My #20for2020

This little activity is inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier which is a must listen every week. Its something I have done over the past few years, 17for17, 18for18, 19for19, where you choose items to be done in the year, they can be fun or serious, work related or home based. This year started as usual and my items were designed for a typical year, however this year was everything but typical and many items simply couldn’t be done under the Covid restrictions. Here’s my review of my list and what I was able to adapt to a Covid year,

  1. Read for pleasure, 15 minutes a day.  I am pleased with this target, I always have a book on the go and think I will finish the year having read around 37 books for pleasure ( the 38th is nearly finished) and countless more for my studies. Achieved
  2. Resize my wedding and engagement rings.  Achieved
  3. Complete my University course.  The Covid pandemic meant that modules and assignments needed to be rearranged and my deadline day is January 6th 2021. However, I think I have completed all the work now and just want to have a final proof read before handing them in and awaiting my result. Nearly there!
  4.  Run a 10k race. I had entered a 10k race with a friend for May, but this was cancelled. However lots of races went virtual and I did the London and Edinburgh 10k races. I submitted proof of my time and distance and got lovely goodie bags with t-shirts and medals. Virtual races were a great idea to come from this difficult year. Achieved
  5. Run a parkrun PB. I missed a PB on a wet and very muddy course by 3 seconds in early 2020 and then parkrun was suspended with no return date yet. I have not timed any of my home 5k runs this year, if the 5k isn’t on my parkrun course it just wouldn’t count for me. To be continued ..
  6. Have a no spend month. I did this intentionally in January and then by accident in March and April with the lockdown and closure of all non essential shops. Achieved.
  7. Enjoy live music. Gutted that due to Covid this was not achieved. Of all the things I missed doing in 2020, live music and theatre top the list (family and friends not included) Covid casualty.
  8.  Plan a special 10 year famiversary.  Another Covid casualty as so many of my possibilities were not possible. We spent the day at our local beach and enjoyed a take away at home. It also showed that all that mattered was being together. Covid casualty.
  9. Have a rainbow of nail colours. Despite Covid, I did manage quite a few colours on my trips to the nail bar, except May – July and November when it was closed. Achieved.
  10. Visit the fashion museum. Not achieved due to Covid. One day I will definitely do this! Covid casualty.
  11. Wear colourful running kit and smile. TBH, this year its been more important just to get out there and run rather than think about kit. Unsurprisingly, given the lockdown, I’ve not been to any running shops to browse ranges. I did get a new pair of capris but had limited choice online, though I did go for khaki as alternative to black! I do have an apricot parkrun t-shirt and a royal blue finishers t-shirt from Edinburgh to add a little colour, although I would like a pretty skort or capris for when parkrun returns in ’21. As for the smiling, I think I still look pretty grumpy when running, even if I’m not feeling it inside. I think I may just have a grumpy face! To be continued…
  12. Special bakes for Valentines, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Well baking seemed to be a compulsory lockdown activity and we did plenty. I have a long list of bakes we made during the year. Baking was a welcome, comforting activity in this year. Achieved
  13. Review every film watched. So sad to say that I did not go to the cinema in 2020, my last trip was December 31st 2019. I love the cinema and have really missed our trips to the big screen. Covid casualty.
  14. Get the correct school place for Little ManIt was so stressful and went down legal avenues but we were successful and our son is so happy at his new school. One of our biggest achievements as parents. Achieved.
  15. Complete a photo a week challenge.  I took so many photos in 2020, but didn’t follow a set challenge. I don’t think the subjects inspired me. This may need a reboot in 21 as I do love taking photographs. Not achieved.
  16. Finish the 50 parkruns milestone.  Gutted to not have got my red t-shirt but whilst parkrun paused, I did continue to run and am raring to return to parkrun when it is safe again. Covid casualty.
  17. Take Little Man to London. I had started to make proper plans for this trip which was to happen in late spring or early summer but then Covid happened and our little adventure has been postponed. Covid casualty.
  18. Plan each season’s style. Interestingly this was an area which really developed, I had the time to sort out my wardrobe and losing weight made me really streamline my wardrobe and make careful purchases. I also started to follow a few fashion influencers on Instagram, going for styles similar to my lifestyle and watched a few videos on YouTube. Achieved
  19. Take a flower arranging class. Again, another item planned but postponed due to Covid, fingers crossed it can happen in ’21. Covid casualty.
  20. No sweets or chocolate. Amazingly despite spending the year in a pandemic, I managed to keep to this pledge! No I can’t quite believe it either. It showed that sweets and chocolate were more habit than desire. I missed both and will be enjoying them again in ’21 but perhaps a little more mindfully. Achieved.

