Hello! As one year ends and another begins, I know a lot of people will be taking stock, making plans and some of you will be making resolutions.
Resolutions are not for me. I’ve tried making them in the past and gone on to break them, usually pretty quickly, which makes me feel lousy and incompetent. Not the best start to a New Year – so I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
Instead, as suggested by my lovely friend, the amazing Sophie I’m setting intentions – sixteen things I want to achieve or do in 2016.
So, in no particular order ….
Sort out my wardrobe.
This one is fairly self explanatory – I have far too many clothes and I need to get rid of the things I haven’t worn in ages and I’m unlikely to wear again. A trip to the charity shop is long overdue.
Keep a gratitude journal
I’ve done this before for a short time and it really does make me more appreciative of what I have and as a result I’m generally a bit happier. I’ve kindly been sent a gorgeous journal for review from Plum Design Publishing so watch out for that here in the next day or two.
Be more arty.
Six months ago, I would have told you that I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. That I love being creative and making art, but I don’t because I feel like I’m rubbish at it. Then I started dating an artist and my views have changed completely. I don’t suddenly believe I’m Picasso or that I’m now amazingly artistic, but I’m open to trying new mediums and to not be super critical of my attempts.
Cook more, eat better.
I love cooking and I’m not a bad cook. My problem is, to a degree, lack of time. I work full time and I’m out of the house, on average, upwards of twelve hours a day. My teenage sons are fairly proficient at making their own meals so often when I come home from work, because I’m tired and hungry I’ll go for a quick fix – chuck some bread in the toaster or throw a potato in the microwave and grate some cheese over it when it’s done. Not that there’s anything wrong with toast and jacket potatoes – food of the Gods! I just think with a little more planning I could do better. I have a great slow cooker that I don’t use nearly enough – so watch out for some meal posts here as the year progresses.
Buy a car
Again, fairly self explanatory! I sold my previous car back in late 2013 (I think) and since then I’ve been reliant on public transport. It’s been okay, I mean, I work in a university and thanks to recent changes in local bus timetables, outside of term time (when there is a shuttle bus service I can use, provided by work, for the last part of my journey) in order to arrive at work seven miles by 9am, I have to leave my house at 6.30am. That ain’t great! Also my aforementioned boyfriend lives almost 80 miles away and currently does most of the travelling for our dates. I’d like to even that up a bit and a car would make that much easier.
Wear make up more often
I have quite a collection of make up. Lots. Loads. More than I’ll ever need or be able to use up at current rate of progress. I hardly ever wear make up and when I do, I tend to stick to what I’d describe as “safe” colours and styles. I’ve been wearing my makeup the same way for literally decades. Last year afforded me the opportunity to have my make up done “properly” a couple of times and I don’t mind telling you, I looked amazing! So I’m going to wear make up more often (I’m not going to say “every day” because I know I won’t keep that up and I’ll just become disheartened) and I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone and try some different looks. I’ll learn contouring and eyebrows and maybe even winged eyeliner! Watch this space for updates and (almost certainly) hilarious photos of my ham fisted attempts.
Spend more time with other bloggers
I first dipped my toes into blogging waters right at the end of 2014, but 2015 was the year I really started reaching out and getting to know other bloggers. What an amazing bunch of totally awesome women they are too. Yes, I know there are male bloggers too, but the ones I have spent time with, the ones who have enriched my life, the ones who have become my friends, my confidantes, my sisters, are all glorious, beautiful, splendid women and I love them all. The time I spent with them at various events were among the happiest days of the year and I want lots more of that in 2016.
Be more me.
I like to think I’m fairly true to myself pretty much all the time. I’m lucky enough to have amazing friends – I can just be myself in front of them and not worry about being judged because they love and accept me for who I am. Having attended a wonderful Liz Goodchild workshop (called Be More You) in March last year, I was inspired and motivated enough to host my own workshop at Style XL in the summer – which was where, I think, I stumbled across my true vocation and found my purpose. I’d like to put this into practice fully in 2016, so why not sign up for all the latest news and updates about that over at my other blog I fully intend to practice what I preach and be as authentic and true to myself as I can be.
