A very happy birthday.

This will be my third year of doing this birthday post, I kind of love looking back to the previous year and seeing what was important to me then, and how I’ve managed to accomplish my list for goals through the past year – or not like it stood last year!- ha ha

So here’s my list of resolutions from last year-

“Pass my driving test. I’m gunna’ get it done this year.”

I can confirm, that this year I DID IT!!! I finally passed my test back in June, which was SO surreal after years of on/off practice, a whole lot of money, I finally just pushed myself to get it done, and I passed first time, so yay! Driving has completely changed my life, people don’t lie when they say it gives you so much independence.

“Maintain the perfect online/offline balance.”

Again, I think this year I’ve managed to crack this one. I genuinely no longer care about online acceptance, follower numbers, or getting that constant stream of posts up. Sometimes life can be really hard, things happen and I kind of realised, ultimately its just an online world, its okay if I don’t have it in me to put up a front for the sake of sharing a blog post.

“Stop finding reasons NOT to pitch potential articles to local newspapers/magazines. Just do it.”

I’ve kind of done this, but also not really. I haven’t found any reasons to not pitch articles, but also I’m just not overly bothered about this too much right now.

“Build that vegetable patch.”

Another ‘kind of win’ resolution. Though the vegetable patch hasn’t been built this year, we did spend Spring getting the entire garden fixed, it had major drainage issues so it was a three week job outsourced, they had to dig massive channels, fill them with drainage pipes, gravel and cover the entire thing up again. it was a very messy job, but it no longer floods! Also, we do have a giant sweetcorn crop, carrots and beetroots growing in pots on the decking.

“Continue along the path of inner peace and contentment. Kind of a joke, but also kind of not. I used to be all about the rage… i’m pretty zen these days… unless I’m hungry, or tired. Ha ha”

I’m going to say that this year I smashed this goal. Some of you may remember back in January I did a brief post on my absence, on how my Mum who had been missing for two years had been found dead, she’d been purposefully hidden by someone for all that time. As you can imagine it has been crazy, so much about me changed on January 16th, So many things that I used to obsess over, or freak out about just went away. I had two options when dealing with that situation. I could implode, revert back to the self-destructive mode that blighted so many of my teenage years. Or I could breath, take myself away from the situation regularly to access how best to rationally react. I did the latter. I focused on each day, I concentrated on keeping normality for my girls, to making sure my household stayed unaffected from the insane-ness of everything. I started running again, I at times rather selfishly made my mental health the top priority. And in turn, I made it out of the other side in tact. I won’t lie and say its all over now, it isn’t, its far from. There will always be a lot of unresolved issues around my relationship with her, how it all turned out the way it did and why he did what he did with her. But, I’m strong enough to tackle them as and when its time too. See, inner peace. I’m basically Buddha! HA HA.

Anyway, heavy stuff out of the way. Resolutions for my 26th year.

  1. Feel the fear & do it anyway. I never used to fear much, I was quite ballsy in my younger years. Like the time when I was 16 and I moved to Peckham with my best mate, I got a job in a back street caf & spent a while pretending to be a grown up. Or the time when I married my boyfriend of 3 months and moved to Cyprus with him when I was 17. See, Ballsy. But since I had kids, they make fear EVERYTHING! I’m not wanting to go back to my borderline-insane days, I just want to bite the bullet with more things, step out of my comfort zone.
  2. Progress with my photography. This also comes in with the above. New places and new people scare me. I prefer to be invisible, but I want to be a better photographer. No, I want to be a brilliant photographer. So I need to work hard, I want to be able to walk into a shoot and say ‘This is what I envision and this is how we’ll do it.’
  3. Keep using exercise as a way to deal with stress.  I haven’t always dealt with stress all too well, but during these past 12 months, when I’ve been pushed to my absolute limit, I started developing migraines, breakouts, insomnia, anxiety became a constant cloud and my old pattern of not eating when under intense stress had started to creep back up. Luckily I recognised that these are all how my body (and mind) reacts to these situations. So I started running, I started taking regular spin classes and resistance training. I needed to fuel these sessions properly and so my diet improved, I needed to be motivated and hydrated and so my alcohol intake decreased (quite massively – I mean I wasn’t an alcoholic, but all those ‘oh I’ll just have a glass or two’ adds up!) Just exercising to try and expel the pressure turned into quite the lifestyle change. One I hope I will continue to use to keep me ‘balanced’ – This post is seriously making me sound like a right crack pot!! ha ha.

 

And thats pretty much all I want to accomplish this year! Nothing overly extraordinary, but resolutions I know will help me excel into my next year of life. I’m actually really bloody excited to see where I’ll be when I’m writing this post next year!

So, now thats done, I can fill you in on my birthday, well actually my birthday week would be rather more apt. It started last Monday with a trip down to London. I was invited by the incredible Style at home magazine team, to take part in their Christmas tree challenge (for the December issue.) Basically, they paid for me to come down to the capital, stay in a swanky hotel, then spend the day watching how a massive feature like this is made up. I was given a gigantic collection of (un-released) Christmas decorations from Hobby craft and given free range to Christmas our location house up to be photographed. And if that still doesn’t make you super envious, I was given a makeover by the amazing Alice Theobald, given a £100 gift card from hobby craft and they all repeatedly thanked me for the pleasure of my company – like it was some sort of massive favour I had done for them!?!

I also happened to mention how much I LOVED this giant pom pom wreath that was from the set – to which I was told the guys at hobby craft have said I can keep it!! I totally wasn’t hinting!! ha ha but yes, I am so excited for you to see the feature and so ridiculously thankful for the Style at home team for going out of their way to get me down! it really was a dream experience!

 

 

So, after that whirlwind couple of days, it was my actual birthday! And I woke up to the most incredible gift ever! I am now the super proud owner of a Nikon d750 AND a Sigma art 35mm lens! Lucky, lucky lucky!

I spent my birthday just faffing about with my new camera and chilling out, before I met up with a group of my favourite people for dinner at Tangs, an amazing Chinese restaurant that also gives you a private karaoke room after dinner. We drank wine, we sang, we danced and I spent Friday laughing my (rather sore) head off at the memories!

All in all, I’ve learnt four things this week. 1. My family are mental! seriously. 2. The Nikon d750 is everything I imagined and more. 3. Watching a giant set being built in someones home for a national magazine shoot is beyond fascinating and 4. I am an extremely lucky lady!.

Here’s to another year!

Robyn,

The little woman pretends.

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