2022 Aspirations

Usually, I’m all for a complete overhaul at the start of the year. I change my diet, my exercise routine, all the usual New Year, New Me suspects. These rarely stick, but I do find at least one or two of the habits stay with me, so I try again the next year. This has helped me build up better habits, but I have to admit, being pregnant and exhausted 24/7 really doesn’t feel like the right time for me to be changing every aspect of my life.

I’m also pretty happy with where I am starting this year.

2021 was full of everything I did not expect or think I wanted, but it has served me well. The most unexpected aspect being the baby growing in my belly. I found out in July, which coincided with Covid restrictions lifting, meaning I haven’t been out drinking or doing anything crazy for a LONG time. Instead, I’ve learnt how to practice meaningful self-care, how to prioritise my health, and how to enjoy time alone, without a severe case of FOMO. I’ve saved up enough money that I’m looking at buying a house this year and I’ve decorated a nursery. Who would have thought? Not me! Probably not many of my friends and family either. It is possibly the most wildcard move from me, ever, but I am looking back on 2021 with gratitude and looking forward to 2022 with lots of excitement.

There’s not really much point to this post, it’s more just me laying out what I am going to be focusing on this year, and giving myself some sort of path to look back on if ever I feel like I’m stuck. So here we are, 2022’s agenda.

Get back into a routine

This has been a bit of an odd one for me the past few months. Not to keep going on about being pregnant, but it does really take it out of you! I found if I even slightly overdid it, I would suffer for the week. But on the flip side, if I neglected things too much, then I would also suffer for the week. Finding the balance has been really hard, and my mental and physical health have both had their ups and downs because of this. I’ve had to really listen to my body and adjust what I do accordingly, but I plan on being a bit more disciplined in 2022. This feels even more important because I will be on maternity leave for most of it.

I don’t mean I’m going to be walking 20k steps a day, or even eating 100% healthy, I just mean I’m going to be a bit more structured with my days. I’ve started to make myself a little daily and weekly routine, consisting of both work and fun. I’m still finding what works, and then that will be the routine I try to slip baby into as well. I think it’s going to be really beneficial for both of us if we have a rough time for things like a walk, a trip to the veg shop and a fun activity. It’s the small things that made a difference for me at the start of 2021, so I just need to be more disciplined once my body allows it. Even booking in my workout classes and self-care treatments made a huge difference until recently as it forced me to get up and go out (hi Β£12 cancellation fee). As much as I try at the minute, I can’t commit to anything, I sometimes have back pain so bad it hurts to walk, and sometimes I’m just too tired to be cat-cow’ing with 25 other people.

I am an inherently lazy person, and I think I always will be. I’ve favoured WFB (work from bed) over WFH since day one, but 2022 will be the year that I finally get myself into some kind of a routine.

Find something I’m really interested in

As much as I’d love to be one of those people who knows what they want, and goes after it, I am not. I am pretty much still clueless about what career I want, I struggle to stick to a hobby and I lack any sort of drive at the minute because of this. That saying people always spurt out when they work remotely in Bali or whatever annoys me so much. “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I don’t really want that. I want to find a job that I enjoy, but I want to separate work from life. I’ve tried a few different things with my work life so far, I’ve done PR internships in London, I was a teacher in China, I’ve worked 25/8 for a fast-fashion brand and I’m now working in education again. Not really linear. I know I would like to do something to do with sustainability, maybe fashion, but I don’t know exactly what that is, or how I get there.

This year, I’d like to spend the time I have off work, figuring out a new path. Maybe I’ll do a masters, maybe I’ll go freelance, maybe inspiration will strike and I’ll switch it up completely. I really don’t know, but I do know that I want to spend time researching and chalking it all up so that I can finally start working with a set goal in mind. At least I now know what I don’t want from a job, and I understand the value of being able to log off my laptop at 5pm. Overworked and underpaid is so out this year.

This also applies to my hobbies, I love doing yoga and I love making things. But I don’t do either of these things regularly enough to consider myself any good at them, despite having done both for years. I think I’m going to try lots of different yoga classes and craft classes on my time off, make the most of my free weekdays, and hopefully, I’ll find an area of both that I become slightly obsessed with. If anyone has any suggestions, lemme know.

Renovate a house mindfully

We’ve not even started applying for a mortgage yet, but without going into boring details, it’s pretty certain that we will have a house this year. As soon as the possibility of owning became a reality, I’ve been going crazy on Pinterest and have already ordered swatches for carpets, flooring, paint, and a sofa (I am insane). I’ve never actually been that fussed about buying until I thought about the prospect of living somewhere that isn’t painted entirely with Brilliant White and has furniture that isn’t some landlord’s cast-offs. The house we would be buying needs a full renovation, and I know it’s much easier to start from scratch and just buy everything brand new, but it feels kind of icky to me personally.

I’m not a fan of white walls and matching Ikea furniture sets, and I never wanted to buy a new build because I don’t think they have much character. It would seem odd to strip out all the quirks of an older house just to replace them with less characterful but newer features. Aside from making it difficult for myself, I also think it’s very wasteful to renovate in this way. Both financially and for the environment. We’re not property investors, we’ll have a few years to spend getting everything perfect, so why rush?

My plan for this is to start looking for tiny things now that we can use when we decorate. Antique doorknobs, an old dresser, mismatched frames from the charity shop. All these things are really easy to find and can be much more personal. I know it’s a bit soppy but I do much prefer things to have had a past, it’s nice to give them a new lease of life. It might also help me be more crafty, maybe I’ll also get a new lease of life as an interior designer.

Learn how to be a mother

Ending with maybe most scary item on the agenda, parenting. I’ve never really thought of myself as a parent. I’m not at all maternal, I struggle to look after myself at times and my life has always been slightly chaotic. Everyone always says that being a parent comes naturally and that you’ll just know what to do, but I am slightly worried that won’t apply to me. I’ve been on some antenatal classes where they teach you how to change a nappy and bath a baby, and I’ve got a whole Instagram saved folder dedicated to baby ‘hacks’. I do feel more assured as I become more armed with knowledge, but the waiting game of the first few weeks of the year has started to get to me.

It felt much more real as we hit 2022. I think it’s because it was the official birth year of my baby, and I’d also hit single figures of weeks till my due date. I’ve found myself doing weird things like refolding muslin clothes and prewashing nappies just to feel like I have some level of preparedness before baby. Hopefully, she’ll arrive and just slot right into the tiny nursery space we’ve built in our bedroom, and she’ll love the outfits we’ve chosen, and reassure us that we made the right choice of sleep machine. It’s these small choices you make throughout your pregnancy that start to make you realise just how much responsibility you will soon have, and it is a very strange feeling.

Maybe I will look back when she’s born and feel silly for even considering that I’d have to aspire to be a good Mum and it came so naturally. Maybe I’ll laugh at myself for spending so long steaming tiny bed sheets. Or maybe I will feel empathy towards myself, as I’ll remember how unnecessarily worried I was. Who knows? But this is my very first goal for the year.

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