So despite the pandemic and a few alterations and postponements, I managed to achieve 9 of my 20, a few are nearly there and others were simply not possible under the Covid restrictions. I’m happy with those results. I do enjoy this challenge and in the next few days will be finishing my #21for21, which after this year definitely needs to to be fun and frivolous list!


#20for2020, No.2 Have my rings resized.

My #20for2020 is an eclectic list of things to do this year, some are simple and brief, others are a whole year’s project. Some will positively impact my health and therefore ‘serious’ others are just for fun.

Today I went and collected my resized wedding and engagement rings from the jewellers and got to tick off my second item from this year’s list.

The rings were on my list as it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for years but never quite managed to organise. Seven years ago I had an accident at work and attended hospital where the rings had to be removed. For a few months after, my hand was bandaged and healing so the immediate need to have them done wasn’t there. I didn’t know if the accident would have lasting damage or if I would be able to wear the rings again so I simply put them away for safe keeping. I’ve thought about having them done in recent years but thought it would be expensive and complicated. In fact it was one of those things which was simple and much cheaper than I had budgeted for! I popped into our local jeweller, tried on the sizing rings and one week later my rings were ready to sparkle on my finger again.

I do love the simplicity of my rings. Mr S and I chose both rings together, the engagement ring in December 2000 and the wedding ring in the summer of 2003. Mr S no longer has his wedding ring as it got lost one day when he was potting in the garden! I don’t mind this and actually didn’t feel any less married when I wasn’t wearing mine. However now I’ve got them back. they do remind me of nice times and special people.

So that’s 2 items on my #20for2020 down, 18 to go, of which 8 are in progress. I do enjoy this challenge!

#20for2020 : Have a no spend month

Whoop, whoop one month in to 2020 and one item ticked off. It was nearly two after I ran a really good parkrun just 3 seconds away from my PB, another goal for this year.

This was a good goal to start the year with, a no spend month. I didn’t find it as challenging as I though I would, although January is not known as a particularly expensive month. It might be more difficult in a different month. The month did show how I respond to ads on social media and email campaigns. A few clicks and you find yourself liking something that you didn’t know you needed! I also am lured in by special offers and discounts.

For clothes shopping I do try to shop mindfully and normally browse online to create a new seasonal look before purchasing. This means that I tend to buy more in one go so a no clothes month is not unusual for me. I probably only buy clothes a few times a year and top up the basics as needed. I bought no basics or clothes this month.

The biggest challenge was items for the home. The shops had lots of ideas for organising and sorting, just my sort of thing. I’m also very fond of home furnishings and with the house looking a little bare after Christmas it was so tempting to buy a few new cushions and nicnacs. However I resisted and at the end of the month I am not rushing back to a shop because I loved an item I couldn’t buy. Another challenge was to be very careful not to buy stationery, another of my guilty spending pleasures.

I liked that the month started in a more mindful way, whilst there was a financial boost, the biggest attraction was a simpler lifestyle.

So that’s one down, 19 to go …

#20for2020 :The Final List

One of my favourite things to start the year is to write my #20for20 inspired by the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Ruben.

I’ve done this over the past two years too and it’s added sparkle to my life. Some projects are long term, others one off activities but all are designed to bring fulfilment and inspiration. This is not a list of 20 resolutions but things I would like to achieve this year.

