Another year’s whizzed by, and it’s not just me thinking time is flying by. Even N said it feels fast. I feel like I’ve not blogged much recently – I’ve not felt very inspired with any new Christmas posts, but I wanted to review the year and see how things have gone. Here’s my end of the year for 2023 round up and forward look to 2024.
I feel like we’ve not done a lot this year. It’s felt like a wet year, and Saturdays are now full of football matches, so it doesn’t leave much time to visit places. Not helped by having a nearly teen who just doesn’t want to go out either. We also had plans that didn’t happen because there were more important things for my friend’s family to think deal with. I just didn’t get round to organising anything else. I think I’ve missed going away more than N has.
We did manage a couple of breaks away. A few days in Nottingham for a last minute break. It was quite a grown up city break. It’s interesting trying to find suitable places to visit to keep a 12 year old boy interesting.
Then we had a great time on our Scottish road trip. It was a slot for me driving, but was worth the trip, and something we both enjoyed. Plus N got to look out for cows!
I have finally renewed my passport (it had been out of date for about 6 years), and N now has his own passport too. So hopefully we’ll get to make some overseas trips – maybe some short breaks for a few days, and maybe a proper holiday in the October half term. I’m just horrified at how much overseas holidays now cost compared to the last time I went abroad (admittedly about 14 years ago, other than our holiday to Jersey).
Any tips for good value holidays, suitable for a younger teen and mum, and who to book with welcome.
Days out and activities
Days out have mostly been limited to trips I’ve done, to check out stately homes without N having to tag along. But we did go to Wimbledon together which was a nice if tiring day out.
I’ve been to the theatre a lot – whether it was the ballet, musicals or music performances, I’ve been loving it. I’ve also got lots booked in for next year already too. So plenty more singing along and inspiration for getting back to dancing at some point.
N’s first driving lesson with Young Driver went well, and he’s looking forward to further lessons in future.
I started reading a lot at the start of the year, and although I felt like I’ve read less as the year’s gone on. So I’m a bit astounded at how many books I’ve read. Yes ok, they’re rarely 500 words plus, and rarely too taxing. But I read what I enjoy (mostly). Life’s too short to just try and read books that you feel you should read because others are reading them or they’re award winning. If you don’t enjoy them, pick up the books you do enjoy.
163 books read, many of them reviewed in summary here on the blog. Here’s my books of this year.
It’s been a mixed year of blogging. I’ve beaten my highest traffic, and seen some posts take off, but others that did really well before decline which is a shame.There’s been more to learn with SEO updates, cookie requirement changes, and various other things that are always ongoing with learning and developing blogs.
I’ve been very lax on my smaller blog, with my lists one severely lacking in new posts. Hopefully I’ll have some some inspiration (and time) over Christmas to stock up on writing posts to schedule. I’d like to also get back to reviewing old posts on here to improve them and SEO them to give them a boost and help them get re-discovered. But I need to get into a routine again, and blitz to schedule so I’ve got plenty of posts from quiet times to cover the busier times I don’t have time to write.
Maybe I’ll also start sending out a newsletter again more regularly, instead of twice a year. Ooops!
Tween nearly a teenager
Year 8 is rapidly passing us by. It’s definitely more of a slog, harder work. And I’m more concerned about how he’s coping because there’s less information coming home. As well as the worry there’s not enough (easy) effort putting in to achieve what he’s actually capable of. But we still have funny conversations about things that are amusing. There’s lots of sending silly and cute videos he’s spotted. And still he wants to build his own herd of cows.
Football’s still top of the sports, tennis is fine when playing with friends. The teenage years are rapidly approaching. The foot size is now just about bigger than mine, although there’s quite a bit of growing still to go to overtake me.
While I don’t really set goals, there’s some things I’d like to improve and work on for 2024.
Firstly health and fitness. I’ve got out of the healthy eating this year, I’ve put on weight again, and am totally unfit. I need to get back to my walking, back to better eating, and look after myself better.
Piano. Over Black Friday I bought a year’s online piano lessons access. A bit for me to get back into playing again, but also to see if N was a bit inspired. I just need to carve out some time for it, each week, even if not daily.
Get out of the cooking rut. I’m pretty restricted by what others like/moan, but I need to start cooking different meals again.
Have a proper holiday that’s a bit more relaxing and not always on the go. But also do a short break first overseas to warm us up to travelling out of the UK. N would be so excited about that.
See friends more. I’ve tried this year, but when I’m around others aren’t available. Or other things have cropped up that have cancelled plans. So we need to get things in the diary and make the effort.
Sleep more. I had a phase over the summer where I struggled with waking up in the night. I’m presuming it’s a per-menopause thing, because I seem to be over the phase now. But I stay up way too late.
Take more photos. I’ve got out of the habit which is so different to a couple of years ago. I’d like to get back into it again.
Declutter more. I got rid of a lot of my jigsaws, but I really need to clear out a lot of old stuff I just don’t use or look at anymore.
Try and hold off nagging. I prefer to say it’s encouragement, and trying to show how to improve with guidance and very little extra work. But I get told it’s nagging and puts him off doing the work he news to do. So I need to try and hold off a bit, and hope and trust that school work will be done to a suitable standard rather than as little as possible.
So, my lookback and look forward. A countdown to the end of 2023, and waiting for 2024 to arrive.
Thanks to all my readers, regular and occasional. I’d love it if you could share my blog or posts with friends and on social media.
What are you hoping for in 2024?