18 for 2018

It’s 18th January when I’m starting this.* Life with a new baby right there. I’m pinned to a chair daring not to move for fear of setting him off but I should really just cherish the cuddles – blocked ducts and all. I’m currently waiting on a delivery of cabbage leaves to ease the pain and typing this one-handed. Breastfeeding, it really is no joke, but that’s a story for another day. This post is about my ‘word of the year’ and my 18 for 2018 list.

My word of the year: kindness

Back to 2018 and my hopes and dreams for it – big, small and downright mundane. For the last couple of years, I’ve chosen a word or words to acting as guiding principles for the year. 2016 was ‘minimalism’, ‘do more with less’ and ‘f@ck it’.2017 was simplicity. For 2018, I’ve chosen ‘kindness’. It was a bit of a buzzword in 2017 and hey, that can only have been a good thing. It rightly deserved its day in the sun. I think that I do a good job of practicing kindness towards others. I try to always think how I would like to be treated and go with that. However I’m not always as great at directing it towards myself. So the aim behind ‘kindness’ being my word for 2018 is to reduce the self-inflicted panic and pressure that I often throw my way. If I can do that, it will have a knock-on effect of increased kindness and patience with those closest to me. With two young children, although they bring so much love and joy to our home, patience – let’s face it – can be a daily challenge.

18 for 2018, what’s it about?

I’ve mentioned Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Happier’ podcast before and I’ve become even more of an avid fan since then. In a pre-Christmas episode, Gretchen and her co-host and sister, Elisabeth talk about their ’18 for 18′ lists – things that you want to do or achieve over the course of the year, so I’ve firmly jumped on that bandwagon. And in the interest of my word of the year, I’m being kind to myself that it’s taken me until mid-February to commit the list to a blog post 🙂 In fairness to me, the list has been knocking about on a piece of paper since 1st January.

My 18 for 2018 list

Not in order of priority…

  1.  Photography. I’m lucky enough to be the owner of a camera capable of taking great quality pics. It’s crying out to be used by someone who understands what it can do. At Christmas I received a gift of a one-day introductory course with the Dublin Photography School, which I’ve just completed. I know of the existence of Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO and White Balance and even what a lot of the buttons on my camera are for, so it’s time to practice, practice, practice. I can’t wait to get going. I also bought this book, which is very easy to follow.
  2. Blog. Writing this blog is something I do just for me and I love it. I find it really hard to just sit down and write after a busy day though. I hope to change that this year. My head is always buzzing with content ideas so I need to quieten down that noise by getting the words out of my head and tapped out on a keyboard. With everything going on this year, I’m going to set a low (or is realistic a kinder word?) goal of one post a month. I’m already behind…oh well.
  3. Family time, but in particular a weekly walk with my mam. Maternity leave will be over and I’ll be back in work before I know it, so I want to use the time I have as best I can.
  4. Bring the children swimming (often). I’ve been saying this since the little miss was born almost three years ago. This year it’s happening. Bringing them at all is step 1, often is step 2.
  5. More books, less TV and phone. There’s nothing like curling up with a book, but we’re all so plugged in all of the time with diverted attention, it can be difficult to simply turn off devices and read a single book. I want more books back in my life. I’ve started with the ‘The Little Book of Hygge; Danish Secrets to Happy Living’ that’s been languishing on my nightstand since it arrived last year. And breathe…
  6. Bullet Journal. Lists, notebooks, ordering systems, dates in diaries etc etc make me happy. A system that offers all of this in one – bullet journaling – you had me at hello.
  7. Drive without fear. I used to drive anywhere and everywhere without a second thought, but since having children and driving less since I got rid of my car as we didn’t have a need for two cars, I’ve become a little bit nervous about the thought of driving. I’m confident behind the wheel but it’s the pre-journey thoughts that can get me. Those thoughts of fear are going in the metaphorical bin.
  8. Get in the frame. Be in more pictures. I want my children to have photos of me with them when they were young. Instead of saying, ‘I look a bit crap’, I’m just going to get in the picture.
  9. Declutter. Always, always on the list…
  10. An overnight toiletry bag that’s ready to go at all times. This is so boring (feel free to snooze now) but I hate packing. The clothes bit is grand, but the toiletry bit can take the good out of short trips for me. Ridiculous, I know, but it’s the truth. I will now have an overnight toiletry bag on standby at all times, so that I can throw it and some clothes in a bag and go. Come to think of it, I should probably prep bags for the kids too. Now that would really eliminate packing stress.
  11. Practice yoga.When I practice regularly, I find balance in my life, that’s just not there when I don’t. Enough said.
  12. Sort a photo system. I need to sort a digital filing system for pics. Phone, camera – all of these photos need an ordered home. And dare I say it, I may even get some photos printed! I’ve just download the ‘Flic’ for organising photos on my phone…here’s hoping for a tidier digital space.
  13. Phone friends more. I’m definitely guilty of texting more than calling…so I’d like to pick up the phone more this year.
  14. Be brave. Do more that pushes me out of my comfort zone. What’s the worst that can happen? Yikes!
  15. Invite friends for relaxed breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Food and friends in a relaxed setting, not worrying about putting on the best spread, but concentrating on good chats and laughs.
  16. Listen to music. It’s good for the soul and I have neglected it for the last few years. This year, I’ll listen to more music by making playlists of songs I love. Basic, eh?!
  17. Give the cat more attention. Poor Pawsie. He was treated like an absolute (furry) prince before the children arrived. Now he gets chucked out of rooms – in fairness, he looks at the baby like he wants to eat him. Don’t get me wrong, he still has a great life, but I’m sure me sitting down and lavishing him with a bit more attention wouldn’t go astray.
  18. Furniture renovation/hacks. I have a chair that I started painting about two years ago…2018 is the year I finish it. I also have two IKEA kids pieces – a table and chairs and a kitchen – that I’d like to pimp. They’re on the list, so we’ll see!

That’s the list. Most of it is achievable, some of it mundane, while others are aspirational (see number 18). It’s been fun to pull it together. These things have all been swilling around in my head anyway, so why not commit to them and see how far I get?

What’s on your 18 for 2018 list? I’d love to know.

*The second edit started on 10th Feb, before finally posting on 19th Feb! Time disappears into a vortex with a new baby around…

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