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What I learned in 2020: Kristen Davidson

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As one of humanity’s most trying years comes to an end, we take a moment to reflect.

Canberrans have fared through devastating bushfires, suffocating smoke, destructive hail and a global pandemic in 2020. So undoubtedly, we’ve learned some things.

This week, MIX106’s Kristen Davidson shares her memories and learnings of 2020, including the birth of her first child, Hugo.

Kristen Davidson

MIX 106.3 Breakfast Host and new Mummy to Hugo

Kristen with husband Iain and their new baby, Hugo Fox.

Paint a picture of you after summer 2019/20. How were you affected by the bushfires and smoke?

I was freshly pregnant, petrified of inhaling the smoke, hovering around Canberra just in case the radio station went into 24/7 emergency broadcast mode and I’d be called back from holidays to broadcast critical updates.

I remember being a ball of anxiety, for a handful of reasons.

How did you fare in the great hailstorm of 2020?

My car got written off, as I was doing a gym session at Hale in Barton while I watched my car get destroyed by hail. Hail at Hale. Funny…now.

What were your first impressions of COVID in early 2020?

I was naive to the full extent of its impact. We were reporting on it on my Breakfast show, but I felt removed from it. It was an overseas problem, not a Canberra problem, right?

It was when I had an appointment with my Obstetrician and she wanted to talk to Iain (hubby) and I about what could/would happen if I contracted COVID-19.

I drove home, with my pregnancy still a secret at this stage, thinking holy hell, this is REAL. How do I manage this? Is this really happening?

What was your first memory of being materially affected by COVID?

I will never forget the day they built a makeshift broadcast studio at my house for me overnight as my boss decided it wasn’t safe for me to be in at work. I mean, it sounds fancy, like I’m Jackie-O but I was broadcasting from my cupboard for the first week. Harry Potter eat your heart out.

My boss Rod make the call after one of our shows that he wanted me broadcasting from home. That was 9 am, I packed my desk up and drove home by 10.30 am. By 4 pm I was set up to broadcast from home.

That was March 2020 and I haven’t walked back into the radio station since. It’s now December. I’ve walked into that MIX studio every morning for the best part of a decade and I now can’t even find my security pass to get into the building.

What were the low points of 2020?

Being pregnant during COVID had its challenges. On one hand, you’re working from home and able to live in maternity tights (which I’m still wearing to be honest). On the other hand, its devastatingly isolating.

No antenatal classes; no mothers groups, all medical appointments I had to attend by myself without my husband, no getting together with friends to shoot the breeze and get advice.

Visitors weren’t allowed at the Hospital when Hugo was born. During a time, that’s pretty life-changing, as a new mum all you want is your posse around you to lean on and share the experience with. At times it was desperately lonely.

What were the high points of 2020?

Just the birth of my first child. No biggie.

Kristen and Hugo.

What’s the biggest positive change to your work or personal life that you’ll carry into the future?

COVID helped my work family navigate how we can effectively work from home. Not that I would want to work from home ALL the time, I miss seeing the people in person; the interaction, the morning teas. However, there is flexibility if we need it. We don’t need to be tied to our desks to be working.

What did you learn in 2020?

I saw this quote floating around socials mid-year, and it says so much.

“In the rush to return to normal let’s use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to…”

There is SO much in my life I do because…I’ve always done it. I never stopped to think does this make me happy? I think we all have a clearer perspective on what floats our boat and what is important.

How are you feeling about 2021?

I’m taking this wild ‘new mum/COVID’ ride day by day. Although I’m optimistic that Canberra in particular is slowly getting back to life as we knew it, I’m also very aware that COVID doesn’t own a calendar.

Just because it clicks over to 2021 that doesn’t mean this illness magically disappears.

We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Also, in a world where being “busy” was a badge of honour (it was for me anyway), I’m reflecting on what we have learnt from this unprecedented year.

If you’re “busy”, are you enjoying and engaged in everything you’re doing? Next time someone says “’How’s things?’ and I say ‘Busy’, please remind me, that means I’m doing it wrong.

Feature image: Belle Photography

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