Well then, what a shitty clusterfuck of a year. But I have decided, we are going to ignore all the deaths and the cancer and focus on highlights and positives of the year and lay out some 2019 goals. Ready?
Feb 2nd - we finally moved! In hindsight this is a highlight, at the time it was an anxious living hell but I was so happy we picked up the keys and moved on a crisp bright February morning. It took me a while to settle but to have this house as ours was a great feeling.
Feb 26th - I went to my first comedy gig and saw Joe Lycett, he was wonderful.
March 3rd - April 10th - whilst this was a sad time, I spent over a month away from Michael/home and on my own moving from hotel to my dads and back and forth. Everything about it was unsettling but something in me held it all together and I am very proud of myself.
April 6th - a sad goodbye to Mum but I will always remember all the lovely things people said about her that day.
May 3rd - Very unlike me but I accepted an invitation to attend a bloggers safari dinner and I am so grateful to Katie / No House Rules for asking because it was my first time back in to town since I got back home and I was anxious that the business of the city would get to me, thankfully it didn’t and I had a lovely time meeting new people.
May 8th - A little monumental interiors moment, we put our first stamp on the new house which was some paneling behind the master bed. It hadn’t even been painted but I loved the feeling of this house becoming more of us rather than the previous owners.
May 26th - my highlight of the year! I went in to the city to my first ever festival. I saw Jimmy Eat World, left my VIP box (thank you Anna) and sang at the top of my lungs in the crowd.
June 6th - Aside from Stamford the furthest I travelled was to North Yorkshire and Wharfedale Grange, another beautiful event meeting wonderful people in the wedding industry and I got to see Leafy Couture’s beautiful flowers.
June 28th - this is a small anxiety victory but whilst Michael was away in America, I went shopping with a friend. She had just past her test and I got in the car. Something I rarely do because I don’t trust a lot of people to drive well. We survived and I bought an olive tree.
July 6th - another amazing highlight was the midsummer event I held for some friends. We had an incredible chef from Dineindulge and I flowered up the house, thanks to Leafy. It was such an amazing evening eating in the garden.
August 3rd - It was my sisters birthday and I went in to town to play beer pong with her. I had a couple of panic attacks but it was more down to being an emotional wreck I think.
September 7th - I went to another No House Rules event and took a new friend along with me. I didn’t want to go but had a great time in the end. Katie only lives round the corner from me but the events are always super packed with people which can be quite overwhelming.
September 13th - I started therapy! An exceptionally wise decision and it has helped me greatly, the latter half of the year has been where most of my grieving has been and my therapist has helped me navigate through this.
October 19th - another highlight was setting up the roof terrace for a movie night. It felt so magical and for the first time I felt calm(ish). Major thanks to AO for hooking that up for me because I ordered my first takeaway pizza of the year (my tummy had been so sore for most of 2018) and enjoyed it next to the fire pit.
November - I through myself in to work because I was struggling. It was coming up to Mums birthday, christmas etc and I needed the distraction. I made some excellent strides with Simply Weekend and SYGM and felt super positive about my work for the first time that year.
December 25th - a day I had dreaded all year but actually it was OK. It wasn’t like any Christmas I had ever had but I was thankful to celebrate it with my dad and sister…but next year I am definitely going away! Ha.
My 2018 goals
Keep on vlogging. - NOT DONE
Instagram - I definitely had a love/hate affair with this god damn app. I need it for work (@soyouregettingmarried) which I feel stifles me personally. I just don't have time for instagram. Will make more time. Would like to up those followers significantly. Currently on 11096 - (@simply.weekend). DONE
Get fit. NOT DONE
Get a tattoo. NOT DONE
Get better sleep hygiene. NOT DONE (EVEN WORSE)
Make the new house a welcoming home and have a huge party. DONE HALF
Have a week away somewhere in Yorkshire. (any suggestions most welcome) NOT DONE
Visit Stamford 4 times this year. DOES STAYING FOR OVER A MONTH COUNT?
Go to a nightclub. NOT DONE
Attend a live music gig. DONE
Volunteer more. NOT DONE
Promote mental health. DONE
Look at taking Simply Weekend up a gear. DONE
Practice gratitude. DONE
Make more friends. DONE
Start my new business. DONE
8.5/16 - not too bad considering!
Goals for 2019.
