Happy New Year! 2018 was a funny one, with lots achieved (but not as much as I’d like). The main thing we achieved, and it was a slog with lots of silly little hoops to jump through, was getting planning permission for a house extension. Next challenge-finding a builder who responds to messages and has a good reputation. We have a couple who we are in contact with, so fingers crossed by the end of 2019 our house will be much larger!
I decided that this year I will set myself some more guidelines to try and keep me on track, but some of the things I’m aiming for are not such visible achievements.
Apart from the obvious task of getting the extension built, I’m continuing with my aim of decluttering, and trying to train the children to do the same. I’m really looking carefully at what I need to have, especially for work. I’m terrible for keeping hard copies of worksheets when I have it all saved on a USB. There are lots of things we need to sort through, and although I disagree with ‘if you haven’t used it for 6 months you don’t need it’, I am considering how likely we are to actually use some items. I especially need to tackle the dreaded drawers full of mystery cables. I also need to look at a simple cleaning schedule rather than haphazardly cleaning rooms as and when they need doing.
We’d like a good camping holiday again, but the length of it will depend how much money we have to spend on building. It would be nice to use our National Trust cards a bit more this year too, so days out will probably be on the cards. Mr C’s job means our family time is sometimes a bit limited, so we need to get better at making the most of it. I also need to get braver at taking the children out on my own.
Last year we grew so much, despite the weather, and then I didn’t enjoy having so much to deal with (so much beetroot!). Also, we wasted some things (well, the chicken ate them) as we just didn’t eat them. This year we are going to focus on growing things we like and will eat, such as onions, carrots and soft fruits to name a few. There will be no beans as they always just seem so stringy and horrible! Perhaps we will grow some flowers instead. I also want to focus on moving some things to the front plot so that we can give up the back plot, with it’s poor soil and tendency to become waterlogged.
As always, my aim is to keep putting money into savings. The extension will be costly, so we will try to shop well and get the things we need for it at the best prices. Also, I will try to sell items that are worth selling to combine decluttering with money saving. I’m still trying to get a good balance between ‘buy cheap buy twice’ and buying cheaper items if I know they will be quickly outgrown/trashed. For example, I spent £30 on some boots that quickly broke, whereas the £70 pair I bought after have been worn nearly every day for 3 months and still look good. However, the children do not need expensive designer wellies for kicking around at the allotment so we just buy cheap ones.
I’d still like to do some kind of course to further my skills (if I don’t find a builder, that skill may have to be bricklaying, or perhaps plastering!) My plans for a business are on hold, I will still make orders and maybe look at a craft fair at Christmas time, but I think the disruption of a major building project will mean I have enough on my plate. However, I have plans to adopt the new dining room. (Well, Mr C says all my craft stuff can go in there, so technically it will be a craft room, won’t it!) I’d love to join a crochet along in real time -i.e. not start it 7 weeks in- but I don’t want to make a blanket for our house. I’m hoping some friends might have more babies so I can make more baby blankets!
First of all, I want to get better at standing up for myself. Not in an aggressive way, more just making sure I’m not a doormat by saying no to things that I know are too much for me, and being a bit more confident, for example when returning items to shops or ending up with voluntary roles I don’t have time fore. Also (and I’m not a particularly vain person, but I try to look presentable) I need to book things like hairdressers appointments before I reach the point where I need a paper bag on my head to leave the house. Basically, just being a proper grown up! (I tried this before Christmas when I brought myself a nice lipstick and felt very smart, then I let myself down by going on my son’s skateboard and falling off it!)
I think those are probably enough for me to be going on with! Hopefully this is going to be a very busy year for us. If I’ve taken anything from last year, it’s that I try to do too much, and that pressure on my self isn’t necessary-if everyone is fed and clothed in clean things, and we are happy enough, then we are doing fine. That’s why my blog was so quiet, as I tried to keep up with the things I’d taken on. I’ve actually cut out a few things now and feel much better for it.
Have you got any goals for this year? Let me know!