So, this is a personal blog. I haven’t written a blog on this site since I wrote I went to CMA Live 2017 and it was AMAZING almost a year ago.

After a challenging 12 months, the hardest of my life by some distance (and then some), I’m now getting to a place where I can find the headspace to start writing blogs again.

You see, I’ve been able to tweet and do Instagram posts and stories but blogging? No, blogging requires a whole new level of headspace and time and I haven’t had access to either of those since I wrote my last blog.

That last blog was written in June 2017. I’d just been to CMA Live 2017 and the conference blew my mind. Never have I felt more inspired and motivated after leaving a conference – it was a remarkable experience.

I left the conference with a thousand ideas on how I could move my business forward. Ideas around brand, niche, content and various forms of marketing. I was determined to take action, then the world changed forever.

On 3rd August 2017, following a third diagnosis of breast cancer, we lost my mother-in-law (Trina). I’ll never forget that day. Ash was in the JR hospital in Oxford with Trina and I ended up in the JR hospital on the same day as my dad was rushed in with chest pains. So, whilst I sat with my mum & dad in A&E, Ash was visiting her mum 5 floors up in a different ward. I remember Ash phoning me, “Mum’s having a fit”. By the time I got up to Ash they’d taken her into a small side room next to the ward, 20 minutes later her mum and her best friend had passed away, aged 53.

Only two weeks after that, on 15th August 2017 (my birthday), my dad had to go to the hospital for a regular check on his prostate cancer and was told there was nothing more they could do. We hadn’t even had Trina’s funeral and we found out my dad didn’t have long left.

On the 18th September 2017, my dad passed away after a short stay with Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.

Needless to say, this period was, well, I have no words for it. I don’t even know how we got through it, to be honest.

As you can imagine, a side business like this takes a back seat at a time like that. I could barely concentrate on my full-time job as we moved toward Christmas. We were trying to come to terms with what had happened and as part of the process we started to empty my mother-in-law’s house. That got us to through to Christmas and then we started to work on decorating the house. Ash wasn’t ready to sell it and didn’t want to rent it out so we decided we’d move in but we’d make it our house first.

Redecorating the house has been a huge job. We were living in our rented house but spending every spare minute working to renovate our “new” house and keeping busy was the thing that kept us going. It kept us going but there was no time for anything else, apart from the occasional tweet and regular Instagram Story updates on our progress (you loved them, didn’t you? :0)). I say it kept us going, there were times when the stress and strain of it took its tole with tiredness, frustration, illness and tears but we kept going.

We moved in on the 25th April 2018 and are continuing to finish a few final rooms. Things are still being put in place (do you ever stop improving your house?) and we’re very happy with our home. We’re happy because we’ve made it nice but also because we know Trina would love what we’ve done with it.

And now here I am, on the 25th May 2018, about to attend CMA Live 2018 and I’m so bloody excited for it. You know, and this is how ridiculous us humans are, I feel bad that I haven’t made progress since CMA Live 2017. I laugh at that feeling, although it’s still there, how can I possibly expect myself to have moved things forward given the year we’ve had?

I’m excited to be inspired and motivated again. To meet more great people I’ve never met before. To meet people IRL who I’ve known for months or years on Social. And this time, I hope, I pray, that when I return I am able to take action and move forward.

Simon.

P.S Thanks for reading. This felt like the blog I needed to write to make a start with my blogging again.

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