This Week I Have Been Mostly….

this week i have been mostly

It’s been a while since I posted a life update, mainly because I have had so much stuff in ‘pending’ that I haven’t really been able to talk about.

But in the last few weeks we have started packing up our house. We’re moving!

A while back I posted some tweets on twitter, as we were trying to decide between two houses (large house, not great area OR smaller house, nice area) We decided to go for the latter, and ever since we’ve been waiting on the chain. It’s been a struggle and frustrating, but things have started to move along, and after a long wait we’re looking at an early September move.

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And once that’s all done, I can finally start looking forward to the other amazing thing happening this year, which is our return to Orlando! In October we’ll be flying out to stay with friends for a week of Florida sunshine and a teeny bit of Disney magic (more of that in a later post).

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Over the last few weeks, apart from packing, we’ve been hunkering down and trying not to spend any money or do anything too extravagant. We started to watch Breaking Bad on Netflix and we’re almost at the end. The final season has been the most interesting so far, but I’ve almost given up on it a couple of times. It’s just not been as amazing as people have made out.

I also celebrated my 34th birthday, and spent the day chilling out and pottering on odd jobs. It’s nice to spend it low-key some times. Maybe I’ll do something exciting next year for my 35th. But I like the quiet and calm, especially ahead of a big house move!

On the social media side of things, I was excited to see I’d hit 1k followers on Twitter, and also gained a few YouTube subscribers since my last video went live. I’m hoping to begin posting those regularly again once I’ve got my office set up in the new house. I also alluded to a YouTube project I wanted to give a go, on twitter, AGES ago – I still intend on doing that. So if you showed interest I’ll be in contact with you once I feel ready to begin.

So that’s what I’ve been up to the last few weeks; not much to tell! But I’ll be sharing things as they happen (and whilst I have internet!) and you’ll be able to take this exciting journey with me!

A Change Is As Good As A Rest

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and as much as this can be true of relationships, it can also be true for blogging.

I was unable to take part in the usual blogging chats, conversations or read tweets whilst I took my recent trip to Italy. I missed the social side and the chats but it also allowed me to take a step back and think about Shutterbug and my YouTube.

And what I’ve gained from that, I’ll share with you.

Before my trip I assumed I would be vlogging. Why wouldn’t I go somewhere like that and film? However, during the time there, at no point did I feel like I actually wanted to film. It almost felt like something I felt I had to do, but at no point felt natural. And I knew that would come across on the footage, so I decided early on in the trip that I wouldn’t vlog.

It made me realise that I felt happier not vlogging, and so as a result I’ve decided that as much as I enjoy putting up YouTube content and that I won’t shut it down totally, I’m not going to force myself to create videos weekly. It’s not like my following is so large that it demands regular uploads, and I’m aware that subscribers won’t grow massively, if at all, if I don’t post often – BUT I also know that if I force it, the content will become bland and unnatural.

So that’s where I am with YouTube. As and when I post, it’ll be because it’s something I want to do and not something I feel I should be doing.

As for my blog, I’ve decided my content needs to be more my own voice again. I enjoy putting thoughts to screen, and of late I’ve been feeling like some of my content has pandered towards what I feel I should be posting to get views and follows, and not what I want to put out sporadically.

So I’m going back to my roots. You might not notice a difference, but I’ll notice a change in feel and that’s what will be therapeutic to me.

Lastly, in the next few weeks I hope to upgrade my WordPress package to a paid service which will allow me to use more features, and also have a dedicated url for Shutterbug. I’m not sure how this all works, or what will change logistically at that point, but it’s a big deal for me. It feels like an important next step in my blogging journey and it’s exciting!

So thanks for following, reading and supporting Shutterbug. And I hope the changes I’m making are one you’ll like! See you on the flip side!

Goodbye 2013

Well, the end of the year is upon us. And what a year it’s been! It started out rubbish but so much has happened this year that I have to say it’s been one of the best.

At the end of 2012 I wrote this:

So 2013 – it’s going to be about change and planning for the future. It’s going to be about doing what we want to do and having fun. Getting healthier and being happy. I’m also going to be a blonde rather than a red-head! We want to get into our own house and make a place our own. 2013 looks promising and I can’t wait.

Well that was mostly true. I gave up on being blonde pretty soon into 2013 and I’m pleased I did – I’m a red-head at heart and that’s that! I started 2013 on the verge of being jobless, stuck in a terrible rental house with the world’s noisiest neighbours, family health issues and bored.

  • The biggest change to our lives was when we started running. I’m so glad I did. I’ve been running now since April and there’s no going back. The fact that Gary started running too was amazing and now I have two 5k and two 10k races under my belt. It’s not easy and it takes some motivation but we definitely spur each other on. I’m planning on writing a blog about my year in running soon, and detailing the fun planned for 2014.
  • We bought a house! Finally we landed ourselves an amazing place. It’s needs some work doing on it, but that’s part of making it our own. When we’re finished we could have our dream first home!
  • Health – My Dad got the all clear after being diagnosed with cancer at the end of last year. It’s been so tough for him but he’s remained strong and has come out stronger because of it. We’re all so proud of him. Gary’s health has also improved due to treatments which have allowed him to start running and keep at it. He’s tired all the time because of the Crohn’s but he’s powering through. We’ve both joined a gym to help us get stronger, which in turn will assist our running. Magic.
  • Work – since my retail job at the start of the year was temporary, I changed jobs with the help of a friend and now am in a position I love and finally out of retail. It’s also brought me closer to one of my best friends, which is amazing!
  • Friends – this year I’ve seen so much more of my friends and loved it! A group of us girls, we’ve named book club even though there are no books involved, and also seeing my other best friends regularly has been amazing. Seeing my friend Jen every day at work has brought us closer and she’s more of a sister from another mister now. I don’t know what I’d do without her! I’m really very lucky.
  • Music – since changing jobs I get to listen to the radio every day and as a result I’ve actually been fairly up to date with current releases for the first time in years. What’s more is I’ve actually liked some of it – who knew?!
  • I saw Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Frankie Valli this year, and also sat in a room with Al Pacino whilst he talked about his life.
  • Reading – well I’m currently 17 books behind my 40 book target. Since changing jobs I don’t really have the time for reading, but I’ve managed to read a couple of books in the last week or so.

