|Image source: Drreamstime.com
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, despite it being different from other years, or Christmas as we know it? I didn't want to let the end of the year pass with some refection on 2020 - in terms of the pandemic, the blog, my health and also my hopes for 2021.
What a year it's been, eh? This time last year, I swore that 2020 would be my year - by that I mean, the year that I waved goodbye to 20 years of illness and finally got to move on with life. On January 1st 2020, I received some devastating news about a very close relative of my best friend, which affected me as though it was a member of my own family as I'd known him since he was a baby. All of January was a bit of a blur for me because my heart ached so much for the family, who are like my second family, even much more than my In-Laws. I just felt very sad knowing there was nothing I could do to help them. Life really is very short.
In February, I decided it was time to start with my plans for improving my health - I continued with physio for bulging discs in my neck and as I had always experienced fantastic results when I received IV vitamins & minerals when I went to Germany for treatment, and I found somewhere around half an hour from me, which offered this service (I did my research and it was a proper clinic, with great reviews). I paid for 6 sessions (with a view to doing more throughout the year), however, a few sessions in, it was here that I caught Covid. I don't want to go into the exact details of how I know that it was there, but I am 100% sure. I sincerely thought I might die but my GP saved my life. Since then, I have never recovered. I never thought that I could feel worse than I did with Chronic Lyme, but that seems like a distant memory now. But when I am at my most ill, I am at my most grateful - that's not a 2020 lesson - I've always been that way but it's something that I think others should learn.
2020 and Covid has not been all bad though - I learned some great lessons. It's amazing when the chips are down, who will rise up to help you, and the people who you thought would help you (as you've always helped them), just disappear. Some maybe thought I had survived worse before, so would again - maybe that's just me making excuses for them, to try to understand the lack of empathy. Others broke lockdown rules and there is simply no room in my life for selfish or stupid people. So basically what I'm saying is, my circle is smaller but it's quality over quantity and I'm very grateful for those who have cared enough to even ask me how I am. I am blessed with the best husband and mother - without them, I couldn't have survived. I may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm somebody's glass of champagne - that's my motto!
I also learned who and what are worth giving a f*ck about. My patience for any B.S. has never been great but I have zero tolerance for it now. Life is so much better and easier when you eliminate anybody who adds stress to your life, or the drains, who suck the fun out of life. I also can't stand moaners - there's always somebody worse off than you (unfortunately - that's not a case of schadenfreude!).
I've never been more grateful for my inherently positive attitude and personality. That is half the battle and without it, who knows if I would have survived?
In terms of not being able to travel, I will admit that I have missed my sun holidays, but I was too ill to go anyway and we've saved that money, so hopefully 2021 will see some travel. I've learned to appreciate nature even more than I did. I loved seeing the changing of the seasons - it really does feel like we've had all four this year.
In terms of blogging, I've learned a few things, which I will carry forward into 2021. Firstly, there are so many social climbers on Instagram, that I don't really know if it's the place for me. My engagement has been so low on there this year, but I've had zero energy to put into it and you need to put effort in to get anything in return. I hate reels - enough said! I've realised that blogging is my first love - my numbers have increased in terms of Bloglovin, but also in terms of views, although that doesn't always translate into comments, which is a shame as I originally started my blog to converse with other beauty lovers.
2020 has been difficult for brands, but some PRs have been extremely honest about it - others just fed me a line ("oh sorry, we're no longer sending out samples", yet so many blogs received them? - just be honest and say we're dropping you from our list). I've taken note of those brands and won't be promoting their products again. Some brands have been extremely supportive and generous and those are the ones that I will always support ( I buy at least 70% of the products I feature on my blog myself anyway!). Others have made me feel left behind, because PRs change and they have different criteria and prefer to support those who have over 10k on Instagram, overlooking the value of blogs. I want to say a massive thank you to the brands who have continued to work with me and also the new ones who have contacted me - it has been most appreciated and won't be forgotten. Other brands/PRs will randomly send out products but no info on new products - all very confusing. I'm not into comparison as we're all on different paths - my blog is a hobby, but does that mean that I put less effort into it than those who are full-time? No! I also have integrity - I'm not going to post about funerals, pasta, driving lessons, dating etc etc just for a few quid - that's not my style and I think that's how I have retained many loyal readers over the years. That said, each to their own, it's not personal to them, just not something I would do.
In terms of 2021, I am
hoping determined that my health will improve, after taking a very rapid decline in the weeks before Christmas. I want to keep blogging about beauty, but hope to introduce some lifestyle posts too. I will be even more fussy than I already am, about the samples I accept. I'll no longer accept the odd token sample from a brand or PR who doesn't think my blog warrants being on their regular PR list (especially when I am obviously a fan and spend my own money on their products, whereas others they do send-outs to, don't). I hope to grow my audience and do more giveaways for regular commenters as I really appreciate you.
I also have personal goals, which I don't particularly want to share right now but perhaps throughout the year, as I tick them off, I'll share them with you.
In conclusion, 2020 hasn't been great, but it hasn't been all bad and I'm really looking forward to what 2021 brings!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the year past and the one to come?
Thanks for reading!
All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.