For those that decided to read my blog and summary of 2013 at the end of last year, you will remember that I ended the year on somewhat of a high. Life in 2013 was simply brilliant. I remember thinking to myself at the time, could life get better? Well, 2014 certainly didn’t let me down! What another wonderful, life changing year it has been. Lots of decisions made in my personal life, and in business – and once again – things all seem to have worked out as planned. For those that know me well, you’ll know that I believe you create your own luck, create your own opportunities, and by being positive create your own enjoyable life. This year I have once again oozed in positivity, which has produced another epic year for me.
Let’s start at the beginning…
I started the year about 6 stone lighter than the same time the year before – feeling great – feeling fit, healthy & confident – I swore to keep off the weight (which I have done). I have educated myself into a new lifestyle and taken up new eating habits. Besides, I couldn’t afford to replace my wardrobe yet again after doing this three times the year before! It’s such an achievement to now head to the medium clothes section – and they fit! No more XXL clothes for me!
So life continued to be good – but I was perhaps just missing that special person after many months of my own company. I certainly enjoyed the freedom, the moments to myself, but there comes a point when you want to share your time with someone else. At the start of February I met a wonderful person – Kaylie. Life was certainly about to change….for the better.
It was time for a first date! I felt like a teenager again! Nerves – you bet. Excitement – you bet. Was it all worth it – you bet! Together we have both found complete happiness, contentment and above all bundles of love & fun. I also inherited another lady in my life – a tortoise shell long haired cat called Tilly! So here was me looking for one (lucky) lady – All of a sudden I have two!
The spring months consisted of continuing to work hard in business, staying away all over the country with one particular project for a client, and also trying to spend as much time as possible with Kaylie, who was living in Northamptonshire at the time.
Life was pretty cool though – I had found someone with exactly the same beliefs, ethics, hobbies and interests in life. Someone easy to get on with. Someone I could laugh and joke with. Someone I could create great memories with. Some may say life moved quick for us both this year – but if it all feels right, then who has the right to judge? Besides, I’m not getting any younger am I?!
The summer of 2014 saw Kaylie move to a village closer to her work (she’s a hairdresser in her own salon, so unfortunately no perks of the job for me!) – and so we both spent most of the week traveling up and down the A14 and M6 to spend time together – enjoying time at both of our homes. It has been great spending time with my new inherited Northamptonshire family, who have been so welcoming towards me. What is even nicer is that both sets of parents get on so well too. It all just seems so perfect. (Sorry I’ll stop the soppy stuff now!)
MAUN Consulting continued to grow – still maintaining a great respectable client base, and one that I am exceptionally proud of. I enjoyed representing Pride of Britain Hotels at a number of shows this year with a great bunch of characters from the Hotels. Hopefully I will be able to do the same again in 2015.
Have I got the work : life balance right now? – Do you know what, I think I have! My long term goal of becoming mortgage free is ever closer – I hope this time next year I may know what it is like to be an outright homeowner, which is something to be very proud about under the age of 40.
Celebrations this year enabled me to return too Coombe Abbey Hotel (where I used to work in the early 2000’s) for a lovely wedding of very close friends. I was honoured that they had asked me to do a reading on the special day too. I felt very proud, even if I was a little nervous on the day! Although I can’t really remember my speech, apparently it was well read!
Health obviously is important, and from a personal and family point of view, 2014 generally treated us well, with only a few minor setbacks along the way. Long may that be the case.
I completed a number of projects this year – business and personal. Still pushing myself. Still keen to learn and deal with any problems that arise. One major decision was to reduce the amount of personal time spent on social media. Some of my business requires me to use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels each day, which I really enjoy, but I made conscious decision that posting my daily antics on these sites for others to read, was going to reduce. I received the occasional message from people asking if I was alright as they hadn’t seen updates from me. Some people go quiet when they are not happy with their life, or when they are depressed. I’m completely the opposite. I couldn’t be happier – just decided not to shout every minute of every day about just how happy I am, or about everything I am doing in life. And do you know what…..I like the absence! It allows you to have proper conversations with people when you meet up and chat.
FaceTime still plays a big part in my life – managing to ‘see’ Kaylie when I worked away; and of course to communicate with my parents, my niece & nephew, and also keep up to speed with my goddaughters (who are just growing up too quickly!).
I’ve always struggled with taking time off and trying to relax. This year I managed to do it TWICE! I enjoyed a mini-break in France in June visiting my pen-pals of over 25 years, in the Limousin region, and also a mid-week break in Center Parcs with Kaylie. We’ve already booked again for 2015 to return to Sherwood Forest Center Parcs and it looks likely that I will introduce Kaylie to my French pen-pals too next year in the Summer. Naturally a few nice breaks at some luxurious Pride of Britain hotels also featured in my mini-breaks too.
I am still a great believer in supporting charity, and continue to donate monthly to the Air Ambulance and also make regular visits to the air ambulance shops to drop off items to help them raise further funds. I even managed to persuade Kaylie to support the charity by putting a collection pot in her salon – every little helps. They do such a wonderful job, and I’m proud to remain loyal to the work they do. If you want to donate you can do HERE
A Busy Autumn:
The autumn made me (and Kaylie) realise how lucky we really are. We were busy; very busy. All with exciting stuff! We stayed at a beautiful hotel in the Cotswolds for 2 nights (Dormy House Hotel) (pictured); Enjoyed a number of delicious curries at the restaurant in the village; Attended a VIP Wine Bar opening; Watched Sister Act in the open air theatre at Kilworth House; Enjoyed a 30 mile bike ride one sunny day at Grafham Water; Watched Ice Hockey in Coventry with our best buddies; Watched my beloved Stafford Rangers; Caught a movie at the Cinema; Had a break in Center Parcs; Had Lunch & Dinner with friends; Spent time with my beautiful goddaughters – I’m not too sure we could have fitted anything else in! We certainly don’t take anything for granted – it’s nice to reward yourself though for all the hard work that we both continue to put in throughout the year.
Modes of Transport:
Finally after about 20 years – I also bought myself a bike! Great to have the freedom to get out and about and enjoy the British weather (which I think has been pretty good this year). In the last three months of the year, I probably clocked up over 200 miles. In November I also treated myself to a new car, parting with my Focus of 3 years, and opting for a Kia (for peace of mind with the warranty that comes with it). A pleasure to drive – which is a good thing seen as I still seem to be doing around 2000 miles a month!
Christmas this year will be a special one, and one I intend on enjoying. It will naturally be an exciting time – with it being the first of many spent with Kaylie. I’m not too sure she has enjoyed the present buying process this year – I’m the worst person to buy for. I don’t ‘need’ for anything in life. I much prefer the giving process as it provides me with a lot more enjoyment. I’m just looking forward to spending some quality, relaxing time with loved ones. Naturally I’ll be disappointed if Santa doesn’t stop by my house though!
The Year Ahead:
What have we got in store for 2015 – Well I hope plenty more fun, good times, and enjoyment. I have already booked a couple of lovely things to look forward to: Holidays; Birthday celebrations; Exciting events to attend. So I hope to write a similar tale this time next year, of how good the New Year has been to Kaylie & I.
Here’s to a successful 2015 to you all – in your personal and business lives.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me and been there for me in 2014.
I wish you a year of happiness, good health, prosperity, good times & laughter.
Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for reading. God bless.
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