#288 // On Manifesting


I think there might be something to this manifesting malarky.

I was leafing through my bullet journal last week and came across the 18 for 2018 list that I made, prompted by a Gretchin Rubin podcast. The idea is that you made a list of 18 things you wanted to do or achieve for the year. The thing I like about the list is that unlike the large, over-arching, change your life type goals we tend to make as resolutions, these are small, bite-sized and doable actions or tasks that over the course of the year, you actually have the mindspace to fit in. And they act as tangible evidence for that negativity bias that is always sat ready to pounce when you reflect on the year and lament that you're not doing anything with your life (just me?), that you did what you said you were going to do.

Deliberately, some points are big, some are small. Some you want to do, and others you need to do. It makes for a nice ebb and flow, keeping you going as they aren't all have to do's but are interspersed with some things you want to do.

And in another nugget from Ms Rubin, who is fast becoming my life guru, she notes that when a thing can be done at any time, it's usually done at no time. We all have good intentions for seeing people, doing things and going places. But so often, time just seems to slip us by. A year is a long enough time to action some of these with an enthusiastic start, procrastinate for a bit, let life get in the way and then get back on track to actually do - hopefully - all of the things on the list.

I've only looked at mine about three times since I made it (more since I realised I was actually doing things on it!), but I really think there's something in the physical and conscious action of putting pen to paper. It's clearly sat in my subconscious as I've gone about making plans this year.

I actually only have 16 points on my list, as I haven't been able to think of two others yet, but I was surprised and quite chuffed to see I can already tick a few off and am well on the way with others!

  1. Go to the dentist and hygienist at least once this year Yeah, when I said small, I wasn't joking. It's been way too long... 
  2. Give blood twice Waiting for a callback to make my first appointment over Easter while I have some time off work
  3. Halve credit card debt I've paid off my overdraft and am 34% of the way there!
  4. Complete twelve months of joint savings Three months down, nine to go ­čśä
  5. A day out with mum and nan in Brighton
  6. Take all the mum's out for Mother's Day We went for an afternoon tea cruise down the Thames
  7. Stay at the The Hoxton Paris for one night We've booked a weekend trip for June!
  8. Staycation with Laura Liverpool shall be seeing us at the end of September!
  9. Go to the theatre with Dee Thinking of making this a birthday treat for her
  10. Sit in the audience of a Loose Women recording Dont ask me why, but I really enjoy this nugget of daytime tv. It's just one of my many quirks, so I'm running with it. I applied for tickets to coincide with my time off, but no joy - boo!
  11. Start getting monthly pedicures I'm not sure this is going to happen monthly (too tight to spend, but maybe quarterly? There's something about freshly manicured toes that makes me feel really put together and ready to take on the world, but I often CBA to do it myself)
  12. Go to a blogging event Does it count that I've set up an April meet up with some of my favourite instagrammers / bloggers? I think so!
  13. Rent a car so I don't forget how to drive London living is mucho expensive and we live next to a school with awkward parking restrictions. I knew I wasn't going to buy a car when I passed my test, but have been waiting for the year mark since passing to roll round, so I qualify to hire cars
  14. Go to a versa class at BXR London
  15. Visit Luminary Bakery for a tasty pastry
  16. Visit The Pudding Stop, St Albans

I've got a few thoughts for the last two, maybe something around solo travel/experiences or reading. We'll see. But I'd totally recommend doing this. 18 for 2018 is a snappy title, but don't let the fact you didn't start at the beginning of the year deter you. Maybe do 9 for the remaining 9 months of the year. Side note: we've gotten through almost three months of the year already?!

So yeah, write things down. Turns out, it might help you see them through.

Do the things that you say you want to do (and a few you just have to do - adulting and all that jazz). Do the things that intrigue you, and that make you happy. Try new things. Relive old things.

TL;DR Make plans. Write them down. Bring them to life.

#287 // Bloom where you are planted

Bloom where you are planted, life lessons
Photo credit: Unsplash

I want to move out of London.

Except, I don't really want to move out of London.

It's the place I've called home for all thirty two years of my life. But unfortunately, in that time, I've watched all of the places I knew as familiar, become homogonised exclusion zones, only seemingly welcoming of well to do hipsters or overseas investors.

Tottenham, Dalston, Deptford, Hackney - all places that I've called home at one time or another. But one by one, I've watched a coffee chain move in, and housing developers follow not long after.

London is putting absolutely zero respeck on my name or the pennies I'm earning, treating me more and more like passing visitor than current and future inhabitant.

Moving out of London is the only feasible and sensible option for the next chapter of my life. Why spend half a million pounds on a one bed flat (even if it does come with a concierge who will happily hoard my Amazon packages for me), when I could get a three bed house for two thirds of that price? My friend has just bought a flat on the outskirts of the big smoke and a parking space would have added £20k to the price. TWENTY. THOUSAND. POUNDS.

But I digress. Housing chat just gets me all up in my feelings.

I do want to get on the housing ladder, but that isn't going to happen for another 2-3 years realistically. So, here I am. Looking over there, but planted here.

And in my rush to move on, I'm not doing justice to the opportunities presenting themselves to me right now, where I am.

Local connections I lamented for a while that I didn't have any friends down here, having originally grown up in North London. But I have made a few connections since, and even bumped into an old friend on the bus the other day, not realising we only live two stops away from each other!

Volunteering Another thing that had been on my to do list for a while was finding an opportunity to give my time and serve my community better. I've recently started working with a local foodbank, and I'm looking forward to getting more and more involved.

Work Life I've found that largely, you either love your role, or you love those you work with. I've lucked out and found both in my current role. And, following our office move, I don't have to have to raise my blood pressure getting on trains any more, instead being able to either walk or get the bus. I proclaimed that I wanted the 'live local, work local' life for a while, and now look!

It really is true that we become blinded to the things we once wished for, but now have.

And so all of this reaffirmed the truth to bloom where you are planted. It may not be the place that you envision yourself, but don't miss out on the opportunity to make the grass where you're stood grow, because you're busy looking over yonder.