I know it’s not just me, and I know that by saying this I sound old, but I am old(er) and it is true! Time flies by so fast these days that in the blink of an eye it seems another year has passed and we are all another year older. I assume this sense of time passing more quickly as we age is due to us as individuals slowing down, taking longer to do things, because we can no longer ‘pull an all nighter’ and survive the next day. Or maybe its the time we waste walking into rooms or up stairs only to forget why we did it and so spending copious amounts of our day retracing our steps in the hope of invoking our memories. Whatever the reason, time sure is hard to keep up with these days.
I’m sitting here now at 2:30pm. It’s the 27th December. I am weighed down by an excess of overindulgence on carbs (probably slouched in a similar position as half the adult population, cradling an overstretched gut and swallowing antacid medication like its crack cocaine and I just can’t get enough! I’m happy enough in my wallowing though. I’m still wearing my dressing gown. Outside, hubby and two of our grown up boys are working on one of the classic cars. Daughter in-laws are lounging, knitting, sewing, snoozing. I’m writing this blog.
I should be mopping the kitchen floor and clearing away the debris of Christmas gifts and food but have decided that can wait a little longer, our open house isn’t until tomorrow evening so the crumbs, packaging and piles of gifts can scatter the entire house for another 48 hours before they get whisked away into bins and bedrooms to make way for friends and their left over Christmas excessing in our annual opportunity to swap weird food and drink, excess cheese and chocolate and strange concoctions made with dinner left overs. Its become a tradition.
As has looking back on my positive resolutions and targets set at the end of 2017 and see how I ‘performed’ throughout the year. I try to give myself positive words to live by and achievable targets to work to for the year. 2018 was my year of Learn Apply Interact , I have to say I started off with maximum gusto and engaged with two fab people who I met via twitter to help kick-start my plan. Petra Kravos helped me set up rosetintedramblings.blog using wordpress.org and cerdynvilla.co.uk. She was a star and in exchange for a free weekend at our B&B came down and spent a few hours with me fighting our super-slow broadband and helping me get to grips with some basics. it was challenging (for her), I’m not particularly IT savvy and our internet runs from some old frayed string and the end of a very long cord….. but she kept her cool and was super professional and extremely helpful. The lovely Katy MacKenzie designed me a media kit which sits on my blog for anyone who wishes to ‘work with me’. However I still, despite my initial intentions, use my blog solely for the ‘venting of my spleen’ and sharing of my inner thoughts. I have yet to entice anyone into asking me to write for them, review a product or send me a freebie of any kind. But maybe that’s not whats right for me. Maybe I’m too eclectic in my views and opinions voiced on my blog . I shall remain true to myself and see what happens
Here are my achievements from 2018
- I wanted to strive for 750 twitter followers. As of today I have 1037 which is astounding. Whats more fabulous is that there is a good proportion of those who are interactive and a lovely group of tweeps who I now consider friends. I even managed to actually meet one in person. The lovely Lisa Dellar (@LittleOrangeDog and @Hugs) and very nearly, on two occasions met the delightful Tracey (Mrs A) and Julie (Picking Up Toys), maybe 2019 will be our year. I still feel I haven’t quite managed to get to grips with twitter to its fullest so i feel i am still missing out on some of its benefits. I’m not using lists, moments etc and I feel i really should be.
- I still love Facebook as a way f keeping in touch with family and friends but am certainly finding that for business and promoting my glass work, Twitter seems to be doing a better job. However, i still maintain business pages via Facebook. Our B&B, Cerdyn Villa now has 423 followers (from 375, is 13% up) but what’s best is that there are people who have visited us who now regularly keep in touch via this page, and that is truly lovely. My arts page @BerniGlassArt has 826 likes (from 753 , that up 9.5%), I’d targeted 1000 but up is up. What I really want for both pages is more reviews…. yes that is a hint, so if you’ve interacted with either my glass, art or B&B I’d be most grateful xxxxxx
- As far as my blog goes, I really would like to increase my readership, mainly so i can justify to hubby the amount of time I spend on it. It would be nice to feel I’m nt jus writing for myself. But how to do that? if anyone knows and wants to help me achieve this I’m happy to do a skills swap for a lovely thing made of glass or a stay in our B&B …
- I’m most excited to say that I upped my game on both teaching and commission work this year. I am so happy that i ran a few private day workshops and my first weekend workshop from my home studio last year. Teaching on a one (two) to one basis is so rewarding. A person an achieve so much even if they believe hey are a clutsy novice with a full day of private tuition. Its been a real joy. I’ve had mum and daughter days, husband and wife, and best mates sharing their time here and going home with fabulous stained glass creations. (Unabashed plug warning….. if you fancy treating yourself or a friend here’s a link to what a workshop entails and costs). I’ve also had the opportunity to create several new designs and install a few bespoke windows this year. Thank you to those customers who’ve had faith in me to design for them.
