I Just Feel Differently – Changes I am Making

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.

I just feel differently now - lockdown diaries
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

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.

my yearly reflection on life

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.

Alexander Nevsky Church
Travel Some Day – Alexander Nevsky Church

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“.

social media advets and how people really feel about them

Social Media

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 Instagram is neither curated or “on brand”

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….

In work mode

Routine

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.

Friendship

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.

Coffee dates would be good
Photo by Chiara Pinna on Unsplash

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!

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30 Comments

  1. Emma
    March 29, 2020 / 8:50 am

    As we’ve discussed in the past, just write about what YOU want to write about – this is your little space in the internet. Love the mixture of topics that you cover. When this nonsense is all over, we’ll definitely try and get together again!!! X

    • March 29, 2020 / 8:56 am

      I would love that Emma, another get together xx Yes you have told me that, many people have. I don’t know why I was letting “the rules” dictate to me. It could be the worst thing I do page views wise, but I will be happier. That is what it is all about in the end right? xxxx

  2. March 29, 2020 / 9:10 am

    I look forward to your other posts that you want to write again.

    Yes, we are all going to be changed in some way since the Coronavirus. I think of how the self employed are coping right now. I work part time as a cleaner with 2 employers and I have not been working since Tuesday.
    I am one of those vulnerable ones, as I have asthma. I know the risks, but I wanted to continue to work as I didn’t feel at increased risk than say going in a supermarket. I live on my own, so I have to go out and shop.
    Morning employer did not want to risk my health, so they told me to stand down until further notice and they are waiting on how ti claim for their employers that the Government said they would pay.
    My evening employer allowed me to stay on, which I signed a risk assessment form. But after those latest changes by Boris Johnson, our building is closed to the remaining staff that were there and public.
    I know my evening employer will pay me. But the morning one, for the days that I have had to stand diwn, I have a feeling I am only going to be paid by them when they receive that money from Government. So naturally I am worried about pay day. I do realise though when I thought about it more, that when it comes to that pay, I should be ok, but it’s what happens the month after that if we are still in isolation.

    • March 29, 2020 / 9:34 am

      Liz thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it xx I am sorry that you are having these worries with health and money. It can be stressful. We have to just keep believing that “this too shall pass”. I hope you get the help you need. You must look after yourself, stay safe. Lots of love xxx

      • March 29, 2020 / 9:55 am

        I take myself shopping. Nothing I can do about that. I just follow precautions as everyone has to, but what I am used to doing anyway and that’s handwashing, as well as being observant with social distancing. I only go twice a week for groceries. Normally I would go every couple of days before all this started.

        • March 29, 2020 / 10:19 am

          That is so good that you are being careful Liz. Very sensible and I think so many people are now taking this seriously. I notice people are sticking to social distancing when at the supermarket etc. Thank goodness! You look after yourself xx

          • March 29, 2020 / 10:31 am

            Thankfully, I have never seen any issues that I have read when shopping at the supermarket, like staff being abused, inpatient customers fir example. But I still feel uneasy when shopping. I make it quick. 20 mins last Thursday, there and back.

  3. Brigitte
    March 29, 2020 / 9:16 am

    Morning Kerry! Your blog is yours to do whatever you want with it. Write what you want to write, not what you think people want you to write about. Does that even make sense!!! I love reading your blog because you are honest and write from the heart. You tell it as it is! Warts and all! For the moment I’m enjoying this opportunity to slow down and take stock. I like my own company and it’s a novelty having a husband home all week rather than working away. There’s harmony at present, but cabin fever might get the better of us and we might end up driving each other up the wall. But we might not. Who knows! I wish my youngest was at home with us, but he assures me that he’s fine where he is and has heaps of course work to keep him busy. Right, better stop rambling !! Take care and keep safe and keep writing whatever takes your fancy!! xx

    • March 29, 2020 / 9:37 am

      Good morning Brigitte! Thank you so much for your feedback, it is much appreciated. You make perfect sense, and I thank you for the encouragement. I am the exact same as you, I am not used to having Nik and my boys home so much more. I love it…..at the moment haha! I have no idea why the lockdown has made me so much more productive! My old boss in Banking used to always say that I did my best work under pressure. Perhaps I need chaos to think clearly. That would be about right for my strange brain haha. You too keep safe and well xxx

  4. Nesha
    March 29, 2020 / 9:32 am

    I love this Kerry , I’m also loving lockdown . I’m looking at things different and I pray we move differently around the the world and not go back to our old selfish ways ❤️

    • March 29, 2020 / 9:41 am

      Nesha are we strange that we love lock down haha! It has made me find so much clarity. I am with you 100%, I am hoping that we all emerge having listened to the lessons we have been taught. We have a real chance to start to make things better don’t we. I hope we heed this huge warning that change is needed!

