New Year’s Resolution number one: to blog more. Well, to actually blog at all. Given that much of my husband’s Christmas break was spent firefighting the billion hack attempts on this site, I owe it to him, at least, to put up some content.
I won’t blather on about why the last couple of years have been a bit thin on the blog side (two kids born in 2013!), I’ll just get on with it…
This is what I’m up to as we break into 2015…
Planning: The rest of the year. January is SO depressing and an empty calendar sucks, so I’m trying to plug gaps in a bid to claw my way out of this start-of-year depression. Milestone events include my daughter’s second birthday VERY soon, potty training and moving her into her big girls’ bed by Easter; a Cornish holiday; meeting up with the lovely friends I’m so blessed to have in my life and making better use of our National Trust membership. What I’m not planning, but know will happen, includes: driving somewhere in a blind panic because I’ve left it dangerously late to get diesel; getting someone else’s poo on my hand; being woken in the middle of the night by screams; getting licked in the eye (by the dog, nothing kinky), worrying about money; and tackling a dirty washing basket that NEVER, EVER empties.
Trying out: New things with no expectation that I’ll be good at them. I don’t usually do stuff I’m not good at. That’s because a) I like to be good at stuff, I enjoy it more that way and b) I’m not mad-keen on failure. With that said, in 2014 I tried some new stuff – baking, for one. I’m bad at it, really bad (see pictures). I accept that I’m bad at it, but it’s fun and I might do some more of it in 2015 with complete awareness that it might not go well. And that’s okay, because we can’t be good at everything. I have some friends who are fab bakers and The Great British Bake Off bods make it look sooo easy. My weakness (and also my strength) is that I, mostly, cook without recipes. I’m always disappointed when a recipe goes wrong and can’t be arsed with weighing ingredients. Bung it cookery is my thing and it works wonders with savouries; I can whip up a tasty dinner in minutes. But baking is a finer art and I tend to wing it. For example, just this weekend I decided to make a pudding to go with our Sunday roast. We had some sponge fingers lying idly on the side, leftover from a Christmas hamper we won at the kids’ nursery. What the hell to you do with sponge fingers? The packet said they were perfect for a tirimisu. So I made a trifle. I topped them with stewed fruit followed by custard and a bit of squirty cream. Nom. Ugly, yes, but tasty, most definitely. A triumph!
Feeling: Inspired enough to write at least once a week. Writing makes me happy yet it’s what gets pushed to the bottom of the pile time and time again. I no longer even know if I’m good at writing or even what good writing is. No matter, I like doing it. I like, therefore I will. I might also repost some old stuff, including some short stories I wrote while doing a creative writing course a few years ago. Lift and dust, that’s what I say.
Looking at: My new, beautiful iMac – a Christmas present to myself. Me and hubby spent a child free day setting up the new home office, so we can both focus on computer-related projects, for work and for fun. It’s so pretty. It still needs a lamp and some more homely touches, but having somewhere proper to work from home is bliss. My MBP is all but dead and given my ailment (pdf), working from a laptop on the sofa does my posture and numb hand no good at all. I think the new home office will motivate me to write more, because it’s such a nice place to be able to do it. I also have a new wireless printer, thanks to the helpful bods at Viking UK so I can print pictures of the kids, create endless to do lists and, my first challenge, create a potty reward chart.
Reading: I always read something Christmassy in December and this year it was Merry Little Christmas by Julia Williams, which unbeknownst to me before I started it, is based in a slightly edited version of Shropshire, where I grew up. I grew up in the real Shropshire, not the edited version. In case you were wondering. The book starts in January and charts the very low lows of three families (and made me cry a fair bit) and, predictably, by Christmas they’re all tucking into turkey together and counting their blessings. Predictable, heart-warming and easy to read. Over the Christmas period I also managed to read The Long Fall by Julia Crouch (brilliant!) and Killer by my old favourite Jonathan Kellerman (brilliant, as usual). Currently on my bedside table is… well, quite a large pile but at the top is The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison.
Listening to: Halle is OBSESSED with Happy by Pharrell Williams so I listen to that at least 10 times a day. But, this year, I will also be listening to my head. Having kids has softened me a bit and I let my heart rule my head a little too often; which makes me feel exposed and vulnerable. I’m much better letting my head be in charge so 2015 will see the return of cold and sensible and headstrong Robyn, not emotional, weepy, give-a-shit Robyn. The way I’ve written this makes it sound like a bad thing, but it’s really not. My head will also be telling me to be mindful, a practice which makes me think before I speak, consider others and find the positive in everything (within reason). It also makes me feel good.
Laughing at: My career. It’s a joke.
Eating lots of: Nothing. This is the way to get thin, right? Eat lots of nothing?
Discovering: The joys of the terrible twos. Halle turns two later this month, and AJ at the end of the year. I’m already amazed by Halle’s development – not to say she’s a child genius (I don’t buy into the competitive mum crap) but kids her age learn so much so quickly, it’s amazing to watch. She doesn’t miss a trick and she copies me and Richard to the tee and I catch her doing things that, until that moment, I don’t realise I do too. I think it’s fantastic that kids who’ve only been in the world for 24 months have such vibrant personalities and an interest in the world around them. And are so funny! And so demanding – God help us, if Halle can’t wear her wellies to nursery. Tantrum! She’s really strong too, she bashed me in the face with Peppa Pig the other day and I’m afraid it hurt so much, I may have dropped a few swear words.
Wearing: Clothes that fit. I had some money for Chrimbo and, when the sales have ended and the shops are full of proper clothes again, not rail upon rail of rags, then I’ll treat myself. I’ve been living in my 2012 wardrobe (what fits, at least) since the kids and am now ready to regain some semblance of style. Which, for me, probably means jeggings, vests, hoodies and a new pair of trainers. I promise, I will try harder.
Cooking: Healthy food. I really maxed out on the Christmas nibbles and my waistline’s telling me it’s had enough. Time to rein it back in and slim down to the woman I once was. Right after I’ve scoffed once last Chinese… and maybe an Indian.
Wondering: About my career (referenced above). Having kids forces you into the lean back mentality when it comes to career (at least it did for me, anyway) and maybe this year I’ll start to lean forward. I’m not sure where I’ll lean towards or what I even want to lean against, but I think there’s some leaning to be done, at least.
And so, there you have it. My first (of many, I hope) blog posts of 2015. The end.