I am not sure about continuing vlogging, the effort that goes in to each vlog (about 6 hours for a weekly) never actually seems worth it. Will have to see! I may just vlog the important stuff rather than day to day rambles.
instagram - a necessary evil in most peoples lives and one I do enjoy. I am going to try and post everyday. Something that I have never been able to manage before (usually about 3/4 times a week). I wanted to hit 20k by Christmas but haven’t managed to do that, I am about 1k off. SYGM insta needs bumping again and I will be posting 6 times a day to there. I know a lot of people are going for the ‘use social media less’ so in a bid to help that too I am turning notifications off my phone apart from phone-calls. I did it over Christmas and whilst I am slower to reply to DMs or may miss a few tags it makes me feel better and I am less tethered to my phone.
Walk more and further. I get in to a habit of walking the same circuits with the dog but now I have the park 5 mins from the house I want to start exploring it a bit more. I also never walk too far because of my anxiety telling me that ya know, its dangerous being far from my home and alone so that is something I want to work on.
Getting a tattoo is still on the list! We had to put it on hold with sisters cancer diagnosis because we weren’t sure if she would need chemo. I also want to donate blood before I get mine done.
We are planning on having a house warming soon! After a year of being here, we have hardly had anyone round at the house this year so it will be nice to show everyone our new home. I also want to have a massive summer party and make use of the south facing roof terrace.
A few days away, anywhere would be an achievement at the moment. I feel my travelling anxiety has taken a battering this year and its something I need to build up again. Thankfully I am back to the top of the list or CBT treatment so thats going to help massively.
Better sleep hygiene. There have been days this year that I have slept in till 3pm, eaten food then gone back to bed until 9pm. Eaten then slept again. There have been other (and most nights) I don’t fall asleep till about 5am and wake up with Michaels alarm around 7. I then sleep a little more after he’s left. My sleep has been terrible and it is something I am constantly working on.
Bring back exposure therapy Sunday. I went to the pub a couple of Sundays ago and I have 0 anxiety. Like wtf. Why? I had no idea. But it felt so nice to get out in the car without sweating off my make up and having anxious thoughts. Going to start small and expand my bubble.
Work on expanding Simply Weekend further. I held my first few Simply Social meetings with some amazing clients and I will continue to offer that service, I also plan on hosting some fun workshops at my house. Calligraphy, cocktails, flowers, anything! I took on ad work towards the end of the year and its something I want to continue in to 2019 because a) it helps pay the bills b) its fun working with brands.
Project ‘The Stamford House’. We have put the wheels in motion to purchase another property, in Stamford and turn it in to an air bnb. God knows how long this will take!
Get the house finished. We moved in and did a bit but then I mentally just couldn’t handle doing any work on the house. We need essentials done, a rewire/new roof etc but for the most part its cosmetic and something I’d like to get stuck in to 2019. Starting with the dining room and probably ending with the bathroom!
Spend less time worrying. I have my anxiety and then I have my worries. The worries can turn in to and fire up my anxiety. If I can learn to stop the little worries and have a more ‘fuck it’ attitude I feel it will help me as a hole.
Turn my grief/anxiety/mental health in to something positive. I am not entirely sure what this will be yet, throughout the year I had a few opportunities; to talk on radio, a podcast and have a film crew in my house. I turned them down because I felt I wasn’t ready for it but it is something (if 2019 is kinder) I would like to do this year.
Cook more. Dear god that aga! Whilst beautiful is s tricky beast and I really want to learn how to use it effectively. Christmas Day went OK but I know there is more to learn so hopefully in cooking/baking more I will start to love aga cuisine!
I hope 2019 is the year that helps heal my battered self. Emotionally, physically, mentally. I feel I dragged myself over the finish line and I am so ready for a new start. I also want to say thank you, genuinely the biggest thank you for reading the blog, commenting, messaging me on instagram, everything. I remember getting my laptop out whilst I was in stamford. I was sat alone in a hotel room and I blogged about what was going on and I was so worried that that would be the end of Simply Weekend, that no one would really be that bothered by a fluffy, pretentious, middle class 30 something writing about their woes. But you did. You didn’t unfollow me. You talked about your own struggles and we started an open conversation about grief/loss/bereavement which I think is important. SO many of you have checked in with me across the year, some days would pass where I hadn’t really spoken to any one, and to have someone reach out felt lovely.
Here is to 2019, a year of good health, good moments and good memories.
(and more handbags)