I wanted to have a little check in with you. A little virtual coffee (or wine, gin, beer – cross out as appropriate) and catch up. Maybe to help me feel connected to you all in these crazy times we are all living. It all feels so weird at the moment right? But I am feeling so positive that we will recover, and emerge from this better. Life will return to a new normal. So I thought I would share where my mind has been taking me, and share some changes I am making.
Changes I am Making
From a purely personal point of view, the start to 2020 has been a little torrid. Not in any major way, but there has been a lot of noise going on in my head. We also had Nik’s first scan since his big op, and results, which always tests our nerve. I spoke a little bit about how I was feeling in January’s post, Taking Care of your emotional wellbeing. I am incredibly self aware. I know what the noise usually indicates. When my head is full of chatter, it is time for me to reconnect with myself. Ground myself in the here and now. From past experience, it usually precedes a time of change in my life. So, the start of this year I was spending time trying to quiet the noise and work it out.
But then the worldwide lockdown happened with Coronavirus. Nature has presented an enforced pause to all of us. Suddenly, there is no choice but to slow down, readjust and/or pivot. Life as we know it has been given a major shake up and I think a lot of us, are feeling a shift. I just do not feel the same. I know I feel differently. About a lot of things. Some things that seemed so important to me a month ago, now don’t. Other things, more important than ever. I do however, feel like there will be lots of silver linings everywhere after this. We have an opportunity to learn huge, valuable lessons. I am optimistic that we will learn them. People will emerge nicer, more in touch with what is really important. Perhaps, and I pray for this, people will even live more simply and consciously. Move forward through their lives more connected to the important things. A girl can dream right????
Changes I am making – My Blog
Let’s start with the blog. I LOVE writing my blog. I have told you before, it has been my life line throughout the darkest times of Nik’s illness. I love sharing with you travel inspiration and fabulous places to find adventure. I have an absolute passion for encouraging you to live life to the fullest. But again, as I have said before, I also wrestle with my conscious. I feel even more that our planet is screaming at us to stop abusing it. I totally acknowledge my responsibility about encouraging planet damaging air travel. So, I try to balance this with lots of staycations and more sustainable travel choices. I also know that when this travel ban is over, how I travel will change. Supporting the small, local businesses in the places we travel to will become more important than ever! Sustainable travel will be my way forward even more. I am looking forward to travelling again, and will appreciate it even more.
But, this enforced pause has made me realise that I don’t want to write purely travel. Travel in all forms is a huge passion of mine, so will always feature. But, I want to go old skool, have more variation. I want to write more about life, like I used to! I want to go back to 2017 when this blog was my creative outlet, online diary, place to share stories and have a chat. I want to be useful and informative for you. I want to write about sustainability, my love of books, eco and wildlife issues, wellbeing. I want to bring back my cuppa and a chat series. These changes I am making are not really new. My blog has always been a “travel and Life” blog, so why not? I think I got so caught up in the cries of “you have to have a niche” that I forgot to just enjoy and write what ever the hell I wanted to! I began to want the safety of fitting in and being part of a “group”, but lost myself in doing so. I see that now, and struggle to understand how I let that happen. I have never been one to ever worry about being in the right “girl gang“.
Moving on from the blog, I feel differently about social media. It is no secret to many of you, that I have struggled to find a love of Instagram. Twitter I love. Pinterest I adore. I find those much less pressure and just fun and inspirational. Although I love many of the people I interact with on Instagram , I also find it pretty serious, and feel it has taken the fun out of blogging. Everything is so polished, curated and “on brand”. People obsess over the vanity metrics that just don’t speak to me. There are comment pods and groups, all taking the authenticity and realness away from the platform. Do not get me wrong, I would love the swipe up facility to make it easier for people to access the blog, but I also want to put photos of my fish flop’s or make up free face, so I accept Im not likely to get to 10,000 followers…..haha! One of my blogging buddies recently said to me “Kerry, you want to be a blogger not an Instagrammer, why do you worry? She is right. It has always been about the writing for me. During the “lockdown” I have reduced my time spent on social media, and feel better for it. The way I use Instagram will change, and I will not feel the pressure to conform that I do now. Blimey, there is more to life right?
