In case you missed it, Christmas is here.

I know, I know. It doesn’t seem possible. Time was frozen for so long during lockdowns, that it kind of feels like we skipped from the March long weekend (just before lockdown #1) all the way to December.

At the same time as it felt like we were living in the longest year ever.

Because it is Christmas time though, I am about to sign off for my summer holidays. Which I am ecstatic to confirm, will in part be happening outside of Victoria.  Something that seemed impossible a little over a month ago.

And as this is my final working (half)week for 2020, I’m going out in a festive and grateful bang.

Part one of this blog released earlier this week, listed things I am professionally grateful for in 2020.

Here is part two: the personal reasons I am grateful.

  1. Finally feeling like a Melbournian

The Husband and I moved to Melbs with our then 6 month old bebe and furry child from sunny Perth back in May 2000. Although originally Taswegians, we had moved West for the sun and surf. The arrival of said Bebe however made us realise how far away we were from family and friends (and babysistters) and so we moved to Melbourne as a compromise between going all the way back ‘home’, which we weren’t yet ready to do.

I always figured we would eventually move back to Tas (The Husband disagreed) and for many years I actually disliked living here and couldn’t wait to leave. When Lockdown #2 hit, I was incensed and wanted to pack my shiz and get out of here. The minute the ring of steel came down.

Somewhere along the endless Ground Hog days however, something changed.

It is hard to put into words, even for someone who loves words as much as I do.

Perhaps it was the shared sense of getting through this together (or all the adds on TV and Radio hammering that message).

Maybe it’s from knowing that no-one from any other state will ever comprehend what it was like for us.

Perhaps it is pride that we did it, we beat the Rona.

Whatever the reason, I am finally a loud and proud Melburnian. And that feels pretty damn good.

Plus, both of these videos make me all teary and emotional. Sooo Melbourne.

Still have some tissues? Here’s another one for you.

‘Let’s Melbourne again’.

  1. Thriving with my Women

In 2020 I was a member of Emma McQueen’s Thriving Women group. Ostensibly a business coaching group, the group became so much more for me this year, particularly during the lock downs.

Thriving Women 2020. The smiles in this photo tell the story of the magic of this tribe.

Whilst we didn’t get to see each other IRL nearly as much as we should have, these ladies honestly helped me survive (and dare I say it, thrive) during lockdowns.

These women became my own personal cheerleading group, always having my back and ready with praise and encouragement.

When I was struggling, I knew I could share that with them and there would be no judgment. If I needed a laugh – they delivered, regularly. If I needed guinea pigs for testing new programs on – they put their hands up.

We had weekly drinks on a Friday night for most of lockdown #2 and many weeks it was the shining light of my week.

One of these women, the fabulous Holly Cardamone, became the driving force behind my social media content via her fabulous Band of Batches Monthly sessions and Write Here Right Now days.

Holly also became my #1 fiction writing buddy, as we spent a day a month (and eventually, a weekend away) working on our novels together. I wrote the first and second draft of my novel back in 2017; until I met Holly, it sat on the shelf gathering dust.

Now I have not only finished draft 4, and get up early before workdays begin to work on it, but have fallen in love all over again with the process of editing and rewriting the book.

Thanks to Holly, I have reignited a life-long passion and I couldn’t be more bloomin grateful. Thank you times a million, Ms SAF.

To each and every one of the other Thriving Women, thank you ladies. I love youse all and look forward to keeping up our connection, whether it be over a bevvy somewhere or hiking in the bushes with our she-wee. (Don’t ask. Just remember the immortal lines from Top Secret, Some things are better left unsaid).’

To Emma, a special and heartfelt thank you for all that you do every day, not just for me but for everyone in your circle. And an extra big, shout from the roof tops THANK YOU for especially for creating the magic that is this tribe.

  1. Schitts Creek and allllll the memes

Ok, ok, this one isn’t strictly just a 2020 thing. I started watching this hilarious show back at the start of 2019 and by the time season 6 came to earlier Netflix this year, I’d re-watched the first five seasons with my 21-year-old girl who shares the same sense of humour as me.

During lockdown #1, season 6 was honestly one of my coping mechanisms.

In the final ever episode, when ‘Pope-Moira’ appeared, I honestly laughed so hard I brought on an asthma attack. Funny thing about that is, I don’t actually have asthma!

In between finishing the season and before I start re-watching the series for the third time, I’ve been getting by with making it my mission to use a Moira Rose inspired GIF whenever the need for a GIF arrives. Because you asked, here we go…

Other things I am grateful for in 2020 include…

There are many other things for which I am grateful for this year including:

  • Rediscovering a love of walking with friends (the BEST way to spend the one hour of permitted outside time during lockdown);
  • Realising there are actually many different ways to do an In-home Date Night;
  • The (mostly) upwards trajectory of the Carlton Football Club AND
  • Last but absolutely not least, the fact I can go to My Favourite Place in the World on Tassie’s stunning East Coast to see in the New Year. Although, only just. Because that mother f#*%er ‘Rona messed with my family plans again, less than a week from Xmas. *sighs loudly

But for now, that’s officially a wrap for the year folks.

Thanks for following along at home all year, I hope you have enjoyed the content I’ve put out there as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

I will pop into your feeds occasionally over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, you can find me here:

Thanks for all the lessons 2020 – but move over would ya, I’m ready for 2021.