Usually I slow things down with my blog when Christmas comes around; my work schedule really takes priority as I try to get ahead of myself with client projects - and really, who doesn't want their December bills to get paid on time? This year I wanted to write one final blog that would act as both a testament to what this year has been, and a reminder of what I plan to do, see and experience in 2018. First, a little round-up of 2017.
#1 I got married!
That little exclamation point at the end goes out to my husband (still getting used to saying that). His name is Daniel and he is, to put it simply, The Best. This year has been cra-a-a-a-zy, as you'll see below, but I think I might have lost the plot if he wasn't with me. He's someone who never ever seems to get stressed, and as I'm quite the opposite, he's always there with something practical to say. (When it comes to money, my favourite saying of his is 'money comes and money goes', which you know, is pretty true, right?) We got married in August this year and let me tell you, there were plenty of times when I wished I had taken him up on his suggestion of eloping. Nothing shows you who people really are until you are putting on a wedding, AKA, something that is all about YOU and your partner and no-one else. I don't wash my dirty laundry in public, but I will say, Daniel deserves a medal for his support and willingness to do whatever makes me happy, and I don't mean that in a bratty way - he literally saved me some days when I couldn't take one more selfish comment/suggestion.
#2 I learned that I can pretty much survive anything
As I mentioned above, stress has often been a factor in my life. In the past it might have been due to an ex or job-related, but in the present, it's usually about the ups and downs of running my own business. This year, while my business was ticking along nicely, I experienced what can only be described as A Major Fuck-Up On The Part Of My Accountant, which also coincided with losing my grandma and planning the wedding, which was just weeks away. I basically lost my business through the most ridiculous accounting error ever, which meant my bank account was closed. My accountant came through within 24 hours of this mess but my bank (HSBC if you're looking for a business account and want to know where NOT to go) made me wait 10 weeks before I could even function (and we're still in compensation talks now). This meant I could not invoice clients, which meant I definitely couldn't take on any new ones. I also couldn't pay my freelancers, which made me feel ill, let alone my business bills! Oh and I couldn't pay myself.
I ended up owing our personal account a few thousand which made me feel uneasy. No matter how amazing my partner is I don't like to lean on him financially, but if I didn't have him, or our savings, and wasn't living with my parents throughout this period, HSBC could have literally ruined my life. The moral of this story is; I didn't die. Now I know that if I ever get stressed financially again, nothing could ever feel as bad as what I went through this past year. Nothing.
That's enough of looking back; here's what I've got planned for 2018
#1 Find a home, make a nest
Daniel and I have been together almost seven years and have never had our own place, ever. We've been lucky enough to live rent-free for the past year, and are currently house-sitting (also rent-free, thank goodness) until April. When April rolls around we will be moving somewhere that feels like home, at least for a couple of years. 'Someone' has their heart set on Falmouth, Cornwall, while I love Bristol but, hey, Bristol doesn't have a beach - so we'll confirm soon! I cannot wait to create our own space (here's what I've been planning over on Pinterest - a couple of pins are also below) and fill it with things we've been carrying around with us for years, as well as adding some new bits. I'm also looking forward to creating an office space that I can not only work in but finally start vlogging in. Eek!
#2 Be the strongest I've ever been
Not everyone's into making themselves look (which in turn, for me, also translates into feel) better, but I think health is such a personal thing. What works for one person, might not for someone else, and while I like working out, plenty of others might just hate it. But I'm not doing it for anyone else. Trust me, I would love to love my thighs and dimples, but it's more a case of accepting them. I truly am jealous of all those big girls who sashay all over their Insta Stories saying how sexy they feel, but me saying that I want to look a little better when I'm on the beach or in front of one of those ugly fitting room mirrors is another matter. It's not just about how I look though; I really want to feel stronger. I love weights, throwing tires etc, but I am absolutely crap at pulling myself up, climbing things, so I really want to work on this in 2018, and now Daniel is a fully qualified PT, I intend to put him to use.
#3 Get to know my new camera more
I'm obsessed with my new camera, but it's quite a jump from the old one and I feel like there's so much more to learn about it. Although I've done the Jessops Photography Level 1 and 2 courses before, I'm booking myself back in as one thing these one-day courses are great for is getting to know your own camera. Even though I now offer photography as a service, and have a degree in photography and fine art, I still feel like there is tons more to learn. I've even bought myself a cute and very useful backpack from Neewer, so that I can take every bit of both cameras with me to New York this week!
#5 Travel more
If you know me, you know I love to travel. I'm crap at saving for 'important things' but if there's a plane involved, I'll do it. We'll be starting 2018 in New York and then later next year I want to plan a trip to Jamaica for a belated birthday celebration. If I have my way, there will also be another trip, but first we need to find somewhere to live... Maybe we should just move to Bali though?
#4 Try vlogging
This is more of a test for myself than anything else. Over the past couple of months a few people who I admire (but don't know personally, only via Instagram interaction) have advised me that with my background (12+ years in hair and beauty journalism) I really should have my own Youtube channel. I've never been one for being in front of the camera so I've always pushed videos aside. However, even more recently, a couple of clients have asked me to make videos for them; and it seems like I'd be silly to turn down what could easily be another revenue stream. I'm going to have a bit of a play in the new year; then I'll think about whether I want/need to invest in doing it more regularly. We'll see!
Who's your favourite Youtube-r? Feel free to let me know in the comments below! And do you have a list of 2018 goals at the ready? Or maybe a vision board? I'd love to know more.
In the meantime, I hope 2017 has given you some moments of pleasure that you can look back on with a smile, and that 2018 is a year that will bring you everything you've PLANNED for!
Lots of love, Charisse