Hello! How was your Christmas and New Year break? This is going to be a totally honest and more personal post and one I have been trying to get my head around writing. I was unwell with a bad cold when we travelled to La Gomera but the sun and rest did me good! Then when we got back it was full on festive prep but I was unwell again over Christmas with some sort of virus and it totally knocked me out! Plus we seemed to get bad news after bad news! And who else struggles to cope when everyone is at home for two plus weeks? Or it is just me?
First of all my brother-in-law passed away in the early hours of Christmas morning, we got the call at 8.00 am. Now this wasn't unexpected, Jeremy was downs syndrome, had dementia and had been very sick back in May with double pneumonia and on palliative care when he came home from hospital. But it is still sad - he had just turned 60 though and had enjoyed pretty good health his whole life. I had been overseeing Jeremy's care and finances for about 18 years, I've known him for 30 years, fought really hard for him on many occasions and it was an absolute pleasure to do so, he really was a lovely man, a true gent and loved by everyone he met. I am currently organising his funeral.
Then we had to make the decision to have our cat Pebbles put to sleep on 27th December. She was 16 and had been the children's childhood pet, it seemed that she had fulfilled her role and as they are now growing up and leaving home it was her time to go. I can't say I am a cat lover and the last few months had been challenging with litter tray etc but I still felt sad at the end of an era.
Now I promise in amongst the bereavements and illness I did also have some fun! We met up with my sisters and their families for lunch and ice skating at Hampton Court and we had all the family together on Boxing Day and played games. Then my very good school friend visited us for New Years Eve and we always enjoy a giggle together. And like the rest of the nation I laughed a lot at the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special!
But it wasn't about sequins and posh dresses so not many photos! It was mainly comfy clothes for chill out time and the last thing I felt like doing was taking outfit pics!
And so onto planning for 2020
But what now for the me and my blog - what do I have planned for 2020 and what is in my head!? I have to be honest here and say some aspects of social media are really bothering me. Mainly Instagram and the world of the 'influencer', the amount of time you need to give to be visible on social media can be overwhelming and just not practical. Now if I was doing this as a job then I would have to give it more time but I am not - this always was and mostly still is - a personal hobby. I love to write and I love to share ideas. But I don't want to encourage others to buy endless 'stuff' they don't really need.
I am a self-confessed shopaholic but even I am finding the current culture for so much excess just a bit too much and nowhere is it more apparent that the world of instagram and the influencer trend.
I also realised I am far more 'introverted' than I thought I was or is it just getting older? But lots of functions and meet ups just aren't for me. I have a life and family too and they are my priority. But I do love to get an invitation to London occasionally and I have had some fabulous opportunities but I will not beat myself up for not being invited or going to everything.
Therefore my plan for 2020 is to go back to my original brief - to focus on my blog, to return to the basics of why I wanted to blog - to write for me. To write about what I am doing to be fabulous (and I don't always feel fabulous). And share with others in the hope that I have something useful to say that might help or inspire someone else. That does mean that sometimes I will share fashion or products I have bought that I love and want to recommend. And occasionally I might be gifted something but I am removing the pressure from that and really thinking about what I need, just the same as if I was buying the item. I am going to try and relax a bit in the daunting world of instagram, I shall post to my own timetable and routine.
I found a fabulous blog that is going to help me with my productivity and blog planning too - check out How to Plan Your New Year here.
A goal for 2020
Do you have a word for 2020? This seems to be a good way of focusing your goals and although it is not something I am really serious about, I did keep coming back to the same thought - MINIMALIST - buying and having less. The lurking 'less is more' mantra I have been discussing for some while on here is still there. My decluttering is a work in progress but I also need to buy less in the first place! I need to tame my 'shopaholic' tendencies!
As you know my daughter is away during term time at university but I am also facing full on empty nesting very soon as my son is in the process of buying his first flat! The good news is that I gain a bedroom back - he isn't sure I should - but his flat is just up the road so he really isn't going to need his room and it will still be a spare room for whenever he want to visit, but I am looking forward to having the extra wardrobe space to get myself a bit more organised - my plan is that I can 'shop my wardrobe' a bit more because I will be able to see what I already have and make more sensible decisions about what I need to fill any gaps.
You will probably see more personal posts from me - and there are things that I have not shared yet about me that in a bid to more authentic and honest about some struggles I do plan to share - again if I can help just one other person then I will be happy.
There will be more menopause, empty nesting, anxiety, confidence, body hang ups, home organisation stuff like meal planning and I will get around to telling you about my emetophobia (the fear of vomiting). But there will still be style, health and fitness, holidays and general day to day stuff!
I have a few posts planned already - I want to tell you about La Gomera and how the Bucks Buoys are getting on or got on with their epic row across the Atlantic. I will be sharing some exercise inspiration too as I really need some accountability there. And I will be revisiting some of my previous posts to tell you what I think now. And I am going to look closer at sustainable brands, ethical shopping and recycling.
Happy New Year to you all and if anything in my post resonates with you, do leave a comment or send me an email.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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