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Looking Back So We Can Move Forward

A time for reflection

It's that time of year when we often look back on the year that has passed. I have to admit to having quite a bit of resistance to doing that this past year. Compared to a lot of people who have gone through terrible times I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have a family and dogs who are all currently well and relatively happy (long may that last), a warm, dry home and I have been able to paint most days and make a living that supports the things I need, along with a few things I want.

I think as humans we often find it difficult to appreciate our happy moments. We are too easily drawn into preparing ourselves for the inevitable 'bad news' that we are sure will be waiting for us around the corner. It's almost as if we decide not to enjoy these happy times too much so that the hard times won't fall as hard.

Taking the time to reflect has shown me that though there are always difficulties throughout life, there are always small wins to be remembered and appreciated. Yes, running your own business at this time is not a relaxing endeavour, but I am proud that I have survived this year still being able to do what I love, living my life within my values. Here are a few personal achievements that made me smile:

  • I have kept going each day, showing up in the studio to stand before those blank canvases and created work I am proud of.

  • I was able to pay to fly myself home to the UK to see my parents and family after a 3 year not being able to see them.

  • I have connected with lots of wonderful people on social media.

  • I launched some limited edition prints of some of my favourite paintings to make work available to a wider audience and

  • with help, I renovated another room and replaced the back deck on our home.

Recognising these wins is now helping me to start to thinking about planning for the year ahead....just dreams and pressure.

What do I want more of in my life next year and more importantly what do I want less of? We get so caught up in searching for what we feel we need to add to our lives to make us happy, that we forget to think about what we want less of.

Perhaps we need less busyness in our lives... if we are constantly running around we need to organise less events that we have to attend, so that we have more time for rest and relaxation.

Maybe we have too much stuff filling our spaces. This can make us feel overwhelmed, so that we can't appreciate or use the things we do have. That's a big one for me. I think I will make my mantra for next year 'Less is More'. Something I am going to try this year is attempt to buy less. I will still spend money on gifts for others, time with friends, home improvements, travel, replacement items and haircuts. What I will try not to are buy new clothes, home decor, beauty products I don't need, coffees & takeaways that don't involve friends. I'll let you know how that goes :)

Whatever it is for you it is worth taking the time to reflect and choose how you want your life to look. Start taking small steps towards making this life happen. Less stress would certainly be a worthy goal for 2023.

Sending love to you all, particularly to those who have had a really challenging 2022. I hope this coming year is full of peaceful and happy moments. I saw this and it resonated with me x

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