Since I am fairly ancient, I have got used to the years whizzing by. One minute it is new year’s day, the next it is the eve of another new year. This time we are looking at a new decade! It doesn’t seem long since we were all panicking about a techno melt down for the year 2000. Suddenly 20 years have passed in a flash! It makes me want to make the coming years count. I have been thinking about my goals for 2020 so look out for a post on those. First, however, it is good to look back at what the past year has brought, so here is my review of 2019.
Review of 2019
Pain in the neck
I ended 2018 and started the new year with an almighty pain in the neck, which lasted for months. It was caused by disc problems which lead to a trapped nerve. Honestly, I wouldn’t wish the pain on anyone. It was horrific and consumed my life for months. I lived on painkillers and spent a lot of my time huddled on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.
The NHS was slow! It was difficult to get any help other than painkillers for almost 9 months. By the time I got to see the specialist I had worked out my own exercise plan and was starting to improve by myself.
On the plus side, I am much fitter and much stronger as a result. I exercise every morning to keep myself healthy as I am terrified of a recurrence. At the moment I have pain in my lower back and am trying to stretch through it with a yoga routine like this one.
It’s really important to us to find the time and money to do a little travelling each year so I have to include our holidays in my review of 2019.
We managed two holidays this year, as well as a few days in London. As you would expect, we didn’t spend much on anything.
Friends own an apartment in France so we had a nice week there. The highlight was a trip to Carcassonne, which was totally fabulous.
We also had a lovely holiday in Pembrokeshire in August. I love Wales so much I try to go every year. If it wasn’t such a trek for the family to see us, I would try to persuade Mr S to move there. We usually go towards Snowdon, so it was nice to head south this time. We absolutely loved St Martin’s Haven, which is wild, natural and completely stunning.
We packed loads into our few days in London, going to Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens AND Windsor Castle. It was fun but quite tiring. I absolutely loved Kew, though. What a lovely place.
The reason we went to South Wales this year was that we were given free tickets to the Green Gathering, which was just over the border in the little Welsh market town of Chepstow.
You can read my review of this unusual, eco-friendly festival here. If you like a low-key, low-impact, family friendly festival I would recommend it.
This was huge so has to be included in my review of 2019! After over a decade working for the local council, I was offered redundancy and jumped at it. I had had enough of my job. It wasn’t challenging and the management tasked with restructuring the organisation were just dreadful.
As front line staff, we saw the effects of the government cuts in action on pretty much all of the council services and took the brunt of the public’s dissatisfaction. I didn’t want to be there any more, although I was quite nervous about what to do next. When you are 50 plus, it is still a reality that your options are limited.
But I did it and I don’t regret it, although I do miss many of my old colleagues.
I decided to have a proper go at being self-employed. This means I can make my own decisions, I’m not at the mercy of idiot consultants who come into organisations, mess it up thoroughly and then skip off into the sunset with their huge pay cheques without having to worry about the mess they have left behind.
Some of you will know what I am talking about. Now, if I make mistakes (and I have), they are my own. I am not earning enough to cover my old salary yet, but I am making progress and hope to increase and expand my money making efforts during 2020.
My two main sources of income are eBay selling and blogging/writing, but I am thinking about restarting my yoga teaching in 2020. It depends if I can find a decent venue!
I also worked during the General Election counting postal votes, and enjoy ad hoc bits of work like that. Someone suggested doing some exam invigilation, so I will be looking into that during 2020. Variety is the spice of life!
I finally got round to losing the excess stone I have been carrying around for a few years. Slimming World was a great system for me. I liked the fact that you could eat (a lot) and it was simple to follow.
I have written quite a lot of Slimming World posts over the past few months, so check them out here if losing weight is one of your goals for 2020.
I had a brilliant time hanging out with loads of other bloggers in London in September. Shoestring Cottage was nominated for four awards.
I didn’t win, but just being there was a highlight of my year. You learn so much and make great friendships at this type of event. You can read my review of the SHOMOS here.
Second hand September
I was really happy to support Oxfam’s #secondhandseptember campaign. From an environmental as well as an economic viewpoint, I think we should buy fewer items of new clothing and wear what we have for longer.
However, I have thought about this a bit since then and I think Oxfam would do better in encouraging people to buy second hand if they didn’t charge so much in their charity shops. Ridiculous prices! I actually never even look in there.
I can’t see many people buying a second hand top for £7.50 when they can get a new one in Primark for the same or less….
I bought a new car! Well, new to me anyway. It is a Nissan Note and is a brilliant little vehicle. I am very happy with it. In an ideal world, I would have an electric car, but until I am earning more money that isn’t going to happen. One day….
So these are a few memorable moments for my review of 2019. I will probably think of loads more the moment I hit publish!
My next job is to finalise my goals for 2020. I have lots of ideas about things I would like to do and achieve, but need to be realistic about the amount of time and energy I have in reality. It’s not possible to do everything, but I want to make 2020 count.
How was your year during 2019?