One Week In

We’re a week into 2019 and I could really do with a week off. I’ve managed to drag my worn old carcass out walking a bit, one of the few non-resolutions I’ve made. I’ve been the laziest toad this Winter, getting the bus every evening instead of doing the 20 minute walk to my flat. It’s amazing what you can blame on the cold and darkness if you have to.

I don’t really have much to share in this catch up post. Life has been ticking along. The office is rife with diet chat and I want to chew my own arm off in protest. I don’t care if you’re ‘being good’, Linda – leave me out of it.

I’m here in the first week feeling like something needs to happen. I want to make changes, to salivate with possibility again (there’s an image for you). I’m a scaredy cat though in so many ways and I don’t want to be that way anymore, I want to take risks like I used to. Perhaps I should be looking for another job. The one I have is lovely and I like what I do but is it the right one? I chose it because I was so wounded by the last one and it’s been nearly 18 months now. I’m not even saying I want to leave the company, I love it here – I just know I need to push myself harder. So I’m going to find a way to do that.

This year I just want to surround myself with decent people and be happy. Get a grip on my self-doubt and find a way to soar. Isn’t that a great goal? I think I also need to start throwing away a lot of the old shit that weighs me down. The things that don’t bring me joy, as Marie Kondo would say.

See this is the thing about January, it’s so devoid of things to look forward to (unless you make it), that you’ve no choice but to sit in gazing at your own navel. It’s a good and bad thing, equally.

How’s your New Year so far?

No Resolution(s)

I’m not making proper resolutions this year, I’m just going to be kind to myself in 2019 and write. I’m going to write so much that my fingers fall off.

I really don’t like New Year at all but even I can’t deny there’s a certain tingly sensation associated with starting afresh. Autumn is my rebirth season as I’ve mentioned before but the new year does bring with it new diaries and fresh pages – and I can’t help but think this time might be different. Perhaps I will learn to speak Mandarin in 2019, you don’t know, it could happen. (It’s not going to happen).

Maybe I will stop shopping, save a load of money and sink it into a future business, maybe I’ll visit Japan and fall in love with it and stay there forever, swirling endlessly beneath the falling cherry blossoms.

Or maybe I’ll just read a lot and watch a lot of films like I did last year and be more than content. All I do know is that I am so happy to be hibernating for the rest of the year and well into February. In fact I don’t have any wild plans until Valentine’s day when my love and I go to London to hang out with Neneh Cherry (she’s totes going to want to after spotting me in the crowd at the Camden Roundhouse in a t-shirt with her face on it).

I’ve never needed to nest more. December burnt me out (can you relate, I think we all can), not just with all Christmas had to offer but I took a lot on at work too. It’s going well but I want to keep the momentum going so I’m giving myself space to focus on it. I can’t wait to get creative again either, to get back to the Collab and to the podcast with a fresh eye.

So no time for resolutions, just nice things. Fuck knows what 2019 will bring. Things are scary in this country at the moment, so much so that I almost can’t stand it. Burying my head in the sand can only take me so far – all we can do now is face the year head on and take it one day at a time. That’s as close as I’ll get to political talk on the blog, don’t worry.

Whatever you’re doing, whatever your resolutions may be or your goals, I support you. I hope 2019 brings you untold joy and minimal stress.

And thanks for reading ❤

Breathe

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Here we are, back to work, back to reality.

The diet chat is rife, people are returning to the gyms with their tails between their legs and boy don’t we know it. The mince pies have been cleared away and we’re having hearty porridge for our breakfasts instead of a handful of Quality Street.

I hate all the self-flagellation that comes after all the joy so I’m not partaking in it. I won’t be going to the gym tonight or any time soon because I can’t afford it and also I don’t want to. I can’t think of anything worse than sweating my nuts off in between a hundred other people who’d rather be on the sofa finishing the new series of Black Mirror. So I’ll be on the sofa finishing the new series of Black Mirror thanks, in a blanket with my tea.

January is generally the most miserable month of all and I’m going to inject as many little moments of happiness into it as I can, even if I am as poor as a church mouse. Even if all that is is an hour reading a book I’m into or having a pickle. Life’s too short and my only resolution is to be MORE so bring it 2018. I want more!

