Mid-Year Review… and a Decision Made…

Gosh, is it really 6 months since I last wrote anything here? That’s terrible. Must mean I’ve been busy getting on with life, rather than thinking about it, I suppose!

So where are we at? I thought perhaps the best way to recap on the last 6 months was to do a review of my 2022 goals, given we are pretty much at the midpoint of the year. So here goes.

I’m going to start with the big one, and some very sad news … because it’s going to have an effect on many of my goals.

Make decision re UK and take relevant actions

At the start of the year I had a ferry booked for October 2022, for me and two furry beasts, but I was not at all sure whether I would be on it. One day I’d be desperate to be back in the UK, the next I’d be enjoying the weather or out with friends and wondering why on earth I would want to leave this beautiful place. It was a huge dilemma and while I’d explored various ideas, I was still no closer to making a decision.

And then my dad died.

He’s not been in good health for a few years now, and was moved to a care home last autumn. In April, he went down with another serious infection and was in hospital for several weeks, and then moved to a nursing home in June, where he passed away six days later. Although his death was not unexpected – we’d been told there was nothing more to be done – it was sudden and I am still processing it. The funeral is 6th July, and I am heading back to the UK next week.

(Weird aside – the morning after Dad died, after a restless night, I was up early to take the dogs out. As I walked back towards the cabin they went crazy. There was a single red kite hovering over the house, really low. It stayed there for a moment and then swooped away. While I have seen kites around this area, I’ve never before seen one in the village, or so close to houses. Was it a sign? A message from Dad? I don’t know… but I seem to have been followed by a single red kite ever since: it keeps appearing, and I find it very comforting.)

Two days after Dad died, I woke up and knew absolutely that I wanted to go back to the UK. No more dithering or flip-flopping about wondering, “Should I stay or should I go?” I knew 100% that home is where my family are, and that’s where I want to be.

So I’ve brought forward my return to September, for various reasons, and arranged to stay in my dad’s house in London for a few months, partly while I get settled back into UK life and partly so I can do my bit and help with clearing it out (and there is a LOT to clear out).

There’s lots to do before I go, not least finding a car to transport me back, but perhaps the best news is that I will be taking back not one, not two but THREE furry beasts… Casper’s owner has agreed for me to adopt him so he will be coming to the UK along with Buddy, Bob and me.

Ring Dad at least twice a week

It’s sad that this needed to be on the list but it did give me a kick up the backside and from January to April, before Dad went into hospital and phone calls were no longer possible, I phoned him twice a week, at least. I also saw him in hospital, although I don’t know if he knew I was there, and my brother did a video call so I could talk to Dad about a month before he died.

Plan 3-4 trips back to the UK (Covid allowing)

I went back at Easter, which was fab (I finally saw Hamilton!! And it was great seeing family and friends too.) And I’m heading back next week, though under less happy circumstances. After that… well, I don’t think I’ll be going to the UK again until my return in September.

Attend at least one F2F social each month (Covid allowing; excluding book group)

This year has probably been the most sociable I’ve been since moving to Portugal – not surprising really given the last two years were mostly under lockdown or tough restrictions. So social events in 2022 so far include a birthday lunch, a very drunk party for four complete with disco, several coffee mornings, trips to the local markets, eat-all-you-can Chinese with a big group of friends, karaoke night, several chicken dinners at the great Chicken Church of Tabua, two sardine festas, curry/coffee with friends in the UK, Portugal friends’ leaving drinks, plus several enjoyable film group meetings (an offshoot of book group but it still counts!) and tonight I’m heading out to an outdoor cinema evening. Fun fun fun! And it’s festa time now … there is a 10-day festa in my local town next month, and a village one coming up in August. So lots to look forward to! Of course, it also means that I’m meeting lots of people and making lots of friends, and I will miss SO many people when I move back to the UK.

Declutter clothes

Up till now I hadn’t really made much progress with this but now the pressure is on to reduce my possessions to a reasonable number (they need to fit into whatever vehicle I return in!). So I have booked a stall at a market for July and August and started to make a pile of clothes I either don’t like or that don’t fit me … and there is plenty in the pile already. Anything I don’t sell I’ll donate to a charity here.

Evening and weekly housework routine

I’ve not been too bad and the place is reasonably tidy most of the time. Mind you, there will be a whole new load of routines to adapt to later this year after the big move!

