January 2017, some thoughts.

Hi there 2017, good to see you!

As I ease into these first few weeks of a brand new year, I have, somewhat inevitably, been reflecting on the events of 2016 as well as looking ahead to what the next 12 months might bring for me and this little life of mine.

2016 was undoubtedly a strange and rather unsettling year both politically but also (to a lesser extent), on a personal level. Politically, at several points during the year, it felt as though the world had shifted in the blink of an eyelid, that the accepted order had been turned on its head and we were struggling to catch up, flailing helplessly, with mouths wide open in disbelief.

None of us can know what 2017 will bring for the world, but I must admit the thought of what the next 12 months has in store scares me a little. I try to remain optimistic and hopeful, to remember that change is inevitable, and from bad can come good. I guess all we can do is watch this space and try to carry on living our daily lives with love, compassion and tolerance, to speak out for equality and justice and to refuse to accept hate or prejudice on even the smallest of scales.

Personally, 2016 was one of the most challenging years for me to date, but it was also the most clarifying and liberating too. It was a year of wonderful highs (trips to Scotland and Iceland, our 30th birthdays, developing my textile art and beginning to sell my work, growing my blog and my Instagram, making new friends and growing even closer to old ones). But it was also a year of soul searching, anxiety and self doubt, fear of the unknown and some sadness too. Thankfully, through that maelstrom of emotion and navel gazing,  I managed (with the help of lots and lots of amazing people), to figure some important stuff out, work out a plan of action, and begin to make some important (and probably long overdue) changes to my career. And several months on from that, I feel stronger and happier and hopeful about the coming year.

2017 is set to be an interesting year for me. I have left my safe, secure job as a lawyer and will be relying on myself alone to make a living and grow my career. And I expect that to challenge and test me, to make me question my decision and to give me sicky-sweaty nightmares every now and again. But I am also excited, and curious and eager to give this new life a go.

Last year I chose the word "patience" as an intention to inspire me for the year ahead, and although I wasn't always as patient as I would have liked to be (this is something I find very difficult), I did manage to wait for some really important things,  and I learnt that not everything is immediately achievable and that some things are all the sweeter for waiting. I also learnt so much more to accept and even enjoy the process of life and the sometimes convoluted journey it takes you on to get to your destination.

My intentional word for 2017 is "courage" for obvious reasons! I want to have the courage to persist with my own business, to reach out for help where I need it, to leave my comfort zone and to be ambitious about the future. Here's hoping!

Last year, I also made a short list of a few things I wanted to do more of in the coming year, and it really helped me to spend my spare time wisely instead of wasting it in front of crap TV or browsing Asos (not that I don't love Asos). I thought I would make the same list this year too:

1. Cook. Making good stuff to eat has always been a love of mine, but the day in day out gets so boring, I find myself losing my cooking mojo on a regular basis. Now I have a bit more time in the day, I'm hoping to revive it. I have plans to extend my repertoire of marmalades and jams, soups and stews, cakes and cookies. Clearly no one is losing any weight around here in 2017.

2. Read. This was on last year's list and it motivated me to do it. And I loved it. So it's back on this year too.

3. London. I'm aware we won't be here for ever and I'll kick myself for all the stuff we didn't do. So this year I want to explore more, see more and do more in the city.

4. Camp. Towards the end of last year we bought Karl, a 1989 VW campervan and the love of Raoul's life (yep, I've been replaced). And this year we have lots of plans for adventures in the UK and abroad with him. Honestly can't wait. 

5. Make. This gives me so much joy and I didn't do enough of it last year. So this year I want to get back on the craft wagon and make more stuff. I'm currently dreaming about knitting, shibori, more weaving (of course) and sewing. Yeah yeah yeah! 

How was 2016 for you, and what are your hopes and dreams for 2017? Have you made any resolutions, or chosen an intentional word? I'd love to know if so! 

Mary x