4 Resolutions for 2020

New Year’s resolutions – do you make them?

Do you keep them?

Here are mine – not terribly deep and meaningful, just a middle-aged woman who happens to be free and single, making a few promises to herself. I have no idea if I’ll keep them – but I know I’d like to, and that’s half the battle.

  • I’m going to get out more. I managed a bit of getting out last year. But I want to do more. I want to do the Hampshire Road Trip again – but this time I want to do it during the summer when the places I want to visit are open – Highclere Castle, Montacute House, Bolsover Castle, Haddon Hall, Chatsworth House.
  • I’m planning on doing CountryFile Live again this year, but this time without the camping. I don’t do camping. I’ll drive there and back in the day, take a leisurely shower (without shoes), and sleep in a dry bed. It makes sense to me…
  • I want to go on holiday – I’ve booked a week off in June for this. I just have to decide where I want to go. I think I need to set a budget and then see how far-flung I can get for that amount of money. But first things first I need to get my passport changed into my new name – it’s already on my jobs list for the first week in January.
  • I’ve done pretty well with eating cheaply and well. But I probably eat too much red meat. I’d like to explore a less meat-heavy diet. I like vegetarian food, and I understand the benefits to my health and the planet. But I still think as omnivores we humans need a bit of meat and fish in our diet – just not as much as we currently eat. So – I’m going to try to eat less red meat. And I should probably eat more fish.

I’m excited about what the year will bring. I feel a contentment – which comes with having some control over things now. The finances in particular – yes, I’ve scrimped and saved. But I’ve also been able to get myself a job, and another job. I’ve had a lodger and hope to get another one. I’ve continued to run a business with my ex. Kudos to him too – we’ve been professional, polite, and continued to communicate with each other. Under the circumstances, I think that’s bloody amazing.

Where will this blog take me next year? It’s been such an interesting experience. My initial worries (would I find enough to write about, would anyone want to read it) have been unfounded. I’m posting every other day (although I took a day off over Christmas…) – and also writing a column as a guest blogger for 60 & Me every month. And this blog that started off so tentatively back in May 2019 has been viewed more than 20,000 times. When you lovely people visit, you read on average 4.76 posts per visit – and you come back for more. Some of you sit down and read pretty much every single post. So yes, I can find enough to write about, and people seem to want to read it.

I flirted with the idea of monetizing it. After all, the whole reason I got into blogging in the first placed was to find a way of making money.  But I had to sign up to so many restrictions on what I could write (no swearing, no ‘adult’ content – and the definition of ‘adult’ was very broad indeed, including things like advice on anything even vaguely sexual). And then, it turned out that the adverts that were placed on my blog weren’t for things I felt comfortable putting my name to – a prime example was the image of a rather busty woman putting fuel into an American muscle car in a provocative pose, to advertise bitcoins. It didn’t sit well with me, when compared to the rather Puritanical list I’d had to sign up to. So I knocked that on the head. Money isn’t everything.

I’m looking forward, not back. There are two more ‘firsts’ to get through – the anniversary of him telling me he was leaving, and the anniversary of him actually leaving. And then that part is over, and I can get on with the rest of my life.

So 2020 – bring it on.

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