So, 2020 has been a challenging year for all, to say the least. For me, as difficult as it’s been in so many ways, it’s also been a year of huge growth and I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to say it has been the best year of my life so far.
We’ve learned so many things from buying and moving into our new house together. Firstly we have learned how to live with each other – thankfully it really wasn’t that difficult and I think we were more on the same page than we were anticipating! We’ve learned how we communicate and read signs and how to support each other through bad days as well as the good. We have had to settle into a new neighbourhood with some interesting characters and do our best to make friends with our direct neighbours (I think we have succeeded…). We have also learned all about mortgages, taxes, bills, insurance, and all sorts of other life admin. We have officially hit adulthood! Thankfully, we are organised people and have spreadsheets for almost everything, but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a learning curve, and I’m sure there is a lot more for us to get to grips with yet.
We were due to get married on the 12th December 2020 with 140+ guests, but, as soon as COVID-19 hit, we knew we needed to plan for the worst. We knew we wanted to get married this year, regardless of what the day looked like, but this meant potentially upsetting many of our close family members and friends. In the end, we felt it was best to offend everyone, in order to offend no one. The decision to get married during lockdown and to completely change all our plans was not an easy one, but we knew it was the right one for us and neither of us have any regrets. We had the perfect day with our 2 lovely witnesses, and despite not having family and friends at the ceremony, we were able to see our parents and speak to our families on the day which made it even more special.
We had the kitchen redone in December which we knew we wanted to do from the day we viewed the house and decided we wanted to put in an offer. It was certainly a process and not always an easy one. Trying to balance out cost with efficiency and practicality was a challenge. If we could have afforded to have had every fancy feature available, we probably would have done, but this wasn’t an option and we had to consider our priorities. A corner pull-out would have been a luxury but saving the £600 from not having that and putting it towards better quality appliances was the choice we made. So far, we feel that was a far better use of money. We were so excited for the kitchen to be completed, and it finally happened (and just in time for Christmas)! It’s crazy how much difference a brighter and more storage effective space can make and so far it’s still super clean because we are so protective of it!
In a year of uncertainty, I was given the opportunity to make my part-time role a permanent one, rather than being on the ‘bank’. The flexibility of bank staff has been great, but during lockdown where there was initially less work to do, I didn’t feel like I could ask to be paid when I hadn’t really got anything done. It’s also great to have a steady income, rather than just being paid when someone has signed off my shifts. I had to interview but was given this role and am so grateful that during a time where many have lost their jobs, I was given confidence and security in mine.
I’ve found that I’ve become closer to friends and family in this lockdown (even making new friends) and have been spending time with friends and family far more than I would have done last year! There were some weeks where I felt worn out from all the socialising! Our current weekly schedule is Home Group on Wednesday night, Nomination Whist (Nom Nom as we like to call it) on Thursday night, and 7s with my Grandma Friday night. We've also made the following virtual games on google sheets: boggle, yahtzee and beetle!
A local personal trainer put on an offer over the summer which I was interested in, and after speaking to Trys about it, we signed up as a couple for a 12-week block of sessions. We ended up doing around 30 weeks of sessions and loved it! We have found some YouTube fitness pages which we watch and do home workouts to sometimes, and I’m sure in the New Year we will be looking into more personal training options. It was great to be able to do it together and to be able to motivate one another. We had different strengths and weaknesses but were able to keep each other going and push through the challenges.
In life, your family and friends won’t always back your decisions. Ultimately, everyone wants what they think is best for you, but you can’t make everyone happy. I’ve learned that the most important thing is to decide based on what I/ we want and (try) not to worry about how others may take it.
Patience. When moving house, a lot of patience is required, along with much trust and faith in the process. It was nerve-wracking when we didn’t hear back from solicitors, or when sellers were threatening to pull out, but we just had to trust that the estate agents and solicitors were doing their jobs and sit patiently.
Communication. In the first lockdown, Trys and I were apart for nearly 18 weeks and in this time was Trys' birthday and we exchanged and completed on a house. We had to learn to communicate well on the phone / video calls and open up in a way that we really hadn’t done before. Though difficult to take that step at the time, it really set us up for living together and it’s been so much easier to settle down with one another than either of us were expecting- even with curveballs being thrown at us left, right and centre!