  1. Read for pleasure, 15 minutes a day. With my studies, I read a huge amount but am no longer using reading for distraction and relaxation.  I want to devote 15 minutes a day to lose myself in a story. 
  2. Resize my wedding and engagement rings.  A few years ago I had a hand injury and my rings no longer fit as they should.  This is the year I resize them and enjoy wearing them again. 
  3. Complete my University course.  Yesterday, January 14th was the midpoint of my course and my assignments were submitted, fingers crossed for the marks.  My course is intense, demanding and one of the most professionally inspiring and interesting things I’ve done in my teaching career. By the end of 2020, I hope to have a few more initials after my name.  
  4.  Run a 10k raceLast year was about 5k running but I managed a few 10k training runs.  In 2020 I would like to do a 10k race just because I can run the distance, with no pressure on time or performance.  
  5. Run a parkrun PB. I would like to do this at my home parkrun as its a challenging course. I feel a PB on a flat, fast course would be a bit of a cheat.  A PB is pretty difficult given the mud we’re running through at present but come better weather, I’m hopeful I’ll smash it.  
  6. Have a no spend month. I have started January as my no spend month.  I thought this would be quite easy as I tend to buy my clothes on the occasional trip to ‘big’ town, so clothes shopping isn’t always a monthly occurrence.  However I’m realising how many incidentals I buy and its more of a challenge than expected.
  7. Enjoy live music. Last year Little Miss and I went to our first music festival and loved it.  I feel its an experience which needs to be repeated this year. 
  8.  Plan a special 10 year famiversary.  Later this year we will celebrate our 10 year famiversary, the day we became a family when the children came to live with us.  I want to do something really special and celebratory.  I have a few ideas so its time for research and planning. 
  9. Have a rainbow of nail colours. In 2019 I discovered the joy of monthly gel nails.  This year I want to have a rainbow of different colours. 
  10. Visit the fashion museum. This was on my list last year, on my first planned visit I was bed ridden with a migraine and then when I planned to go again it was closed for refurbishment.  As soon as it reopens I will be there! 
  11. Wear colourful running kit and smile. My parkrun tends to have a photographer and publishes the photos online. Each week, I’m there dressed in a combination of dark grey, black or navy and desperately trying not to look at the camera.  This year I need to wear a bright colour and actually smile at the camera, looking like I feel inside, happy and strong. 
  12. Special bakes for Valentines, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. I’ve called this bakes as I want to try new ideas for these celebrations, it may be biscuits, cakes or pies but a seasonal delight.  
  13. Review every film watched. I review all the books I read on Good Reads, so will try to do the same with all the films I watch.  
  14. Get the correct school place for Little Man. Whilst this is slightly out of control as we are dependent on the local authority to make the decision, we are doing all we can to get the correct place in a special school.  This has been so tough so far, formal complaints, mediation and tribunal, but we will do everything we can to support our son.  
  15. Complete a photo a week challenge.  I’m always taking photos on my phone so I decided to make it a little project for 2020. 
  16. Finish the 50 parkruns milestone.  I don’t want to get too obsessive about parkrun as there will be some weekends when its simply not possible to do a run, but I would like to achieve the 50 milestone this year.  I think that’s roughly 30 more parkruns to do this year, which I’m hoping is realistic.  
  17. Take Little Man to London. Last year, I took Little Miss to the music festival so I want to do a similar special trip for Little Man.  He loves London from his books and films so I think this would be a great trip to do together. 
  18. Plan each season’s style. I’m trying to be more mindful on clothes shopping, so my aim is to browse my favourite shops and to decide a look I wish to capture and shop around this look.  I’m hoping this will mean I buy what I need and like rather than random purchases. 
  19. Take a flower arranging class. This leads on from last year’s #19for19 where I tried to have lots of fresh flowers in the house. I want to learn how to do simple arrangements now. 
  20. No sweets or chocolate. I love chocolate and sweets but am mindlessly eating them.  I aim to stop eating both for a year (I’ve done it before about 20 years ago!) 

I am looking forward to my project again.  In previous years its brought unexpected delight and pleasure and made me tick off things I’ve always wanted to do.  Roll on #20for 2020.