Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2019. 1st January also marks the first birthday of this blog! I have managed at least one review a week for a whole year, which I’ll be honest I didn’t think I would be able to keep up with at times.
It’s been really fun exercise, and it’s made me so much more considered about what I read. I have tried to challenge myself a little more, and it’s almost made me more mindful of what I am reading – what do I like about it, what don’t I like? Why don’t I like it? What would I do better? I’ve been thinking about it not just as a reader, but as an editor.
2018 wasn’t an easy year. I’m glad to see the back of it. It started off with a bereavement and struggled to pick up from there. My mental health wasn’t great, I put on a lot of weight, and the successes of my MA seemed a long way behind me, but there seemed to be no real forward movement in terms of getting past that. 2018 was the year of working really hard but gaining no traction. It’s been a tiring year, one of set-backs and stress.
However, 2018 was also a year where my husband and I continued our conscious effort to do things we always said we wanted to do. We went sailing, I stepped up from blue hair to rainbow hair, I learned how to knit. I took up running (slowly), I finished my first ever full first draft of an original piece of work. I bought myself an instant print camera, which I’ve always wanted, and we’ve spent good times with friends and family. I graduated, which felt underwhelming after going from the highs of 2017 to the apparent stagnation of 2018, but it was another thing done, another point ticked off the list. We basically finished decorating our house, built a deck in the garden, and I worked to learn more about publishing, engaged with the news and the people.
By the end of the year, though, change was in the air. All the work we had been putting in has started to pay off. 2019 will be the year for continuing with positive changes, and building on the results of the work we put in. Now I can see some results for my slogging, it’s definitely helping me to feel re-energised. Having a break from applying for jobs will be nice too, and instead I can use that time and energy to work on developing myself both professionally and personally. I can do this.
I don’t tend to make resolutions, because they’re generally doomed to fail, but I have some goals. To get back into the good habits I used to have before my mental health took a swan dive. To save more, to exercise more, to eat better. I’m still aiming to run a 5k, so I can start doing park runs regularly (I did say the running was slow going), but also just aiming to keep moving regularly, any kind of exercise. I want to keep up the good writing habits I developed, because seeing an end product is gratifying. I want to take more baths, and more time for myself. I want to utilise every training opportunity work provides, and be pro-active about seeking them out. I want to remember to make room for myself each day, where I don’t have to do anything except what I want. The world won’t fall apart if I am not three steps ahead of every chore or task. I’m going to print more photos and hang them on our finally-decorated walls.
I think, perhaps most importantly, 2019 is going to be a year where I re-learn the confidence I gained in 2017, but also learn to be kind to myself when I don’t live up to those goals and expectations.
Last year the aim was a new year and a new career – it was a driving force and I did it. This year is going to be about nurturing, nurturing my new career, but also myself, and seeing what grows from the seeds I worked so hard to plant in 2018.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and you’ve got plenty to look forward to in the upcoming year as well!