Archive | January, 2014

Saying goodbye to 2013 and my goals for 2014

2 Jan

Happy New Year! At the start of the year everyone’s on a bit of a come down from the Christmas festivities as we all return to work. But January is a great time to look at our lives, review the last 12 months and think about what we could do to make the New Year a better one.

I always feel reflective at the end of the year as I think about the highs (and the lows.) I consider what I’ve learnt about myself and what I want to achieve in the coming months.

Whether it’s in your personal life or at work, setting goals (realistic ones) and a couple of long-term goals is a positive way to start the year and it always helps gather some perspective.

As you may know I’ve been super lucky to spend this Christmas in Thailand with my brother, his wife and kids who live in Shanghai. I’m still there now and it was great to wake up on New Year’s Day by the beach in the sunshine. I took a walk along the beach thinking about what I wanted to write in this blog post. There’s something about hearing the waves crashing, looking out across the horizon and breathing in the sea air, that always gives me this feeling of escapism. It’s so calming; I feel relaxed and carefree.

Thailand Thailand Thailand Thailand Thailand

2013 wasn’t an easy year for me but facing my battles with myself helped me overcome the worst of my struggle with depression. My year ended on a high and I can honestly say I haven’t felt this sure about the future and myself maybe ever.

This time last year I was still recovering from depression. But I was on the right track having just started working at Oliver Bonas. I was getting into a routine again; meeting new people every day and being part of a lovely team. It felt good and helped me rebuild my confidence. Talking about my business plans again also helped me realise I still wanted to pursue a career in craft and the encouragement of these new friends I had made gave me a push to get the ball rolling again.

I realised in 2013 that getting better and moving forward isn’t an overnight process and you can’t rush it. I was really hard on myself for not really doing much for my business in the first 6 months of the year and I saw this as not moving forward but actually, it wasn’t what I’d done but more of the change I’d made mentally and emotionally that was actually a great achievement. Putting to much pressure on myself was what drove me to that dark place initially, so taking things slowly helped me in a sense, to ‘repair’ myself, in rebuilding my confidence and learning how to enjoy socialising again. Ultimately, this is what helped me take the scary step to recommence running workshops and begin moving forward with my business plans.

It was a great confidence boost when I was asked by Alice to go into business together. It’s a reassuring feeling when someone else believes in you. Knowing they have enough confidence in you and that they like what you’re doing so much that they want to share and be a part of what you’re trying to achieve, gave me so much self belief. It just takes one person to believe in you to help you believe in yourself. Without Alice taking a leap of faith in me, I’m not sure where my life would have lead at this point. But I’m so glad I said yes and where I am now.

I think this also gave me the confidence to make the life changing decision of breaking up with my fiancé. It’s hard to admit when a relationship you’ve invested 6 plus years into wasn’t going to work out. But I’d known for a long time that we weren’t in a happy place anymore. I just wasn’t confident enough to make the decision we both needed to make. I was so worried about who I’d let down and what people would think. Gaining that confidence in myself, I finally realised that I didn’t have to settle; sometimes things don’t work out and it’s ok to change your mind. Most of all, I believed I deserved to be happy.

Going through this break up made me realise what great friends I have. They were so supportive, met with me, talked things through and really were there for me. You never know how good a friend someone really is until you’re in trouble and I think leaning on my friends this time round really felt good. The people that know you best will always be there for you.

Meeting the guy who has become the love of my life (although I didn’t know it at the time) was a big turning point for me. Being around someone who made me laugh and feel good about myself rather than down in the dumps made me realise what I was missing in my life. How could I marry someone who didn’t make me happy? Sometimes you meet that special person who changes your life when you least expect it. Of course I told myself, “It isn’t the right time. If I wasn’t already in a relationship…” But when you feel down every day and this one special person makes you feel good in a second, you realise that you can’t let them walk away. Next to saying yes to Alice, this was the best decision I’ve made and I haven’t looked back.

My new love

Social media wise, instagram has been my main sharing platform in 2013. I’ve really enjoyed sharing my photos with the instagram community. It’s so lovely to speak to like minded people and I’ve even met a handful of those in real life (and they’re just as lovely.) If you haven’t joined I urge you to give it a try. When you share a common interest there’s loads to talk about and taking photos is such a big part of my life.

Instagram

So, looking ahead to 2014. Some things I loved doing last year and I want to do more:

Waking up early. Sometimes I’m not a morning person but once I get into a routine of waking up early. I love it. Not having to rush around, taking time to have breakfast and chill for a bit puts me in a good mood, ready to start the day.

