New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have had a great start to 2018 so far. While real life is slowly taking over again, I have another few days off work and I thought I would use this time to look back at my wish list from last year and think about the things I want to achieve in the next 12 months.

In 2017 instead of setting resolutions or goals for myself, I decided to have a wish list of things I’d like to do. I’ve set goals in the past and usually find that I rarely achieve them. This may be because some are a bit too ambitious or are based on outside factors. At any rate, I found the wish list a much simpler set of ideas to aim towards and looking back over it, I think I managed to do almost everything on the list.

The first point was to rediscover my love of books and reading, and I certainly did that. I read a lot more in 2017 compared to 2016 and there were so many books that rekindled my love of literature.

My second point on the wish list was to take more photos and I think I achieved this. The camera went on pretty much every outing I had last year and I have lots of albums on my laptop filled with my adventures.

Next on the list was doing the things I wanted to do. In the past I have always held back from certain things due to fear and anxiety. Last year I decided that life was too short and I did tick off a lot of the things I wanted to do such as going to YALC and Friends Fest and finally having a holiday abroad.

One area in which I have been less successful is worrying less about getting older. Having turned 30 in 2017, I do feel conscious of getting older. Social media has a lot to answer for as well. It can be difficult when you see people achieving life goals when you don’t feel like you’ve done anything of note. This is definitely something I need to work on in 2018.

The wish to travel was one point I did succeed with, although I didn’t go to too many places. As well as the holiday to Copenhagen, there were a couple of visits to London, a day out to St Andrews and Anstruther and a day in Kelso. Hopefully in 2018 I can add to my list of new places to visit.

Last on the wish list was to cherish the people I love. I hope I have done this. Certainly I try to spend as much time with my dad as I can, especially now he is old and in poor health. It can be easy to take our family for granted and I do sometimes feel that I am guilty of this.

2017 was a strange year, one that certainly changed me as a person. In 2018, I want to build on the things I did achieve last year and work on the areas where I wasn’t so successful. My wish list is as follows:

  • I want to travel more, be that within the UK or abroad
  • I want to continue to read more frequently
  • I want to learn to care less what other people think of me
  • I want to make more use of my free time
  • I want to exercise more, even if it is just going for a walk or a swim
  • I want to spend more time with my loved ones

There are other, ‘bigger’ things I could add to my wish list, such as getting our own place or advancing in my career, but I feel these are goals that are out with my control and likely to put too much pressure on me. If there’s one thing I learned in 2017 it is that you have to enjoy life and not worry too much about the big things. As my mum always used to say, what’s for you will not go by you.

Have you set goals for 2018 yet? If you have, I wish you all the best in achieving them. Here’s to making 2018 a memorable year!

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2017: A Year in Pictures

Well it’s less than 2 hours until midnight and here I am living it up, looking through all the photos I took over the past 12 months. There’s something about New Year that always brings out the sentimental side of me and so I thought, for my final blog post of 2017, I would post my favourite picture from each month of the year to show myself that while a lot of rubbish things happened in 2017, it wasn’t all bad.

January

In January we celebrated three years as a couple with a mini break to Glasgow. For once the Scottish weather was on our side and although it was cold it was sunny and the city looked lovely. Continue reading “2017: A Year in Pictures”

2017: A Year in Review

Christmas is over and New Year is right around the corner. Am I alone in feeling like 2017 has whizzed by? It honestly seems like Christmas 2016 was only a few weeks ago.

To be honest, I always find the period between Christmas and New Year to be a bit odd. Maybe it’s because half the shops are still closed and many people are off work, but it feels like real life is on pause. Don’t get me wrong – I am so happy to be on holiday for two weeks. Not having to get up at stupid o’clock and being able to sit and watch Netflix and read all day is bliss. I do find, however, that I tend to get a bit down after Christmas. Maybe that’s why we all tend to get reflective at this time of the year.

2017 was not a good year, however, much as I’d like to, I can’t say it was the worst year of my life. It was a very topsy-turvy year, one that brought lots of significant events that have changed my life in big and small ways. There has been a lot of sadness, grief and frustration. On the other hand, 2017 was the year I ticked off one major thing from my bucket list – going abroad for the first time. Continue reading “2017: A Year in Review”

The Big 3.0

This coming Friday I will turn 30. To say I am not thrilled at the prospect would be an understatement.

It seems like only yesterday I was turning 21. Oh, how young and hopeful I was back then. The years were stretching before me, filled with possibilities. I could be anything I wanted to be.

Okay, so maybe I am being a bit dramatic and I am sure there will be those of you who will be of the mindset that you can be anything you want to be no matter what age you are. Carpe diem and all that. The only thing holding you back is you.

Yes, it is true that life is what you make it. Unfortunately, it is also true that when you are a woman and of a certain age there are also certain expectations of you. By the time you reach 30 you are expected to have a place of your own (ha!), be on your way to engaged or married and be progressing well in your career.

Maybe these are old-fashioned views, but I certainly still feel like they apply to my life. It does not help that when I log onto Facebook another person from school has either bought their first home, got engaged or announced they are pregnant. After a while you do start looking at your own life and thinking, where did I go wrong?

