I can’t believe that I’m sitting down to write this post and April is nearly over! Is it just me or has 2021 sort of flown by? Not that we’ve been doing a lot, but I do enjoy taking a look at the year so far. So let’s grab a drink and catch up with a look back at 2021 so far part 1.
We all had so much hope for 2021. Vaccines were starting here in the UK, and there seemed this unspoken expectation that things would at least be slightly better. Well, 2021 didn’t live up to the expectations, resulting in me writing an open letter to the year. It may seem silly now, but I did feel it needed said! And as we were saying, we’re almost at the end of month 4. How did it reach this stage of the year already?!
2021 So Far: Monthly Recap
Well, as I said in my January 2021 post, there was a slight chance of optimism. I went into work believing that we were still on 4 days a week, however it was reduced down to 3. That was okay though, because it meant having a 4 day weekend! Just with nothing to do… TV wasn’t great, so we watched a load of old films. We binge-watched The Serpent, The Bay, Bridgerton… I watched It’s A Sin, and Dad and I watched that many Marvel films we only had Endgame left to watch! The rate of infection and number of deaths kept rising, so we dropped down to 2 days in the office each. I continued working on my Open University course, worked hard on Christmas With Katie, and played a lot of guitar. Dad’s birthday came, and with it was a takeaway from a restaurant that wasn’t great but was different. We went on multiple walks, and basically just spent a lot of time in the house pining after memories of the old normal. There was Maisey’s annual trip to the vets, and that was about it. As I say, there’s not much you can do in lockdown.
Apart from work, Open University, cooking, cleaning, watching rugby, and walking, we really didn’t do a lot in February 2021. We made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, visited a couple of National Trust places for walks, and continued much the way we had for the previous 11 months. The good news was Dad got his first vaccine, which meant anyone I was socialising with had officially had at least one dose. February saw me really struggle with lockdowns and not being able to do anything. Our local lockdown had been expected to lift on 5th February, however it was announced just a few days before that that this would not be the case. I reached breaking point, and genuinely needed all the help and support from friends, family, and you. So thank you for helping getting through the roughest part of 2021 so far.
Looking back at March 2021, it was a busy month with not much happening if that makes sense? The month started with me bringing back my Blogger Advertising packages, not seen since January 2017, and I had some fabulous bloggers joining me. I found out, thanks to Kayleigh, that my site speed was atrocious. So the first few days in March saw me working on improving that. The first weekend in March didn’t have any rugby on. Instead, we visited Castle Ward (another National Trust place, recognised now around the world as Winterfell from Game of Thrones) for a long walk, ordered an Indian takeaway, watched Saturday Night Takeaway, and had a cheeseboard served on the cheeseboard I got Mum and Dad for their anniversary. [AFF]
A week later, and the Six Nations were back! I baked some scrumptious cranberry muffins, we had a cocktail afternoon, and watched Ulster playing rugby in the Pro14. On Mother’s Day, we watched Ireland play their Six Nations match, and got some fish and chips from a local takeaway! I’ve just realised how many takeaways we appear to eat… Then we watched the final episode of Bloodlands. The next week was busy enough in work, I got some gardening done on my day off, and the weekend came again with Super Saturday! Except the actual last match of the Six Nations came on 26th March. French Rugby decided the French rugby team did not break covid rules by going out for waffles before their match and catching covid. Major eyeroll happening on this end of the laptop folks! So after a busy day in work, I helped Dad and an upholsterer load Granny’s furniture onto a van in the snow to be reupholstered instead of buying new, and settled down to watch the end of the Six Nations 2021. Finally, the weekend was spent just playing guitar, watching films, and eating and drinking.
Things have finally begun to pick up here in Northern Ireland. We were the one part of the UK to keep the Stay Home rule in place as long, and we are finally beginning to open up more than just schools. Actually, now I think of it, I should probably update my Roadmap Out Of Lockdown post! But with all the time off and not being allowed to go anywhere, have I been doing well with my New Years Resolutions?
