looking back on 2022

2022, lifestyle

Hello!

As Christmas approaches and the New Year is looming, everyone is sharing their Spotify Wrapped, photo dumps from the year and their achievements of 2022 and whilst sometimes it feels a bit intimidating to be inundated with the most polished highlights of people’s lives, it’s nice to see people being proud of themselves and celebrating lovely things.

I’m not pretentious enough to think I’m any different – I’m sure I’ll do my own wrap up at some stage and I’ve been working on my 1 Second Everyday video all year and I’ll definitely be posting that at some point. But I wanted to do my own little wrap up trying to show both the good and the bad – it’s been a very mixed year but I want to try and keep it real and this is the way I could feel to find the balance between ‘best year ever’ and ‘worst year ever’.

So here are ten good things (interspersed with four less good things) that I did in 2022.

+ got married

Well, I couldn’t start with anything else could I! I honestly can’t help but feel the best ache in my chest when I think about it because my heart is so full – our wedding day was perfect, I have never felt surrounded by so much love in my entire life and I can wholeheartedly say it was the best day of my life. I keep finding myself scrolling through the photos and I’m eagerly anticipating seeing our video next year (trailer here if anyone is interested!). It had to go first on the list – my biggest achievement of the year and, maybe, my life.

+ duolingo

Not quite the same level, but I have been learning French on Duolingo for a whole year! I have a streak of about 350 days and thanks to streak freezes I’ve not lost that streak on days I’ve missed (no, I did not do a lesson on my wedding day) but I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made and I’m still really enjoying learning the language! I’m definitely going to continue this into 2023.

– lost my job

The first negative is the biggest, no doubt (I figured the post would be nicer to read here on out!). It was a huge and unexpected blow that has left me with quite severe trauma, but my boss was an asshole, I have to have faith that karma will come back to bite him in the ass and I’m starting therapy again in the New Year so I can work through this jarring event. Along with working with a career coach who specialises in working with people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and those who are waiting on a diagnosis (me), I’m hoping to really work on my professional confidence and find a job that makes me truly happy next year.

+ hit my reading goal

Back to the positive – I hit my reading goal of 36 books this year! It’s not as much as I read last year, but that’s why I set my goal where it is rather than pushing myself too much. I’m very conscious of making sure reading remains a fun hobby and doesn’t feel like a chore to match the numbers – I started with a goal of 12 books in 2020 (I read 38), 25 books in 2021 (I read 45) and 36 books in 2022; although it’s less than I’ve read before, I’ve read more consistently this year despite everything else. Rather than adding 12 to my goal and aiming for 48 when I’ve never read that much before, my goal for next year is 42 – three and a half books per month! And I have plenty of books to choose from.

+ cricut got me back into my crafting habits

Oh, my beloved cricut. A birthday present from 2021 that I didn’t start using until 2022 because I found it intimidating, but then we crafted lots for the wedding and now I’m obsessed. For Christmas this year we’ve made t-shirts, name place cards for the dining table and our own gift tags (because I forgot to buy any and I’m cheap). But it’s also led me to back to another craft hobby I love – cross stitching. I’ve very much enjoyed in the last week doing some Christmas cross stitch whilst binge watching Teen Wolf Season 6 ahead of the movie releasing in January. I’m definitely going to make the most of the time I have whilst I’m between jobs to find my creativity again because getting back into crafting has been so good for that.

– mental health crisis

Yeah… after a severe panic attack at work in August and another one at home that following weekend, I made a call to the doctors and they suggested trying new meds. After three months of medication that made me feel incredibly nauseous and some of the most stressful life events of my life, I had a really productive conversation with a doctor who recommended doubling the dosage and everything feels so much better now. I don’t want to jinx it, but I don’t feel as nauseous and I’m nowhere near as anxious. I’m definitely in a much better position mentally for the New Year.

+ I was in a dance show!

A nice happy one to change the tone again! I started dance classes again in September 2021 and being in a show in March 2022 was so much fun – I was in two dances, I got sparkly costumes, I got to experience performing again and I absolutely adored it. I’m probably too old for it and I’m not sure all these kids’ parents wanted to see a bunch of adults dancing but I had a fantastic time.

+ weekly savings challenge

I found a challenge in 2019 where each week you save a pound more – so £1, then £2, then £3 etc. I’ve not yet done the last week but I have successfully done 51 weeks of saving for this challenge and I am so proud of myself – not just of achieving this saving goal whilst being unemployed for the last quarter of the year, but for managing my finances to plan ahead for weekly saving – even at the end of the month just before payday! I still find money management difficult as impulse spending when I’m depressed is my go to method of self-sabotage, apparently, but I’m getting better and that’s all I can endeavour to do.

