Happy New Year!
I’m back from my blogging mega-break (9 weeks!) and so excited for the year ahead. I absolutely love New Year. I know some people think it corny or depressing after the excitement of December but I find myself getting giddy at the possibilities of a whole new year. Will 2018 finally be the year I make it into the World Series of Poker?? OK maybe the year I finally just learn to play poker but you get the gist.
As soon as Christmas Day is over I’m boxing up baubles and clearing the decks ready to say goodbye to the year gone by and welcome the next with open arms.
New Years Eve is my day. It starts early with a train journey to Brighton armed with coffee, a notebook and a pen. To start, some mooching in The Lanes and a visit to the art gallery then lunch and a glass of bubbles. After weeks of Christmas planning, visiting relatives and the general chaos of school holidays it’s a welcome breath of fresh air. Not to mention a walk along the seafront and a literal breath of fresh air to blow away the cobwebs of 2017. The journey home is spent scribbling my hopes and dreams for the year ahead. By which I mean a giant ‘TO-DO’ list with a few personal goals thrown in here and there. I won’t bore you with the entire lot but here are a few of the things I’m looking forward to in the next 365 days:
Health & Beauty
One thing I won’t be doing is starting another flipping diet! Nope. Wasted enough of my life to that soul-sucking nonsense. I ate my own body weight in Christmas cake, stuffing and stollen over the past few weeks and don’t feel remotely guilty about it. In fact I’m not even done yet so jog on Slim Fast.
My fitness goals come from a desire to challenge myself or try something new. Last year I did a couple of 10k runs (my first ever ‘proper’ races) and really enjoyed it. I’ll admit I’m definitely a fair weather runner though and there is nothing that would get me out pounding the pavements on a cold, dark day. For that reason I want to sign up for another 10k race this year to give me the incentive to dust off my trainers and get training again. Other than that I’d like to learn a bit more about strength training using my own body weight in a bid to tone up before we start peeling off the layers for Summer.
Drink more water. Urgh, I know I say it every year but I rarely drink enough and I know it’s a really good habit to get into – please tell me I’m not alone!! Despite its many benefits I still struggle to force myself to down anywhere near the recommended 6-8 glasses a day.
Wear SPF daily, book dental appointment to finally replace those two fillings (*cries*) and while I’m at it sort my barnet out.
I know what I’m comfortable wearing. I can walk into any clothes shop and easily pick out what’s ‘me’ and what isn’t. I know if a colour works with my pasty Irish skin and dark hair or makes me look like the undead. I’m bored though. My Converse/skinnies/jumper combo is my safe place and I love it but I need to be more adventurous with my choices. Nothing too mid-life crisis-y, I don’t want to to look like the lovechild of Grayson Perry and Lady GaGa. I’ve already made a start with my new Honey & Toast saddlebag, in a much braver colour choice than usual. I love it, but to be honest I’ve never met a leopard print I didn’t like.
Interiors wise I’m planning to ditch one of the sofas asap and replace it with a cosy armchair to free up some space for my children to fill with tat. Before Christmas I painted the master bedroom white and am on the lookout for some new bedding and copper/marble accessories for zhuzhing. Spud fancies a bedroom makeover this year for his 10th birthday which luckily is 9 months away as it will probably take us that long to agree on a wall colour.
Life. While my role as ‘Mummy’ keeps me busy and I’m very lucky to be able to focus solely on my family it’s really important to me to to still maintain a sense of self. It’s why soon after leaving ‘proper’ work I started my own home baking business and it’s the main reason I started writing this blog. As the kids get older I can definitely see a time when I go back to work but for various reasons, not right now.
This year I. WILL. ACHIEVE. MORE. I’m not talking gold medals here, I mean on the most basic level of ‘getting stuff done’. God I’m a terrible faffer. Or should that be I’m an amazing faffer? I get so cross with myself when I think about how much I could have achieved if I hadn’t spent so long pratting about on social media. I’ve deleted the Facebook app from my phone and instantly regained hours of my life.
Family & Friends. Like most we’re kept busy with football training, after-school clubs, birthday parties, appointments and the usual stuff that fills the family calendar. This year there’s a very special highlight to look forward to (Florida!) but family time on a more low-key level is so important. Games night, a family movie or a walk in the woods where we can all spend time together are things we will continue to do this year. I’ll admit, it’s not always something I’m in the mood for (ooh the temptation to hand over the iPad and get on with the ironing) but it’s always worth it.
Himself and I will hopefully be able to squeeze in a couple of kid-free nights along the way, anyone else guilty of not doing this enough? So easy to let relationships take a back seat to work, family and everything else but some time out together is important. Like, really important.
My friends, old and new, have a mutual understanding of how children, work, studying and various other commitments take up 99% of our lives but despite this, that other 1% is ours. It may take weeks of messaging backwards and forwards, hours of planning childcare, destination, travel, accommodation and don’t even mention the outfits. Eventually the stars align, arrangements are made and we all pray that The One Who Always Gets Pregnant, doesn’t, just for a bit. We’ve already ruled out half of 2018, which is progress in a way I suppose?
Ahh in the busyness of all the things it’s easy to forget the soul. Buying fresh flowers, a bubble bath or having a good old clear out are some of the little things that bring happiness to my soul! This year I plan to make time for something that makes me feel good, just for the hell of it. I’ve always found Art good for the soul. Doing it, looking at it or learning about it all make me happy (or sad, or sometimes just confused). Since having children my artistic experiences have mainly involved glitter and googly eyes but this year I’m reclaiming the paintbrushes. I had a little play with inks recently and was reminded how much joy it brings me. As a result I’ve already booked onto a workshop next week and am experimenting with the art of lino cutting.
I’d also like to improve my cooking skills and experiment a bit more with savoury dishes especially veggie, Thai and Mexican food. Any cookbook recommendations welcome!
Whatever your own plan for the year I hope 2018 brings you joy and good things. X