2020 and me

Like everyone else in the world, 2020 has not exactly gone to plan for me. Well I did not actually write out a plan, but it has definitely not gone the way I had anticipated it would!

Starting out the year in a new position at my full-time job, I was focused on developing those skills and settling into that role. There was a lot of stress, feeling of being overwhelmed and my mind working non-stop as March approached and we were about to commence the major events season and then it all stopped.  Just. Like. That.

In mid-March, the terms ‘you are stood down’ were used and I needed to google it as to be honest, I had never heard of it before. That initial feeling of getting a few weeks off work did not seem like a too bad idea at the time, the opportunity to regroup and take a breather and use up a bit of annual leave. But then reality hit. It was not a few weeks. Five months later I am still at home, still ‘stood down’ and likely to be the case until 2021.

It’s been great to see many businesses thriving during this time. A popular word for the year would be ‘pivot’. It is rewarding reading stories of success where people have made changes to their business to adapt to the circumstances and have really grown. On the flip side, it has been heartbreaking to see many others fall and collapse as isolation/lock down does not allow for all industries to operate. The effect of this all will continue on for business for years to come.

Inspired by Paper was able to continue. No dramas there. Orders taken, created and posted off. I faced a hurdle in March when I was not able to get my order of frames due to delays in shipping. This stretched through to the end of June and many orders were made but awaiting the frame prior to completion. This was so painful and at a time when I really wanted to be taking a lot of orders, I had to give 4+ weeks wait time and had the uncertainty of when supplies would arrive.

So being on lock down at home for a major part of these five months I would love to have been able to say I am totally on top of my orders, have created some of the new products I have been dreaming about and started making things for the festive season. I wish I could say that all the odd jobs around the house are completed and my to do list is being actioned each day. And then I would say that I am looking after myself, being active and becoming fit. But I really cannot say any of that yet. The only one thing I have achieved in these five months is   M o t h e r h o o d.

Motherhood has been both such a challenging and rewarding time with my recently turned 3 year old son. Amongst many other challenges such as no play dates, no parks open and trying to explain what is happening, the main one for me is there is no time out. No heading to work and having my mind preoccupied with other things away from the home. Anything and everything in the house is thought about and analysed. All conversations, decisions and actions.

Looking back at this year, I really hope that I remember the rewarding times do outweigh these challenges. The amount of time I have been able to spend with him at such an important stage of his life. A time where he is learning and developing so much. His personality, his cheekiness and empathy showing so much.

The year ahead is rather scary. Yes, there is the financial and job security of myself (and a lot of the country) but then also the mental health of us all. And not only adults but the children who have had a roller coaster year of emotions and changes. I mean walking past playgrounds saying they are closed, then they are open again, and then closed again- that is confusing and upsetting to a two year old! Trying to get him back to day care will be a battle. Knowing he cannot be attached to my side 24/7 will be extremely hard for him. And to be honest, it will be hard for me. I will miss hearing his voice all day and the constant cuddles.

There has been the one constant throughout this lock down and will remain that way into the new year. One thing that can keep me going. That will keep ticking over and allowing me to be creative. To bring joy to others. To earn a little money. And that is Inspired by Paper. For over 20 years this has been my passion. My side hustle. Sometimes it has been my main focus and other times it has been pushed aside. But it has always been there. And as long as people are still wanting my products then I will be here to make them. I will continue to share these creations with you as well as other projects from around the house.

So that is me. This is where I am at and I’m glad you continue to be on this journey with me.