Getting outside early in the morning. Not because I need to be somewhere but just to enjoy the quiet and some reflective time; even if it’s just in the garden to have breakfast or a walk to the park.

Cycling. To the park, or cycling anywhere but not because I need to be there, just to get out (early mornings are best.)

Cycling to the park

Learning a new craft. Of course I love craft, it’s what I enjoy and what I do and discovering and learning new skills and techniques are what drives my creativity. Experimenting with silver clay in a workshop in Cambridge with Emma and being taught to weave a wreath with Val in a small village close by were two craft highlights for me.

Learning to crotchet. I’ve tried knitting and I find it time consuming and complicated. I love that if you make a mistake in sewing you can just unpick it and start again. Do it in knitting and you could have lost a few hours, or worse, may need to start over. I bought a ‘Learn to Crotchet’ kit from the uber talented crotchet expert Sewfie in November but I couldn’t get on with it. I was meant to bring it with me on holiday but forgot. I’ll try and look at it again when I get back. But I think I learn best from doing and being shown something rather than reading it in a book. Everyone learns differently after all.

Wreath Silver clay bracelet

Writing real letters. I joined envelope club near the end of the year after I’d seen Emily posting on instagram about it. It’s an simple exchange of an envelope with low cost little bits and a letter.  You’re given a different address once a month. I’ve also received a couple of letters/penpal exchanges through people on instagram. I haven’t written as many letters as I would have liked so my goal for 2014 is to write more, get organised and speed up my replies.

Taking time out. Whether it’s to do some craft for me, just going to the park or having a proper day off just doing nothing, I realised I need to give myself time off; real days off or I get stressed and overwhelmed and sometimes this leads to a mini-break down. When you run your own business there’s always an email to reply to, a tweet or a message to answer. I’m going to try and take 2 days off a week where I don’t check my emails or tweets or Facebook and just enjoy time out.

Letting go. I love the phrase, “Change the things you can and let go of the things you can’t.” This is something I’ve tried to do and want to do more. Why dwell on things we can’t change? It makes perfect sense. Just let it go.

Cooking more. I love cooking. When I was depressed I lost all passion. I didn’t cook, I didn’t bake, I didn’t experiment with food. I love food and cooking is a great exercise. Like any craft, you put things together and produce something, which hopefully tastes good and you enjoy at the end of it, which gives a sense of achievement. Iyoub (my boyfriend) loves cooking too, so I’m going to make an effort to make time for us to cook together often.

Sharing my worries. Ok, sometimes I don’t feel like talking about my woes but it really is true, a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking about my depression was instrumental in me getting better and it was other people talking about theirs that reassured me it was ok to talk about my own experience.

Things I didn’t do which I want to try this year:

Be a veggie for a day. I took part in The Exchange by artist Claire Toomey at the Foundling Museum when Marie AKA @ScribbleYoga invited me to go with her. I still haven’t officially had my ‘become a vegetarian for a day’ day yet so this is on my list to do this January.

Read books. Although I started a couple, I didn’t finish reading a single book in 2013. I love reading but it takes me a while to get started and if I miss a few days I struggle to get back into it and often give up. I’m going to make an effort to read more. I have a few books lined up already.

Making all my Christmas presents. I want to make all my presents this year. Tough challenge and one I’ll have to start probably in June but I love a creative challenge and I love giving handmade.

Being more responsible with my expenditure. Some months I spend hardly any money and others I get my bank statement and almost have a mini heart attack. One PayPal purchase here and a lunch and dinner out there; it all adds up. I’m quite a careful spender in that I know how much money I have to spend and don’t go into my overdraft but I know if I track what I spend I could save lots of money. So I’m going to make a point of writing down everything I spend and also not being naughty and spending my own money on business expenses.

Travelling around more of the UK. Most of us immediately think of going overseas when you want to go on holiday (ok we have the great British weather to contend with) but we have so many amazing places in the UK; what’s a bit of wind and rain when you have the great outdoors, museums, landmarks, beautiful coastlines and the countryside? I want to explore our great country. Road trips are so fun and it will be a good challenge to find cheap train fares too!

Camber Sands

Writing happy things down. There were a lot of people last January talking about creating a memory jar. Whenever something happy happens, write it on a bit of paper and put it into a jar. The idea is, at the end of the year you’ll have a jar full of memories you can reminisce. I love this idea. I think I might do it in my diary instead though. Then next year I can look back and think. What nice things happened on this day/week/month last year?

I hope this has helped you reflect on your 2013 and think about your own 2014.

What was your best memory/decision/change in 2013? What are your goals, hopes and dreams for 2014?

Thanks for reading, love Daisy x