dear diary :: a new beginning

Happy New Year to all my followers and readers.

After a very late night I eventually surfaced around 10am…bleary eyed, so I am quite late changing my blog header…..but here I am to wish you all the best of what this year will bring for each of you.

As always I am excited with the prospect of a brand new year stretching before me – not just an empty page, or an empty chapter but a whole empty book. By the end of 2020 just what will be written on these pages. Who knows….and that is the magic of this time of year, we really don’t know.

I can map out what I am hoping for, what I am striving to achieve, what I am going to work hard at to accomplish, but I cannot predict any of those unexpected twists and turns along the journey, the ones we have least control over.

This year as many readers will know my chosen word (whether you like this idea of choosing a word or not – it works for me) is Flourish. Maybe an odd choice you are thinking, but as one of my readers said it is very apt for me as it is often a term used when caring for plants and as my passion is for gardening then it fits so well.

One of my intentions this year will be to continue with minimising and simplifying. It is not something that happens overnight – it requires a lifestyle change and developing a different mindset. For as much as I love the space I have been creating around my home I can still fall for buying completely unnecessary items….you know the ones that ‘spark joy’ when you come across them when out shopping. John Lewis does it for me every time and TK Max! My joy seems to come from objects rather than clothes these days…and don’t forget the garden centres – I could spend a fortune there even though my borders are really jammed packed full.

As the manufacturers continue to design and market new and tempting merchandise displayed in the shops I will always find it hard to say no. Like eating a healthy diet finding that balance of moderation is hard and one I am constantly working on even though every time I go to a decluttered cupboard I feel a sense of satisfaction and that spark of joy….it is often just not enough to deter me from buying more.

Some areas of my life I have well under control – my bathroom cupboards for instance only hold what I use – you won’t find anything lurking there that is not something I use most days to keep me clean and presentable. Other areas of my home are still a work in progress and the decluttering continues but it is the stuff that still comes into our home that is the problem because that is the stuff that ironically will almost certainly become part of my future decluttering. There is very little that we need (other than a new car perhaps….oh and maybe that new kitchen) but somehow I still manage to find things to bring home!

I haven’t run our year end tally yet to see just what we spent – I can assure you when all added up and displayed in a report it is frightening. Even those odd cups of coffee and snacks we buy when out and about do add up to rather a lot.

It has been a hard year for us trying to cope on the one state pension, our savings have dwindled considerably as prices continue to rise and our family circumstances are such that we have had a lot of travelling up and down to North Yorkshire. I won’t even mention the cost of all those events we laid on or attended!

This is the time of year when I have a good look at where I overspent, then promise to myself to be more careful….and it works, usually….well for the first few months!

I aim to be more green too. I say that knowing full well that I bought a plastic fridge container yesterday…a small blip. In all honesty though when I am shopping I am going to be more mindful – the wooden toys we bought at Christmas for the grandchildren are all lovely and don’t have those awful jangly tunes and songs in American accents coming out of them, (sorry USA readers but the Fisher Price toys do all begin to sound the same), in particular the ABC song which must be coded into every activity toy. My granddaughter, who is only five and like many children, now talks with a slight Americanism about cookies, movies, garbage and trash – the influence of TV and activity toys!

But first….. my aim this month – the new health and fitness regime, guaranteed to make a difference – you just have to keep at it. I am not so bold as to start today….no today is for recovery and reflection and maybe a sprawl on the sofa watching a film or two.

And I will get back to answering the comments from yesterday.

I hope everyone has a good day today for the start of the year…somehow it does make a difference if the very first day starts well.

Welcome to my new followers on the journey – I am hoping the road this year will not be quite so bumpy as last year. x

24 Replies to “dear diary :: a new beginning”

  1. As an American, now decidedly over 50, married to a Norwegian, I too find that there is a sadness in how tv and social media have contributed to a sort of cultural sameness? If you will? We saw it in our own country too as regional accents diminished, even the food we ate lost a regional flavor, and I see it here too, in Norway. I had not thought of recorded voices in children’s games contributing, but that too is a shame. As I have aged, I have found myself leaning more and more towards things made to last, natural materials, and renewable as old clothes can find new life as rags, not renewable as a status symbol. Such things are the spice of life, that which adds flavor and charm to our lives and our travels and our interactions with each other. Best wishes for a happy New Year, Lynne.


    1. Happy New Year to you – I see you live in Norway and I would love to go to the Scandanavian countries they are on my list of travel places – when my daughter visited a few years ago she came back saying she thought she had been born into the wrong country as she so liked the way they operated.x


  2. Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope it’s a good one for you and less bumpy as you say. Although I tend to think it’s how we deal with the bumps of life that shape us to a certain extent.

