Q1 is done, three months of the year have passed, the new tax year has started, so why am I only now setting myself some 2018 goals?
I’ve just decided to set some “self care” goals. To some of you this may sound like total BS – why do I need self care when I have a fortunate and happy work/life/mum balance? What’s triggered this on?! That’s a story for another time, but the reality is we ALL need to put ourselves first, to enjoy what life offers and to grab every opportunity.
When I say “self care” I don’t mean manicures, yoga and massages (though I may sneak in the odd one here and there!) and I don’t mean to ‘find myself’ or to ‘learn to love myself again’. I simply mean; ‘things I want to achieve – for me – for my own enjoyment, to create memories so that when I look back on this year come December time, I want to feel happy with my 2018.’
This year so far has been a bit of a blur and it’s flown by in a flash. Being self employed, being a Mum, project managing house renovations and general life hurdles and distractions this year so far has proven yet again that unless I utilise my diary and make concrete plans, then the time simply goes by too fast and I miss opportunities, I miss out on planned enjoyment and I miss out on much needed “me time”. I’m sure there are so many of you reading this that can relate also?
These goals are not about “fulfilling dreams” or “achieving success”. They are concrete plans of things that I want to do, for me, for my memory bank and for my happy mindset.
My to-do list is all about London. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when I worked in London I didn’t absorb it, or enjoy it anywhere near enough. I was too busy charging around from meeting to meeting that I didn’t take full advantage of the wonderful sights around me and all of what London had to offer.
So here is my my top 10 list of things I want to do during the remaining months of 2018…(if any of my friends and family reading this want in on any of the action – let me know!)
Pink, pink and more pink! I honestly don’t know why I have NEVER been here, and not just to fulfil an Instagram post dream – I’ve genuinely heard great things. Breakfast, lunch, Afternoon Tea – I don’t mind!! Of all the breakfast and lunch meetings I used to host, I’m gutted to not have taken at least one client meeting to this haunt. In hindsight, enjoying this with a friend or relative would be a far better memory to capture!
OMGEEEEEEE I am mega excited about this new musical. The Beyonce of the pre-Beyonce era, a survivor, a superstar and Proud Mary is undoubtedly one of my favourite songs of all time. It was on my marathon playlist, my wedding dance floor play list and one of my most requested at any party. What’s Love Got To Do It was in my most-played list when I was growing up and We Don’t Need Another Hero was on repeat from a film soundtrack I owned. She’s been on the cover of Vogue, she’s done an (amazing) Bond theme tune, she’s 78 years old and still has legs and move to die for – she’s indeed a hero. I cannot wait to see this show!
This is one to enjoy with my son, Henry. At 15 months he LOVES our local Sealife aquarium which is tiny in comparison to the Sealife London Aquarium. Babies and young toddlers naturally love watching fish swimming and colourful marine life. It tends to be easier for little ones to focus in places like this, being able to get close to the glass to view the colours and detail versus a larger zoo where animals often don’t stand out enough in terms of colour, or are too far away to see properly.
I will make it to Stratford-upon-Avon one day, but for now I’ll aim to get to the Globe theatre in London. I used to work just around the corner and could kick myself for the many missed opportunities of booking ad hoc tickets. I love the classics – Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, so I should make it my mission to reignite my inner Shakespeare delight! The building is beautiful too, what a location for any production!
Another trip I want to do with Henry. Not just for educational purposes (he is only 15 months after all!) but because I’ve seen how much fun it is for little ones. There are lots of interactive and engaging things to do which I think Henry will love (and me too obviously!). Pattern Pod is a fun sensory area and The Garden is an interactive space where kiddies can learn all about science through play. *Cute!*
Something I have shamefully done only twice in my 12 years of London life! Both times being at the Doubletree hotel by Hilton by the Tower of London (great back drop of the city). Whether it’s after a day of shopping or a pre-theatre tipple – a view of any part of London with some kind of alcoholic bevy in one hand is something I’d love to do at least once this year.
With a view of Buckingham Palace from St James’s or of the swans swimming in Hyde Park. I attempted this last year with family but the day we picked was a complete wash out. Here’s hoping for a drier (& preferably sunny) day this year when we all meet from all corners of the UK for a fun family day in London.
I’ve been to The Luna Cinema three years in a row now and some years I sneaked in a few screenings (after all, I did launch and manage the big media partnership with them in my role at HELLO! – which I’ve delightfully noticed is still in existence!) and I just LOVE the whole experience of outdoor cinema. For me, it’s one of the best date nights. Snuggled on a blanket, drinking wine, eating a make-shift cheese board whilst watching a film classic. Perfect! I often go to the screenings in Greenwich Park but I’m tempted to try Bexley, St Paul’s or even Hylands Park in Chelmsford this year.
Not just another Instagram opportunity, but yes the regular spots of pretty coloured houses and door and the sites of Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove popping up on my feed does make me want to see this colourful side of London for myself.
Mainly to lust over the Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition, but a tour of this place has been on my must-do list forever! I’ve also seen the palace offer Tiny Explorers – a bookable session for little ones to learn exciting stories through music, movement, messy play and more. Tickets for this are just £8 and include entry for two adults as well as the child (doesn’t include access to the main palace tour though). I’d love to tour the palace AND take Henry to the Tiny Explorers, I’ll settle for one or the other though, as I’m not sure Henry, aged 15 months, will appreciate Diana’s fashion or Queen Victoria’s story!
An ambitious list of London “to dos” this year – I say ambitious as due to work load, childcare, baby groups bla bla bla I can only get in to London once or twice a month, if I’m lucky. But I’ll give it a go and will get diarising pronto!
What I love about this list, if you don’t mind me saying, is that it’s not all focused on my son and what he may like. The risk of becoming a mother is to completely lose sight of your entire identity and of your interests, hobbies etc. The list is built genuinely with me, myself and I in mind, which is all the purpose of self care. Yes, some of these to-dos do have Henry in mind, but when he’s happy and enjoying life, I’m too happy and enjoying life.
If you have any other suggestions of things I should do – on my own, with my husband, my friends, family or even with Henry please do let me know! Let ‘Project: Self Care’ commence! I also hope this post has given some of you some inspiration to get in to London Town more this year also.