A New Year can bring new beginnings, resolutions, goals and promises. But I never imagined it would bring another lockdown – at least I hoped it wouldn’t.

As we face it again, I’ve been reflecting on the last two lockdowns. I know we all experienced them in different ways and faced personal challenges. I only hope you have found the occasions to smile, perhaps even laugh, and cherish those moments as those are the moments to reflect on.

Home-schooling was hard; there is no other word for it. There were tantrums, there were tears and utter defiance, but my children still love me!

Amongst all this; laughter, joy and new experiences.

We danced and sang in the kitchen to The Greatest Showman, when we should have been doing maths. We planted sunflowers, watered them and watched them grow to over 6 feet; Science. We watched Horrible Histories the movie when we should have been studying History. We got relatively fit through our daily walk around Middlewich and along the canal (my boys refused to do PE with Joe Wicks!)

Then came the lockdown birthdays, my 40th (did I tell you that Elvis called me?!), my youngest 9th and oldest 11th. Like many people, I was disappointed to have my birthday in lockdown, but it was probably the most memorable birthday yet. I mean, who else got a phone call from the King?!

May saw us celebrating as a Country VE Day. A perfect opportunity to teach History again, which is one of my favourite subjects.

The day was tied up in a bow by a street party in our Close. It was a success, although it was tough not to hug my fabulous neighbours, especially after a few Proseccos!

Then came the summer holidays, this time they didn’t seem as daunting; after all, we had already stayed at home for three months, what’s a few more?

As a family, we were unbelievably fortunate to be able to go on holiday in August. After a short flight to Frankfurt, followed by a three-hour wait, a three-hour flight to Rhodes and a one-hour taxi ride; we arrived in Lindos. It was worth every hour and we felt safer there than we did back home.

September came, and the boys finally returned to school, albeit a different setup, but still, they were being taught correctly. Another short lockdown took us into December and the run-up to Christmas.

It may not have been the Christmas we all had hoped and planned for as a country, but we made it to Christmas. When you look back on 2020 and perhaps even 2021, look for the happy moments, look through your images saved on your camera reel, or your social media photos and see all the great times you had.

I’m not a believer in New Year’s resolutions, but I would recommend practising gratitude if you were to choose one. Each day when you wake, spend a few minutes to think about what you are grateful for.

It can be something as simple as, ‘I am grateful for this day’. I am grateful to have a warm house. I am grateful for my health. Think about what you have in your life. Then write down just three things. Do this every day and watch your mindset change, your outlook becomes positive, and in turn, you will attract positivity and spread it – like attracts like. I hope you’ve enjoyed my articles throughout 2020 and I hope to continue writing for you. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure being able to write for Go Local magazine.

Jody Woodbridge

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