2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work


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Reflections on the past year – and spring flowers

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Wow, I’ve been so busy with work that I actually missed my blogiversary on the 19th – can’t believe I’ve been doing this a whole year! Thanks to everyone who’s liked my posts over that time, as well as the hardy souls who follow my blog 🙂

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What’s changed since I started the blog?

  1. I’ve learned that I can make a success of running my own business – just coming up to the anniversary of going full time on that, and all is well
  2. I’ve also learned that knowing when to take breaks and rest your mind is absolutely vital to being able to continue to do that
  3. I can actually work our digital camera for the first time in ten years
  4. I’ve got a lot more into gardening and nature as a result of paying more attention to what’s happening in the world around me
  5. IMG_2594I’ve become more relaxed about posting – I blog when I feel like it rather than trying to impose a schedule. As an awful lot of my life is deadline focussed, it’s quite nice to have something creative that isn’t.
  6. I’m following about 100 more blogs than last year at this time – it’s a real highlight of my day catching up with what everyone’s writing about
  7. I’ve posted comments on other people’s blogs for the first time – I’d never done it before this year, but it’s really nice connecting with people half a world away
  8. My knowledge of geography of the USA has got a lot better – I like to see where other bloggers live and as so many of them are ‘across the pond’ I’m finally starting to get a grip on some of the states

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Its also fun to look back on last year and realise that spring has hit a lot earlier than last year at this time – although the sunshine through my patio door today is deceptive, we’ve just come back from a walk and the north wind is absolutely bitter. We could just see snow on the hills in the Lake District in the distance, so even though we’re past the equinox there’s a whole lot of warming still to happen. But the colour and light in the garden today tells me it won’t be long…

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I’m looking forward to another year of blogging and seeing what it teaches me – not to mention what I’ll learn from everyone else 🙂

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In every end is a beginning

IMG_2389It might be the end of 2013, but nature isn’t seeing any cut off point and has already started preparing for another year. The first bulbs are pushing up all over the garden and with a bit of luck and not too much cold weather, we’ll be seeing flowers before the end of January.

It’s also the end of calling this blog ‘2013: The Year of Being Me’, because quite frankly that just isn’t going to work from tomorrow is it? When I started this blog back in March I never thought it would last so long, and so didn’t really worry about the longevity of the name. Have I achieved my goal of ‘being me’? To a degree, yes – I’ve certainly taken time to appreciate the smaller things more, and I think I’ve noticed things more this year through blogging. I still think there’s work to do though on creating a life that feels balanced and authentic – and so have decided to call next year’s blog ‘2014: The Year of Discovery’ as a gentle reminder to keep on exploring and finding out the best way forward.

If I hit 2015 with it, I can worry about another name then 🙂

IMG_2388Wishing you all the very, very best for 2014 and hope it holds lots of wonderful things for us all to discover.


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The warm satisfaction of completion…

Yay! I finally finished my knitted socks, after a couple of hours at knit group this morning and another few this afternoon. And as it was also really cold, I got the ultimate satisfaction of wearing my socks the minute they were finished.

IMG_1836It was only when I went to record their completion on the fantastic online knitting database, Ravelry, that I realised it has taken me 51 weeks to finish them! This is definitely the slowest pair of socks I’ve ever made – I can normally polish a pair off easily in one month. I think I’d been delaying finishing them as I thought it was actually going to take much longer than it did – soon as I got started it wasn’t bad at all. It was the same this week when I blitzed my home office. The piles of books, papers and everything else had been bugging me for months, but once I got started it actually only took about 20 minutes a day for a week to get it all beautifully clear (and it was during the aforementioned clearance that I unearthed the above unfinished socks. Ahem. )

Which makes me wonder what else I’m putting off, thinking that it’ll take ages when that’s just not the case. Something to ponder maybe…

 


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Planning and dreaming

I am one of life’s planners. Show me something that needs doing, and I can easily break it down into all the little steps you need to make it a reality. However, I’m also one of life’s dreamers, with a tendency to read about things, imagine how great they would be, and then never actually do them. And I’ve never been really sure how the two traits sit alongside each other. Surely, if I’m good at planning, then I can apply these skills in all circumstances?

Well, apparently not. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, as since leaving work and starting my own business I now have the freedom to shape my life just how I want it (ahem. Obviously I’m also taking my other half’s views into account as well, since he reads this blog too :-)) And yet I still find it hard to do some of the things I picture being in my ‘ideal life’ – making time for things like yoga, drawing, sewing – which I know aren’t huge ambitions, but I like the idea of doing them.

I’m beginning to think this has a lot to do with my other trait of being a perfectionist. Whilst I love learning new things on an intellectual basis, I hate learning practical things with a passion. Playing the guitar, skating, martial arts, stained glass making – you name it, I’ve packed it in in a temper because I couldn’t do it straight away. I must be the only person who’s ever walked out of a Tai Chi class because they got stressed over the warm up exercises (it was a lot of years ago, okay, and I like to think I’d behave slightly better these days). However, maybe I’m missing out on a lot of fun by only doing things that I’m confident I can easily master. So over the next few weeks I’m going to dig out my art materials, stop gazing at the books on how to do it, and just have a go.

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And no, I won’t be showing the results on here – well, not till they’re perfect anyway 🙂


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Sharing the energy

I’ve had a really busy few days with work and not had time to post. However, I’m not feeling exhausted/stressed or many of the emotions that I have felt in the past after a hectic period of work, but rather exhilarated and positive. The reason for that is that over the last 2 days I’ve been spending time with a huge variety of people – of many different ages, backgrounds and nationalities but with one thing in common: wanting to make a positive change, either to themselves or to the world. I don’t think I heard a grumble or moan the entire time. That sort of energy is amazingly beneficial to be around, and you find that energy begets energy – a real positive circle.

How often do we surround ourselves with people or things that make us feel bad and then wonder why it’s so hard to create the change we want to see in our lives? I’m not suggesting a blind ‘let’s ignore the negative’ approach, but rather taking a conscious decision to maybe shift ourselves to a seat away from the annoying colleague who always grumbles about their kids, the weather, their customers – or whatever the equivalent is in your life. Try and spend more time with the things that boost your mood.

It doesn’t always work mind you. I’m bouncing with energy at the moment, but it’s having no impact whatsoever on my cat.

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