It’s January 16th, we are half way through the first month of the year already and I’ve been reflecting the past few days on last year as I set out my intentions for twenty seventeen. I like new beginnings, the promise of a fresh page in a new notebook, the resetting that seems to come naturally with the start of each new year.
Whilst last year was pretty dire globally, on a personal level it was okay – nothing spectacular and nothing too tricksy. When I thought back through the highs and the lows, I mostly came up with a lot of in-between moments. I suppose notably, I single parented for a month whilst my husband travelled Nepal, which was as much a physical challenge as a mental one – hats off to all the single parents out there! On his return I felt pretty accomplished; it gave me a quiet confidence as a ma. A little less self doubt in the parenting department was certainly welcome!
Beyond that, 2016 was a good year for motherhood. Raff turned 4, learnt to dress himself, overcame his fear of swimming, started to eat broccoli, grew a whole lot of inches, learnt to draw really brilliant pictures of our family that I like to stick on our fridge and, of course, started primary school. The little one squeezed her way out of toddlerhood and discovered newfound independence. She turned two, learnt to ride her scooter, started communicating in full sentences, had her first baby, (her beloved dolly, Ruby), started preschool and grew a whole heap of inches like her brother, leading to the loss of her baby face, (she still has her toddler tummy and wrists so that’s ok). They both grew closer to each other than ever before, forming a lovely bond that makes me happier than most things in life. On Saturday night they requested a sleepover in Elsie’s room and proceeded to stay up late nattering in bed by torchlight. Yesterday Oli and I spent a couple of hours together chatting and sipping coffee downstairs, listening to our children, giggling, bossing each other about and building dens upstairs. (SIDENOTE; rest assured they still squabble like the best of them!)
Creatively and professionally 2016 was a great year. My business took off, more than doubling in size and opening up opportunities for some really exciting collaborations! I grew as an artist, learnt to trust my creative vision, listen to my instinct, hone my visual style and create work that I feel really and truly proud of. I don’t feel like a business amateur anymore but rather someone who kind of knows what I’m doing at last.
On the wellbeing front, I neglected myself last year. Too many late nights going to bed way past my bedtime, only then to be woken by a crying child a few hours later. Not enough quality time spent with the people who make me happy, including my husband!!! Not enough time spent on my own (something I always find makes me happier). Too much technology, not enough reading and relaxing. I drank too many glasses of wine in 2016, by December I was getting through bath time with a glass in hand most evenings. All fairly normal stuff on the wellbeing front but I feel this is an area that needs some love in 2017!
So what does this all mean for the year ahead? I’m not one for big bang resolutions – rather I’ve set down some realistic and achievable intentions for shaping the future, my future. I’ve focused them in five core areas because that’s how my brain works best. here’s what I’ll be dreaming of achieving over the next 12 months:
Motherhood: Less sweating the small stuff more practising calmness
Relationships: Putting my marriage first more often and spend more time together being present… including a holiday without the kids (YEP!!)
Creative/Professional: Learn to give space for work – writing here and my photography, and then shut it down so I can be fully present in other areas. Work on some commercial projects to stretch my creative muscles – if you are a brand looking to partner with a photographer drop me an email!
Home: Keep on decluttering and living with less, (more on this in a blog post soon)
Wellbeing: Reset the drinking button and cut back. Make time for things that make me feel good: prioritise sleep, make time for exercise and practise meditation
So there you have it. Happy New Year friends, I’m already feeling the benefits of many of the above intentions and I can’t wait to look at them again in 3 months time and see how things are going.