365 Day Blog challenge Day 41 – 2018 #365daychallenge

Yesterday I looked at a few fun achievements from this year and now I want to put in writing some ideas for the coming year:

WordPress

  • This blog to have increased to 215
  • My travel blog to 100 (possibly unrealistic and will mean I need to get up off my butt and go find some travel to write about!)
  • Book blog up to 250 (yeah really going for the crazy numbers!)

I need to write more. I enjoy but can be really lazy. This daily blog is challenging me & I think as long as I do something each day however small will set good habits for when I finally sort myself out & write that novel! (2020 it’s happening when my degree is over and I have one less thing to stress over but who knows what life will bring).

  • I’ve been using Goodreads a lot more effectively and have 430 ‘friends’ on there. I’d like to interact more with these people. I’ve also started to see my name in the UK top 100s for weekly and monthly reviewers. I aim to keep that up but would really like to have ended the year with enough ‘likes’ to hit the yearly overall top 100.
  • Now if anyone wants to give me a job as a reviewer that would be the icing on the cake 🙂 …..
  • I want to get on top of my to-read list on netgalley so it’s somewhere closer to 80% of books read. I got really carried away a while back requesting books so now I need to get them read and increase my standing.
  • It’s all books and blogs innit 🙂

My main goals though this year are to be less invisible, to get my name out there in various positive ways, to work on my health and live the life I want to lead rather than the life my depression left me with. I’ve made great strides over the years and now it’s time to take it to next level. I mentioned yesterday about setting unrealistic goals. I don’t want this to be unrealistic so I’m not putting figures on it. I want it to be a work in progress so I haven’t decided yet how far I’ll push my holistic side-business, whether I’ll go for that promotion (if one occurs) or how many pounds I’ll lose.

I’ve started by putting a few things in place and I’m raring to go so see you in a years time to see how far I got with this…

 

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365 Day Blog challenge Day 37 – Boxing Day #365daychallenge

Hope everyone that celebrates had a lovely Christmas Day. For us here in the UK the day after is Boxing Day a bank holiday so steeped in tradition I had to look up the meaning on Wikipedia!

Meaning: mid 19th century: from the custom of giving tradespeople a Christmas box on this day.

Reality: another bank holiday for many people, lots of leftover Turkey to eat and the start of the new year half price sales.

There are no trains running (at least in my part of England), the buses aren’t even running on Sunday times they’re so infrequent so unless you have a car, it’s another excuse to snuggle up inside and watch more rubbish TV.

I attempted to go out and get some essential food bits (my sale shopping started online yesterday and will continue in the shops tomorrow) so a taxi ride back home later and I’m back in my pyjamas and one of the books I got for Christmas.

Happy holidays everyone 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 35 – Christmas Eve #365daychallenge

I probably should wait a few more days to post especially as I’ll probably have the total to 225 books by the end of the year this but it’s Christmas Eve and I wanted something quick to post. It’s fascinating to go back and look again at everything I’ve read. Freaky to see that nearly 6 million other people have read Harry Potter as I’ve just done. That’s insane readership.
All my book reviews can be found on Goodreads or on WordPress here
kirk72.wordpress.com.
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2017

TOTALS

I read 63,899 pages across 221 booksImg bookstack 360


Dead over Heels by Theresa Braun
SHORTEST BOOK
38 pages
Dead over Heels
by Theresa Braun
LONGEST BOOK
992 pages
The Talisman
by Peter Straub
The Talisman by Peter Straub
AVERAGE LENGTH
290 pages

MOST POPULAR
5,872,212

people also read

Harry Potter and the Philosopher…
by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Angels, Orion Plain and Simple by Beleta Greenaway
LEAST POPULAR
1

person also read

Angels, Orion Plain and Simple
by Beleta Greenaway

MY AVERAGE RATING FOR 2017

3.8

Seven Kings of England by Geoffrey Trease
HIGHEST RATED ON GOODREADS
Seven Kings of England: An inspiring historical account of England’s monarchy
by Geoffrey Trease

it was amazing

5.00 average

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole
My first review of the year

365 Day Blog challenge Day 25 – Christmas Part 2 #365daychallenge

I really don’t know what has come over me this year. I’ve spent a good 12-15 years avoiding Christmas as much as possible apart from visiting family on the day and then coming home again for lunch with myself and kids. Then last year I changed things up a bit by inviting my mum on Christmas day and doing the cooking. Actual cooking rather than something half hearted.
This year! This year my mum is coming again. I’ve all the food bought and ready. But I feel I like I’ve definitely expelled my inner Grinch. I took part in the Icelandic book swap tradition, I’ve joined Secret Santa, and donated goods for the hamper collection for a centre for the elderly.
This lunch time I joined some colleagues to watch the office carol singers. I did mostly go to support my friend who is part of the choir but it was nice to sit with 3 colleagues I don’t get to spend much time with and just enjoy half hour of chat and getting into the Christmas spirit. One of them has decided that we all have to join the choir next year. Not sure the world is ready for my singing but another sign I’m coming out whatever long standing social hibernation I’ve been in as I haven’t automatically said no.
And you know, it’s a nice feeling. I had some news yesterday that means I will have less money now that I have had so will have to really start to master the budgeting I’ve been trying to do. But at the same time I feel freer now to do things than ever before.
I quite like this Christmas spirit. Not sure I’m ready yet to fully embrace the jumpers and endless movies but I’m in a good place and looking forward to whatever comes next

365 Day Blog challenge Day 23 – New Rules #365daychallenge

I’ve woken up a few times this week with the sing New Rules by Dua Lipa stuck in my head. This is a song about who she needs to not be taking her ex-partner back. I often get songs stuck in my head and after looking up the lyrics find some way to adapt them to something going on with my life.

