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How to Make Your Year Count

Visiting my grandfather's resting place

Visiting my grandfather’s resting place

My plans and goals for this year had a major reshuffle with a heap of goals close to my heart simply not happening.

Instead I found I was happy with what I did manage to get done because, at the end of it, my dad is still with us.

As it turned out, this year was all about family. I thought it was going to be a big creative one with loads of new jewellery designs but half way through it got turned on it’s head. Fortunately I was ahead of schedule with about half of my new designs and they made it, but the bulk of the rest are for next year. The good news is much of the initial planning work is already done.

A Year That Has Counted

Mum and I had been really concerned we would lose dad this year but with his Parkinson’s diagnosis his health improved tremendously, the risks of falls dropped significantly and while he had aged a great deal we felt much more confident about him being with us for another Christmas. Then in July he started a three month heart surgery and recovering journey. If it hadn’t been for the surgery we wouldn’t be planning Christmas with him.

Part of the reason for me having my own business is so I can put family high up my priorities. I have the flexibility with what I do to be around when I’m needed and this makes me much happier within myself.

This December marks the 14th anniversary of my treasured sister’s passing and her long illness certainly got me to figure out what was important in my life. And up high on the list is family.

So I feel that I’ve had a really important year, one that’s counted. The big family focus has been richly rewarding in itself, it’s also included family research into dad’s side, discovering a previous marriage and divorce sometime in the 1920’s or 30’s that was never talked about but showed up on marriage and death certificates, visiting his father’s grave up the country and staying with family in a drought hit town. The big country drive was also therapeutic, clearing my head after his Parkinson’s diagnosis and figuring out what this might mean for us.

Adding More Art and Adventures to the Mix

The year also included starting a weekly art class, discovering a whole new area of Sydney and making new arty friends. New areas always open up something creative in me, I love this secret inner process. I don’t understand it and I don’t need to.

Finding joy in your own inner space for creativity is deeply rewarding - inspirational quote

Finding joy in your own inner space for creativity

Late in the year I spent more time exploring remote areas of a most beautiful state of Tasmania and having adventures seemed to be just what I needed – something that was apparently obvious to many people except me, even though I was hankering for it.

Being creatively brave and painting plein air, including with people around, was liberating. While researching my new travel painting kit was loads of fun and a great distraction when dad was sick.

My own treasured friends have been wonderful at nurturing me during the weeks I’ve been worried and heart sore with their big hugs, silly jokes, good food and generous hearts. Fortunately I told them about what was happening so they could know why I was being a bit grumpy sometimes.

Feeling Like I’ve Made it Work

So while I had a big bag of hopes and dreams for the year and it was all turned upside down, I still feel like I made this year count.

I’ve somehow found the balance this year between doing enough within my creative business to bring to life new designs that have inspired me, keep my sales up to a healthy level even with all that’s happening in the world, be really active in my family to look after my mum and dad in how they’ve needed me as well as feed my creative spirit so she stays happy. Now to me, that’s how to make my year count.

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