Happy New Year.
It’s been a while since my last entry.
2018 was a good year. Last year’s motives were:
- More: Improvisation, uni-tasking, shared meals, vegetables, steps
- Less: Comparison, waste, hoarding, screen time, carelessness
I have been really conscious about improvisation, hoarding, waste and carelessness this year. Taking time off social media when I feel myself comparing to others, taking up new hobbies to remove myself from my computer.
I took my steps seriously, wearing my Fitbit 24/7. My goal was an ambitious 70,000 steps every week and I hit this 33 out of 52 weeks.
This year I finally I got my restricted license. At age 35. Yep. I’m a late bloomer. This new-found freedom meant that I drove more and walked less. We bought a Mazda Axela a few months ago and it’s super fun to drive.
I’ve now been freelancing for over 2 years and I love being my own boss. My main income is through graphic design though this year my photography/styling work has surpassed my blogging. I had over 80 commercial shoots in 2018. The vast majority of these were food related. I enjoy doing 2-3 shoots a week, though I had 5 shoots in a single week that almost broke me. I’m looking forward to more collaborations with food producers and companies.
I had one resolution last year which is too embarrassing to share here. I made a pact with a bestie and we saw it through. I don’t have any resolutions this year. I’ve put together some focus points which I call my manifesto.
In previous years, I gave up a lot of hobbies in order to focus on my work. Starting a business is a hard grind and I’ve been grateful for all the business. I worked most weekends in 2018 so I hope to get some weekends off in 2019. To do this, I plan on focussing on my hobbies and going on more outdoor adventures.
Whole foods is on my mind a lot lately. There are many things out there that I consider edible, but not food. This year I want to focus on eating and cooking raw ingredients.
I want to consciously reduce my expenses this year. I’ve never been on a budget though I love a bargain. I love eating out but it can get expensive with many special events costing over $100. Last year I put a upper limit on dining out, turning down invitations that would cost more than $50 per meal, excepting special occasions. I think it’s a good rule to stick to. It’s easy enough to find meals for under $50.
We spent Christmas with family in Marlborough Sounds this year. Marlborough Sounds is a beautiful area at the top of the South Island. I’d never been there before and it is very remote. We flew to Nelson and then drove to Penzance Bay. No mobile coverage, no wifi, no shops and barely any people. On Christmas Eve, we woke up to heavy fog in the bay. It was magic.
Shortly after Christmas, we flew back to Auckland and the following day, headed to Te Arai, Mangawhai to celebrate New Years with friends. A semi-regular festival location with camping around a lake. It was super chill, only about 50 or so people all with similar party attitudes and we had choice camping right on the water’s edge. It was just what we needed.
Eat well, travel often
Before we started our business, The Koala and I travelled once a year. Travel is important to us but we stopped travelling after starting our business. It’s difficult to take time off when you have no employees. I envied all my friends that continued to travel.
In 2018, I was incredibly fortunate to win a $10,000 travel prize from an Instagram photo competition. The Koala and I made a sugar skull out of taco ingredients. This was the winning photo:
After a dry spell of about 7 years without overseas travel, The Koala and I spent a week in Vanuatu in November.
We snorkeled, gorged on seafood every day, played with sea turtles, drank kava and visited waterfalls. It was glorious. A perfect opportunity to recharge.
We’ve already booked our next trip to Philippines and we plan to visit Mexico later this year. That should use up the entire $10k prize. Dry spell officially over.
I’m officially on holiday until the 14th of January. That’s a huge break for me. Usually the break is minimal. You don’t work, you don’t make any money.
I’ve signed up to a photography summer school next week. I am super excited. Photography is more than a hobby. I’m not trained as a photographer but took a few photography classes at design school and for year in high school. There are plenty of gaps in my education and I hope to get better this year.
I’m super grateful for what my blog and social media gives me access to. While blogging doesn’t pay the bills (seriously, it doesn’t) it does put me in a position to experience some wonderful things. I’m active on Instagram but blogging isn’t really my focus anymore. It’s been a busy year and things like blogs fall off the to do list. I have to wonder. Do people still read blogs? We’ll see.
Genie, I do something similar each year. I was thinking of you the other day and missing your posts. I attribute the sparse postings as due to how busy you are. And THAT’S a good thing.
Thanks Paula. Yes, it’s hard to keep up with blogging when life gets in the way. I still keep up with Instagram though, it’s much more manageable.
Your taco pic is outrageously good. Happy New Year