Leaping into the New Year | Reflections on 2019 & plans for 2020


I know I’m a little late to the party with this but it’s still January so I’m claiming it’s still totally OK!

Last year I didn’t really make any resolutions for the year ahead like I had done in 2018. I simply reflected on those 2018 goals on what had been achieved and what still needed working on. I kinda regret not writing some goals down for the year again as it was really nice to look back a put a big fat tick next to so many of them. The sense of achievement was amazing!

So rather than look at the resolutions I failed to make, I will look back on the achievements made for the year and make some plans for next year so I don’t make the same mistake again.

Reflections on 2019

Last year was a good one. It had a lot to live up to with 2018 seeing me get married and pass my test, but it managed to somehow keep on par!

Our first family holiday abroad.


San Paul’s Bay
2019 saw us go on our first ‘proper’ family holiday abroad. We went to Disneyland Paris in 2016 but Finn was a baby still and we didn’t go on a plane or anything like that, so this years very much felt like the first family holiday abroad with the children’s first time on an airplane. 



It nearly turned into a total disaster with Thomas cook going bump 3 days before we were due to fly out to our planned holiday in Turkey, and there were a couple of days of total panic that followed. We had our suitcases packed, filled with new clothes ready to go. We spent a full day solidly scrawling the internet for a replacement holiday, with friends roped in trying to do the same for us, to absolutely no avail. Everyone was trying to do the same thing and anything that we did see was going right before our eyes. 5 travellers, time constraints and a specific budget to stick to, it was slim pickings. Holidays to mainland Spain just were not cutting it compared to the holiday we had been looking forward to for the last 15 months, complete with 18 pools and water park. On the second day we decided to pay a trip to a small independent travel agency in town with little to no hope of finding anything. Luckily they were absolutely amazing and managed to find us an alternative. It was a total different destination to what we had planned, was flying from London, not Birmingham, was a couple of days later than planned and 1 days less holiday for our money but we had something that looked nice, in a nice country, on the beach and with a water park. We were happy.

Our week in Rhodes brought us glorious 29 degree + sunshine everyday and we had an absolute ball. We spent a whole heap of time in the pools and at the water park, and managed to explore the local town, Rhodes old town and the absolutely stunning Lindos and San Paul’s Bay.

One of the hotel pools

Exploring Rhodes Old Town

Views of Lindos

Views of San Paul’s Bay

They say everything happens for a reason, and I truly believe this did because I fell in love with Greece.

Started a new job.



This is actually a biggie for me. 2019 saw me get a job! After 10 years of being a stay at home mum and raising my family (There was a few years of self-employment, working from home as childminder in between that but my last employed job was 10 years ago just before my oldest was born!), I finally took the plunge back into employment. 

My youngest started school full-time in September and the loneliness really got to me. I mean, things got so bad that the highlight of my week was doing the weekly food shop. It was really taking its toll on my mental health in a way that I didn’t expect it to. Prior to Finn starting Reception, he was in Nursery 3 days a week so I was already used to spending that time alone anyway. I actually quite enjoyed it. I thought that 2 extra days alone would be a breeze. I was wrong! Those 2 extra days made all the difference. 5 days along between 9am and 3pm was more than I could tolerate. 

Luckily the year ended on a positive note and I managed to turn it all around.

Getting a job was no mean feat after such a long time out of employment. As someone who suffers anxiety, even getting myself to an interview is an achievement. There have been many jobs in the past which I have been invited to interviews for and then just never turned up for them. My anxiety won, and I wasn’t going to let it this time.

I set my sights low in order to take the pressure off myself and applied to be a lunchtime supervisor at a brand new school. It’s only 7.5 hours a week but this job was never about earning mega bucks and everything to do with me getting out of the house and doing something for me.
It has given me a life - friends, confidence and a future. The little bit of pocket money I earn is just a nice bonus!

I started in December and have been loving it.

The house



For many years now things to do around the house have been on my list of goals for the year. Last year it was noted that decorating the hallway hadn’t been completed and sorting out the shed had not been achieved. 

