"I have a folder. The first week of every January I spend ages with the children, exploring ideas for the year ahead. Things we want to do, plans we want to make, etc. So I can budget and try to prep as much as possible. We call it "mummy's yearly ideas, plans and checklists folder". Everything from what I'm buying the kids for birthdays or Christmas goes in it, in nice neat well organised lists cos that's the type of person I am. Plus as I home school, also any plans for educational outings, activities etc that I would need to budget ahead of time for. Example being if we want to visit a farm in spring to see the baby animals, then I'd put it in the folder, find a local visitor farm and ring them around mid Feb to check best dates for visiting to see babies, then budget from travel costs and entrance fees, find discounts,etc. So that I'm not faced with a last minute cost. Also as I start shopping for Christmas in January, keeping track of what I've gotten the kids helps to make sure I don't overspend, so the lists help me see what I need to get, what to plan for, what to not worry about. This is normally my January tradition. The folder stays in my bedside table so I can always find it when I need to add or check something. I was riding my room today, as one does, and decluttering drawers and came across the folder. It hadn't been looked at since Christmas, when I used it for last Christmas plans. I didn't do my usual plans this January and didn't even realise I hadn't done it. I thought to myself, that's okay, little late doesn't hurt, we can do it this week. Then I thought, what's the point. What we can afford to do this year won't even fill one page, why waste the paper or the energy. Why get our hopes up for nothing. With or without the virus we've no freedoms this year, probably not for the foreseeable future. It made me very sad. To realise I'd given up on a tradition, a yearly habit, without even realising it. Not because of the lockdown but because I can't afford anything. I wonder if the future will ever get better or if this lockdown is the best we're likely to experience for years to come."

Victoria B
Mar 20, 2021

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