I know I should not compare myself to others. It is not healthy and the sensible part of my brain does acknowledge that everyone is different. No two lives follow the same trajectory. And life really isn’t all that bad.

My twenties were a mixed bag, but I am sure everyone feels the same. I had some wonderful highs and some terrible lows. Crucially, I have made achievements in the last ten years. They may be small ones but they still matter. In the last decade I have successfully completed two degrees, met some amazing people who I think myself lucky to call my friends, got a good job and met an amazing man who makes every day so much better (corny, yes, but it’s true).#

I may not have ticked off many of the ‘big’ life goals, but I guess that makes the prospect of my thirties more exciting. There are still lots of things left on my bucket list and I will hopefully tick many of them off in the next ten years. Age is just a number. We should not feel defined by it. I may be saying adieu to my twenties, however I will continue to read YA, to express my love for Harry Potter/Disney/Pusheen through t-shirts and merchandise and to listen to pop songs. My passion for these things doesn’t have to change because I am turning 30. In reality, life won’t change. As you grow older you do change, but this happens in slowly, over the course of months and years. I know I won’t be the same person I am now in another ten years’ time, however that will be down to more life experience.

Goodbye twenties, it was (mostly) fun. Here’s to you, thirties. Let’s see what adventures you have in store for me.

Reasons I Love Autumn

Happy September everyone!

Can you believe how quickly this year is speeding by? Tomorrow is the start of Freshers’ Week but it only feels like the students broke up for the summer last week. My elders were forever saying to me when I was a child that the years fly by the older you get, and I now totally understand what they meant. It is less than 7 weeks until I turn 30! How did that even happen?

Anyway, I digress. September may mean back to school and university, but it also means that autumn is upon us. And it just so happens that autumn is my favourite season. Yes, I like summer. I like the long days and getting up in the daylight and being able to eat out till 9.30pm and going to the beach and eating ice cream, but…well, I haven’t actually been able to do any of those things this year. Summer has well and truly bypassed Scotland. And even if I had done all those things, they just don’t compare to all the great things autumn signifies.

Like what, I hear you ask? Well, here are my reasons why I think autumn is the best.

Beautiful Colours

I simply love, love, love how colourful autumn is. All the golds, amber, reds, yellows, browns…everywhere you look there is colour. As a lover of all things pretty and photographic, I can’t help but sigh over autumn scenery. Once the leaves turn it is like the world is gifting photographers with a ready-made canvas. Nothing can rival an autumn forest with a blue sky and fluffy clouds. Whenever I look back at our photos from Aberfeldy in October 2015, I am struck again by how breath-taking autumn is. Autumn is basically nature showing off, a bit like the male peacock when he fans out his tail feathers. Continue reading “Reasons I Love Autumn”

Positive Image

In the past few weeks I have seen a lot of posts on social media and blogs from girls I consider beautiful and flawless admitting that they don’t like the way they look. Having spent my whole life feeling self-conscious about my weight and bad skin, it really struck a chord with me. In one way it was almost comforting to know that these gorgeous women who have hundreds of followers on Instagram and look amazing in every picture they share are plagued by the same worries and anxieties that I am.

On the other hand, it also made me stop and question why we put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way. When I think back to my teenage years, I can’t remember a time I didn’t compare my looks to that of other women, be it the popular girls at school or actresses on TV and in films. With the rise of social media, and in particular photo sharing sites such as Instagram, there seems to be an increasing feeling among young people that they have to present a certain image of themselves to the world.

Interestingly I know quite a few of my friends who don’t like getting their photo taken. They will look at pictures taken on nights out or special occasions and say they look awful. Until recently I didn’t realise that I also do this. Looking back over recent pictures I found myself disliking how I looked in every single one.

It was that attitude that inspired this post. I wanted to try to boost my self-esteem and show myself that despite my imperfections, I can look nice in a photograph. I decided to share a recent picture of me that I quite like.

At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I like this photo because I actually look happy. It was taken on a day trip to Stirling and it was one of the first times I had felt properly happy in months. I also like my hair in this picture, especially the wash-out blue streaks I had sprayed in that morning. I might not look perfect, but that’s because I’m not. I’m nearly 30 so of course I have crow’s-feet. Instead of focusing on that as a sign of ageing, I want to see it as a sign of maturity, of gaining life experience and wisdom.

All of us have something about ourselves that we would like to change. I think it’s human nature to never be one hundred perfect satisfied with how we look. I know I am always going to wish I was thinner and had better hair, but instead of letting this get to me I am going to try to accept my imperfections and realise that, given the right light and angle, I can look okay in a photo.

2017 So Far

It’s nearly June, which means we will be in the sixth month of the year. Am I alone in feeling like we have reached this point really quickly?

To be fair, the year started out quite slow. January and February seemed to last forever. Since March, however, the months have been speeding by. Maybe it is the lighter nights and mornings, but spring 2017 has been something of a whirlwind. In some ways I hope the weeks continue to pass quickly. I have a whole week off in July, my first full week this year, and I am so ready for it. On the other hand, the faster the months go in the sooner it is to my 30th birthday. I don’t think I’m quite ready to hit that milestone yet. Continue reading “2017 So Far”