A year of evolutions, not resolutions

A blog about fresh starts, plans, definitions and a whole new look.

Resolutions be damned

I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions. They create ridiculous expectations and set us up to fail. All that pressure on making big changes at the beginning of the year, when the thrill of the festive season has passed, and the days are at their darkest. Plus, if you want to change something, why wait?

So rather than resolving, I am evolving, with the overhaul of my website this month.

Website guru Lucy asked me if I fancied a change, and then lured me in with the promise of a fresh, modern template and lashings of tea.

The new look

Gone is my original logo of the handbag-wearing woman. She looks dated and doesn’t reflect my personality or the content I write about. The new website is less cluttered, easier to navigate and hopefully more appealing. I hope you like it.

New Year's resolutions be damned. If you want to change something, why wait? This will be a year of evolution, not resolutions. Here are my plans for 2020.What’s in a name?

When I published my first post in 2014, I just assumed that the word Maven was common parlance. As it turns out, Maven is not only unknown by many people in the UK (as opposed to the US where it’s more common), but a lot of people don’t know how to pronounce it. Some mistake it for the place name ‘Malvern’ with which I have no association, or misspell it ‘Mavern’ in emails – a non-word.

For the uninitiated, Maven (pronounced may-vn) is derived from Yiddish and means expert or connoisseur.  Growing up with it, I understood it to mean a know-it-all. With this blog, it’s meant to be tongue in cheek. I’m no expert.

I’ve been at a crossroads for a year: do I change the name of the blog, or tell people the meaning and hope it sticks?

I’ve registered a dozen or so alternative domain names, all of which have expired before I’ve done anything with them. Some of them are corkers. But the thought of changing all my social media handles, the usernames on all the platforms I use, redirecting emails, not to mention the thousands of pins on Pinterest and links on other people’s websites – oy vay – it’s just too much like hard work.

So the Maven stays.

My vision for the blog in 2020

Mr Maven recently introduced me to someone as an ‘influencer’. I cringed, denied everything and asked him never to call me that again.

First and foremost I’m a recruitment consultant. Depending on the audience, and if the conversation develops into a discussion about hobbies or side-hustles, then I’ll explain that I write a blog. But influencer, I ain’t.

New Year's resolutions be damned. If you want to change something, why wait? This will be a year of evolution, not resolutions. Here are my plans for 2020.

Explaining that I’m a recruitment consultant is bad enough. But influencers are generally hated or berated, both within and outside of the influencer community.

Influencers are seen as scroungers with ideas above their station. Whole websites are devoted to bitching about them. I don’t subscribe to this view, knowing the hard work which goes into building an engaged audience. Most influencers are doing the job of an advertising agency on their own, creating original content without a team of directors, photographers, makeup artists or PR consultants. And all they get is grief for trying to make a living.

Also, to be an influencer you have to influence people, which rules me out.

I started the blog partly as therapy, and partly as a way to connect with people outside my personal and professional community. This year I hope to bring you lots of personal content as these posts spark interesting conversations with you, dear reader.

Reviews relevant to us midlifers will feature, as well as the occasional recipe. I’ve just invested in a pressure cooker, so you can expect to see a few one-pot recipes. They will look like mush, but I promise they’ll taste great – and save on the washing up.

As you know, I’m constantly reading. Work gets in the way of a good book.  I’ve made a note of all the recommendations you made on my last book review, so expect more literature posts coming your way.

Woman 47, seeks adventure

I’m seeking new adventures. Remember that time I had a dance lesson, and went to the Opera? Then there was that time I featured in a Neal’s Yard Remedies advertising campaign. Good times.

Here is a look back at 2018, including my activities, achievements and failures. Because if I don't write it down, it's like it never happened.

I’m not looking for fame and doubt this little corner of the internet will bring me fortune either. I seek real connections. There is nothing more thrilling to me than receiving comments from you. Every comment gives me a little endorphin release. Knowing that you’re interested in my posts and hearing your opinions (in the words of any talent show contestant) ‘means the world to me’.

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want

I would love to know why you come here, and what you’d like me to review, research, and write about. I’ll be your guinea pig.

Thanks again for reading. I’m so glad you’re still here.

Much love, Vx

[Disclosure: nothing to declare]