Maggie Bob Reviews: 2017

Well, that was a year, wasn’t it? In all honestly, I could easily sit here and trash 2017 as terrible year and in a lot of ways – personally and in the world – the past 12 months haven’t given us much to smile about. However, I am eternally driven to look on the bright side of life and that is what I am doing here. I started the year with a list of goals, and I’ve not ticked many of them off, blaming my health and various things outside of my control. However instead I’ve achieved a whole bunch of things I’m really proud of that I didn’t even consider would be possible 12 months ago. So in the spirit of optimism and celebrating successes, here’s my 7 achievements of 2017.

  1. We bought a house! More on this in future posts I’m sure, but with some determination and help from family, we have managed to break out of the renting cycle and are happily settled in our new home now. We’ve already done quite a few DIY jobs to spruce the place up and really make it our own, and it’s just nice to know we can settle here and put down roots.
  2. I tried wall climbing, and didn’t freak out (too much). Given my fear of heights and my tendency to vertigo this was a really personal physical challenge and I’m ridiculously proud of myself. I’ve been to the indoor climbing arena a couple of times with friends from work now and actually made it to the top of a wall my first day. Further trips took a back seat thanks to the above mentioned house-buying and the onset of winter, but I’m hoping to pick this up again this year as I genuinely enjoyed myself and would like to improve. Plus – I learned how to tie myself in to my harness and that’s not a skill I want to waste.
  3. We’ve gone vegetarian. It’s something I’d wanted to move towards for a while, but it was much more achievable once Tim decided he wanted to make the switch too. So, one day in April we decided no more meat, and managed to keep that up. And yes, you can expect more vegetarian recipes and recommendations on this here blog in the future.
  4. I’ve been much better with my self-care – I’ve actually made a tangible dent in all my lovely bath time goodies with my regular(ish) bath nights. I’ve taken the opportunity to whack on a face mask while watching YouTube ‘just because’ and have even broken out my extensive nail polish collection and given myself the occasional home manicure. This is definitely one I want to keep up and even do more of in to the next year.
  5. I swam in a loch you guys! A long term dream has been to try open water swimming, and I got a shot during a team building day at Loch Lomond. We were actually paddle boarding and canoeing (also amazing new experiences) but after a few deliberate and accidental capsizings I decided to swim in to shore. The life jacket (safety first!) did impede my progress a bit, but this is definitely an experience I’d love to repeat. However, don’t know where I’m going to find a wet suit that fits me properly as the borrowed one I was in had to have the sleeves and legs rolled up, which contributed to me getting a bit too waterlogged!
  6. I had an amazing Halloween run of performing Rocky Horror stuff. One brilliant show with Denton Deviants in Dumfries and two shows providing live singing at BAAD. There’s already some exciting potential Rocky shows on the horizon and I’m hoping for plenty of opportunities to take to the stage in 2018.
  7. I. SAW. HAMILTON. Having booked the tickets in January 2017, and following many months of anticipation, a delay due to the theatre refurbishment running over, and a few changes in attendees, I took a road trip to London with some friends at the beginning of December and finally saw Hamilton actually live on stage in front of me. I did worry that having played the OBC recording to death that the show might lack a bit of impact but I was thankfully very wrong. I’m already planning for when I can go back – there’s so much to take in and I just want to be in the room where it happens once more.

There’s been some more things I’ve achieved and plenty I didn’t get around to, but reading all that back, it seems 2017 wasn’t such a dumpster fire of a year after all. And now the calendar has turned, I’m hoping I can keep going on to better and brighter – and more fun – things.

So, what’s your plans for 2018 folks?

Maggie Bob Takes: Care Of Myself

Happy new year everyone! Is it too late to say that now? Ah well – my blog my rules. This is my obligatory January blog where I tell you I don’t make resolutions. The problem with resolutions is they are so easily broken, right? But the enforced ‘time out’ over Christmas and New Year – I had 11 continuous days off this year – plus my birthday falling in the middle of that, I definitely find myself taking time to look at where I am in life, what I’m doing, and what I’d like to do over the next year.

Getting ready for the year with my bullet journal

Something that came from a revelation I had last year is that I need to take better care of myself so that I don’t burn out. The crux of this was actually mildly comical/hysterical, and involved me in the middle of Lush forcefully talking myself out of buying a bath bomb because how could I think about spending £4 on one bath? It’s not worth it*… I’m not worth it. Yup, that is where my brain was going, and I know now I was being daft.

As most of you know, I’m currently working full time and running a household of two adults (and now two cats) while my husband deals with an anxiety disorder, and I guess there’s an element of caring for him in there too. I expend a lot of physical, mental and emotional energy and I continue to plough on no matter what and that has inevitably led to me hitting breaking point more than once in 2016.

I see more Lush baths in my future!

Now fortunately I consider myself to be in good general health – yes I still get my periodic migraines, but I eat well, sleep well, walk 5k most days, my allergies are under control and don’t find myself catching bugs all that often – so I am robust and bounce back from these brain melts fairly quickly. But I don’t want to take my health for granted, so in 2017 I’m definitely going to be taking better care of me. Some of my initial thoughts on how to achieve this are:

  • Me time and nights off: this is where the Lush baths come in. I had started a tradition of giving myself Friday nights off; passing on the responsibility for cooking dinner, not worrying about laundry/dishes/tidying/running around after people, and I would take a good book and a nice gin with me and go have a nice bath. I’m struggling with alcohol at the moment, so I’m having to forgo the gin, but I’m still trying to take time off from worrying about what I ‘need’ to get done.
  • Hobbies: I’m desperate to sort out my craft supplies, I’ve got some tat that’s been kicking around for ages and needs gone then I’ll better be able to use what is left. I need to get back to the joy of creating for its own sake. I sort of keep putting myself off because it has no purpose or I’m not good enough at it or whatever – very bad brain behaviour there I know.
  • Get out: I ‘m embarrassed by the number of days I find myself doing nothing but sitting on my sofa, television mindlessly on, phone in hand. Honestly – I enjoy spending an evening like this, but not every time. A change is as good as a rest and I need to get myself out of the house a wee bit more – spend time with friends and do things. This will be hard at the moment, not just because of the wintry weather but also because of the kittens being at home and needing me/me wanting to cuddle them, but I’m going to commit to some events and bloody well get out to them.

I hope you all manage to take some time this year for yourselves.

*Of course, these sort of things are only worth it if you can afford it and will use it. Don’t get in debt just for an extra nice smelling bath!