Finally in 2019, they were! The shed is now a proper shed that can store the kids bikes and the hallway is complete.

Health & Wellbeing



I’ve pretty much covered this already with the whole job thing. It seems that pushing yourself past your comfort zone really does pay off. Going to a job interview seemed totally unachievable in the past, and the one I eventually went to really did take a lot of effort on my part.

Despite the fact I was ‘only’ going for a lunchtime supervisor role, I spent the days before it researching my ass off, writing reams and reams of potential questions and answers. My husband laughed thinking it was slightly extreme given the role, but it was totally worth every second of it when the exact same questions I’d researched came up and I could confidently answer everything from safeguarding to health and safety. 

The morning before my interview was hell. My stomach was gone, my heart wouldn’t stop racing and I went into total flight mode. I told myself I wasn’t going to go. I couldn’t go. I was going to fail. Make a fool of myself. 

I text my husband saying I didn’t want to go.

But the thought of the loneliness I felt at home gave me strength I didn’t know I had and the push to get in the car and go. 

I pretty much downed a bottle of rescue remedy and off I went.

Whether I got the job or not after that, I felt proud. I did it!


2020 Goals and resolutions 

Progress in my job


Since I started in December, I really got the school career bug. I don’t want to be a lunchtime supervisor forever, and whilst it fits in with family life for us right now, I know I can do more.

I have already voiced my desire to progress and the headteacher has been nothing but supportive, putting me in for company training with the new TA’s and letting me cover in the classroom when some of the TAs have been off for training etc. I’ve also been asked to do the holiday club which I’m taking as a massive compliment after only being at the school for 6 weeks. I must’ve made a good impression right?

As I mentioned before, the school is brand new and currently only has 3 classes - 2’s, nursery and reception/ yr 1. It will grow and gain a year as each year goes on, until it is full up to year 6. This means that as the school grows, so will the staff numbers so there is plenty of opportunity to progress within the school in the future.

I see my current role as a step through the school door.

Complete my TA training 


As part of my plans to progress, I want to complete my TA training. I have a distance learning course lined up and am just in the midst of sorting everything out for it. I will need to complete a placement as part of the course so I’m hoping to do one day a week in reception class which I am really looking forward to!

Get a new car



When I passed my test in 2018 I bought a cheap little runaround to get me started. I didn’t really want to be buying something all lovely and shiny to start out in because of inevitable knocks and bumps that were going to happen.

Now we’re nearly 2 years down the line and I have found my feet more with driving and that extra confidence I needed, it’s time to upgrade.

Plus, she’s a banger and I’ve paid more out on her in repairs than she’s worth in total and I was told when she passed her last MOT that that was the last year she'd scrape through on really. They said this year she’d need to go! 

I’m actually a little bit gutted. As much of a banger she is, she’s my banger and I’ve grown to love her. I know her inside out and the thought of getting used to a new car is a little scary.

So basically it’s save save save for the next 9 months before the MOT is due in October. 

The plan is to work my ass off covering and doing holiday club as much as I can and putting any overtime I get straight into the car fund. I’m hoping a few grand will get me something half decent?

Book & pay for our big 2021 holiday

Private Island at the Hotel in Montego Bay
Next year is Phils 40th and we are going to sacrifice our holiday this year in order to celebrate next year in style with a ‘big’ holiday. We’ve actually already booked it after researching destinations for months and months we decided on Jamaica. There are many other places on the bucket list but they are all very much places we would like to visit on our own, without the children in tow to really enjoy then properly but Jamaica ticked all the boxes for both adults and children alike. 

The year ahead is all about saving the many thousands of pounds to pay it off. 



Other than these few goals, my main aim is to continue on the positive path I have been on with regards to my health and wellbeing. Anxiety will always be there. It will always be a part of me, but I will continue to fight it and keep it at bay. The aim is not to let it take control of me quite like it did in 2018. I managed it in 2019 and I’m positive I can do the same in 2020.

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