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One more retrospective post

I'm pretty sure you are by now, fed up of seeing retrospective posts about 2019 as well as plans and resolutions for 2020 ... but alas, here goes another one.

I have already shared what I aim to achieve in 2020 on my Instagram stories (@marielle_quaintrelle) but writing these down here - together with my thoughts on the year just gone by - makes me feel I am more accountable about what I post on the WWW. I do not wish to let another blogging and vlogging hiatus happen - while I have kept my Instagram stories pretty alive over the last six months, I feel this platform is where the content I create is fleshed out and really comes together. But let me not digress ... here's one more post looking back on 2019 and raising hopes for 2020!

Looking back on 2019

  • Moving apartment was the best thing I did for myself both psychologically, leaving massive emotional baggage behind; as well as physically by downsizing and the decluttering becoming a bit of a lifestyle approach;

  • In line with the foregoing, I (re-)discovered The Minimalists, the philosophy behind minimalism and being more intentional with my purchases. I have also dipped my toes in pre-loved and vintage shopping and am actively making more conscientious choices in bringing in more sustainable and ethically produced items in my life;

  • I allowed my professional life take over meaning that everything else - be it the blog and YouTube channel, my French learning, my fitness and everything else that makes me a well-rounded person, took a back seat. Nay, I think they actually went to sit outside or somewhere else entirely ... I did manage to fit in a few museum visits and a couple of art workshops but everything was done stealthily almost, with my mind constantly bogged down by thoughts about work. The balance was completely toppled in the last months;

  • Despite not managing to keep up a fully-fletched workout routine, I did manage to stick to a c.30-minute daily routine thanks to Hasfit and Team Body Project workouts on YouTube which I do religiously every day upon waking up. I don't feel I can face the day properly anymore if I don't grant myself these 30 minutes of taking care of myself;

  • I have come to the realisation - and acceptance thereof - that shopping has been a coping and escaped mechanism for me. The act of buying something has become more important than the actual item bought and even though some more high-risk/high-investment purchases (read: luxury goods not property or cars - I'm not really interested in either of that oddly enough) saw me write pros and cons lists and evaluating everything before committing to the purchase, all of this was done in an effort to run away from the emotional and professional stresses I was going through in the last year.

Moving forward in 2020

  • This year will be a low-buy year, and I mean it. You can keep your raised eyebrow and sceptical looks to yourself, I know that this shopaholic here will have the hardest time but she will nail this low-buy year. Watch this space;

  • Make Japan and New York happen. I've always been fascinated with Japan and its culture and to be honest, I don't know what has held me from making this dream a reality before. New York has also always been a place which intrigues me but in a completely different way from Tokyo or any other Japanese city I plan to visit. I have only visited European countries in my 40 years so far so what better time to explore further afield of the Old Continent than the present?

  • Restore the #balance and make time for my blog and Youtube channel, my health and fitness regimes, my French language learning and nurture my art ... oh, and read, read, and read some more from actual books not just image captions on screens;

  • Explore - and why not, apply - the capsule wardrobe concept which hopefully will lead to even more decluttering;

  • Use the 'Saturday morning hit the shops' time more productively. It might not help that I moved close to what I nicknamed the Bermuda Triangle of shopping streets in Brussels but beyond the shops there are gyms and fitness studios, art galleries, cafes and everything else you can imagine in my area so why just focus on shops and more spending?

And there you have it: what I feel I've learnt in 2019 and how I want to live my 2020. I will be documenting my low-buy year successes, struggles and challenges on my channels so if you're interested in that, I would love it if you would follow me and reach out if you're also planning on a #lowbuy2020. See you soon!

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