  5. March 29, 2020 / 10:14 am

    I love this post Kerry, can relate to a lot of it! You’d think being in lockdown would make spending more time on Instagram suddenly appealing but for some reason I’ve instantly lost my love for it… so I feel similar to you. I think the whole situation has given me a reality check that there is way more to life and I also feel a content shift coming on. I personally love the variety your blog brings and always enjoy your posts so id say just keep posting a fabulous mix of content! Melis x

    • March 29, 2020 / 10:22 am

      Ahh Melis I am so glad that it makes sense to you and you can relate. It is such a weird time, yet I feel clearer than I have all year! I think all of us has had that reality check, perhaps it is what we all needed?? From a purely selfish point of view, I would love to read more about you and your story, so I am glad you are thinking of adding different content. I’ll be reading! Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it xx

  6. March 29, 2020 / 10:56 am

    That’s my girl – always with a positive attitude that is infectious to others. I think 100% you are making the right decision. Yes, you’re a HUGE travel fan, but you’re also funny, witty, a family girl, a skin/beauty expert, passionate about veganism, sustainability, animals and generally making the world we live in a better place, so why wouldn’t you want to write openly about those things? The things you live by and enjoy. Do you know what though? I’m bloody thrilled Cuppa and chat is making a return – I really enjoyed those posts. I also enjoyed it when you were taxi driver and use to chat on stories at the station – honestly, sometimes I’d be wetting myself watching you! I do wish we lived closer and I was able to see you more often. And I kind of hate the fact that I’m ALWAYS busy. I do need to give myself days off every now and then – maybe I’ll get better at doing that once this whole fiasco is over! I think we should give ourselves something to look forward to and make a plan to get together in April (or May if Boris orders us to stay in for longer!) XX

    • March 30, 2020 / 9:52 am

      Ok, so this has just made me blush, then get a bit emosh. Thank you so much for your kind, lovely words. Thank you xxx I am so glad you see where I am coming from. It is something, (as you know) that I have mulled over, but was worried about doing. But I love to share experiences. I love to try to help (but not in a lecture/self-obsessed/do as I say way). I miss cuppa and a chat too. They were my favourite to write! I love posts that make me think as I write them, and then hear what others think. Train station tales….now that was an eye opening experience. Who knew so much went on at a train station hahahah! Life as it is now, is not how it will always be. We have to keep that in our minds. You do need to give yourself more time, but for YOU, not for anyone else. To nurture and feed your own soul. I totally get it, so I will just cherish when I do get to see you xxxx I think it could be blooming July going by the latest talks…..

      • March 30, 2020 / 10:39 am

        I bloody hope it’s not July! Crikey…that would be something wouldn’t it?! Train Station Tales!!! My absolute fave! ha ha. Still, it’s good you’re on stories regularly so I get to see you 🙂 I know you are going to reply “Me and my moon face” or something self -deprecating – I know you too well Kerry my friend!

        • April 1, 2020 / 9:23 am

          Hahahaha! You really blooming do. That is exactly what I was thinking hahahah! That is too funny xx Thank you for you x

  7. Emmalene Fletcher
    March 29, 2020 / 11:22 am

    Kerry, I think a lot of blogging landscapes have changed recently – some temporarily, some indefinitely – but those like yours which come across as charry, friendly, fun and informational will always win out. People are looking for blogs that reflect their own lives and anxieties, and also authenticity. I always find your blog posts to have all of this in spades, and that’s why I read.

