2020 was quite the year for surprises. If you had told us a year ago… well, we wouldn’t have believed it but here we are, moving into a new year with a mix of optimism, hope and curiosity about what lies ahead.
Who knows really what the road ahead looks like, but one thing is for certain, as humans, we have an astounding ability to accept, adapt, innovate and find ways to get through the toughest of situations and thrive.
2020 could easily be dismissed as being a year that nobody wants to remember, the year when nothing good at all happened. It was and it wasn’t. Despite the immense challenges we have all had to live and work with, good things came from last year; there are a few things that we think changed for the better that we’d like to hold on to and make more of in 2021.
Going Out Being the New Staying In
Hands up anyone who actually would have rather stayed in all of these times? Yes, we had fun times but all that effort! Isn’t it wonderful to get dressed up (well, sometimes only from the waist up for these Zoom drinks!), experiment with cocktails, choose your own tunes and stay in for that kitchen disco? We are taking copious amounts of that into 2021 to keep ourselves going. No more FOMO – nobody else is doing much and who wants to go out in January anyway? We might not be able to have the company that we once had indoors but a party for one (or two) may just be the vibe we’re looking for this year. Zero cash haemorrage, no shouty conversations in loud bars and night clubs and no queue for the taxi home – just a couple of strides from the kitchen to bed land. It’s one thing we learned to do really, really well in 2020 so we’re taking that into our new year, making our playlists, perfecting our ‘nibbly dinner’ finger food recipes for these Saturday nights in the kitchen and creating some delicious cocktails for our weekends in. These are big on our list for giving a whirl in our cocktail shakers this month:
We learned to look around us a bit more and appreciate everything we have on our doorstep, from brief chats with neighbours or the person at the supermarket checkout to finding new places to walk just to break up the monotony of lockdown life, special places to sit and unwind for a while, the treats and treasures of our local shops, being a tourist in our own towns. There’s a contentment that comes from not venturing too far from our own comfort bubble and feeling part of our community, enjoying the things that are unique about our immediate environment. It’s part of the Caorunn philosophy, making the most of our surroundings and connecting with the larder we have on our doorstep, picking and unearthing the botanicals that we use to craft our unique gin. In 2020 we learned to make more of what we have, indoors and out; to switch things around inside our homes and create better places to live (and work!), to really evaluate our living places and make things work for us. We just never seemed to have the time to do that on our weekends prior to the pandemic. Last year our immediate worlds became everything to us and we learned to appreciate them and maximise our enjoyment of them a lot more.
Simple things making a difference
All those simple things that we have learned to love and appreciate so much that we’ll never take for granted again. Being at home, pottering and meandering, taking things slowly, cooking unhurriedly, taking a bath for hours, relaxing with a simple G & T after a day of Zoom, switching off the tv and reading a book. 2020 taught us to slow down and savour the good moments, take joy in the simple things and take some time to get the basics right in life; organising our environment, checking in with friends, spreading a little bit of kindness with a smile on these trips out to the supermarket or a walk. The global pandemic shifted our frenetic focus on targets, goals and things to achieve – the ‘tick tick tick’ to moving at a much slower pace and literally taking time to smell the roses. Lockdown taught us how to enjoy life more simply.
Kinship and camaraderie
Who would ever have thought that distance would bring us all closer together? 2020 saw us all develop deeper social bonds and start to treat each other a bit differently. Things became more relaxed in a way, we opened up a bit more and started to recognise each other as humans, beyond our work roles and responsibilities. Toddlers and dogs made background appearances on Zoom calls, we leaped out of meetings excitedly to accept deliveries, we zoned out from what was being discussed at meetings to admire the interior choices of our colleagues (or not!). Although we’ve been apart physically, we’ve connected in a more meaningful way as humans. We are going through all of these challenges we would never have imagined as a global community with a strong, shining spirit, supporting and collaborating with each other. We are taking lots more of that into 2021…
We knitted, we baked, we sourdoughed (successfully and unsuccessfully…), we painted, crafted, read, upcycled, gardened, cooked and pottered. We found our places of calm and our creative flow, whatever it was that we chose as a distraction. The boredom of lockdown and removal of so many of our freedoms resulted in a surge in creativity, not only in an artistic way, but in terms of innovation and problem solving. The unexpected gift of unstructured time, out of our normal routines forced us to tap into the different creative reserves we have within us. When the world around us changes, our minds adapt also and often great creativity and innovation arise in a crisis. 2020 is the year we got better at finding new and better ways to do things and discover joy in creative distractions and projects.
2021 doesn’t have the blank page, fresh spark feel and promise that a new year might otherwise have; we know that the world faces continuing challenges but we can draw on a number of positives from the last 12 months to not only cope with whatever lies ahead, but to make the most out of absolutely everything we can.