I came into 2013 thinking I knew where I was going. The flush of optimism following our successful December and Mr Kat’s first year in business buoyed me up as we drove through the night in the final hours of 2012. Turns out the road ahead was as undefined as my view through the windscreen.
The night before, holed up in Kat’s study writing about fireworks, I had declared 2013 to be a year of Joyful Abundance. It was my greatest hope that the scarcity and frustration we had both experienced at times in 2012 would give way to a new rhythm.
My big plans were to work on Capturing Childhood and implement all of the ideas we had been discussing through the Autumn. We had our first workshop booked in for May and beyond that I had a list of ideas I wanted to put into practice.
I made some of my favourite videos in early 2013, my profile of Jennie Maizels, the Jimmy Coates: Blackout Book Trailer and Kat’s Crochet at Play Book Trailer (embedded below). The creativity of making short films is something I relish. I am making time for this again in 2014, I have one interview to edit (from July – the shame!) and another creative studio to visit later this month. Why yes, I think this will become a creative project for me.
In the Spring I gave up my day job which was a massive step forward and a big tightening of the belt at the same time. In truth I didn’t know what was coming next, I just knew that we had to change our daily lives if either Mr Kat or I were to grow our businesses.
It’s only in retrospect that I realise what quitting the day job gave me. It freed great chunks of time but also mental energy that I didn’t realise I was missing. In short it gave my mind the space it needed to relax and explore.
And with that space came unexpected paths to follow. Surprisingly a growing irritation about a lack of events for creative bloggers in the UK turned into my biggest project to date: Blogtacular.
Channelling the spirit of Tina Roth Eisenberg I decided I should either stop complaining or do something about it. I went for the latter.
The great thing about being in a creative partnership is having someone say yes when you come up with a big idea. Within hours of deciding to take the leap we had costings and were brainstorming ideas.
It may have been unexpected but from the moment the intention leapt out of my thoughts it lit me up. This was what I was unconsciously making space in my life to do. This is what I have wanted to create for so many years and finally I have the courage to make it happen.
I keep seeing a quote that says:
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough”
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Well this scares me plenty! The last seven months have been a fierce mix of dreaming, daring and working our socks off.
In that time I’ve experienced such boundless positivity. Not one of our friends told me I was crazy. Every single person I told was enthusiastic and offered their help from putting us in contact with potential sponsors, speakers and even saying they have booked the weekend to lend a hand. The reception from the blogging community has exceeded our hopes and I know this is the joyful abundance I was sensing in 2013.
Working on Blogtacular has pushed me in so many personal ways. Despite my full diary I’ve been adjusting to life without children at home. Monty started school and I brought forward Betsy’s start at pre-school by a full term. It’s a funny one because it was always going to happen but the change is so big. On the plus side is time to work during the day, on the downside I miss those crazy faces.
I’ve been feeling incredibly retrospective this last month. It is probably prompted by a significant anniversary of my Father’s death. No more significant than any other year but it’s a milestone figure and so the media dredge up stories to fill their pages which are incredibly triggering.
The thing with grief is it’s like a meteor strike; the flowers may grow back and life returns but there is a bloody great crater where a piece of your heart used to be. No matter how long or how far you feel you have come, there is always a chance you’ll fall down inside it again.
Despite myself I did something I thought I’d never do: I got on a train to London. It might seem like nothing but it means going through the place my father died all those years before. Doing it on the anniversary took strength I never wanted to have before. But this year there was a purpose to my trip and I was rewarded at the other end. I came back to Winchester with the motivation and direction I needed to hit 2014 running.
The year ends in a hurry and a stand still all at once. The tumble of plays, open classes, fairs, photo editing and wrapping (not to mention meeting an astronaut) left me exhausted. Come Solstice I fell asleep after the stockings had been opened and didn’t wake again until lunchtime.
The weather has been wet and stormy over the last couple of weeks and tomorrow we’ll be calling the builder to talk about the leak that has bloomed in the rain. After all our work in the garden the fence is currently down on both sides. We know we got off lightly but Project Garden is swinging back into action sooner than planned.
There is a feeling of being cooped up and this last week I have been itching to get back to work. We’ve had brief forays into the world between storms to drink hot chocolate at the beach or run in the woods but they feel few and far between.
It might not be the first day of the year but tomorrow is the fresh page in the diary. Our time between years is over and we’re ready to be embraced by 2014.
My favourite January ritual of new students to greet at Capturing Childhood awaits in a week. I have a plan of action, trainers by the door and my favourite planner ready on my desk. This year is going to be a voyage into the unknown for sure!
So thank you 2013, you were not what I was expecting but just what I needed.