The new year is nearly upon us, and so I have decided to reflect and learn from the last year. I read the blog post I published this time last year (click here to read it), and my 2015 objective was to worry less and that I was going to “learn to dance in the rain”!
For me, 2015 still had its occasional battles, personally and professionally. Some I still choose not to share, but a bully in my life, who I thought would never be gone, suddenly became gone. Having been in my life for so long, it took a while to fully digest that I didn’t have to be in their presence ever again. It made me realise how much of my daily worry and life stresses were enhanced by this one awful individual.
FYI Being a bully, an egotistical fool, someone who victimises others and abuses the system, someone who doesn’t lead, inspire or educate and someone who deliberately antagonises , belittles and is mean to others, is not somebody worthy of our effort, friendship or respect.
I do often wonder what will happen if one day I bump in to this particular being…cue Charlotte from Sex & the City “I curse the day you were born!” HAHA!
I’m over it now, just, and for me it was the beginning of a turning point of my year. 2015 was actually an amazing year for me, here’s just a few highlights to mention…
My father’s cancer case seemed (and still seems) to continue to take each day as it comes, currently with no reoccurrence (despite being a constant worry every few months when it’s CT scan time).
I’ve seen close friends and family get married, and welcome new beautiful bouncing babies in to the world.
I’ve been to some amazing places – meeting my New York bestie in Miami, party fun in Ibiza, and a beautiful wedding in Rome.
I finally did that lifelong dream of a Tennessee road trip – starting in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, then to Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood and home town, followed by Nashville, dancing on the Honky Tonk and following the footsteps of Johnny Cash, then ending up in Memphis. I MADE IT TO GRACELAND!!!!!! Sun Studios, Peabody Hotel, Graceland – I still can’t believe it all happened, it blows me away thinking about it. We also went to the National Civil Rights museum which was incredibly moving and eye-opening, and I saw my first ever Giant Panda at the Memphis Zoo!
I got a fur baby! A kitten called Dolly! She’s 5 months now and keeps life very entertaining with her naughty tricks, funny personality, loving 4am cuddles, and 6am purrs and licks on my chin. She also now has over 1,500 followers on Instagram (haha!) – follow her at @dolly_the_cat!
I made a couple of celebrity friends (well – friends being a loose term!). I met Priscilla Presley (YES PRISCILLA PRESLEY!) at the Elvis exhibition in London, and I managed a sneaky selfie with Michael Fassbender – YOLO!! I organised a celebrity party for work and even got to meet a few A Listers on the red carpet.
2015 still came with its challenges, that I choose not to share, but when I think about all these amazing events, it really has been a good year.
I’m still surrounded by the most beautiful friends and family – all whom are gorgeous inside and out, who all have hearts of gold, living with good health and with great and successful lives. Their health and success makes me happy and content.
Perhaps 2015 has not been the best year for some of you reading this? Perhaps you have seen loss of loved ones or have experienced other awful traumas? When you experience troubles and sadness, like I have confessed to with my father’s diagnosis last year when I immediately found hate for the world and decided life was totally unfair, what it did do eventually (when the situation became ‘better’) was enhance the good things in my life. Words such as perspective, gratitude and “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) came in to play more than ever before.
Even with having to cancel a trip to Brussels with my mum and brother recently, because of the high terror security situation (why can’t we live in a happy world?), certainly makes you realise that money spent doesn’t win over perspective and safety.
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences – every year of my life – but I wonder if I am appreciating them more now than ever before? It certainly gives me food for thought.
My blog this year has also given me great comfort and satisfaction.
In a cyber world crowded of too many fashion and beauty blogs, I am glad I went down the route of lifestyle – focusing on what interests me and with an aspect of healthy and happy living, slightly geared towards the subject of thyroid.
I didn’t start my blog last year for the thyroid subject to be the most successful stories I publish, but it’s a humble feeling that those related posts have reached tens of thousands of people worldwide and with many leaving me complimentary comments, sending inbox messages about their own experiences and just generally reaching out to me via my social channels. For that I feel very blessed and glad that I went public earlier this year with my story.
I follow lots of blog websites – it’s my late night reading (as well as scrolling through Instagram!) – but my problem with 99% of them, is that they don’t always show true personality and then I find it difficult to relate to them and trust their content. I also like to know that I’m following blogs who have genuine talent, skills and experience in what they preach – and not “just because they like fashion”, for example. I’m a marketer by profession, so I do trust my own feedback!
My favourite blogs out there are the “girl next door” types, those with personality and humour, and those with content that I can relate to and enjoy – whether that’s food, travel, beauty or health. I do like fashion blogs too – fashion that I find is accessible and realistic (what 20-year olds genuinely have top to toe wardrobes of designer clothes unless it’s “free gifting” and discounts from PRs, or they simply have rich parents, or they don’t have grown up bills to pay such as mortgages! They’ll come back down to earth soon enough…)
My blog may not be for everybody. Few of my close friends actually follow, “like”, comment on or share posts, nor do they verbally mention it to me in conversation. But that’s okay! My blog may not be for them, I’m not expecting it to appeal to everyone. If anything, I’m incredibly touched by all those people I’ve never met proactively choosing to follow and visit my site – that’s a great warming feeling, along with my friends and family that do support me. Most of my traffic seems to come from not just the UK, but mainly from places such as USA and Australia. Hello and thank you to all of you lovely people!
For this, I still recommend to anyone looking for a new hobby in 2016, then do consider writing a blog. It’s great fun, a good distraction from daily life and it’s incredibly satisfying to receive the traffic and support from all over. Just make sure you pick subjects that are not tired, and try and bring out your personality in your content.
I’m going to carry on with my blog in 2016, I have some new and exciting posts and projects coming up – so please stay tuned! I hope you have enjoyed Flamingo Monroe as much as I have loved publishing new content this year.
So I’m sending you all a great big thank you for your ongoing love, comments, support and visits, it means the absolute world to me. 🙂
My advice for 2016? Start every day with a smile, and finish it with a glass of fizz! 😉
I’m determined to make my 2016 full of smiles, happiness, positivity, calmness, feeling content, overcoming any challenges that face me and to continue to learn to not let the smallest and silliest of things get in the way.
One thing I’m definitely cutting out in 2016 is airtime and worry for anything that brings me down – whether it’s mean girls I have to occasionally come across in my industry, a let down from a friend, a health blip, a delayed/cancelled train to work making me late, or that 3lb weight gain over Christmas!
I really wish you all a fantastic 2016. Whatever happens, you really can learn to dance in the rain eventually, and I hope all of your New Year wishes and dreams come true.
Love and best wishes,