My day Job
Like so many of us, this virus wiped out my income overnight. Not just reduced it from what it was, but took it to zero over night. I work self employed, as a results driven skincare therapist. Obviously, I cannot do that job while social distancing! I have always had my own income and worked. Since I was 14 years old, working on a stall in Basildon Market. Before that if you count mucking out horses from age 9 so I could get free riding lessons. Suddenly, to go to not having my own income makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. I hate it. I know we are in totally unprecedented times, but it has made me rethink about how I earn my money. I am always pretty resourceful when my back is against the wall, so I got thinking. Multiple income streams is the sensible, business answer so I will work towards that. I have a few ideas up my sleeve….
Routine has been my saviour. I totally get that for some people, the novelty of sitting round in PJ’s all day watching netflix is real. I GET IT. I love a good Netflix binge. But it is not for me on an ongoing basis. I find a day of it leaves me feeling a bit lethargic and unmotivated. I am determined that this lockdown is productive for me. I actually feel so motivated and inspired! Yep, I am the nutter that is finding it of benefit! I spoke to you about my Morning Routine in last weeks 25 Ideas to do in Self Isolation post, and I stick to this religiously. Honestly, it makes me feel so revitalised and ready to take on the world! I have been doing few online courses, so I like to be sitting at my desk ready for 9am to do a couple of hours of a course, or work on my magazine column. I suppose I am treating my days like work day’s still, with set work hours. This is working well for me, so again, another positive.
The friends I have in my daily life are not bloggers. A few are not even on social media. They do not understand or particularly care for the blogging world. It is incredibly refreshing, but can also make blogging a lonely place. I love that they are not talking about algorithms, SEO or blog traffic. I love that meal’s out are not dominated by photos “for the gram” or cheer’s boomerangs. Our phones do not come out when we are together. I love that. They are incredibly special to me and I cherish them. Our “proper” phone call’s (not text or whattsapp) or face time catch up’s have been a great way to end lock down days.
I do however, often wish I had a local blogging buddy. That is something I have come to realise over this lockdown. I do see my friends Lauretta and Laurie, but they are busy ladies! However, getting together with someone who understands the frustrations that come with blogging is amazing. Or who you can run ideas by. Not to do work for each other, but just to chat and help each other out. I have a few amazing blogging buddies, but they are either not local to me, busy with their own lives/families, or work full time jobs as well as blog. It would be so nice to meet up with other local bloggers, even once a month. Writing by its very nature is a pretty solitude pursuit, so having a few local blogger friends would be amazing. Believe it or not, I am pretty shy and can have my confidence knocked by people, so reaching out to someone is not something I am good with. I did vow at the start of the year though that I would be braver with that, so maybe now is the time. We can’t meet up yet, but after this is over I would love a get together. If your in Essex or London and fancy a get together, message me!
So, in a nut shell…..
Lockdown has been a so far, positive experience for me. I feel like I have figured a few things out in the quiet. There will be some changes here at Kerry Life and Loves, but much will stay the same. There will still be a large focus on travel, no doubt there. But you will also see a little bit more of, I suppose, me on it. A bit more behind the scenes type stuff. A bit more of a rounded picture of my life, not just my travel tales. I just want to go back to how my blog was. I was once described as a “lucky dip” blog by someone. They said they went on to my site, never knowing what they might get topic wise. I kinda like that. It sums up my personality. I miss chatting to you like your my mates and we are just having a catch up. Yes, I will share some of the lessons I have learnt in my gazillion years of soul work and ongoing spiritual journey. But, I promise it will never be in a “I am a Guru” way. That kind of thing makes me vomit in my own mouth! It will just be my honest, frank and open chat, like it used to be. I hope that’s ok.
I would absolutely love your feedback on this. Please feel free to be honest with your thoughts. Even suggestions for topic’s you would love to see. Yes, I write my blog because I love to write it, but I also want it to be interesting for you. I think the beauty with writing a blog, is that they can evolve as we do. Like I said at the start of this ramble, I feel that I am being directed towards change. I want to take back control of what I put on my blog, and not worry about fitting into a niche. Maybe its my rebel side coming out, but I like it…hahaha!