    I agree about the Americanisms. Tom is particularly bad, mostly due to the Xbox I’m sure and will count his money as dollars!

    Shopping for anything holds little interest for me really but I am also trying to be more mindful of what I buy these days. xx


    1. I am not really an avid shopper but I do love a visit to John Lewis, TK Max and Ikea now and again. I don’t go mad usually but there is always something catches my eye.
      My granddaughter Little L who is five gets confused over dollars and pounds – she watches far to much American style children’s you tube.
      The bumps are one thing…you go/get over a bump but the potholes are something else – so difficult to climb out of!! xx


  3. Funny you should mention the American influence on your children’s speech. I am from the USA and watch so many BBC shows on Netflix, that I am starting to adopt British phrases into my speech. I have started saying “Brilliant” or “Well done you!” among other phrases. Maybe we are all just becoming more “global”? Not sure if that is good or bad! I do wish toys in the USA were more diverse. My grandchildren are diverse and I cannot always find toys / dolls that look like them! But I keep looking! Happy New Year!


    1. I would never have thought it would happen the other way round! I like cultural heritage and one of the reasons I would travel abroad is to immerse myself in local dialect, customs and lifestyle – if we all start being too much the same it would spoil that for me. I would like to travel to America and especially Maine and New York but without offending any American readers I must say I am none too keen on hearing my grandaughter talking about candy and dollars – it feels rather odd especially as she thinks that is our currency.
      Happy New Year – hope you have a ‘Brilliant’ one! x


  4. A very sensible way to start the year I say. Good luck with the ongoing decluttering . I myself am currently sat here waiting for the shredder to restart so I can continue blitzing away at all the paperwork that has accumulated over the last few months and needs now to be disposed of.


  5. Living in the Yorkshire Dales I am quite a long way from the ‘bright lights’ and reading your post I think maybe it is a good place to be – not much in the way of temptation. Happy New Year.


    1. My daughter relies on ordering a lot of things online as Harrogate is probably her nearest big town and not very close – she buys little in the way of ‘fancy goods’ as she never gets to see them. We are surrounded by towns and cities here in West Yorkshire and the shopping malls – so temptation all around – the trick is not to go out!


  6. I read something on decluttering that resonated with me. Just because you bought something that brought joy doesn’t mean you have to hang onto it forever. It could have sparked joy for that moment so don’t regret the purchase but let it go. It may spark joy for someone else. This is going to help me let some things go.

    I read your posts in the WordPress app which doesn’t show your new header. Went to the browser. Love it. Simple and natural. You are very clever!


  7. Decluttering is something we need to do all the time don’t we. I think at this time of year it shows us if we have not been managing to do that as we bring so many new things into our homes.


    1. I have had some lovely gifts and am working out where they will go. I will spending January at home and doing that shop at home trick so I won’t be out being tempted. I did very well for most of the year but when we are out Christmas shopping I see all kinds of lovely things.


  8. Happy New Year. I have the same problem bringing new stuff into our home sometimes, so I’ve decided to try not to buy anything new this year. Second hand is fine, but only if it is needed. I’ll probably lapse, but I’m hoping it will help make me more intentional when out shopping, rather than buying things that I don’t really need.


    1. The year started off quite well – I am not sure what happens but I seemed to lapse a little. When I know I don’t want to share my house with anymore stuff I really don’t know why I keep on buying bits and pieces!
      Have a great year ahead. x


  9. I grew up in the UK (Brit mother/US father) from age 2 on; started out with a British accent and can still lapse into one, but once I hit my teens and moved back to the US, I reverted to an American accent. My mother never lost her accent. I am a bit of a mimic and can do various regional accents–perhaps because of that upbringing. My acculturation was the reverse of your granddaughters. I had to re-code many objects: windscreen vs windshield, boot vs trunk, bonnet vs hood, biscuit vs cookie, hire vs rent, films vs movies and on and on. Sorry to know that talking products like FP toys are changing the language landscape for British youngsters. When I do come over the Pond, I still find myself dropping back into the local parlance.

    Your love for John Lewis is one I share. Whenever I come over, John Lewis/Peter Jones is always on my itinerary–my DD and DIL love it when I bring back children’s clothes for the grandchildren from JL. Good thing it is usually only once a year. As I live in rural area, I’ve saved a lot of money over the years because I usually can’t bring myself to make the 70 mile round trip drive to access larger shopping centers.

    Good luck with the ongoing de-cluttering. I have plenty to work on myself.


  10. Decluttering is definitely something I will be doing more of this year. We have a lovely local charity shop which will be benefitting I think:)


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