A New Year once more… how did it come around so quickly?!

Happy New Year!

Last year, my posts were very sporadic… I discovered that becoming a writer as a full-time job, sadly made me less inclined to spend my free time sat typing away on my MacBook.

This year however, I’ve decided that I will write little and often. As well as my drag queen posts I will be writing short posts about the things I am grateful for. In today’s society, we as humans spend the majority of our time focusing on the negatives… how expensive things are, when we get stuck in traffic or (especially in the UK) the weather. I want to change that.

I will not be setting myself New Year’s resolutions this time (although I did achieve all three of 2016’s). Instead I’m going to be mindful. I’m going to appreciate every day for what it is… a day to live my life as much as possible.

1st January 2017 – Best friends:
On this New Year’s day I woke up at my best friends house after celebrating the beginning of the year at theirs.

 

IMG_3286.JPG

My besties, Vinnie and Tom.

 

2nd – Stress free journey:
Here in the UK, today was a bank holiday – a public holiday honouring New Year’s day (which fell on a Sunday this time). Although here at The Week Junior we had to come into work, the public holiday meant that the pavements, and more excitingly the tube trains, were gloriously empty. I wasn’t stuck in anyone’s sweaty armpit, I didn’t have to swerve to avoid dawdlers and to top it off – the sun was shining brightly in the sky. It was wonderful!
keep-calm-and-sleep-on-129
3rd – today I was grateful for going to bed early.
Because the magazine goes to print on a Wednesday, the team would usually stay in the office until around 7/8pm on a Tuesday, but following a team shake up last year we seem to be more capable of leaving at a reasonable time. We left the office just half an hour later, which allowed me to have dinner and fall asleep much earlier than usual.

4th – touchscreen gloves!
I’d forgotten I’d ordered them over the Christmas break and now can’t imagine ever going back to normal ones. Not only can I now keep them on in the cold weather, but they also have the most divine fluffy lining. It’s the little things in life!

5th – increased responsibility at work.
To keep us writers continually learning and developing their skills, we often switch pages and this time, I have been given another page and a half!

6th – Christmas discounts!
Most people see January as the most depressing time of the year… not me! I picked the right day to shop in Debenhams as they were reducing everything to 70% off! I managed to get some fabulous bargains for this year’s parties and presents.

7th – I know I already said this at the start of the month, but it’s hanging out with best friends. I spent the weekend at their house again – we recorded some tracks, watched telly and enjoyed a Chinese takeaway.
img_5387
8th – adult colouring books.
It may not still be a big thing but I still enjoy taking some time out of my normal life to immerse myself in some therapeutic colouring. My besties bought me this unicorn colouring book (right) for Christmas and I couldn’t resist making a start, more or less, straight away.

9th – walking.
In London, there was a tube strike which closed the majority of the network forcing many people to find alternative means to get around the city. I opted to walk since the journey would only take 50 minutes and luckily, my friend from work lives close by, so we shared the journey both to and from the office together.

Advertisements

Origin story

#214: Why did you start your blog? Is that still why you blog, or has your site gone in a different direction than you’d planned?

Since it was over seven months ago now, I’m going to guess why I started my blog… as I’m not 100% sure what the deciding factor was. I know that I wanted to develop my writing skills, as a way to help further my career in journalism/publishing. And since I couldn’t decide on a theme or topic area for my blog, I chose to partake in the 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge from the team over at WordPress, also making it one of my New Years Resolutions – so I had to stick to it! Initially, I remember thinking that this could help me discover what I wanted to write about in the long term, but as the months have gone by, I’ve realised that I absolutely love the randomness that this challenge brings!

Resolved

#2: Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

Hmm … the one that sticks out in my mind the most, was to stop biting my nails as I’d always longed for beautiful nails (that weren’t tacky fake ones – never tried those and probably never will!). As kids we all had that one bad habit, that for whatever reason, it just couldn’t seem to be kicked to the kerb. Nail biting was unfortunately mine. Looking back, I cannot for the life of me remember why I did it – it just seems so gross and unthinkable! Thankfully, I now have super strong nails that have natural white tips to them. Go me! 

2013 in two thousand and thirteen words … maybe*

Every New Years Eve seems to be filled with so many expectations of the year ahead; this year I’ll get my dream job, this year I’ll go on the trip of a lifetime, this year I’ll get my own place … but once again, it was just not meant to be.

