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On 2015

03/01/2015

2015. A brand new year. A blank page on a clean fresh calendar not yet crumpled from being swiped by some over enthusiastic opening of the fridge door. Empty and just waiting to be filled with excitements and adventures and the mundane and the ordinary.

Am I the only one that is always rather taken by surprise by New Years? I know it’s on the same date every year, and it really shouldn’t be a shock to the system, but somehow it just creeps up; one moment it’s nearly Christmas, there are carols and mince pies and the house is full to bursting with happy noise and baking, and if you sit still for long enough one of the girls will probably try to deck you with tinsel, fairy lights or both, and then suddenly we’re moving on into a New Year and yet again I find I’ve spent the lull in the end of the year wallowing in the loveliness of relaxing with the family. It’s just never seemed exactly the perfect moment for rigorous self examination and making detailed plans for the next 12 months when you’re sipping the last of the champagne and brushing fruit cake crumbs off your fingers.

There are things I want to do in 2015, some of them have crystallised (get a light fitted next to the front door) but most are still swirling around my mind like dust motes in a shard of sunshine.  There are house thoughts and thoughts on the children, oodles of creative projects and a list as long as my arm when it comes to the blog and I just haven’t got them all caught and organised yet.

So I’ve come up with a new plan.  I’m deferring my New Year’s Resolutions and giving myself January as a planning and organising my thoughts month.  I’m hoping that it will make me actually take the time to work out what I want to achieve next, and I’m hoping it will reign me in.   It’s so tempting with all that white space to sit yourself down and think right, this is the year that I’m going to do this, and that, and this, and this, and I’m sure I’m going to have done all of that by March so then I’ll do this and this and this, and it’s going to be amazing.  But the slight hitch with that is that my calendar isn’t blank, in fact, it’s rather occupied with three small children, my lovely H and trying to keep our home in some sort of order.  If you’ve followed any of my creative endeavours over the years you know I’m horribly prone to thinking I can do double the things in half the time and if there’s one thing I really don’t want to do it’s to set myself up for failure because then my little niggly subconscious would really go to town on that one.

So January will be for thinking and planning and then the rest of the year I’m going to wildly overachieve on all of my plots and plans (oh yes, definitely!).

But in thinking about the thinking I have found my word for the year.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Last year I wanted to be centred, the eye at the centre of the whirlwind of our family life.  It all tied in to wanting to help our girls to thrive and to making our house a haven and a home, and to getting ready for the new arrival we weren’t quite ready to tell the world about.  Everything I wrote last year remains true, mainly I suspect because they’re not really resolutions as much as general intentions for life; spending time as a family and time being creative being pretty high up our list of core values.

And for this year I want to build on that.  I want to keep going with our very slow decluttering and organising, to focus on being fit and healthy, to be truly present for my little trio, and to help them grow into strong confident slightly taller people.  I know how it feels when the balance is right, when we’ve had time to be together as a five, and one on one time with the children, with each other, and doing the things that make us truly content; and I want to keep that feeling front and centre as a sort of mental reference point for each of our decisions.

And it is going to be amazing, even if it doesn’t look like anything has changed, because it is a year that has H and Kitty and Elma and Pip in it, and with those four around my cup of joy runs over.

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  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 03/01/2015 at 12:14 pm

    Carie… This is one of my favourite words in the world… In fact, its pretty much my word every year. I might just join you on this one! Love the idea of taking time to think through your resolutions. Planning on posting mine today; I too am caught off guard and never ready for the new year. Xx

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 7:35 pm

      Oh definitely join me on this one – I think it might turn out to be a word that’s actually a central tenet of our family life but that’s no bad thing!

  • Monica M 03/01/2015 at 3:48 pm

    taking january as the thinking and planning month is one of the most sensible things i’ve heard recently. so many people plunge into resolutions/goals n the 1st of the year, after the craziness of xmas.

    “doing the things that make us truly content; and I want to keep that feeling front and centre as a sort of mental reference point for each of our decisions.”
    perfect.