On another note, I’ve been spending more time than is healthy watching 2017 highlight videos on social media. All those wonderful perfectly composed images from the past year fill me with an instant gratification but when I think back on my own year, which was filled with some really dark moments (and obviously it was worse for my husband), I’m just thankful I made it at all.

Not to bring the mood down because we’re all about positivity here but I’m amazed I didn’t run away or bury myself in the garden at times. We suffered a great loss as a family, which was awful but has brought us closer together and I’m grateful for that. I feel as though I held on to a lot of the trauma of what happened though and then I moved from my comfy (but deeply unfulfilling) job into the worst one I’ve ever had (yes worse than the turkey plucking) – and I nearly lost it.

Some good did come of this though as the anxiety I’ve been trying to freeze out for years refused to be ignored any longer and I had to do something about it. I also learned that some people are just horrible and nothing you can do or say can change that. A hard lesson has been to understand that that’s on them and not me.

And even though I’m not sure my current role is a forever, it is fun and I’ve made some great friends – so for now I’m just going to enjoy it and see where it takes me. Despite myself I’m excited for what the year has in store, slightly wary but overall hopeful – and everyday, I’m just going to try to remember to breathe.

How are you guys settling into the New Year?

New Year, Same Me

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In 2018, I pledge to be even more me.

To take up more space, to take more chances, make more mistakes, more friends, more noise. Take trips, say yes, create more. Write more and be more present.

I’m tired of all the new me bullshit. While it’s nice to take stock of a year and look upon a fresh new one with a sliver of excitement, why must we always have to change? Who I am is just fine thanks, I’ll not be adjusting at all.

Apart from trying to save instead of spend, I’ll be:

  • Eating whatever the fuck I like
  • Going on at least two European breaks
  • Visiting London at least once
  • Writing regularly and maybe even outlining a plan to write something ‘real’
  • Recording a lot of new episodes for the podcast
  • Watching all the films
  • Reading all the books
  • Being vocal about anything and everything than means something to me

What are you thinking?

Goals: Redux

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Goal: Be even more awesome

People can be really huffy about resolutions and I get it when we’re bombarded as soon as Boxing Day is over with spam emails from Weight Watchers and gym groups. But I kind of like them myself.

I feel like I’m quite a pro-active kind of chap when I want to be and I respond well to being held accountable, even if it’s just to an old Blog post, written and viewed only by myself.

So I am the kind of person who thinks about resolutions and goals as the NY starts undulating toward us. Of course I’ve already set some goals but I’ve been thinking of some more. Here they are:

  • I will not say anything derogatory about my body in 2016 – Verrry challenging but I’m going to try because I deserve this and so does every woman of every size, shape, etc
  • I will buy and keep a sketch book close to me, and find a drawing style – I don’t think I have any talent in this arena but that’s okay, I’m at a point in my life where I can happily accept that just because I’m shit at something, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it
  • I will be more direct and less apologetic – No explanation needed
  • I will not doubt my skills at work no matter how I am made to feel – I’m a paranoid android from 9-5, this needs to change
  • I will read the classics I have not yet read – There are a lot. I’m really looking forward to this one
  • I will up my selfie game – IMPORTANT

Right. Happy New Year all, I’m off to achieve some of these bad boys. Starting with… maybe buying a sketch book?

See you soon!

Resolution Road

And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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Happy New Year! (Got to start with the obligatory NY inspirational quote, natch).

I have, of course, already lightly laid down the gauntlet for New Year. That list contained only a handful of areas I would like to examine in 2015.

I haven’t changed my mind about any of them, though you could argue that I’ve broken at least three already (I’m not counting my indiscretions until 5th January, which is Monday re: moving, being angry and spending though). Hey, these are my resolutions, I’ll be sketchy about the details if I want to.

The good news is that this is Day 2 and I haven’t had chocolate. Sadly this coincides with a crippling bout of PMS cravings. My only fear is that most of my historic chocolate eating has been instinctual. What if I eat it automatically and don’t realise until it’s too late? THE HORROR.

