2020 Vision: My Mid-Life Intentions
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How are you getting on with your New Year’s Resolutions? I find them yet another thing to add to my (never-ending) to do list. So instead, I’m making 2020 mid-life intentions. I turned 40 last year, so what better time to take stock? These mid-life intentions are based on what I’ve learned about myself and the world in the 40 years I’ve been here.
20s and 30s…
My 20s brought me a year in the U.S. including lots of travel, and another year at UEA. Next came a Post Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism in London. I landed my first proper job as a broadcast journalist and then entertainment editor on the radio, and my first copywriter job at Avon. In my 20s Ryan and I got married, and started a family, with Ava being born in 2010. Pretty busy!
My 30s brought us another delightful baby in the dimpled form of Thea.
We also bought our second house and tested our vision, ingenuity and renovating skills transforming it from a sea of sad yellow and beige to a welcoming contemporary home. And I began my third career as a freelance copywriter, brand storyteller and content creator, launching this blog five years ago in 2015.
So what will my 40s bring? I have some ideas:
- Less clutter. More simplicity.
- Less rush and busyness. More calm, quiet and mindfulness.
- Less stress. More creativity.
- Less back pain. More yoga!
- More time with Ryan.
- Less perfection. More present.
- Fewer global corporations. More shopping small, local and ethical.
- And, of course, carrying on working towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
How I’m Going About My 2020 Intentions
I’ve already started to take some of these steps, and some are a work in progress.
Less Clutter. More Simplicity.
I’m increasingly finding clutter more and more stressful as I get older. So I’m making a concerted effort to be more mindful of what we bring into the house, and how we store it. It’s a hard task as both Ryan and I are hoarders, and so is Ava. Thea seems much less wedded to ‘stuff’ thankfully, but we still have way too much.
There are a few quick-ish wins, like clearing out the kitchen cupboards so I can find what I need, and donate unused things. I’ve cleared out my wardrobe and donated those size 10 clothes that I am never going to get back in to. It’s been difficult, but it’s lovely to have a clearer wardrobe.
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Anyone else having a fresh start for 2020 with a clear out? I’ve been on a mission over the Christmas holidays, clearing and donating unwanted and unused things all round the house. This week it’s my wardrobe’s turn, which is something I find really difficult, how about you? As a hoarder, it’s not easy for me to say goodbye to clothes. However I had a word with myself and (finally) came to the conclusion that I’m unlikely to ever fit in the size 8 jeans I bought on my honeymoon (12 years ago) or anything else with a single digit size. I’ve even managed to grow out of some of my shoes since having kids 🤷♀️ And as they are all in perfect condition (having not been worn for years 😂) it’s time to donate them so that someone else can benefit from them. This bundle (and several fancy clutch bags) will be winging it’s way to a new home, and my wardrobe now has some breathing space. And I’m not just going to fill it up again, I promise. I’m doing my best to only buy secondhand, or ethical, slow fashion brands, so that means much more considered purchases. Have you got any neglected clothes that need a new home? Donating them to a friend or charity is a great option, as the recipient benefits and it keeps things out of landfill, where they belong. I may even hold another clothes swapping party, I did one a few years ago and it was brilliant. S is for #sortout for #myhousethismonth @myhousethismonth #slowfashion #wardrobedetox #declutter
But it’s not just about physical clutter. Digital clutter can be just as annoying. My overflowing inbox is a constant low-key stress for me. I have been unsubscribing to email lists, especially from shops. This also reduces carbon emissions. You can find out more about how much emails add to our carbon footprint here. It’s pretty astonishing!
Less Rush and Busyness. More Calm, Quiet and Mindfulness.
My busy brain and constant need to be working on something is also something I want to calm: easier said than done! If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them, please leave me a comment!
I don’t know how to stop rushing about. We have such busy lives, and the girls have loads of after school activities as well. I’ve considered cancelling one, but they love all of them so much, I can’t bare to! I figure they will naturally choose to drop one or two as they get older, so I am toughing this out for now.
Less Stress. More Creativity.
Although I do have a very creative job as a brand storyteller and copywriter, I want to be more creative in my minimal spare time. I’m hoping to go to more creative workshops, as I’ve found these to be the best way to turn off the constant to do list that whirls round my brain. I love learning new skills and have discovered a couple of workshops that look amazing. They are expensive, but I think they look brilliant: one where you can make your own necklace with Alex Monroe, and one where you can make a bag out of recycled decommissioned fire hoses, with Elvis and Kresse.
My husband bought me a place at an origami workshop with Origami-Est next month, to make a lampshade. I can’t wait! We’ll be making this:
I’ve done loads of Esther’s origami workshops and they have all been brilliant.
