Welcome to 2023 and a refreshed blog
Welcome to 2023! We’ve made it through another year of chaos and madness and are ready to hit the “refresh” button.
This means I am making some changes to the blog. For the last 13 years I’ve had my personal blog on a blogger site inkspotsandgrassstains. For a couple of reasons, I’ve decided to close down my blogger blog, and to make this blog here at The Playful Way more personal. One is that the Blogger platform, which I joined so long ago, has not really kept pace with the technology. The other is that I’m a busy person, and I can’t keep two blogs on the go, so I’ve been doing neither!
I’ll come clean right now. I’m unlikely to have a blogging schedule. I’m unlikely to follow all the rules of SEO and I don’t have any plans at this stage to start stuffing my blog posts with affiliate links or other “monetization” strategies, though I may point you in the direction of my own money-making endeavours every now and then when I create them.
At some point in the coming days I’ll try to turn all my previous inkspotsandgrassstains content into PDF form and host it all on here (because some of it was pretty good!).
So, welcome, come along for the ride, and join me in 2023 as I continue my journey to a more playful, happy and fulfilled life, and try to help everybody else come on the same journey.
So what do we have planned for 2023?
I’m trying not to give myself a whole lot of resolutions or plans for 2023 which I then don’t do and feel bad about it. So I’m focusing on a few projects at a time. Here are my first four.
Project number 1! I’m turning our bare patch of garden (it was just a lawn and a large greenhouse before) into a productive and beautiful space. I’m aiming to break the back of the landscaping in January so I can plant fruit trees and build a willow sculpture before the Spring comes along. Then I can spend the Spring getting more plants in and sowing seeds, and the Summer adding all those beautiful and playful little touches, and actually enjoying the garden.
Project INDEPENDENT INCOME
Much as I love teaching, I don’t plan on being a classroom teacher this time next year. I’m currently working as a Supply teacher, which gives a lot of flexibility, but I’m building a bank of teaching resources for sale, writing my first e-book and marketing my parties and school workshops as well as continuing with art and crafts. The plan is that I can build multiple small income streams. I have also applied for a job for a charity, working with and supporting children – I have an interview for that on Thursday!
Project MAKE FRIENDS
Having relocated in Summer 2022, as a family we are settling into our new lives in beautiful Cornwall. However, I’m a friendly, sociable kind of person, and without the “school gate mates” that you get taking the children to a primary school and pitching in with the PTFA; without the work friends that you get if you are in a regular job; I haven’t yet “found my tribe”. I firmly believe that humans are made to be sociable, and that our current screen-oriented, nuclear-family society doesn’t encourage the building of meaningful, supportive, friend relationships. My intention this year is to make connections with people. I’ve already identified groups and places to target: St Austell Bluetits (outdoor swimmers – the Facebook Group reveals a lot of fun and playfulness); St Austell Canoe Club – we’re already members and there are some great people here; local art and crafters; St Austell Friends (this is a Facebook Group with a lot of members, based on their lovely posts, there are a few people I’d love to reach out to); my neighbours.
My intention is to start going along to groups and meet-ups, and reaching out to people to suggest getting together for a coffee etc.
Project ACTIVE ADVENTURE
We have also stopped our volunteering with The Scouts, which, while incredibly rewarding in many ways, had become more of a burden than a joy. Without this time sink, we have found more time for adventures. However, I’ve also found my fitness somewhat lacking. This year I plan to log our adventures of all types, to intentionally adventure – on the coast path, on the moors, on our holidays, up hills, kayaking, cycling, walking, swimming, snorkelling, fire and den building. A year of adventures!