I realise that sounds very vague! Here’s the thing – I work in a university. I’m surrounded by people learning stuff all day, every day. Even some of my close colleagues are continuing their education and I’ll be honest, I’m quite envious! To that end, I’ve been offered a place on a short course in Apri which I’m very excited about – post coming soon! – and I’m looking into local evening classes to see if I can learn something new. I’m not sure what that will be yet, but hopefully I can find something fun to learn.
I love singing. Truly. I adore it. Don’t have a musical bone in my body and my signature sound is more violated vixen than virtuoso. My son showed me a meme a couple of days ago, saying “Mum – this is you – just because I can’t sing, doesn’t mean I won’t sing“. The really galling thing is all three of my kids are really musical and sing like actual angels. Well, the oldest and the youngest do – the middle one is more “can sing, won’t sing”. For a short time, I was part of a choir in 2014 and I loved it. Logistics meant I couldn’t continue, but I’m determined to find a choir that I can join. Or maybe have singing lessons. Either way, I shall continue to sing as much as I already do around the house. #SorryNotSorry boys.
Continue speaking out against body shaming
I yearn for the day when this is just “something I used to do”. Sadly it doesn’t look like that’ll be any time soon. Too many people still think fatshaming is okay, and even sadder, some fats apparently seem to think skinny shaming is okay. Umm no. We do as we would be done by and we ALL take a stand against ALL shaming. And brands – just a word to the wise? Give it up. Pack it in. We have long memories and we will hit you where it hurts, right in the pockets. We will NOT accept your shaming in the name of humour. Shaming is never funny.
This one is quite personal to me. I don’t find it easy to talk about financial issues and I’m certainly not going into detail here. But basically I need to sort some shit out.
Lower my expectations
Hoping and striving for things that have been hard to reach or are just plain unattainable have seriously damaged me in the past. Some of it but the distant past either, just this time last year I was involved in a very toxic relationship with a man who pretty much destroyed all the trust I showed him, and made me unsure I would ever trust anyone again – including myself, after I’d made such a catastrophic choice. All because I had these stupidly high expectations of how our life together was going to be. Of course I’m not just talking about relationships. We have expectations in all areas of our lives. And again I have found myself left wanting and feeling disappointed. No more. This year I’m all about the realism, no matter how gritty that is. Then if something falls down, it’s not such a disappointment and if it works out better than I expected then that’s a bonus.
As simple and as straightforward as that. It’s well overdue and quite frankly I can’t wait. This is the year.
Remember that fear is a liar.
This is the most important lesson I learned from Liz Goodchild at her previously mentioned workshop. It’s the ones that serves me best, the one I come back to time and time again and is the best piece of advice I have to offer when any of my friends are daft enough to ask for it! Fear will lie to you over and over. It will twist your words and your stomach and will cheerfully ruin your day if you let it. Don’t let it. You are not your fear. Your fear is inside you. You’re bigger than your fear and stronger than your fear and you have it surrounded. Fear is a liar.
Although I said these were in no particular order, I think I saved the best for last. Never settle. Don’t ever think “that’ll do”. Settling for less than you are worth, less than you deserve is a waste of your short, precious life. Settling will eventually leave you feeling dissatisfied, disenchanted and dejected. Don’t sell yourself short. You deserve more.
I’ve just realised, a lot of my 16 intentions are “mores” and I guess that’s going to be my general direction in 2016. More of the good stuff.
I wish you all more of the good stuff too. Please go check out the 16 in 16 posts written by my awesome blogger buddies. And follow them across social media. They’ve infinitely brightened my life in 2015 – why not let them do the same for you in 2016.
I wish you happiness and health for the New Year.
What my friends would like to achieve in 2016 – find the links to read all about it at Sophie’s blog