- …and the B&B has never been busier, this could have been solely due to the unprecedented sunny Welsh weather, but I like to think that it had something to do with our reputation and reviews.
- what I didn’t do in 2018 was, a. implement vlogging b. try to develop a role as a commentator/public speaker (which is a sham as I’m told I’m good at it) c. focus!!! but i do feel like i largely achieved my positive words brief, I learned a lot, applied some of it and interacted extensively. I’m prepared to declare 2018 as a success!
What I did do that I didn’t plan was to almost completely give up drinking alcohol. I started with stopping (!) for Jan-March and never really went back o it. I haven’t ‘stopped’, I just havent really done it. Not only have I saved a fortune financially, I’ve notice a massive improvement in my health and wellbeing. I hardly ever suffer from acid reflux and indigestion; my face isn’t bloated, my skin isn’t dry; I’ve lost a stone and a half. I’ve had a few (but not many) drinks over Christmas but I can see this near abstinence continuing into 2019 the benefits have been vast.
So there you have it and here comes 2019, bounding in despite all the political and economic turmoil. It is because of all of this that I am making the focus of 2019 about awareness
My goals for 2019 are about spending more time with friends, reducing waste, being more carbon neutral and eco-friendly, campaigning and advocating more for those less well represented by our greedy, fast pace society and generally continuing to try to be a more socially aware individual… I will try to:
- avoid buying from large corporations, sites and companies that practice legal tax evasion practices and don’t contribute to the UK economy
- reduce waste and packaging by buying more from small local outlets especially those who allow you to use your own containers. I will also unwrap anything in excess packaging whilst at the supermarket counter in public protest to try to encourage the retailers to take more ownership of the plastics and packaging issues. I’m hoping to start a local shopping group where we can go to the supermarket as a group and do this together to make a greater impact and stop it being such an intimidating process
- this year I made most of the christmas presents that I gave, the rest I bought from independent local artisans.. It will remain my practice for any gifts I give in 2019. Not only did it make Christmas so much fun I think the recipients of those gifts really appreciated the love and thought that went into them. I saved a fortune, didn’t add to the coffers of a single greedy corporation and felt really really good about it.
- Advocacy and compassion. I intend to fight for fairness, look after and be more considerate of local people less fortunate or able than myself and stand up to the political and economic injustices tha surround us from every direction. I know I’m gobby anyway when it comes to the likes of Trump and May but this year I shall attend those protest rallies and make those banners and be even more vocal about homelessness, working poverty, corporate greed etc etc. I will fight against bigotry, misogyny, racism and terrorist propaganda. I know there are people who won’t like it but I promise this year I will not be silent in the face of racism if I see or hear it, I won’t be tolerant of any of it wherever it comes from. I want to live my life as inclusively as possible. I may be an idealist but whats wrong with striving for a world that is fair to everyone?
- Time. Last year I promised more time with hubby and friends. This year I intend to add days out or in with hubby without them being work related as a necessity not a luxury.
And that’s about it. What do you hope to achieve in 2019? Are you setting yourselves goals? Do you have any challenges to face in the coming 12 months? Perhaps something dramatic or life changing is on the cards? I’d love to hear about it. If you are reading this I’d appreciate a blog follow… the button is somewhere on the right I believe. If you want to keep abreast of the goings on at Cerdyn Villa B&B you can by following our FB page , which means you can talk to me there too. Likewise if you want to keep an eye on anything creative that’s going on, check out Bernis Glass and Art also over on FB. But if you want a bit of interactive social I’d love you to join me over on twitter @BerniBenton, I visit most days and I do enjoy a chat.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, friend-filled, life affirming 2019. May your friends, wherever they, are continue to love you, may new friends find you and may life be kind to you in the coming year. And if you find yourself struggling, may those some friends support you and gie you the strength you ned to make it through. I will be there for you. I have hope that you will be there for me too.
To kindness, love and compassion xxxxx