My general outlook on life has remained positive. I took a massive risk with my job last year and was able to leave a permanent job for a temporary one which I knew I would enjoy much more. My mental attitude changed at that point and anything seemed possible. I felt like I wasn’t drained of all energy and prospects when I came home and I felt encouraged by the people I worked with. Towards the end of my contract, the manager told me everything would work out when I didn’t get the job I thought was mine to have. She was right. I got another job and within two months was also a home owner. Not bad eh? Everything most definitely happens for a reason.

And so we stand on the edge of the next year, peering over with anticipation of what will or will not be. I find that very exciting. It’s a chance for a new start, new months all unwritten and full of prospects. Parts of my 2014 are already planned. I’d like to have a holiday at some point, but other than that I have some races already booked into my calendar (more on those in my upcoming running post) I’m going to see Taylor Swift in February and Katy Perry in May. I want to become stronger and fitter and get a few steps closer to becoming the best version of myself.

So here’s to an amazing 2014 – make sure you ring it in good and proper!

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All Change

My job contract ends very soon. When I moved back to my current company it was to get my foot in the door, on a maternity contract. I knew it was the right move to make – I wasn’t done with that company yet. I’ve learned a lot and got to stretch my legs in a higher role with a company I love. But it didn’t go the way I’d hoped, the person who went on Mat leave is coming back and there are no job opportunities for me.

BUT

one of my best friends contacted me a few weeks ago and told me about a position in her company that was coming up which she thought I’d be perfect for. It’s an admin job and I’ve wanted to get into admin for ages and ages. I went and interviewed on Tuesday and yesterday found out I got the job! I’ve finished my journey with my current employers. I don’t regret a moment of it, but I’m really ready for something different.

It’s going to change my life. Honestly. That sounds dramatic, but I’ve never had a Monday to Friday job with regular hours. Weekends and Bank Holidays off. I’ll get time with G Man at the weekends and my evenings will be free for running and I can now join a gym!

It also means that now I have a permanent job we can start house hunting properly. I have three weeks left at my job, a week off and then I start the new one. I can’t wait.

Sometimes I hate change but I LOVE this one. Things are on the up!

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A New Chapter

About three weeks ago I started a new job. In fact it was an old job but a new position. Two years ago I left a job I loved because I knew there was no way for me to progress in it. It was a hard decision but I knew that the time was right. The move was a promotion to the next rung up in the field I worked in and I was looking forward to the change and the chance to learn and improve my skills.

Within 6 months of the change I knew I’d made the wrong choice. The job was right but the company wasn’t and I missed the old place immensely. Flash forward two years and the week I returned from Paris I found a vacancy back in the old company and in the location I had worked in previously. I jumped at the opportunity and the rest, as they say, is history. I got the job and I got back to the company I love.

Three weeks in and I keep feeling like I have to mentally check myself. I love my job, I love the challenge and the people I’m working with are great. It’s not an easy job and I’m still finding my feet. The company has changed, there’s lots to learn and there are new obstacles, but there is room for growth and time to breathe and have fun.

For the first time in two years I’m not feeling overwhelmed in the run up to Christmas, and for those who read regularly or who know me in reality, you will know it’s my favourite time of year. I’m so excited for Christmas this year and I can’t wait to get stuck into the festivities.

I’m starting a new chapter and I’m excited to see where it leads.

This week I have been mostly

This week I have been mostly:

1) Enjoying blogging again. And at the same time enjoying other people’s blogs again. It’s a big wide world out there and I like being able to live some of it through you.

2) Realising that it’s a big wide world out there. So much to see and do. Why would people want to live their whole lives stuck in one place, sheltered from all the excitement that’s out there?

3) Appreciating my friends. I have quite a large bunch of people whom I would consider to be my close friends. I love that I’ve known some of them all my life and some of them only a few years – but it seems like I’ve known them all my life too!

4) Getting used to going back to work after my holiday but staying in a good place in my mind. Change can be made at any time. It’s my life.

5) Rolling with the punches. You gotta do what you gotta do.

6) Feeling no shame in being who I am and feeling what I feel. Again, it’s my life. It’s liberating.

7) Being proud of my friends for being who they are and doing what they do. It’s amazing to watch them grow up in front of my eyes and become who they are and will be. Change can be wonderful and scary. Embrace it.

8) Looking back on how far I’ve come. I’m a stronger person than I was two years ago. Yes I was dragged kicking and screaming through some of it. My friends and husband helped me with that. (I also learned to allow people to help me!)

Wow that’s a lot for a week considering it’s only Tuesday…..