I just opened WordPress for the first time in over a month and WOAH. What is happening. Everything has changed. What are blocks? hELP. It’s giving me serious 2008 blogging/myspace vibes, though, and I’m kind of here for it at the same time as being massively overwhelmed by change.
As I’m writing this, it’s been 146 days since I published a post that wasn’t some sort of ad/collaboration. I’ve written a post or two since then, but none of them made it to published status.
It’s also been 151 days since I published a post titled “The Future of Rhianna Olivia”. A blog post which was a word-vomit-on-a-page insight into how I wanted to change my blog up, care less, go back to how things used to be and just enjoy it. I mean, I knew I’d be blogging less but wow hello do you even remember me?
The start of a new year always makes me feel all reflective. I don’t really set resolutions anymore but I do like to sit and think about how, if I had ultimate control, I’d like the year ahead of me to pan out. Especially after a year like 2018 which, for the most part, was an absolute fucking shit show.
(If it’s any consolation to myself, 99% of the shit things that happened in 2018 were completely out of my control, but that doesn’t change the fact they happened and they were very shit).
Anyway, I digress. I’ve been getting all reflective over the past few days and I don’t know what it is about writing things down but it helps concrete things for me. It helps me rationalise, plan and feel like things are actually real. It’s probably why I find myself always coming back to blogging, regardless of any time I’ve spent away from my keyboard.
As I said a little earlier, I don’t set resolutions anymore but I do try and future plan a little. It’s like a “if 2019 was my perfect year, what would it look like?” type thing. But then the most important part of these reflections is they aren’t the be-all and end-all. If they don’t happen, that’s fine. It’s all kind of a hypothetical guide for myself. And things change. What’s perfect to me now may not be so in 6 months time. It’s a way for me to feel like I’m guiding myself down the right path without putting too much pressure on and simultaneously letting life happen.
So, if 2019 was my perfect year, what would it look like?
Well, I’d have some savings by the end of it that’s for sure.
Remember when I said earlier that 99% of the shit things from 2018 weren’t under my control? Well that 1% was my outgoings vs my income. I have been spectacularly shit with money in 2018 and I’m not fully sure why. I managed to get out of my very deep overdraft but then managed to get right back in. And along with finally getting a credit card (hello, credit scores) I’ve honestly struggled with finances this year.
Because of my new job, work expenses are a huge part of my daily outgoings. Credit cards are tempting as fuck. I also bought a car for said new job and wow nobody really warns you about how much they cost. £150 a month sounds easy peasy! But then it’s £65 a month for insurance. And oh yeah there’s petrol, too. And what if something happens to the car? You need savings to cover your ass if anything needs fixing. That took a lot of getting used to.
I’m not trying to give excuses here – I have been a royal fuckwit with my bank account last year and I genuinely vow to not be the same this year. I don’t even want to know how much dollar I spent at Dominos in 2018 but Cleo, the finance tracking app I use, tells me it was 98% more than the average Cleo user. You’re welcome, Dominos.
Joe and I are also now seriously thinking about future planning. Buying a house, paying for a wedding at some point (hold your horses – we aren’t engaged yet, just thinking sensibly), having savings to fall back on, going on nice holidays etc. This will be the first year we both properly budget as a couple and that means less takeaways, less booze and a whole lot more saving. It will take some getting used to, but I feel kind of ready for it.
I’d read SO MANY BOOKS.
I was always really into reading as a kid, but as I got older it just wasn’t ever at the top of my priority list. Towards the end of 2018 I got back into reading because I was spending a lot more of my life on trains thanks to travel being a large part of my job. I managed to read about 13-15 books (give or take) between the summer and the new year and I’d love to continue this into 2019.
Joe bought me a Kindle for Christmas so I don’t need to lug books on the train in my work backpack anymore and I’ve created a Goodreads account (my username is rhiannaoliviab – add me!) so I can properly track what I read. I’ve set myself the target of 25 books which I think is totally attainable for me, so we’ll see how I get on.
I’d also watch a load of films.
I love sinking my teeth into a good TV show but there’s just something about films. Going to the cinema is the one place where I truly switch off and I’d love to do this more in 2019. Similar to how I like logging what I read, I’ve started logging the films I watch on the app Letterboxd (username is also rhiannaoliviab if you want to follow). I want to watch more new films this year, too. There’s nothing wrong with a re-watch but I just love getting lost in something I’ve not seen before.
I’d have enough down time to ensure I don’t spend half my life with some sort of illness
I bloody adore my job. It’s basically dream job material and I’m not exaggerating. But it’s tiring. There’s a lot of pressure because we’re only a small team, they work a certain way, everything is very energetic and exciting and there’s a lot of travel involved. This year, I need to take some proper down time and I need to do it frequently. Little and often instead of a week off with nothing then BOOM. STRESS.
This kind of goes in hand with watching more films and reading more books, which is very convenient.
I’d visit at least 2 new places
Listen. Travel is one of my favourite things to do but, unfortunately, the whole “I want to save a metric shit tonne of money and money kind of needs to be my main priority in 2019” doesn’t go hand in hand with “LETS TRAVEL THE WORLD”. I do think travel will be taking a back seat for us this year, but I’m fine with it. And I’d still like to see a couple of new places! Even if those places are tiny staycations. That would be swell.
I’d feel a lot healthier by the time next January rolls around
I’m not one to set fitness or health goals. I can’t do an awful lot of exercise because of a bad knee and to be honest, I’m happy with how I look. I don’t care if I’m a size 16 or a size 6, I need to feel healthier.
The last half of the year has been a really weird one and it’s resulted in really weird habits in diet and exercise, too. We’ve had a lot of takeaways, a lot of “easy meals” and a lot of alcohol. And my GOD can I feel it. I feel sluggish and unhealthy and just not myself at all. It’s also massively effecting me mentally. I just want to have more green on my plate, drink more water and move a little bit more as standard this year. I want to feel like me again. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to not be tired/poorly and I’m about 120% sure a big chunk of that is diet and exercise based.
I ain’t gonna be setting a goal to run a marathon or lose 5 stone, but I just want to feel a bit better internally. I’m thinking of picking yoga back up – I loved it at uni and it’s something I can easily do from home.
I’d go see loads more live music
Some of my favourite memories are at live music events. Festivals, gigs, concerts, whatever it is. I want to go to more this year. Obviously within reason financially, but I especially miss going to smaller gigs and discover smaller bands. More live music in 2019 would be the dream.
I’d spend more time outside
We don’t have a garden/any outside space at our flat so I crave being outside a lot. We live slap bang in the middle of West Yorkshire with various moors and countryside walks and national parks virtually on our doorstep and we don’t take advantage of it at all. I never used to have a car so it used to be a little more difficult to get anywhere, and I think I never really got out of that mindset. I’d love to just hop in the car on a Sunday morning and head out for a walk more often.
Will my 2019 look like this? Who knows.
If it does, that would be awesome. If it doesn’t, as long as I’m somewhat happy with the parts of my life I can control that’s fine with me.
2019 needs to be the year of realising I don’t have to change everything to be perfect. But if I want to change things because it will genuinely make me happier? Then I’m gonna do it.