The new way forward, Post Pandemic.

Hi Friends,

It has been awhile since I have posted anything here, life has been so busy since I last posted in December 2020! And as you all know, so much has changed – but we have also had to get used to a continuing year of the pandemic, variants, vaccines and trying to keep the balance throughout it all.

Coming up the end of 2021, I feel a mix of emotions, and “feels” and have been going back and forth in my head as to how I am going to manoeuvre my new way forward post pandemic.

One lesson I have learnt, and it has not been an easy one…is that there are those whose “true” selves, came out in this era. The ones we thought we could count on, but could not. And at first, in saying goodbye to those people (sublimely or not) it was hurtful – but then I realised that sometimes people are only in your life for a season and a reason. And that is a lesson, maybe we all have to learn.

I leaned on my family and close circle of friends much more than I ever have. I may have over-shared my life story with certain confidantes, but it was the year you could.

One of the things I did to balance was to go to the Beach on a late afternoon after work, or more on the weekend, to swim, tan and think.

Focusing on the positive, and what is to come, is how I have gotten through each day. Exercising and focusing on my fitness goals is another way I have kept the balance.

I drank wine, I cried, I planned…..for my post pandemic life.

I wrote in a journal all throughout 2020, with goals and thoughts. Dreams and hopes. I prayed. I cried. I laughed. I cried again. I drank wine. It was a rough year last year and I think we all agree. What was incredible in the midst of such chaos, was how the things I wrote down last year, started to slowly manifest in my life.

I moved in to a dream home in July. I had walked past this house for four years, and always admired it — the space of the gardens around it, the trees and the house itself….we had been on the lookout for something new and fresh. And it came to me very easily in June, on a whim. After I was letdown by another house we were to move into and some bad news there. I looked back at my journal from May 2020 and saw that I had written about this very house in detail, and how I would love to find out more, in order to live there, and it worked! All my dream wish list items: large, open kitchen, a loft, lots of space outside, lots of guest rooms, a covered garage and a beautiful sunroom. I cannot wait to start decorating for Christmas!

I was one of those persons who stood outside in the HOT SUN for four hours in order to get my first dose of vaccine back in April, and then again in June (AstraZeneca.) Many people in Jamaica do not believe in vaccines much less the AstraZeneca. Yet I had been reading about it for months before we received it, and I felt very confident about taking that one. Albeit life is still a very cautious one, it has given me a level of feeling more “safe” – many of my friends who are vaccinated have gotten Covid, and stayed home with it, there was no need for hospitalisation. In fact most of them got it very mildly or asymptomatic. About a handful got it where it was like a bad flu.

I worked as hard as I ever have, knowing that in tourism in Jamaica, we have to put more out there to get the business for the future – and that meant creative marketing, public relations and social media. Social Media is 24:7. And I manage about 14 channels. Imagine how annoying that is to my friends and husband. My head is constantly down looking at the phone in order to answer questions about Island Outpost 24:7. It can get very stressful and a feeling of not ever going to have a day off, and that in itself is a challenge. I have had to pray about that too. However one has to do, what they have to do, and not complain. Especially now!

I have mapped out my future in my head, as I am sure MOST of you all have too….it will be a future with genuine, FUN people as my “circle”, NO guise, no “fakeness”….a future of MUCH more fitness goals in terms of competing, attending competitions, and taking on clients, why not?

My life story will always include working out, fitness goals for future Shows, and the beach for a total unwinding session. Even a rustic beach like this one, is fine for me!

The premise is to try to make more income where we can right? If that is ONE lesson I have learnt, it is do not sell yourself short. Do what you have to, even taking on extra work to make it all happen.

Don’t sweat the small stuff anymore, life is TOO FRAGILE for that.

In the next post I will talk about (and show pictures) of how I have simplified and edited my life in terms of wardrobe, my fridge organisation, general frivolous spending, and cutting out selfish/rude/insensitive/”bad mind” people.

We need to go forward in a much more genteel, gentle, kind… loving way, don’t you agree?

With love,


how to look at 2021 with hope (my musings)

Hi Friends!

Photo by Disha Sheta on

I do hope you have had a somewhat of a peaceful Christmas. I know that many of you were unable to be with family members, and for that I salute you for really taking this pandemic seriously. It is better to sacrifice a gathering with family members, keeping them safe (and maybe even ourselves) until things are safe again for us to get together like we used to. We are far from over from the end of it. We see the new hospitalisations climbing each day and it seems very grim right now.

Yet, there is also hope and light at the end of the tunnel, with the release of the Pfizer vaccine, and next to be the Moderna vaccine. Right behind that will be more. And news from Australia today that they have discovered an old medication that actually helps to fight and “kill” the covid-19 virus within 48 hours. So let us keep the faith that soon we will have this horrific pandemic behind us.

How do we get back the hope we may have lost in 2020 for 2021, is the premise of this post…

First of all, we have to keep in mind…things could be worse! At least we have two active vaccines that have been tested, and now ready for the public. Medical front liners of course, should get these first! They have had a rough nine months, and it has not stopped, with the spike again.

Sometimes, it really affects me mentally reading, and watching the news. I am sure it affects you in the same way.

So another way to combat the negativity of the ongoing news on social media is to A. stop reading it for a few days, and B. do not watch the news on TV. Try diverting to reading fun stories, cooking, looking at future vacation plans on social media, and as for TV, try watching a comedy, a new Series on Netflix, etc. I find that if I take a few days off of reading all the Covid-19 “news” I feel mentally better to cope when I am back on reading it. It gives you a mental break. Something we ALL need.

My advice to everyone right now, is to look forward to things slowly changing for the better. It is going to take time, but we have been hit with this since March, and we are still being cautious, patient and hopeful. So we can do this another few months. I know everyone has suffered in many ways. Loss of family members, friends, loss of income, homes, some have no food on the table. Horrific.

In 2021, we have to think about the way we want to live our lives, in our way, on our own terms. It is time to adjust the mindset. We have seen and been through so much in 2020 that surely each and every single one of us has been affected by this pandemic.

Living life in a more simplistic way, dealing with things with humility – it all helps to change the outcome of the “richness” of our lives. Dwelling on the past, or negative situations only causes stress, which does not help us in the long run.

For me, I choose exercise as a way to combat stress, fear and uncertainty. It helps me focus, if only for an hour or so – on something else entirely. At this time, I refuse to answer anything work related. I listen to music and that is it. Maybe even a podcast.

We have become so attuned to the noise around us, we have forgotten to just stop…slow down….meditate….pray….whatever helps. Step back, turn off your phone for an hour, listen to music, write in a journal. As one day, you will reflect back to these hard times and wonder how you got through them. Writing a journal is a wonderful way to record everything.

I say for 2021, dream bigger, and plan! Anything is possible in the future. Anything!

I hope you will have a safe, happy & healthy New Year’s Eve and 2021. Hope is something we all need. Brighter days are coming.

One love,

Neenie xo