Saturday, 31 December 2011

It was a very good year

As it's the end of 2011 I thought it would be nice to go through my blog and take a look back over the past year. And I'm so glad I did as I'm quite surprised by what I've learnt.

At the start of 2011 I felt well and truly stuck in a rut, but with no clue as to what was causing it or what I wanted to do to change things. There was a lot of moaning done about the weather and the dark winter days. On the bright side, we did get to see Band of Horses play in Bristol and it remains to be the best gig we went to during 2011. So beautiful.

Spring saw optimism start to creep back into my blog. I got my chickens (finally!) and finished a granny square blanket that I'd been working on for nearly two years. It was a small achievement, but one that I was proud of nonetheless. 
I also started missing my old business and desperately wanted to start it up again. I had a vague plan in mind, but nothing solid.

After taking part in a craft fair and selling off my old stock I set about making some new items for the shop.
However, my vague plan had remained just that, so by mid-summer they had soon sold out and unfortunately the shop has remained empty ever since.

We got the chance to go to Glastonbury at the last minute (I became Stephanie Kitchen for the day), started making plans for a road trip across America and enjoyed a cracking camping weekend with friends.

It was after this camping trip that I made the rather surprising discovery that I was pregnant. Without going in to it too much, the start of the pregnancy was pretty stressful. That along with the usual nausea and tiredness meant that I had no energy or desire to do anything, so I took a break from many things, including this blog.

By the autumn the dreaded first trimester was over, the pregnancy stresses were thankfully no longer an issue and so I returned with renewed energy.
However, regular readers may have noticed that despite the renewed energy, I have been posting a lot less since then. The reason for this was a dressmaking course which I started in September.

So far, I've completed nine out of eleven assignments. With only two more assignments and the final examination left to go, I'm well I'm on track to have it all done and dusted long before Pip arrives *touch wood!*
As well as working on the various assignments, I've also been working through a massive 'to do list' which I frequently refer to as, The Beast List. 
Basically I took all my other existing lists, the winter list, the New Year list, the things to do before Pip arrives list and merged them altogether to create the mother of all lists, The Beast List!
It's taking some time as it has over 70 items on it, but we're getting there.

And this pretty much brings us up to date. It's been an odd year really. Not a great deal has happened and yet, so much has changed.

And what have I learnt from it?

Well lesson one clearly has to be that I have a problem when it comes to making lists! I really ought to stick to one main list and then daily to do lists rather than have four or five on the go. That way I might actually get to complete one of them and stop myself from feeling stressed out for not achieving anything despite being constantly busy.

Lesson two would be to take more photos. Not just photos for this blog, but of my day to day life too. It doesn't matter if the weather is miserable, if the house is a mess or if I have spots on my face. One of the photos I included above was taken by Dan during the summer when I was two months pregnant. I'm sat at the bottom of the garden feeling sorry for myself. I felt awful and was unhappy that there were so many things I wanted to do, but just couldn't. That may not sound like a moment you'd want to remember, but when I found it, I spent a good few minutes staring at it, recalling how it felt and remembering things I'd already clean forgotten about. All because of the power of photography. So there you have it, lesson two is that you should always take photos of your life. The good, the bad, and the spotty.

Lesson three would be to go easier on myself when it comes to setting goals. I'm a big goal setter and to give myself a little credit, if there's something I really want to achieve, I will usually succeed eventually.
However I almost always underestimate how long something will take, or I will set my sights too high and make my goals too ambitious and I will always, without a shadow of a doubt, forget to allow myself any time to relax and do other things. All that leads me to feel burnt out pretty quickly and again, as with the to do lists, I end up feeling stressed out when I try (and fail) to get everything done in time to meet the deadlines I've set myself.

So in short, 2011 has taught me to make my to do lists shorter, take photos of everything and make my goals a little more realistic.

2012 has got it's work cut out to beat this one and I can't wait to see what it has in store. The good, the bad and yup, you guessed it.

The downright spotty!

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