiling when coming down the stairs and I have done this solely on my own.

8. I do wish I motivated myself more when it came to exercising. Not being able to eat the foods I would usually eat due to lack of shop products and being unable to leave the house I just kinda got stuck in a rut.

9. Video/phone calls with my brother have been more frequent than ever before and although I really miss not being able to hang out with him, it has been super nice to have that extra contact with him and I know this just makes us even closer (and I didn’t think that was possible!). Video calls with my little cousins whilst we did a ‘bake with me’ was super sweet too. I will never take spending quality time with my loved ones for granted.

10. Sissy & One took off this year and I am still finding it hard to believe that my creations have been liked by other people and even my items have been sent to places like Ireland and such! It is truly incredible. I am so appreciative of all the support from people who have liked, shared, commented, spread the word, purchased, left reviews etc. It overwhelms me how much love it has received and I am so grateful for that. I’m also excited to see what 2021 has in store for Sissy & One.

11. Ellie. My best mate. Where oh where would I have been without her this year – dropping off shopping on our doorstep because we have been isolating and including a pack of galaxy ripples to cheer us up. (Even though it was a pack of 4 and somehow there was only 3? Hehe). Meeting outside my house so I could place a chocolate cake in the middle of the street for her to collect, the endless amounts of chats and emotional ones we have had. I will forever remember all you’ve done El, and I love you so much. Also thanks for bringing your dad dressed as santa to do a doorstep present swap – total highlight of the month!!

12. Throughout being so busy with Sissy & One I also completed a course and gained a qualification in Mental Health First Aid & Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace. Genuinely looking back have no idea how I had the time to do it because of Sissy & One taking off like it did, when I thought I had all the time in the world – but I did! I’m really proud about that, and I am proud that I am becoming more and more educated about different mental health topics.

These are only 12 things I have labelled, but they are 12 that I can look back on throughout the year and smile knowing that some good did happen this year. A lot of lessons have been learnt, and I think most of us are still learning to some extent. Do remember that as it is January 1st tomorrow – there will be a different number at the end of the year, but that is the only difference. We all still live on to do what we are doing, as long as you are happy and healthy that is all that matters.

Stay safe and keep smiling!

Keets x

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