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you – I hope it turns out to be a good idea – now I just have to make sure I actually sit down and do the thinking!

  • mountain girl 03/01/2015 at 4:52 pm

    Such good thoughts, Carie, and I love your word. Much grace to you as you seek to adjust your life a bit at a time–so much like the adjustments I am seeking, too!

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 3:36 pm

      I suspect that a little bit at a time is really the only way to make changes that stick – fingers crossed for some good plans!

  • Donna 03/01/2015 at 5:35 pm

    I love that you’re using January to plan,e ase yourself into the year and prepare for the year ahead. I cannot wait to see how your plans turn out x

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 3:33 pm

      Well fingers crossed at least a few of them come off!

  • Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper 03/01/2015 at 8:27 pm

    Happy New Year to you all Carie! I am with you on spending January working out which way I want to go blog-wise. December was so busy and I barely blogged at all, let alone thought about what I wanted to do, so I didn’t have an inch of time to think. January is for thinking! And not peaking too soon! 😉 I like your aim last year to be the centre of your family, and this is what I’d like to be better at- solid, calmer, more consistent as a parent. Hope 2015 is a fab one for your lovely family xx

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 3:30 pm

      I don’t think there’s any danger of peaking too soon – it’s probably all about writing things down so that I stop procrastinating on plans I had in September but have sort of waffled on!

  • Vickie 03/01/2015 at 9:24 pm

    I think contemplation and planning to plan is absolutely the best way to spend January. I’m sure whatever your plans are they will be wonderul. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2015!

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 2:53 pm

      Well fingers crossed!!

  • sustainablemum 04/01/2015 at 12:25 pm

    What a lovely idea! I think planning in January rather than making resolutions is a good plan. I have been thinking about ways to reduce the madness of present making at the end of April / beginning of May by thinking about them now and getting started on them soon!

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 7:24 pm

      Oh wow that would be being really organised – it’s a good idea though 🙂

  • Jovana 04/01/2015 at 1:59 pm

    I like that and feel a bit liberated reading it- I had all these big plans, but the end of year (just like for you) brought focus on many other things and the beginning of the year found me solo parenting for a few days and with sick kids- so a lot of the “doing things just right” plans already fell in the water…maybe I will use/give myself a few days to regroup:)

    • Carie 04/01/2015 at 7:27 pm

      It’s sort of the other side to the coin that says you don’t have to wait until 1 January to change things – you don’t have to rush into change either!

  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 05/01/2015 at 7:46 pm

    You always talk such sense, Carie. I didn’t want to make any resolutions but feel like I should have a few plans. Trouble is, Christmas is so busy and like you, January takes me quite by surprise. I’d like to use this month to have a good think about what I want to achieve this year and then put pen to paper.

    • Carie 05/01/2015 at 10:20 pm

      Well if you do it to that makes it a definite thing – Chinese New Year Resolutions are the new New Year’s Resolutions, it’s official!

  • sally 07/01/2015 at 4:54 pm

    Although I don’t go overboard on ‘resolutions’, I do usually find I have a few clear intentions at the start of January, and it does generally feel like a fresh start and gives me extra motivation. But so far this year I haven’t been feeling any of that. So perhaps I should join you in reviewing it at the end of January. Did you find having a particular word for last year helped you focus on what you wanted through the year?

    • Carie 08/01/2015 at 9:05 am

      I think so yes, though whether that was the word itself or the fact that having chosen it pushed me into doing a couple of reflection courses which helped me get a little clarity about what I wanted it’s hard to say. But perhaps they’re all part and parcel of the same thing?!

  • Yanic 12/01/2015 at 2:20 am

    What a great idea… why didn’t I think of that! LOL! For a split second this year, I thought of making Chinese New year (Feb 19) my New Year’s turn over. Maybe next year. 🙂

    Good luck… and great word!

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 9:04 pm

      I think I might be going for Chinese New Year at this rate!!