Happy new year to you – I hope you had a relaxing break. Over what was, in fact, the first restriction free Christmas in three years we were all struck down with a nasty visit from norovirus swiftly followed by chickenpox for one of the tinies (expecting the other to follow suit any day now)… it was low key as you can imagine but not quite as I had hoped. Still, we are on the mend and I am ready to jump into 2023 but not without first looking back at 2022…
I took this opportunity to revisit my personal and professional goals for 2022 and, whilst I made some moves in the right direction, those goals are still front of mind today.
Often I discover I have achieved more than I remember (a bit like when someone asks your favourite movie and you cannot think of a single one, let alone your favourite) so indulge me while I take you through the good, the bad and the ugly of the past year…
I hit that wonderful milestone when, they say, life begins… forty. I did save money, I did not sleep better, I did try new recipes but not as many as I would have liked, I did not get stronger (but also kept playing tennis and am so ready to get back to training), I did minimise my wardrobe by donating and selling, I only purchased new pieces with intention, I laughed and cried (a lot) and I stayed on that seesaw known as the work life balance – sometimes weighing more heavily on one end than the other but never falling off altogether… so I am chalking it up to a win.
I worked hard (and still loved it) and, whilst I raised the bar on the previous year, I did not meet all of my new goals… but sometimes life dictates that your focus will be elsewhere (see ‘the lowest of the lows’ further down).
I created content for Instagram and for the site here which I am proud of and partnered with many of my favourite brands including Radley, Fantasie and Tobermory Gin as well as, most notably, a year long ambassadorship with Buchanan Galleries.
Thankfifi was shortlisted in the lifestyle category at the Scottish Influencer awards – a huge honour to be recognised on home turf for this job I feel so passionate about. Here is a snap from the day.
I grew the photography and styling side of my business too with beauty, home and lifestyle content and, truly, nothing makes me happier than big and small names putting their faith in me to bring their brands to life. Bear with me because I still have a few projects to upload to the portfolio…
Whilst the previous two years passed in some kind of static blur (a strange oxymoron I know), 2022 was the year the world opened up again.
We visited :
– our favourite Scottish haunt, Elie, many times (travel guide here)
– as well as Portugal for the most wonderful family break
– the Gleneagles glorious garden party with work
– a long overdue solo trip to Biarritz to visit a girlfriend
– and, finally, Kefalonia with work for what was a crazy, busy, beautiful time and I highly recommend you visit if you get the chance (see my travel guide here).
THE LOWEST OF THE LOWS
Losing our baby bear in May was certainly the biggest challenge of the year; the first five months of the year were spent caring for our beautiful old man and that last week we made sure we gave him the very best final days he could have hoped for (I still cannot get through this without tears streaming down my face). Even after fifteen wonderful years together, it transpired I was wholly unprepared to say goodbye and I am not sure I will ever stop missing him. It took me months to muster the courage to write this piece but I can say that now, finally, I can think of him with smiles – most of the time.
Most of our planned DIY projects shifted forward a year (more on those soon) but the treehouse was definitely a triumph. The tinies are in heaven up there and I feel my confidence to tackle new projects growing… which is probably just as well…
THE UGLY (AKA THE FUTURE HOME…)
Only ugly for now… fingers crossed. Our major home renovation began towards the end of last year and we have faced a couple of challenges along the way already but, ultimately, we hope to rework our much loved abode into the home of our dreams.
Check back here in 2025 for the before and after because we will be building rather a lot of it ourselves.
As for exactly what, why and how we will do it, see the sketches and floor plans here.
image taken from this behind the scenes video
The past twelve months were a challenge peppered with so much joy and, no doubt, the next twelve will hold many of their own highs and lows… bring it on (she says with trepidation).
I hope your 2022 featured more good than bad and here’s to a wonderful 2023.
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