Lose (an undisclosed but specific amount of) weight

My weight is exactly the same as it was at the start of the year. I have weeks when I lose a pound or two, and then I put it back on the next week. Seems my body is happy being the weight it is now, even if I don’t like what I see in the mirror. For now, I’m not going to worry about it too much. Could be I put a new plan in place later this year, but it’s not really a priority for the me at the moment.

Earn 50K points in DDP Yoga

I’ve fallen off the DDPY bus … again. Bah. I got off to a great start but then had a leg injury, recurring carpal tunnel issues, a trip to the UK, two weeks of Covid, this, that, any old excuse not to do my exercise. I still walk for an hour or more every day, but I am feeling the effects of not doing yoga – but there’s always an excuse too. Currently excuse is I could start again but I’m away now for a couple of weeks, and then a friend is coming to stay…. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll start again in August 😉

Add one new good habit every month

Again, I got off to a great start with this but not many of the new habits have stuck, and I haven’t started a new one since April. Bah.

Create and run a group book writing programme

I did set this up. I had the first four weeks of content prepared. I even had four people very interested… but then only one paid up, and it wasn’t viable to run the programme just for one person. I ended up doing 121 coaching with the one person, and restructuring my coaching packages. So there is some progress, I guess.

Build a social media strategy

Got off to a GREAT start with this, doing regular social media posts right through until the end of May. But then I got Covid and was ill for a fortnight, and this was the first thing that fell by the wayside. Will get it going again in August, when life is a little less hectic, maybe.

Work towards a regular monthly 2K+ income

I seem to be doing loads of work but not making the money that the work warrants. Perennial problem. Really need to push the new packages as it wouldn’t take too many clients on those to boost the income. But that will probably have to wait until after the move now, as the priority at the moment is to keep on top of existing bookings while I relocate.

Create a personal budget

Nope. Not done this yet, though it will probably be vital to have a handle on my finances once I’m back in the UK, considering the cost of living crisis!

Save £2000 in an emergency / relocating fund

Nope. There is money in the bank, but not in a separate account, and certainly not £2K. Must try harder…

Put aside £20 each month towards Xmas

I started doing this and had over £100 saved in my Prolific account by March but then had animal and car emergency bills at a time when funds were short, so I cashed the money in. Currently have £45 in the account so it’s a bit short, but it’s better than nothing, I guess.

Complete the Somebody Inside-Remarkable Women course

Started it, got to week 6 and then stopped. Will hopefully pick it up again soon.

Complete the Strategy & Conversion course

Did the first few modules but just lost interest; it didn’t really seem suitable for my business and it didn’t hold my interest. But I have lifetime access and there could be a time when I revisit it.

Read one non-fiction book every month

Yep, I am doing this, and enjoying it too. I’ve read a couple of biographies/autobiographies, a couple of self-help guides and a couple of social history-related books.

Give back through volunteer work

Nope, and I don’t think this one is going to happen now, not this year at least.

Go on a holiday (NOT a family visit)

Rather than taking an actual holiday, I booked a week off work and planned several days out to places I wanted to visit, including Coimbra, Tomar and Aveiro. And then I got Covid and the whole thing was cancelled. BAH!! So I’m not sure what will happen now. I don’t think I have time for a holiday, what with the move, although I do have a friend coming over in July and will be exploring some cool places with her.

Plus my son Dan came over to stay for 10 days, which was wonderful 🙂

Be open to relationships but comfortable single

Yeah yeah, always the way…

Two crafting sessions every month (and document them)

I have been quite creative this year and while I don’t think it’s been as structured as two sessions every month, I have completed several projects: a grungy poppy painting, funky bookmarks, a mandala, a big mixed media heart and 8 smaller hearts to be used on greetings cards, plus I constructed some bits for my new miniature project. I also started an Index Card a Day challenge, to complete 61 small pieces of art, but only managed about a dozen before life intervened and my mojo disappeared.

One new place or experience every month

Shamanic journeying weekend, wildlife afternoon, learning poker, trip to Bussaco National Forest, Hamilton, sardine festa… Yep I’ve definitely been trying new things!

Four things towards my 101 things in 1001 days list

I am making slow progress, mainly by cooking new recipes and watching films. But it all counts!

So there you go… it’s all a bit of a mixed bag right now. I definitely feel like I’m achieving generally, but apart from the big decision (and it’s such a relief to have made that!), my focus this year was going to be health and fitness and that’s the one area where I’ve not made any progress at all. I think once I’m back in the UK I will be re-joining Slimming World because I know it works!

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