I’m imagining myself as a light and airy waif come December 31st 2015, all my lumpy bits having miraculously melted away due to lack of Dairy Milk. But who the hell am I kidding? I didn’t quit crisps, sweet/salty popcorn, jelly babies or non-chocolaty cake. Butter, cream or bread. I’m not an idiot.

*Insert Homer Simpson-esque dribbling here*

I just wanted to add to my previous Resolutions post, not with too much more, certainly with not too much more New Year, New Me poppycock. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely that this is the year I change absolutely everything that I dislike about my life, lovely thought that might be.

Short of wanting more money, a holiday and not being out of breath when I do up my bra in the morning, I’m pretty happy. I’m trying to be kinder to myself and to believe that I’m fucking fabulous the way I am.

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Bah Bye 2014!

tumblr_nhdfojHJg01tsfm3lo1_1280Well well well, here we are on the cusp of a brand new year and it feels like we were standing here not so long ago, doesn’t it? Where did 2014 go?

That said, quite a lot of shit has gone down and even as I ponder how speedily those months have flown by, I know it has felt like a full year.

The obligatory recap (and you will have to forgive me for a rather long and self indulgent post):

It’s hard to believe that A Voluptuous Mind has only been in existence since March. Before that I wore a few monikers, including The Meet Cute and Groupie for the Underdog.

Looking back on my blog is how I know what I did, what my mental states were throughout and what I have achieved.

I started my current job role in February after what felt like an epic battle to get it. I went up against my (now) good friend and in the end won it based on my writing ability. To me a great victory, even if it appears small to others.

It’s been a huge learning curve, stepping up from the bottom (where all good employees begin) into Head Office and having to adapt accordingly. For the most part I am happy and doing well, with a few frustrations that don’t seem important now. I’m doing okay work wise. Whether I will ever have a career based on what I do now is another matter, but is something to have a think about.

What my job has given me is a handful of really brilliant friendships and for that how could I ever be mad? I’ve been touched by the love I have received from three of my now closest friends and feel like a stronger person for each one of them. I’ve been inspired to get off my ample arse and move, in the best possible way – to think about what I want from life, who I want to share it with and invest in.

These women are a million light years away from the unhealthy friendships I have put up with in the past and that’s just magical really.

Among the hair brained schemes I had at the beginning of 2014 were: singing lessons, hula hooping and running. Only one of those stuck to be honest, but hey, that’s better than nothing. I also tried my hand at reviewing a few movies and books, which is something I would like to take into the new year.

I plan to have my nose stuck in a book as much as possible next year, rather than on my phone or whiling the hours away on Candy Crush Soda (which has not real merit at all). Ditto Netflix.

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Resolutions 2014 Edition

Last year my husband gave up bacon for the whole of 2014.f84e130c78900d51ab2a28ba32acbbef

As I write this, he hasn’t broken this vow once and although his resolution has been a hard one to stick to, especially at sociable breakfast times, he has chosen to hold fast.

This year, for him, it is a toss-up between giving up Facebook or beer.

I think I’m going to take a leaf out of his book in 2015 and quit chocolate. Seems legit, no? Who needs it really? And there are plenty of sweet treats a girl can turn to if she needs one.

On top of that I’ve been thinking of what I can do this year by way of resolutions and I’ve come up with this:

  • Move whenever I can (which I already try to do)
  • Stop putting myself down
  • Stop being angry at things I can’t change
  • Stop spending so much on useless toot
  • Write like nobody’s reading (I’m going to write more candidly from now on, so hold onto your hats!)

Not so bad, is it? Not so very difficult. Stop gorging myself on the food of the Gods, move my arse, write and be a nicer person.

Done, done and done.

I can’t find the link to last year’s resolutions but I’m going to take a wild stab at the conclusion that I didn’t achieve many of them.

I did take singing lessons (briefly), become more active and took up hula hooping, so it wasn’t a complete bust. I’ve made some amazing friends, been to nice places and genuinely, honestly, I love my life.

I’m also at a place where I feel strong and hopeful. I feel good about what I have and anything more I gain on top of that will only enhance the feeling. I’m so well-loved that there isn’t anything I can’t do if I want to.

I might come back to this before the year fades out, but for now I’m happy with my small list.

What are your thoughts on the dreaded New Year’s Resolution?