    Some wise blogger (think it may have been Monica of the Travel Hack) pointed out that your USP is YOU, and you shouldn’t try to fit into a niche just because you feel you should. So write about what you damn well please! I think I found you through one of your more personal posts about Nik, and then stuck around for the travel content, the sustainability content and the general ramblings 🙂

    I hope things improve for you financially soon, my heart goes out to anyone who’s income and career has been negatively affected by these horrible circumstances. Stay safe, stay sane and keep writing, Emm x

    • March 30, 2020 / 9:58 am

      Ohhh Emm thank you so so much! I really appreciate this lovely comment. I feel a bit embarrassed how lovely you all are to me. I am so grateful xx I think you have hit the nail on the head. We can al right about where to go and what to do, but if there is no personality in it, it may as well be a travel brochure right? I love writing travel, but I adore writing more personal posts, and posts that make us think. I think I am an over sharer hahaha! In seriousness though, I have been through some incredibly dark times, had to learn to rise from the ashes many times, so if me sharing any of that can help someone, then I would be the happiest person ever. Im excited for the freedom I have given myself. I am in an incredibly fortunate position in that I have a roof over my head, food in my cupboards and clothes in my wardrobe. I will always know I am one of the lucky ones. Thank you for reading, and lots of love and good wishes to you. Stay safe too xxxx

  8. March 29, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    Hi there Kerry, I’ve always thought the whole ideology of ‘needing’ to have a niche is overrated – unless it’s part of a very strategic blog-business plan 🤔

    Your blog can be your own creative and expressive space (which I think we all need, in some way or another) – and this is what makes a lot of blogs all the more enjoyable to read, and relatable…..write whatever takes your fancy. 🔆🌼

    I focus a lot on travel, but not exclusively – which is why I classed my blog as a ‘travel and lifestyle’ to leave room for other things….life, thoughts etc!! 😉

    Cherryl 🤗

    • March 30, 2020 / 10:02 am

      Hi Cherryl, thank you so much for stopping by! I really appreciate your feedback. I think you are right, our blogs should represent us in however way we choose. I used to be very much like that. I think I listened to far too much chatter about niche niche niche! I feel a sense of freedom giving myself permission to just do what I like. I like it! I will pop over to your blog, it sounds like my cup of tea! xx

      • March 31, 2020 / 12:58 pm

        I’m glad you broke free Kerry, it’s the happiest way to be 😉🔆🌼

  9. March 29, 2020 / 10:51 pm

    You know what I’ve been drumming into you Kerry! And I’m definitely up for that monthly meeting xx

    • March 30, 2020 / 10:03 am

      You have, I know. You gave me good advice xx Once Boris lets us out, lets get a date in the diary? We might be 107 by then, but its a plan hahaha!

  10. April 1, 2020 / 10:06 am

    As you probably understand, I love these ideas you have about your blog. I don’t know if those who called your blog a “lucky dip” meant it negatively, but to me a blog where you never know what you’re going to get, is a good thing. I like variety.
    Regarding your Instagram, maybe unfollow some (or quite a few)? If your feed is all about polished curated stuff and you don’t like it, maybe you need to clean and reorganise your feed.

    • April 1, 2020 / 1:36 pm

      Susanne thankfully, they were being kind. I did like the description. I have cleaned up my Instagram, but it seems to be the fashion to have curated instagrams, I am not sure I could avid them all. I do follow some amazing accounts though. I just think I will spend less time there to be honest. I am excited about the new changes, so I am glad your feedback welcomes them too xx

  11. April 27, 2020 / 2:01 pm

    I absolutely loved reading this post. I’ve dabbled with blogging and the after a very difficult year it has been abandoned. In lockdown I’ve gone back to it with renewed passion. I struggled to find my niche as they say. I don’t really have one apart from loving life on rerirement. Reading your description of a Lucky Dip blog pinged a lightbulb! Yes that’s me! Your fabulous piece has made me feel that it’s OK to be me! Not professional or instgrammable but just me writing about what pops in my head. Like you I do feel that many positives may come out of this. I’ve realised that my 35 handbags and 60npairs of shoes were no help to me whatsoever!
    I am going to go back and read more of your posts with a brew!
    I live in Manchester so no use to you At all.
    Take care

    • April 27, 2020 / 8:18 pm

      Elaine this comment makes me so happy! This is exactly what blogging should be, a passion and a drive. If it evolves into anything else, amazing but passion is the perfect starting block. You genuinely could not have said anything better to me. The fact you feel inspired to write just as you are, is blooming amazing! Go for it and enjoy xxxx

  12. April 27, 2020 / 9:06 pm

    I’m not local to you, but if you ever fancy a coffee over Skype or Zoom or something, let me know and we can do that. X

    • April 30, 2020 / 11:00 am

      Ahh Kirsty I have only just seen this! So sorry that I have not replied sooner! yes we should do that, I would love to have a natter x

I love reading your comments x

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