Count your blessings… not sheep

I don’t know how it manages it but Facebook always seems to get my year in review totally wrong. If their review of 2019 was accurate I spent the whole year in Greece dressed in a toga outfit with my mates – which of course would have been a riot if not somewhat bad for the liver.

Last year I was given a five year diary where you write a couple of sentences a day. There’s something pretty cool about going back over the year (and actually now past two years), remembering what you’ve achieved; remembering the good times and acknowledging that all of these generally outweigh the bad moments or low times. It’s very good for your wellbeing!

So here’s my brief account of my 2019…

January

I had a great start to the year finding out that I had passed my French Wine Scholar!

February

I started work for my second client; just one away from my goal of three.

March

Had a fantastic time celebrating Michelle’s birthday in New York; we had a blast! In addition I hosted a ‘Pollen Street Social’ dinner party cooking Michelin starred food that took 48 hours to prepare and cook – I loved it!

April

Had the pleasure of going to see Michelle Obama on her Becoming tour. She’s incredibly inspiring.

May

Birthday month which is always nice. I went to Turkey to celebrate Mum and Dad’s Ruby wedding anniversary with their friends; it was a fantastic few days. I also met lots of new friends when I joined the UK Wine Hour team for dinner after the London Wine Fair – where my wine school boss Jimmy won an award I had written and submitted. Winning all round!

June

Two trips away; the aforementioned Greece and a day in Paris; both for my friend Sarah’s 40th birthday. I also met the legendary Steven Spurrier and went to see Tom Jones.

July

A month of two halves. I went to the Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank which was an absolute blast and much needed to help take my mind off the incredibly sad news that my Uncle Dave died. He was such a brilliant man and I loved him very much – it was just so sudden I hadn’t really prepared for it.

August

Lots of ‘work’ stuff. Decided to cut short one of my major contracts as felt it wasn’t aligning to my values anymore. After doing that I immediately picked up another contract and my boss at the wine school asked me to do her maternity cover for the first four months of 2020. New skills all round!

September

I had the pleasure of seeing my niece Becky marry Chris. It was a fantastic day and great to catch up with the family. I also joined my old boss Cathy on her big birthday weekend in Glastonbury but had my suitcase stolen from the train!

October

I visited a celebrity hypnotist to stop smoking. Three months on and I’m still off them and no cravings to boot. My bank balance and health have all improved. I took a little break at Goodwood visiting some great vineyards (and carried on doing so when I got home too) and had the fortune to have a tour around the Foreign Office. I also worked my first wine show which was great fun.

November

What happened to England in that World Cup Final eh? I wasn’t feeling my best anyway in November – that didn’t help. It was just a tough month all round but the only way to get yourself out of it is to grit your teeth and fight your way through it. I joined the local gym and found that pacing the treadmill really started to help clear my mind and start sowing the early seeds of what I’m looking to do in 2020.

December

It has been an incredibly busy social month catching up with lots of friends; I’m quite exhausted! I’m finishing off the year in the Yorkshire Dales with plenty of dog walks and fizz.

To close…

Just before Christmas I went to see White Christmas at the theatre; it was a fantastic production and we left feeling very festive. There’s a line in a song which says when you are stressed to ‘count your blessings, not sheep’ which I love.

2019 may not have had the drama and big changes of the previous three or four years and hey that’s probably a good thing and a blessing I should count! And as I look back at the simple yet good things that happened this year I can definitely say they, Rex and my new found addiction to RuPaul’s Drag Race (!) did outweigh those times when I was feeling low and there are many blessings to count.

As ever I’m currently in the planning stages for 2020 and beyond; they’re feeling different to what the goals I set for 2019 (all achieved bar one!) as, well… I’ve moved on a bit. I’m looking forward to deciding what challenges to set for myself and then making them happen!

So all that’s left for me to say is Happy New Year and hope you have a spectacular 2020!

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