The shift from one year to another feels like a reset button. To me, it’s a clean slate. The things that weren’t so great about the outgoing year have an Official Full Stop. I think it’s the same sort of feeling as getting a new notebook; the possibilities are endless. The combination of two weeks off work and a change in date mean that I start each year feeling particularly energised and hopeful. It’s a wonderful feeling to be ready to make positive changes, and to shake off any negativity from the year before.
One thing that’s been really significant for me in 2016 is reading the book ‘Spark Joy’ by Marie Kondo. I’m by no means a devotee, and I found a lot of the book frankly silly, but the parts that resonated with me have been genuinely life-changing. Over the past few years, I’ve acquired a taste for minimal decor, but had no way of translating that into my home. It was far too cluttered and never tidy for more than a day or two. Reading ‘Spark Joy’ and learning the KonMari method has helped me start the process of decluttering. I bought the house I live in right at the end of 2015, and it’s the first place that’s really been Home for a long time; somewhere rented just isn’t the same. Owning it has made the process of decluttering more meaningful; I can make this house feel however I want, and I want it to be clean and simple and as minimal as practical. The KonMari (KM) method isn’t necessarily about minimalism*, but for me they have parallels. This is definitely something I’ll be continuing in 2017.
Something else that has been great in 2016 is that I joined a book group. I’ve met some amazing friends through it and we talk pretty much every day. I’m enjoying being challenged by the choices, rather than just sticking to the same kind of thing. It’s a book group where we do actually read and talk about the books. I hear that’s not always the case!
I’ve also started this blog! I started my first blog in something like 2008 and have started and abandoned quite a few more in the time in between. Through this blog, and through my writing at 365 Bristol I have got more involved in the Bristol blogging community, and through it I’ve met some amazing women who I’m now very lucky to call my friends. I have no intention of this blog being one I abandon!
When I look forwards to the rest of 2017,
I’d like to go on some nice holidays, to pay off some of my debts, and to think about maybe running some workshops from home. I’d also like to learn how to use some of the settings on my camera. I would be very pleased if I could find myself a source of income (however small) that’s not related to my day job.
Something I do every January is the January Cure via Apartment Therapy. It’s a series of small, easy tasks to declutter and refresh your home. I pick and choose from the daily assignments but I do probably 90% of them.
Also happening in January is Veganuary but I am not actually doing it until February. I didn’t find out about it until 31st December-ish and we had no time to stock up on anything so I’d have failed by 10am on 1st Jan when I had my first cup of tea! Plus my birthday is in January and there’s also the Bishopston Supper Club roast, both of which I wish to fully meatily partake in. I know that being vegan comes naturally to some people, but I am absolutely not one of them, so I will find it really, really hard. I want to give it as good a go as I can, so I need to be prepared and do my research. Luckily, I live near two fab vegan cafes so I’ll have easy access to great cake! So I’ll be doing… Vegebuary? Veguary?? I’m also going to allow myself one cup of tea with cows milk, per day. I know it’s cheating but it’s the one thing that I can see myself failing on, and I suppose that if I acknowledge that from Day 1, then it’s not so bad? Maybe as I work my way through the month, I’ll find that I can give it up.
I know that what I’m about to say will sound annoyingly twee, and is possibly tempting fate, but I am at a point in my life where I feel very happy. And probably the first point in my life where I’m not actively seeking out big changes. In 2016 I left a job that was wringing me out, and I found a new one which I think I will love. I bought and started renovating a house that I love. I moved to a new area which I was initially wary of, but now I love. I got engaged and married, and in the best possible way, it changed nothing about my relationship. If nothing changes in 2017, and even if I don’t achieve a single one of my goals, I will still think I’m incredibly fortunate.
*The key focus of KM is to keep things that bring you joy, so one person’s house could be very brightly coloured and full to the brim of carefully considered objects but still be completely KM. Personally, empty space brings me more joy than Stuff, but everyone’s KM vision is different and equally valid.