2021 So Far: The Resolutions
You may remember, but I decided that for 2021 I would pick a theme. I took to thinking and one conversation with a person stayed with me for weeks after. They pointed out that I am that much of a people pleaser that it’s no wonder I don’t know who I am. If you’re always putting yourself second, third or fourth, then how can you expect to understand what it is you actually like or enjoy or feel? How can you decide what you want from life? Based on this conversation, my theme for 2021 is focusing on me. As such, all my resolutions are around this theme. And my blog. Because that is very much for me.
- Reduce consumption of coffee and sugar.
I actually think I’ve done pretty well with this goal. My coffee intake is down to 1, maximum 2 a day. Sugar I’ve just reduced because snacking was getting a little out of hand. But between CHristmas and Easter when you gain sweets, I just cut what I could.
- Walk a minimum 5K steps a day
I don’t manage this most days. But I am making a conscious effort to walk more whether it’s in the office or on my days off.
- Drink 2 litres of water a day.
I am failing at this. And it’s annoying me. Maybe I make this my goal for next month?
- Sleep better.
Definitely. My blog may be suffering with the lack of late nights working on it, but I feel so much better knowing I am getting approximately 7 hours sleep a night.
- End the year debt free.
I am well on the way to achieving this! Even with still being part-time furloughed, I am making a big effort to clear anything owed. I used a balance transfer offer to clear my credit card over to one that is currently interest free, and I worked out how much I need to pay off each month if I want it cleared by the end of the year. It’s going well, and I can’t wait to bring it down to the next level!
- Have a 5% deposit saved for a house (to build on in 2022)
I’m slowly building this up. And while I might not have the full 5% saved by the end of the year, it is definitely better than nothing. Although I am putting more effort into clearing my debt first so once that’s sorted I can focus on this more.
- Read 18 books.
Am I on track? You tell me! As of the end of March, I had finished A Promised Land by Barack Obama [aff], A Life On Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough, Evil Under The Sun, Sad Cypress, Murder in Mesopotamia, Lord Edgware Dies, Hallowe’en Party, Murder on the Links, and Five Little Pigs (all by Agatha Christie), and Life’s What You Make It by Phillip Schofield. By my count, that makes 10 books in the first quarter of the year! Wow!
- Improve at guitar and learn finger picking!
Right so I have learnt more Taylor Swift songs, and have taught myself a little bit of finger picking, but I need my lessons to start up again to really learn this.
- Make time for self care and self love.
Lol nope… but maybe in the next quarter?
- Live in a tidy bedroom.
It’s mostly tidy. I take Thursdays and Sundays to tidy and clean now. Better than nothing though, right?
- Get the DA for this blog to 30, and my new blog to 10.
My DA took a bit of a hit in February alongside many other bloggers. So it’s gone from 20 to 18 and back up to 21. So we’ll get there. Hopefully… However, Christmas With Katie now has a DA of 7! Which is super exciting!
- Increase my Twitter followers to 12K
I’m currently sitting on exactly 11,769… so we’re well on track to reach 12,000 by the end of the year!
- Get my blog following for this blog to 1000, and 100 for the new blog!
Okay so Life With Ktkinnes currently has 909 followers if we include the email followers, but exclude the Bloglovin followers! Which is crazy! And Christmas With Katie has 18… so if you want to help a girl reach her goal then do pop over and click that follow button!
- Earn enough through blogging to clear my credit card this year.
Slowly? I guess every little helps. Between a few sponsored posts back at the beginning of the year, and then blog advertising, I haven’t done too badly with this goal! But we really need to step it up a gear if I want to improve this.
And there we have it! 2021 so far part 1 is at an end. How did you find the first 3 months of the year? Were you cautiously optimistic? Or has it turned out exactly as you expected/ Let us know in the comments below!