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Family Pause for Thought

Welcome to 2017: in which there are no New Year’s Resolutions


It’s  2017, a brand new year and a brand new day.  And albeit maybe it’s a little forced to make one day the point that we stop and take stock when in all reality today will be fairly indistinguishable from yesterday, but it prompted me to look back over last year’s resolutions (made in February naturally!).

In 2016 I was going to have found the perfect work life balance that kept me from falling into a pattern of compulsive overworking, I was going to push myself to the limits both in my real life job and here on the blog, and I was going to feel like I’d reached the end of the year having made progress, in whatever form that looked like.

Oh the innocence of my optimisim.

Space for the Butterflies - half term lunch treat

Well, let’s see. We did declutter the house, including taking two days off work over the October half term so that John and I could do some intensive KonMarie-ing.  We filled an 8 foot skip including a whole heap of garden rubbish, took 10 bags to the charity shop and wow did it make a difference.  It’s still far from perfect and I’m sure that as we build up to the big move (whenever that may be) there’ll be more sorting out to do but I think we have broken the back of it.  I did get better at taking my lunch to work, and discovered the £1 lunches on a Monday with O2 Priority (a small perk for the existence of my work mobile!).

The work-life balance of course remains elusive and the overworking hit a new level of crazy, from necessity rather than compulsion.  It’s recognised though, or at least I’ll jolly well make sure it is, which counts as success of a sort, though I haven’t done a lot of things that I intended to.  Life in the real world is due to calm down a bit in March at which point I can have a rethink on my plan to take over the world, but for now I’m just letting it go.  But even with the crazy we still had time for an amazing trip around Europe, and enough time for a Christmas holiday that has lulled me into a happy state of calendar amnesia.

Space for the Butterflies - Walchensee, Germany

As for this blog of mine, well I was chatting on Facebook about our blogging successes for the year and the first thing that came to mind was “well I didn’t quit”.  It’s been too easy to let the second half of the year cloud the first; in the last few months when posts were few and far between I really missed not just the time to write posts myself, but to be a part of the community.  I have had so much fun blogging this year, and I was blown away to be a MADs finalist for the second year running (and just in case I didn’t say thank you enough in the summer – THANK YOU, it was amazing).

Space for the Butterflies - the MAD Blog Awards 2016

I want to do so much this year to keep writing and taking better photos and making more videos and all the rest and yet I’m trying to keep some sense of realism in the whole picture.

The problem with resolutions is that they hold you to a standard that isn’t always achievable no matter how much you strive for it. And becuase I am human, and a tad on the perfectionist over-achiever end of the scale, not reaching the moon is all to often equated to failing to leave the ground, not realising that I’m sitting among the stars (if ever there was proof in the pudding it’s that I had to sit on my fingers not to say probably).

Space for the Butterflies - Pip Squeak is TwoSpace for the Butterflies - the 52 Project

The self-critical part of my brain looks at the last year and sees only what I planned to do but didn’t achieve, and that’s not OK with the rest of me.  Whatever I achieve or don’t it will be because I’m trying my hardest and pushing myself as far as possible

So for this year I’m not making any resolutions, or intentions or ambitions for this year.  I have things that I want to do this year certainly; finally make the pair to a sock I made before Kitty was born, finish the Sugar Block Club quiltalong, move house, have another go at winning the MADs, but I’m not making them a resolution.  I want to make time to think, to do more creative writing as well as continue to record our family adventures, but I won’t beat myself up if I don’t make it perfect.

I found this on Facebook earlier in the week:

Space for the Butterflies - Happy New Year

and while I’m not sure I’ve ever been that fabulous, the sentiment is spot on.  I’m a wife, a mother of three, I work full-time, I love to make things, to write, and to take photographs and I want to do it all, and do it well, and get better at it.  That’s my modus operandi, so adding a resolution on top of it is surely only going to add pressure when accepting that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything and be everything is my biggest challenge.

Right now I am enough. And so are you.  With our without resolutions.

So hurray for 2017, a new clean year to greet with ambition, drive, and, as always, hope.

Happy New Year!