2023 – new beginnings and looking forward

Happy New Year, it’s officially the 1st January 2023 and I’ve decided to take part in the WordPress #Bloganuary challenge, where I’ll blog every day for the month of January.

Why take part in Bloganuary?

I’ve decided to sign up for Bloganuary this year for a few reasons:

1. Set myself a challenge, I always need things to focus on otherwise I struggle. I hate sitting doing nothing, I need to always be doing something, so this gives me focus during January.

2. Get writing again, for the last few years the only time I have blogged is when taking part in #30DaysWild. I have great intentions to blog more, but I don’t. I get stuck at hurdles and stuck for inspiration, so perhaps this challenge will help.

3. Figure out what I want to achieve with this blog, it has covered a mix of things in the past but what is it I really want to write about?

Day 1 of Bloganuary

Each day I’ll be given a prompt to write a new blog. The planner in me is struggling with the idea that we only find out our prompts at 12pm each day. How can I plan my content? How can I decide what is best to talk about each day without seeing the whole picture? I’m not going to lie it makes me uneasy, but that’s just how it will be!

Let’s delve into day no.1 of the Bloganuary challenge.

Day 1 – What is something you want to achieve this year?

Good question, and a relevant one seeing as it’s the start of 2023. A day for new beginnings and goal setting, neither of which I have started yet.

I’ve always been a fan of setting New Year’s Resolutions, but realistically I never keep them, rules are made to be broken right? Last year I spent ages creating a pretty spread in my journal to document my resolutions and didn’t even end up writing any!

This year I’m no further ahead in my goal planning so this may not be the final version of the goals I wish to set, but I’ve got to start somewhere. I also have some more personal goals which I’ll be keeping between me and my journal, not everything needs to be public.

Five goals for 2023

1. Keep on crafting

In 2022 one of things I wanted to do was make more time for me. One way I tried to do this was to craft. This allows me to exercise my creativity, focus on something and achieve a finished product. Last year I knitted, embroidered, painted, did clay work, wreath making and made sculptural mushrooms out of masking tape and wire. I did a few online classes and loved it. In 2023 I want to do more. I’d like to take the time to do some online or in-person workshops, learn new skills or improve existing ones and just keep creating. It may only be the first day of the year but I already have plenty of ideas to work on.

2. Read more

This is a follow on from last year. I’ve never really been a strong reader, I start books and leave them for months. I like the idea of sitting in bed reading a book but in reality I stay up too late that by the time I get to bed it’s either too late to read or I’m too tired.

I did manage to read more books last year, but I also downloaded Audible and started listening to books. I was unsure to begin with but I really enjoy it. I can listen to books on my commute to work, or when I’m folding the washing, cooking or while I craft. This year I want to continue the good work I started last year.

3. Progress with the cello

When I turned 30 (8 years ago), I decided I wanted to learn how to play the cello. So I rented a cello, found a teacher and began lessons. I sat my grade 1 exam and passed with distinction, but my lessons ended when my teacher moved away. At the time I was studying a professional course at work so didn’t look for another teacher, I then fell pregnant and well my priorities changed. Over recent months I’ve decided now is the right time to go back to it. I dusted off my cello, found a new teacher and started lessons again. I think this has been a really good move for me in terms of giving me the opportunity to focus on something else. My anxieties and worries are suppressed when I’m concentrating on playing the cello.

I’m looking forward to seeing how I progress in 2023, and hopefully I’ll sit a cello exam (I realise how weird that sounds), but my aim ultimately is to do more cello exams and hopefully one day join an amateur orchestra. I used to be part of an orchestra and concert band in school and I have fond memories of performing in a group.

4. Listen to more music and sing

Music is definitely good for the soul. I love cranking my music up and singing on my commute. It’s just me and my music, there isn’t a lot of times I get on my own with a five year old at home. If I feel happy or sad or stressed music seems to help. Again it gives me something to focus on (common theme of today), and singing at the top of my lungs is a great way to get that anger, upset or anxiety out of my system. I also love singing in the shower and when I cook too. I’m currently listening to music now and would love to belt out some Evanescence, but my son is asleep and I don’t think that would go down too well!

In November 2022 I went to my first gig since the pandemic to see Evanescence and Within Temptation, it was great to be back in an arena watching bands perform and singing along. Hey Siri, add search for gigs in 2023 to my to do list.

5. Learn more about mushrooms and fungi

For anyone who knows me the fact I’ve put mushrooms on my list will come as no surprise. Over the last few years I’ve become bewitched by learning about and hunting for mushrooms. Not to eat but to look at, photograph and record. I love the autumn when I can head to the woods and hunt for mushrooms, it’s like a treasure hunt.

Last year I decided to undertake a 3 week online course through the Field Studies Council where I learned how to identify mushrooms led by Ali McKernan aka The Fungi Guy (I’d really recommend checking out his Instagram for some educational and highly entertaining content). I loved the course which gave me more confidence in identifying different mushrooms. I can’t wait for autumn 2023, but in the meantime I have literally thousands of photos of my recent finds to go through and draw/paint/make reels etc.

Any other goals?

I do have other goals but for now this is all I’ll share. It’s a work in progress and others are more personal. Perhaps I’ll share more in future, let’s wait and see.

If you’re interested in following me on this #bloganuary challenge you can subscribe to my blog and get a nice alert in your inbox every time I publish ❤️

See you next time.


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