– couldn’t save as much money as I hoped to

On the flip side, I didn’t save as much as I wanted to – the wedding was really difficult to finance and things just didn’t go our way. But when I have an income again, I know that I can be good at savings when I really focus – as detailed above – so we will get there!

+ I wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo

I then wrote about a thousand more words talking about my NaNoWriMo win in a blog post but I just love that I managed to win NaNo for the second time exactly 10 years after the first time I did. It hugely inspired me to get back into creative writing and 2023 will be the year I finish another original novel – I’m putting the energy out into the universe!

+ I lost 2 stone, danced for a whole year and started consistently going to the gym

Amongst all the stress, comfort eating and days where I was too depressed to get out of bed, I actually exercised consistently for the first time since I was a teenager. I started at three dance classes a week, then moved into four in September (three in one night!) as well as going to the gym more, getting a personal trainer and actually starting to enjoy it and all in all, I managed to lose 2 stone.

Ironically, it would have been more if I didn’t have to stop losing weight to make sure my wedding dress fit! But I’m actually excited to get back to a more healthy lifestyle in January – I love vegetables, I love having a routine so exercising regularly will help that and I can’t wait to feel healthier in my body.

– still waiting for an autism diagnosis

The last con of the year – I’m still waiting for my Autism referral consultation that will almost inevitably lead to a diagnosis (words said by my therapist, my career coach and my mum). 2023 will be two years since I was referred and I’m hoping it’ll be the year I get the piece of paper and I can get more support for having accommodations in place both professionally and in my day to day life.

+ bought my first pair of pointe shoes in seven years and feel stronger than ever!

I didn’t think there’d be three dance based achievements but I’m realising that despite not being good enough or fit enough to make dance my career, it’s definitely one of my special interests.

When my ballet friend bought a pair of point shoes and started going to pointe classes, I was easily convinced to join her – in August I bought my first pair of pointe shoes since before I went to uni as a teenager and started in the beginner class. In January, I’m moving up to the intermediate class and my teachers have been so supportive – I’m feeling stronger and I can see the progress I’m making within myself and I can’t wait to see where I am this time next year! Hopefully not with a broken ankle.

+ used my bullet journal (almost) every single day

A nice, relevant, organisational one to end on – it feels like literally yesterday that I started seeing bullet journal update videos on TikTok that convinced me to adapt how I use my journal every day to track habits, record highlights and hold myself accountable! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending five minutes at the end of each day with my coloured pens, holding myself accountable to the daily habits I want to maintain and documenting one positive every single day. I’ve just finished making my 2023 spreads and I’m so excited to continue adapting my journal to best support what I need next year.

2022 has been an absolutely rollercoaster and I’m hoping to slow things down in 2023 – to feel less rushed, put less pressure on myself and be more intentional with my time. But that’s all well and good until life happens isn’t it? I’m working on my reactions to stressful situations to be less panicked and more thoughtful.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year period! I’ve literally just finished writing my 2023 goals and I’m feeling really good about them, so I’ll be back in the New Year to ramble all about them!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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approaching New Year | diary 10

2019, lifestyle, writing

Hello!

Doing these little diary posts once a month really reminds me what blogging is all about and where it all began – a web log, a recount of goings-on and a log of activities. The priority on my little corner of the internet will always be having something that I can look back on and 1) be proud of and 2) serve as a little reminder of who I was when I posted, even if that’s not who I am now.

And writing rambly blog posts that all come out in one go are my favourite and I think they’re the nicest ones to look back on!

So today I wanted to talk about how the end of the year is fast approaching – it feels like my entire Instagram and Twitter feeds are either full of Christmas or ‘it’s the end of the decade, have you achieved anything, get off your ass and do something‘ and personally I feel attacked (note the sarcasm).

But for real, it’s very intense and makes me think I haven’t achieved anything but at the turn of the last decade I was 13 – I’m a completely different person to who I was at 13 and that’s definitely for the better. I’ve finished my GCSEs, finished my A Levels, finished my undergraduate degree, finished a post-graduate certificate and I’m now studying a masters that I’ll finish in September next year – I’m starting the next decade as a masters student and hopefully that’ll be the beginning of a much more exciting decade full of learning but not in an institution that racks up my debt any further than it already is.

Outside of academic achievements, I’ve been on two charity expeditions to Tanzania and Ecuador, each for a month for the most amazing, terrifying and life-changing experiences. I’ve moved across country and met people that are going to be friends for the rest of my life. I lost friends that I thought I’d have for the rest of my life (but that’s just how the world works).