Even though I didn’t achieve any of the major “reappearing” goals listed above, 2013 was filled with numerous mini-triumphs instead. I passed my driving test, albeit third time lucky, back in January on a super sunny day – every detail of the day seems to be etched into my memory for all eternity! This allowed me to finally quit retail (don’t get me wrong, I loved the staff but I was only there to fund my driving lessons). I was then free to pursue my career in journalism and publishing.

Through working at NG Kids magazine, I was lucky enough to attend the NTAs (National Television Awards) and the VIP After Party at the O2 Arena in London, which was super exciting. I even plucked up the courage to speak to David Weir, four time gold medal champion at London 2012, which was an incredible honour since my family and I were in the stadium, roaring him to victory, when he won his second gold on the 4th September (T54 1,500m). I also covered the European Premiere of Oz: The Great and Powerful; although I couldn’t feel my feet on the way home, it was most certainly an invigorating experience! I also began managing the Like it, Make it section of the magazine. This includes generating the craft idea, sourcing and obtaining all of the ingredients/materials required, planning each step, preparing a ‘here’s one I made earlier’, running the entire photo shoot on the day and finally, writing the double page spread; all on a monthly basis. It’s been hard work but it has been so much fun! Another big task for me at NGK, was that I solely arranged and organised a three day event – the Pet Expo 2013 held at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. I thoroughly enjoyed succeeding in the challenge presented to me and subsequently enjoyed managing our stand at throughout build up, the event itself and pack down (even if a dog did decide to cock a leg on my fake ivy!). Finally, I was given the most amazing honour in being asked to present alongside Dr Jane Goodall at her Roots & Shoots Awards Ceremony. To this day, I still cannot believe that I shared the stage with such an influential and inspiring individual! Needless to say, I have begun looking into Gorilla Trek’s … to be taken in (hopefully) the very near future.

In other news … I finally created my career portfolio in the summer, in which the online version can be found at clippings.me/chloemayward (enjoy!) and it would be great to hear your thoughts! I also started networking in order to meet other journalists, I made my freelance business cards and began freelancing for various iPad magazines in my spare time. This found me at the world conference of Thor: The Dark World, held at the Dorchester Hotel. One word … breathtaking!

Aside from the Pet Expo 2013, I immersed myself into the world of events, my back up plan to journalism! Firstly, I managed the mask making section within our NGK jungle tent at the Lollibop festival, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Kids certainly do come out with the funniest and most unpredictable things! Finally, towards the end of the year I became the production runner for the 12 Days of Christmas Parade, which brought Santa to Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford. I also agreed to be a lantern bearing elf for the nine ladies dancing (since this parade had a modern twist, they were nine fantastic Bollywood dancers) – just seeing the little kids faces light up as we danced past and the fake snow feel, made the hard work all worth it! I do hope that I can take part in more events and festivals in the year ahead.

I know these are not triumphs as such, but I also travelled to Barcelona and stayed just off the famous Las Ramblas, treated my entire family to a weekend at Thorpe park in the new Crash Pad (we’re all roller coaster junkies and of course addicted to laughter), went to Pentatonix’s first London gig (if you haven’t heard of them, check out their Daft Punk medley asap) and finally went to see Les Misérables in the west end (and am still singing the entire soundtrack week after week!). So it’s been a relatively positive year!

Even though we lost a very treasured family member this year, who at the age at 104 and a half (those extra months are always important at that age) still had all of her marbles, she is now with her beloved husband. She will always be in our hearts.

Looking forward, as a 2014 New Years Resolution (that has not graced my list before), I have accepted a cool 365 day blogging challenge, where various blogging prompts are provided so that you don’t run out of ideas. However, I’ll state this now … I’ll only be completing the topics I feel comfortable in writing as I had a sneak peak at what January has to offer the other day and some of them are more personal diary entry than widely available blog post! Bring it on!

HAPPY NEW YEAR and all the best for 2014! 

For anyone who would also like to take up the 365 day challenge, it can be found here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/postaday/ebook-365-writing-prompts/

* Confession time – OK maybe a word count of 2,013 was a bit optimistic, but I gave it a good go!