I have just realised my new year starts at a slightly different point than that standard 1st of January. Or the changeable Chinese New Year (31st of January this year). It actually dawns of the 10th of January, tomorrow. Along with my own new year date comes a taking of stock and a nod to wear I’ve been and how far I have come, and we have come. As my new year of the 10th of January only started 6 years ago, it is still fairly new, and yet in that time I have:
- Moved house twice, including clearing, packing, organising, unpacking, etc, etc etc, the whole thing. The first time my eldest was 14 and youngest was 5. The second time my eldest was 18 and youngest was 9 – second time was much easier! Both moves were down sizes, so both required huge clear-outs. Loved both moves.
- Learnt to drive. Took me a year and one failed test. It is still one of my most favourite achievements to date (after having kids that is). Bought my first car.
- Went back into education. Firstly just one morning a week, then full time university for 4 years. Loved every minute of it.
- Got divorced. I can’t say I celebrate this, but it is notable nonetheless.
- Completed the Race for Life. Epic wonderfulness.
- Stood up to one local authority, and won. Shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place, but given that I did, I am so proud I managed it.
- ‘Diagnosed’ with Dyslexia. This is here as, after I recovered from the shock of it and stopped being angry with everyone (and myself) for not noticing sooner (I was 41 when it was ‘discovered’), I embraced the difference fully and started to understand my coping mechanisms. Two of my children are also Dyslexic, so we share tips and understanding.
- Graduated with a 2:1 in Fine Art. Say no more.
- Became a student representative and was nominated for Faculty rep of the year. Loved that too.
- Learnt to love public speaking. Now, if you had known me 6 years ago at this point I could barely caste my gaze off the ground, so to be able to stand in front of a room full of people and debate the merits of employment education, give talks on artists, debate with lecturers about the strengths of another’s work, etc, well, let’s say, you wouldn’t recognise me.
- Gave a presentation that enabled me to join the artist group I am now with. This is my future.
- Taken part in and/or co-organised 5 exhibitions in the last year.
- Found myself. I didn’t know I was lost till I discovered myself. This is a good thing, although I think age has turned me into a bit of a gobshite at times. Tough.
- Had therapy. Fabulous stuff. If you are willing to work hard on yourself, this is so worth it.
- Discovered my ‘other’ side. The bit that makes me special. 😀
- Got a paid job, and another voluntary one.
- Rekindled and maintained my relationship with my father.
- Found love – couldn’t find it elsewhere until I learnt to love myself again.
And many many more things, this list seems tiny compared to what I have achieved, but this is perhaps the most palatable (for want of a better word) and publishable. This list is not in any particular order. So, it has been a busy 6 years. Here’s to the next six!
I was going to be all grown up and set out my goals for the year, but I can’t. I feel that writing them down will jinx them, and will also somehow prevent me from doing other things as well. Last year I set out to graduate, which I did, and I also did a whole load of other stuff besides. This year I am doing the same sort of open book/blank page type of thing. Don’t get me wrong, I have a list of things I want to accomplish, but I do find as soon as I have written them down, the power has somehow dissipated and I am more likely not to do them. But saying all that! I did put the word ‘Bless’ in my art journal yesterday, having said I would. So it isn’t impossible that I can’t set out a promise to myself. I have just realised I am less likely to do something if I verbalise it too. I am now wondering why that is…maybe I am just good at keeping things under wraps, but maybe, as I said the other day, I am just afraid of failing and would rather say nothing that disappoint myself.
That sounds about right.
I saw a post on here yesterday and just the title made me shudder. I couldn’t even steal myself to click on it to read, not because I feared the content, but because the title reminded me of something I would much rather not think about again. This caused me to give myself a little bit of a ticking off. I mean, I can’t go through life avoiding phrases/scents/places/objects/people/the bank manager just because of a little discomfort. I’m not talking life or death here, just that sense of “Ugh, not right now thanks”.
Of course, there are some ‘innocent’ remarks/etc that can open up a whole can of worms that, once escaped, wont leave you alone until you have dealt with them. When no matter what you do, they hang over you, threatening to ruin your very existence. Now those ones, need dealing with, as quickly and safely as possible. But remember not to shoot the messenger, and definitely not those who, without realising or knowing, dangle the can opener of doom in front of you.
Years ago someone said the word “bless” quite frequently me, who went on to be anything but a blessing in my life. Now every time I hear that same word I am catapulted into a mess of fury that anyone should dare to bring up such awful pain in my life! Only of course, that isn’t what they are doing at all. That is what I am doing. The word bless itself isn’t a bad one, it’s the memory of its usage that is. But truthfully, the word itself can’t hurt me, and even the memory of its use can’t hurt me. The events have been and gone and haven’t repeated themselves. Yet still I have this irritating association with an otherwise innocent word.
The only person who can fix it, is me. I can’t wipe the word from the English language (it would mess up a few Church services if I did!). But what I can do is forgive myself for using the word as a can opener in the first place. Maybe I need to create a whole piece of art dedicated to the word ‘bless’ by way of asking forgiveness for turning it into something unpleasant! Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I think I will add it to my missions for this week and add a page to my art journal just devoted to the word ‘bless’.
I will post a photo or maybe a video when I’ve done it. But for now it’s time to rouse children and young people! Happy Monday 🙂