I met the love of my life. I’m a proper renting adult with proper bills and a car to pay for. I learnt to drive! As soon as the list begins you realise that 10 years is a long ass time and so much can happen in that time.

With that in mind I shunned the pressures of the internet and thought about the here and now – how do I feel going into the New Year?

Generally, the signposts of the passing of time scare me – I like routine, I like consistency and whilst I consider myself someone who adapts to change quite well, I’m definitely working on being someone who embraces and enjoys change. There were several New Year’s Eve’s as a teenager where I’d silently cry in my room as Big Ben rung over to the New Year and I couldn’t stop thinking that ‘this year’s going to be worse than last year’ and ‘I won’t be any happier next New Year’ so I’m grateful that I’m no longer trapped feeling that sad and lonely. But the New Year still scares me a little bit.

So I try to focus on the things that I enjoy – as I detailed in my last post, I love organisation, goals and planning so January is going to be almost exclusively resolutions, yearly goals, goals reviews and the likes! I’m actually really excited about that because 2019 started in a very different frame of mind and my goals reflected that so I feel more prepared to make my goals for the next year.

In a typical ‘I’m a student mindset’ I can’t really focus too much on the New Year or Christmas because I have about a million deadlines (five) to hand in before that and they’re big and stressful, but after that I’ve got a few shifts at work, Christmas, New Year with my family, then three weeks of working at much as possible before it all begins again with semester 2.

Generally, the New Year is a good time for me – it’s another chance at a fresh start and new goals and resetting. That’s what I’m trying to focus on.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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December Goals!

2018, fitness, goals, lifestyle

Hello!

How on Earth have we made it to the last goals post of the year? I can’t quite believe it’s December now but I am so excited to let all of my Christmas energy out and into the world (and mostly into our house).

Whilst it feels almost nostalgic to be posting the last goals post of the year, I’m so incredibly excited about posting all of my Resolution related content at the beginning of next month because reflecting on goals and setting new ones is just such an exciting prospect for me. I’ve already started planning so if you have any content you’d like to see do let me know!!

Let’s crack on with the last goals of 2018!

[ D E C E M B E R ]

  • be more controlled with money – I’ve gotten to a point where I can say I’m officially freelance now and I’ve got some work under my belt and I’m earning money, but these last couple of months have been a real struggle and the only person who can do anything about that is me. If I want more money, I need to work for it. If I want to make the money I’ve got last longer I need to track what I’m spending and be in control of it. December is probably the worst time of year for this but it’s probably the most difficult spending month of the year so if I can nail it now, 2019 should be easy right?
  • maintain a good diet before Christmas – ever since I got the coil fitted I’ve gone a bit off the rails with food and not been as strict or controlled as before. Now that my body is getting used to the extra hormones, I feel like I’m settling down a bit but December is the hardest month of the year for chocolate and eating badly so my plan is to keep my healthy eating and exercise that I was doing before (adding for an advent calendar chocolate each morning, obviously) and then eat whatever I want from 24th-27th (ish) and then keep it strict and controlled (and consequently make my Christmas chocolate last months) after the holiday and into the new year. The wedding I’m losing weight for is at the end of January so I can really focus and be in the best shape I’ve been for years by then. I don’t want Christmas to ruin everything and destroy everything I’ve worked on with my relationship with food so this is a big focus for me this month.
  • sort out all the financial/legal stuff for going freelance – I’m so excited about having some work coming in and I’ve always loved the idea of being freelance, but there’s a lot of complicated stuff to figure out in terms of opening a new bank account, making sure I prep in advance for tax returns, keeping receipts for expenses and so on and so on. But I’m going to get it all sussed before Christmas!
  • plan 2019 goals and what content I want to make next year – I mean, let’s be honest I’ve already made a bit of a start on this but I want to solidify it – although making content and finishing uni has been difficult, since then I’ve really enjoyed maintaining making 4 pieces of content every week (mostly) and I’m hoping to maintain it next year, but refined.
  • keep 5 point to do lists, be strict and prioritise – then have evenings off please! This last month I’ve been working on making 5 point to do lists with 3 bonus tasks and then usually on a Sunday I have a 9 or 10 point to do list to try and catch up but I want to refine that this month – I want to prioritise what’s important and if that means some things don’t get done then it’s probably my fault for not getting them done earlier in the week! If I get all 5 things done then I can probably do other things but only making 5 point to do lists and being ruthless!

I’m so excited about this month but it’s going to be busy and I can already feel stress creeping in but hopefully these goals will help me stay in control. I can’t wait for Christmas and even if everything else is stressful, Christmas is going to be so good this year. And I’m very much looking forward to New Years content so I hope you are too!

Merry December everyone! 24 days till Christmas!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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