 The last few years have seen big changes within my life – I found a meme about a caterpillar changing over the years.

2016 – The Caterpillar; The year of purging

2017- The Cocoon The year of restructuring

2018- The Butterfly The year of actualisation

 And it does feel that way. 2016 was a tough year full of illness, struggles with work and succumbing to my debt issues. I had to learn to let go of a lot of this, learn to adapt more and move away from the things that were toxic within my life.

2017 – definitely restructuring my life. The last few blogs have detailed this. And while I have changed many things there are still 2 key areas to work on: health and relationships.

 2018 – I’ve started the realisation process a month early in December J  I’ve talked more about the past and my childhood this year than I have in probably the last 30 years and it has brought about realisations and now I need to act on them.

 So I need New Rules to do this. I haven’t thought of them yet apart from maybe eat my fruit! It’s something I’ll be having a think about over the next few weeks.

 What new rules so you want to have for 2018?

I’ve got new rules, I count ’em
I’ve got new rules, I count ’em
I’ve gotta tell them to myself
I’ve got new rules, I count ’em
I’ve gotta tell them to myself

I keep pushin’ forwards

365 Day Blog challenge Day 22 – Day in the Life (work) #365daychallenge

I was hoping to do this but realised my work life could well be incredibly boring for most people & so this will probably be a short blog! I spent many years as a work coach for the government helping people on benefits into work which I loved but you can only do it so long before burn out so in early 2016 I put in for a promotion and was lucky enough to get through. I now spend my days delving into benefit systems analysing how they and people work within certain topics and looking for ways to improve this. Once done I write a report which goes to senior leaders who then have the ability to make the changes I suggest.
I’ve been doing the job for 15months and I probably hated it for the first 10 months. It’s been a huge learning curve. Having spent a work life time working face to face in customer service roles I was now behind scenes and away from the general public. Funny how you miss the things you once spent each day complaining about!
I had to learn Excel and PowerPoint from scratch as I’d never written any reports before. I had to learn to stop getting upset when I had to re-do sections of my reports after Quality Assessments. It took a long time for me to accept that different audiences would like things written in different styles. Why can’t everyone like my style and deal with it? Not the thing to say to senior leaders who report to Government ministers apparently….
I’ve had to learn to push myself forwards and not be a wall flower which after years of depression was my natural state. In this new department it’s all about making sure people know you’re name and good work so that the leaders and developers offer more. It’s about being visible. It’s not easy to achieve when you spend your life trying to be invisible and go un-noticed. I battled against it for most of the first year.
But eventually something clicked. I started to get into the role, enjoy the research and the presentations of the work. I might be a wall flower but I wasn’t always and it’s pleasing to see my old abilities come back even if I am out of my comfort zone for now. But it gets easier each month. I still hate writing reports but accept that tweaks and changes need to be made and to tailor to my audience. I try and find out now beforehand who the intended audience is and how they like to see things.
So hopefully who know? Maybe this time next year I’ll have even more positive things to say about my job

365 Day Blog challenge Day 21 – Gratitude #365daychallenge

A few years ago I tried keeping a gratitude jar. This year I changed things up a little bit and decided to have an achievements jar instead. It’s been a funny year. I spent a lot of it stressed and struggling with one thing or another yet the jar when I opened it today was full. We d tend to remember the bad stuff over the good stuff. Or I do and that’s something to work on next year

Going through the jar I realised:

  • I’ve repainted all the rooms in my house
  • I’ve re-furnished some parts with new carpets, mattresses and smaller items like replacing bins and lampshades
  • I finished my holistic courses
  • I restarted my degree and submitted my first assignment in 3 years
  • I started a business. While I decided I don’t have the time and energy to commit to it at present I’ve laid a good groundwork to pick it up when I am ready
  • While I’ve been on less trips this year I’ve been out more. I have had  a few drinking nights out which I’d stopped doing. I’e been back to concerts and even a TV taping.
  • While I didn’t get to go on a holiday I did get to have a few weekends away with friends
  • I won a number of competitions
  • And my friends have shown me nothing but love and support

All of which I am very grateful for.

So next year I will focus on trying to remember the good when I am feeling down and not keep it all locked in a jar. Doing a blog a day will probably help as I’ll be able to note it here. I feel like I’ve come through some big changes in life over the 12 months and so looking forward to growing further next year and counting more of all the things I’m grateful for