Friday 4 January 2019

Hello and Happy New Year!

Fresh new year, fresh new motivation to write again? Well, it's not kicked in just yet, but here I am showing up and making a start.

You'll forgive me, won't you, if this post makes very little sense, is slightly too long and basically goes nowhere? Because right not I'm in the middle of not only been fully back at work but also seriously feeling some caffeine and sugar withdrawals.

I'm doing Veganuary again. Some of you will remember I first did Veganuary back in 2015, which looking back, turned out to be a bit of a turn around year for me. OBVIOUSLY, I don't link being vegan to everything big that happened that year, but I do remember that sorting out my eating habits and being generally more in tune with my body did give me the fuel to make things happen. So I'm hoping that I can embrace a bit of that energy again this year. Do a bit of a health and general-bad-habits reset and hope that that naturally spills over into other areas of my life.

Because I will admit, I've got lazy. I try to dress it up in other phrases, claim that I needed some downtime, but while that might be true, I've come to realise that there's healthy soul feeding downtime, and there's "sorry, you've watched how many shows on Netflix this year?" downtime (I haven't counted - I'm too scared).

That laziness has really taken up whole areas of my life. My flat feels lethargic, my creative writing feels lethargic, and god knows my running feet do too.

I guess what I'm getting at is this January I am buying into New Years Resolutions HARD.

Not so much NewYear, New Me, but New Year, Where Have All The Bits of Old Me I Liked Gone.

Admittedly, not as catchy.

Having said that, 2018 was still a cracking year.

Work, in particular, has been really interesting over the last 12 months, taking me in new directions, and as of this week, I'm officially freelance two days a week, which is really exciting. I've learnt to let go of worrying about my 'niche' too much, or whether or not every single opportunity will lead to where I want to be in 10 years time. Mainly because I don't actually know exactly where I want to be, and because literally, no one in the arts has taken the direct motorway to get from point A to point B. We are all on the country roads, discovering new things along the way, some we like, some we don't, ultimately picking up something interesting to pack in the car for when we get to where we want to be/where we end up actually wanting to be (whole blog post in itself). That's taken a lot of pressure off, and means I don't second guess every decision I make. If an opportunity excites or interests me in anyway, and even some that don't, I'm taking them.

I'm definitely more confident now than ever before. We all hope our confidence will grow year on year but isn't always a given. Confident in work, in who I am, confident in my body regardless of its weight and shape. That's not a small thing.

I did some solo travelling again in 2018 - did I tell you I went to Canada? If I didn't you're about the only person who escaped. Rick and I also had a lovely holiday in Greece, and we went to a friends wedding in Italy which was breathtaking (literally, after I finished eating I had no room for breath, just carbs).

And despite the fact that I can probably count on one hand how many time I wrote something here in the last twelve months, at least two of those posts are some of my favourite things I've ever pressed publish on.

So yes, laziness crept in last year, but not in a disastrous way.

As I said I'm not looking to do a whole turnaround on who I am. I just want to tidy up the edges.

Money, in particular, this year will be a big focus for me. Setting myself achievable goals so that I finish the year feeling less like I'm constantly fighting fires, and more like I at least know where the fires will be. I've set massive money goals in the past and it's always been that classic thing of setting a goal too high and giving up entirely (and spectacularly) when you realise it's just not doable. This year I'm not placing a number on it, at least not for the first couple of months, and instead, I'm just going to focus on my awareness and monthly management.

Being generally tidier and on top of 'stuff' is another thing this year. I am a naturally messy person, and if I don't keep it in check, that leads to being A VERY messy person. And from a practical point, that just can't go on. I might not be the next Marie Kondo by 2020 but I would like not to have to say 'I'm sorry my flats a mess' everytime someone visits (especially when, actually for me the flat is relatively tidy).

I'd like to sort out my sleeping habits this year. I've never slept well and I think years of working in restaurants, bars, and then events does mean that my body clock is naturally set to keep me up later. However, late night working isn't something I'm doing a lot of at the moment and sleeping late isn't always compatible with other things in my life. So it needs to adjust. Again let's be real, I am not the type of person that gets up at 6 and goes for a run, but I can be the type of person that gets up at 8 and enjoys breakfast while writing. I love a slow morning, I just need to make sure that slow morning doesn't start at lunchtime!

Finally, and you may have guessed this already by the fact that I'm here writing to you, I'm going to spend more time typing away at this keyboard this year. And this is pretty much the only thing I've given myself a very specific goal for: write something once a week. A post for here, a letter to a friend, a piece of creative writing or even a REAL diary entry. Anything that I take time over. and isn't just another to-do list or spreadsheet.

Because that is time for me, that is the type of downtime that actually does me good. I'm also  removing any restrictions on myself with my writing. I already did away with the term 'blogger' a while back now, but who knows this year I might even hit publish on a short story on here. All I know is: I have things to say. Sometimes those things lack structure and are more about the act of getting them out my head than the final product, other times I take my time over an opinion, or something I read, and think it might just be worth sharing. This is probably the goal for the year I'm most excited about, and a bit like working out my eating and fitness, I think it will fuel other areas of my life.

So there you have it, that's my plan for 2019, which now I read it back boils down to this: be a better grown up and write. 

Can't be too hard right?

Further reading/listening:
This is something new I'm trying. A lot of the time my posts are inspired by something I've read or listened to. And while normally I will link to them in the post sometimes it doesn't fit so I'll be sharing some links of things that are related to whatever it is I've written about here. Hope you like them!
  • I loved the Nobody Panic podcast episode on New Years Resolutions. Full of practical advice about setting goals and making resolutions. Listen here.
  • If you're interested this is my very favourite thing I posted last year: 'You're Not 19 Forever'

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