Politically, what a bizarre year 2016 was. First Brexit (who’d have thought that?) and then Trump became President of the USA. I’m hoping that the world shapes up to be a good place for my twins to grow up in because I’m a real advocate for fairness and equality. Here’s hoping.
That aside, on a personal level, 2016 has been pretty amazing and exhausting. Here’s why … and what I have learnt this year:
1/ The twins turned four in September and it really has changed our world. They can still be a massive handful (and drive me insane at times) but they are SO much more fun now, plus far easier. Life feels a lot less stressful and Hubby and I have managed to get some time back for us again, which feels great. I have learnt to stop wishing tough stages away because the months whizz by and you genuinely miss them being little…so much.
2/ I work for myself now! I love being my own boss and working flexibly – it means that I can do all my Mum duties and work too. My blog has really taken off this year and I have been working with some amazing brands and had some wonderful opportunities. I have taken on a few freelance clients too this year (social media and writing) which has been fantastic in order to diversify my portfolio. I have learnt that it’s OK to change my style and focus and challenge myself more. I have taken a few risks this year (being in front of the camera more) and yet it’s taken me in a new direction, which I love. Here’s to more confidence and more learning in 2017!
3/ I love my home. I really do. I have learnt that I love styling our family space and that being at home makes me really happy.
4/ I have learnt that I need exercise in my life. We joined David Lloyd, as a work opportunity, a few months ago and wow I feel great from getting fit and toning up. I try to go 2-3 times a week and love the buzz of being fitter. Just got to keep it going through the hardest time of year – Winter! It has given me such confidence with fashion and generally in my life.
5/ I know that I need to earn money. I loved being a stay-at-home-mum for the last 3 years (and feel so lucky to have been able to do this) but having my own income now feels empowering, plus it means I don’t get as many guilts when I buy stuff for myself!
6/ I know I am not getting any younger. I’m 38 in a few weeks and boy am I feeling it lately. I still feel young at heart but my face is definitely sagging! I am trying to ignore the rapid ageing process going on. I have thought about botox but I am really scared of messing with my face. I’m applying far more make-up these days and thank goodness for fringes & sunglasses!
7/ I’ve learnt that blogging can be lonely. Don’t get me wrong, whilst lifestyle blogging is amazing, as is working freelance, it can potentially be an isolated world. Working on my own is far more unsociable compared to my previous HR career (pre-twins). I have therefore learnt to make time in my week to meet up with people and make an effort to get out of the house. It’s too easy to sit in front of the iMac and ‘chat’ to people online all day. Networking is also key in this industry and there’s nothing more powerful than building a relationship over a coffee.
8/ I have also learnt that I can’t do everything. I am pretty good at a lot of things (!) but I can’t master it all. Chasing perfection in life is impossible and some things you have to accept that you’ll never be brilliant at.
9/ I have learnt that my extended family is really important to me. We moved away from quite a few of our family members 18 months ago when we relocated to Worcester for work purposes and so I don’t get to see them as much as I did. I therefore have made a lot of effort to travel to see them and keep in touch regularly. It’s really important, especially as we lost my lovely Nan this year and it made me realise how special family is.
10/ I have learnt that you should live in the moment and stop aiming for the next thing. It’s good to have goals and aspirations but enjoying life is really important too. Sometimes it’s the little things in life, such as watching your children sleeping soundly in bed or having a cosy night in with a take-away, that makes life feel so much sweeter.
Happy New Year!
Love, Jess x