It’s been a strange year; in some ways, it’s been a bad year, as a lot of frustrating or negative things have happened. But there have been some fantastic things too and they’ve ultimately outweighed the bad.
I’ve finally been able to consolidate that feeling that I’m in a good place in my life, and this is probably one of the most consistently happy times I’ve had.
So what did 2014 look like for me?
This year was dominated by two major events: my husband had an accident in the spring, which meant he needed a major knee operation, and we finally bought our first house in September.
Obviously, having such a big operation meant hubby was off work for several months and was pretty immobile for most of that time. In fact, he’s only just getting back to the point where he can walk fairly normally, although he still has several months’ recovery ahead. With the operation he had, it’s usually 12 months before you get back to normal.
As you can imagine, it’s been difficult for him as he’s been in a lot of pain and he was tied to the house for most of the summer, which meant we didn’t get to do too many things or go places that often. So next year, I’m itching to get out and make up for it!
But I am really proud of how well he’s doing and how he’s dealt with a fairly crappy experience.
On the positive side, we moved into our new house and have spent the last few months transforming it into our home. I won’t lie; it hasn’t been a dream experience. There has been one – usually very expensive – problem after another. From faulty electrics to a broken down boiler, to unexpected bills, we’ve spent a lot more money than we thought, which has been worrying at times.
But I’ve never once regretted buying the house and as everything comes together we’re falling in love with it more and more. After renting for so long, I didn’t think that owning my own home would feel that different, but it really does. I can only equate it to the difference between living with someone and being married. On paper, it might not be a big change, but the feeling of security and contentment it brings is amazing.
I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy some amazing trips this year. In fact, I visited both of the places that were at the top of my bucket list: Iceland and New York.
In February, we travelled to Iceland for the second time. The country is even more beautiful in the snow and we managed to see the Northern Lights! Iceland is one of my favourite places, and we definitely have plans to return again soon.
In the summer, we also spent a long weekend in London. It was a lovely couple of days, with beautiful weather, but the weekend was marred a bit by hubby’s knee operation, as it ended up being very close to the trip and he spent the weekend on crutches struggling to get around. A return trip is definitely required!
We didn’t manage a summer holiday this year, mostly due to hubby recovering from his op. But I did spend a weekend with friends in Bristol in November, before heading to New York for my birthday just before Christmas.
I’ve always wanted to visit New York and had the most fantastic trip – I’ll be writing a lot more about it in the New Year, plus sharing some of the 992 photos I managed to take!
The year saw another big change for me on the work front, as I was made redundant from my job at the beginning of February. After a month of (much needed) time off, which was mostly spent reading, I started a temporary job at my old college, before switching to my current job.
The change was a bit turbulent, but the whole experience actually reassured me about my own skills and abilities. I got plenty of interviews and was only unemployed for a short time, so I feel more confident that, if I’m ever in this position again, I’ll be okay.
My current job has recently become permanent, and I’m actually really happy with it. I work with a great team of people, who are all really interesting and entertaining, not to mention they’re all big fans of cake, so there’s always plenty in the office!
I managed to finish the first draft of my new novel, The Disappeared, and have been working on it all year. I think it has potential, but if I’m honest, I haven’t managed to work on it as much as I would have liked.
And the only person I can blame for that is myself. While I have a fairly steady blogging routine going, I’ve never managed to build a regular writing schedule, so it often falls off the radar when I’m busy with other things. That’s definitely something I want to work on in the New Year.
But I did have some success with the book, as it made the longlist in the Bath Novel Award earlier in the year. Although I didn’t get any further, it was still a brilliant, confidence-inspiring experience.
Nothing major to report on the blogging front this year, but things have been steadily growing over the last 12 months. My readership has increased, I’ve seen a number of new names appear in the comments section on a regular basis (I do remember you all and love to see you stop by!) and I’ve had the opportunity to do several great brand collaborations.
I’ve also been writing (and reading) more about travel this year, mostly because it’s become a bigger priority in my life. And after doing my first reader survey to mark my second blogging anniversary (thanks to everyone who responded), it turns out travel posts are something that people would like to see more of.
I’m planning to spend the Christmas break doing a bit of planning and tidying up for next year, so hopefully there are good things to come!
Well, that was my year in brief. Despite the down days, it’s been pretty fantastic! I’d love to hear about your 2014 – what was the high point of your year?
Watch out for Tuesday’s post, where I’ll be recapping my year – in books.