It’s become somewhat of a slogan for Michelle Obama, who first used the phrase during an incredible speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention – taking the high road and doing the right thing, even when it isn’t easy.
While Michelle may be able to rise above it, I (however much I admire her), still find it one of the most difficult things to do. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on… well, I won’t have forgotten what you did the first time so you won’t get the chance to even think of fooling me again.
I’m admittedly highly strung, easily rattled and have become more outspoken – even more so as I age – and as a result I find it enormously frustrating to have to keep my mouth shut and walk away when I see something that I believe to be untrue or unfair. Now that I’m self-employed I have to regularly check myself in what and how I say things because essentially, I’m on my own.
Unfortunately, especially when working online, a thick skin and the ability to take the high road is part of the job description. It’s a confusing world to be a part of – particularly in the fact that every aspect of content creation and interaction has the ability to be edited to show the best possible side to a potential audience. This seemingly deceptive nature of blogging and accompanying false sense of security and anonymity that a computer screen provides enables a person to say whatever they want, whenever they want, often without the same fear of consequence or reciprocation that they would be held accountable for in the real world. The longer you inhabit the online world, the more common it is to witness and potentially get sucked into the self-entitlement, angst and outrage that populates the blogosphere and social media platforms on a daily basis. In fact, there are entire blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to it – ‘Drama’ content that focuses on the quarrels and spats going on between influencers.Continue reading →
Budgeting, saving money and making wise financial decisions was never really something that I was particularly good at. However, a change in my job meant a significant drop in my monthly earnings, forcing me to adapt to a different lifestyle in order to be able to live happily within my means.
Admittedly, my situation was substantially easier to make changes than those with large mortgages and children, but I still had quite a few financial responsibilities that needed to be covered, along with the monthly rent and bills. It took some time, but advanced planning and organisation really helped me to stay on track… Continue reading →
There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:
Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.
Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure that I link to other relevant posts. I also focus heavily on these sorts of posts across my social media sharing, often resharing them at intervals to give them a boost in promotion at a later date. Continue reading →
Choose your hotel wisely. When going on a city break, it’s more than likely that you will spend most of your time outside, but, for me at least, it’s important that the room is clean and you feel safe to leave possessions behind while you are out exploring. We did very little research on this, but were extremely lucky with what we booked. The Hotel Sant Augusti was exactly that – clean, safe and in a fabulous location, being right next to one of the main metro lines, La Bouquiera Market, the beach, The Gothic Quarter and La Rambla. It also served a buffet breakfast every morning from 7.30am – 11.00am and had free wi-fi, which was useful when keeping in contact with loved ones.
Work out in advance what it is that you really want to see, and where possible, book tickets online before you go as there are enormous queues and long waits for the main attractions. For example, we arrived at La Sagrada Familia early, but had to queue for about half an hour to buy a ticket and then waited a further three hours before we were allowed in as there were timed entrance spots. It may be also useful to take a guidebook and print off maps of the areas you wish to travel to in advance – we had to buy a map when we were there and soon discovered that it was poorly labelled and many of the sights were in the wrong place. Continue reading →
You’ve written a blog post that you’re proud of. You’ve read, re-read, edited, re-edited and then edited again once after you’ve inevitably discovered lots of mistakes that were missed. You’ve created a pinnable picture and included all your social media links.
Then the little-one starts to cry. Dinner needs to be made. The laundry needs to be hung out to dry. In my world, papers need to be marked.
For those of us that want our blogs to be seen, but have busy schedules, children, jobs and homes to maintain, we often find it difficult to promote ourselves to the biggest possible audience. Time is always our biggest barrier and in the blogging world it is highly unlikely that a post will receive lots of views simply by pressing the publish button. Continue reading →
I am glad that what has essentially been a rather difficult year has come to an end and (like most others, I am sure) I’m in a reflective mood. I had prepared several posts that reviewed the various events of the last twelve months, but I decided to combine them.
At times, I can be extremely lazy.
A year ago this blog didn’t exist. I created it in April after spending years writing random thoughts in various notebooks, which I never finished – Paperchase was making a fortune from me and my bedroom cupboard was stacked with beautiful books that all contained one or two pages of (often repeated) scribblings. The Bloke, my partner of four years, directed me to WordPress and thus Suzie81 was born. I chose the name quickly and without much thought – my name and the year I was born – I didn’t have any expectations, other than perhaps a few nerves about it being discovered by people that I know, I had no plan, theme or any idea of what I wanted to write about – the important thing was the process of writing itself.
In the last eight months my little blog, and my life, has grown beyond all expectations. As I write, I have gained over 3,000 followers and my posts have received over 70,000 views. Compared to some, this is tiny, but I have been absolutely gobsmacked by the response that I have received. I’ve been spoilt with nominations for numerous awards, I was Freshly Pressed in November and for the first time in years I have a project that I never seem to get bored of – I love every minute of it and can easily spend hours at a time reading posts and writing my own. I have found something that I genuinely want to do. I’ve met some amazing people, formed small relationships with them and I have started to get to know a little about their interesting lives. Continue reading →