I’m trying to carve out time for myself, to do things that make me happy, aside from my lovely family. I hope this doesn’t sound selfish, but I dedicate so much of myself to my family, and will never change that. However now that the girls are older, I am noticing I can happily leave them, and spend time on things that just wouldn’t have been possible even two or three years ago.
Less Back Pain. More Yoga
Thanks to our membership at David Lloyd Clubs, I’m working on my health and fitness. Sometimes it’s a real struggle, I have to admit. Ryan and I try to go to yoga every Saturday morning, and the girls go to the David Lloyd kids’ club. Every time, I have to drag myself there. But every time, I’m so pleased with myself that I went, instead of hitting snooze. I have to admit I found it difficult to find the time over Christmas, but I am back on it now.
Yoga and Pilates classes are fantastic for improving strength and muscle tone. I find Pilates reasonably easy as I have been doing it for about 15 years, but I find Yoga very difficult, yet rewarding. My back problems have really improved, since going regularly, so it’s definitely worth the work!
More Time with Ryan.
Because we are all so busy, my husband Ryan and I find it hard to spend time together, just the two of us. We had a brilliant weekend in London for by birthday in November. It was long overdue – the last time we did that was for our 10th wedding anniversary over three years ago!
We had afternoon tea, went to see the Christmas lights on Regent Street and Carnaby Street on the Friday. On Saturday we had a lazy brunch, followed by the Bridget Riley exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank. We had cocktails at the top of The Shard, and dinner. We went home on Sunday afternoon, after another brunch in Spittlefields Market, and a wander up Brick Lane ending at the Columbia Road flower market.
I’d like to do more things like this, with and without the girls. We had a lovely weekend with the kids in London over the summer, which you can read about here. Our next weekend away will be Liverpool for Ryan’s birthday. I’ve been looking at buyagift for offers as they always have good rates, and this two night stay in Liverpool (affiliate link) looks perfect for us.
Fewer Global Corporations. More Shopping Small, Local and Ethical.
Over the last few years I’ve become much more aware of how where I spend my money should support positive things. Whether that’s supporting local businesses, shopping small and independent, avoiding big tax-dodging corporations, or using companies that minimise their environmental impact. No matter how much I do, there is always more to go! This year I’m going to swap my bank to an ethical bank. I haven’t decided which to go for yet, but if you’re interested in swapping to a bank that supports green issues and doesn’t fund weapons, this post is really helpful.
I’m also going to try and only buy clothes that are second hand, or come from ethical and eco-friendly companies. I’ve had some success recently with Oxfam Online (affiliate link), who I wrote about for Secondhand September. They have so many lovely clothes and accessories online, and you can search by item, colour, size etc. just like a regular online shop. But you can get some real bargains, you’re not damaging the environment by buying new clothes, and all profits go to Oxfam. It’s a win/win for me. Check out what Oxfam have just got in here through my affiliate link. These are two dresses I recently ordered. I may send the first one back as it’s a bit big, but returns are free.
I’m also really pleased to see that my gym David LLoyd Clubs in Milton Keynes have swapped their coffee supplier to Change Please, who have really strong ethical credentials. The team at David LLoyd put on a taste trial with this brand and a major global brand and put it to the vote. Members wanted to support this brand as 100% of their profits go to helping the homeless. Change Please is empowering the homeless community by training them to be baristas. They provide barista training, jobs paying London Living Wage and support them with housing, bank accounts and mental wellbeing.
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New Coffee Provider: We are excited to announce the winner of our recent coffee trial. The results are in and we’re pleased to announce that Change Please will be our new coffee partner. Members were impressed with the award winning coffee blends with the majority stating the taste and flavour was better than our current coffee provider. The majority of members also preferred it to a major high street brand. Members were also impressed by the ethics and mission of the company, where 100% of profits go to helping the homeless. A big thank you to everyone who took part in the trial and gave feedback. We will introduce Change Please from early next month and we can’t wait to start serving their exciting coffee blends for you.#changeplease #club #coffee #davidlloydmk
Less Perfection. More Present.
Probably most importantly, I’m going to try and let go of striving for perfection, in favour of being more present. This is a constant struggle for me as a perfectionist. I’m always striving for better – to make a nicer house, a shop for a nicer wardrobe without ruining the environment, to be a better cook, a better writer, a better photographer, to improve our world, and it’s pretty exhausting!
My 2020 Vision Pinterest Board
So to try and keep me on track, I am going to print out a 2020 Vision Board that I made at a Pinterest event. This could be something to try yourself as it’s so easy and quick to do.
Who knows if my 2020 vision will come true, I guess we will see this time next year!