I don’t feel like autumn is in full swing just yet but following a super hot summer the immediate cool down in the temperature is definitely noticeable. I even found a spot of early morning condensation on my car the other day. The kids are back to school, a big mark that autumn is starting because the roads are back to their normal jam-packed schedule and I’m finding myself getting home late again, it’ll be a dark drive before I know it. I’m also starting to see some autumnal inspired photos creeping up on my Instagram feed and Pinterest, I think I’ve even spotted a pumpkin or two! I popped into Primark and picked up some cute and cosy knitwear, naturally. I just need to grab myself some chunky, stompy boots and I’m ready. With all of that, I wanted to put together some autumn goals as a new season is the time for a recharge, a time to reflect. It’s easy to jot a few ideas, thoughts and musings down.
01. Get a grip on my financial status
Money, to me, is always a really personal. I don’t judge anyone on their financial status because I appreciate how difficult it can be to save a little lump sum or two. I earn a good wage but I’m so shit with money. Hands up! It’s not something I’m proud of and I don’t think it’s something that I would open up about freely but I’m just so aware of how many of my friends are in the same situation as me; struggling with money, living at home and struggling with money, living alone and struggling with money. I’ve been there both times. When I see these stupid meme’s on Instagram that say something like when you thought you had £263 in your bank but you have £1.80 it just rings too true. When I moved back home it was the perfect opportunity to start saving some cash for a rainy day. I also quickly realised it was the perfect opportunity to have a summer to enjoy. Obviously I took the latter route. After living alone for almost two years, too many times I said ‘I’ll pass’ because I couldn’t afford a holiday or a trip with friends. This year I decided to make up for that. Right or wrong, I enjoyed myself and it felt good. It felt good to do those things before I hit the next stage of adulthood and by that, I mean the big 30 next year. Expense always seem to bloody creep in somehow; a friends wedding, the annual blog renewal, an unexpected dental cost. It’s always something! Even when it comes to the day to day such as my driving commute to work and home, it’s a total of 68 miles a day. You can imagine the outgoings on fuel costs, not to mention the effect that’s having on my car. There’s a reason my recent MOT set me back £600 when it failed. Pumping money into my blog content; shoots, events, etc. I’m very aware that even with this I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t have any huge responsibilities. This is why it’s the right time to get my financial status into a comfortable one. Next year I need to have a serious think about my living arrangements. I’m going to crunch down on my numbers and for the next couple of months just rein in the spending a little bit.
02. Drop all labels when it comes to food
After my vegan challenge, which I completed (I just need to wrap that up on the blog so expect that for the next post) I was left learning so much about my relationship with food. 23 years as a meat eater, 5 years as a pescatarian and one month as a vegan, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t feel I need that label when it comes to what I do or don’t eat. I know that I won’t touch cows milk ever again, I’m a complete oat milk convert. Scrambled tofu will forever become a huge part of my diet moving forward. I am back on cheese because it’s something that I enjoy. I’m always going to live my best halloumi life. Who’s to say I won’t eat meat again?! I’ve been tempted, to be honest. I’m not sure I could ever cook with it again or have it in the house. I don’t know. What I do know is that there’s just so much education about food; where it comes from, what’s best for you, how to eat as clean and fresh as possible. Everything in moderation, right?
03. Cut down on the drinking
Naturally, as summer draws to a close the repetitive evening and weekend drinking does too. Look, I love a drink. I always will. I think that’s obvious. I had a boozy summer. I’ve had a boozy few years. Reference to point one and me wondering why I was so skint at the end of it! It probably scares me a little how much I can drink in one sitting. This takes a lot for me to say out loud, let alone just scribble down on here. I actually try not to think about it all that much. Brush it under the carpet sort of attitude. There’s only so many times you can do this. The not being able to say no. Session/hangover/session on repeat. It’s all fun and games until it catches up with you one fairly fragile afternoon. Fragile body and fragile mind. If I drink too much it plays with my head pretty badly and I’m certainly not left in that chirpy state I was at the pub eight hours prior. It’s more than a hangover, it’s my mindset that suffers. If I go too hard or go too far I’m left feeling absolutely shit about myself the next day, or so. I know I’m not the only one. As a nation we love a knees up but I’m learning that it’s fine to go to the pub one evening and not get wrecked. I’m too old to be realising this just now. I’ve been meeting my pals down the pub on a Friday and driving. A little test that I can be in a drinking environment and still enjoy myself with just the one, or usually just a fizzy drink. I think it’s a subject that’s too difficult to talk about or be open about. I shouldn’t be drinking this much. I hear it amoungst my friends in a ‘jokey’ tone but never a serious one. Mate you were a mess. We’ve all had that said to us, one time too many. Like I said, I’m looking forward to a little drop of red on a cold, cosy evening at the pub, wrapped up in front of the fire, of course I am but I’m gladly turning my back on the volume of summer shots (and regrets) lined up at the bar.
Photography: Ben Taylor