Forgive me for using this really down with the kids word that doesn’t suit me at all, but I am *shook* that it’s the last day of 2019.
And given that it is the final day of the year, and for the last two years in a row I’ve written a blog post on this day, I thought it only proper (gal loves a tradition) that I dust off this poor neglected website, even if it’s with something that absolutely no one will ever read.
Because yes – I really abandoned this blog, the one thing I always claim is my priority in the internet/creative/work outside of my day job world. ‘Claim’ being the operative word, because although I’m reluctant to say that anything else is the priority, I certainly haven’t given the attention to writing that I would have liked to this year. And now, suddenly, it’s nearly January and I haven’t posted since September.
It wasn’t an intentional break; I thought the end of the year would be relatively quiet, since for the first time since 2014 I was not going to be spending my festive period working on an ice rink, but that turned out to be my biggest misjudgement in a long time. Instead, the end of the year was relentless; three months of constant plans outside of work and a really intense, involved period inside work where I would arrive home with no headspace every evening and stumble quite uselessly through whatever life admin, cleaning, or relationship maintaining I was trying to do.
Most of the plans themselves, on the plus side, were lovely; birthdays, weddings, trips and occasions, the kind of wonderful, memory-making stuff I’ll hopefully come to remember this year for. The things around them, I’ve realised over the past few days, were just me trying to please other people; another coffee or lunch when what I needed more was just an hour to myself or agreeing to do something I didn’t care much about because I felt like I should. That’s one thing on the list to leave in 2019.
Luckily, after a busy Christmas and Boxing Day, things have quietened down, and my introverted self has been able to slowly decompress with every hour at home spent, page of a book read and episode of You watched.
As a born ruminator, it’s strange for me to have only started really reflecting on the year today, but it felt like the done thing to start with the highlights. In some respects, these were obvious. Being a bridesmaid; I had never considered before this year what a huge honour and sheer joy it is to be with someone you love so much on such a huge, important day for them. Cuba, and Portugal; travelling will always be a happy state for me, and though we didn’t take many trips this year, the ones we did were wonderful.
Other highlights were less obvious, and more difficult to articulate. The fulfillment that comes from producing work you feel connected to, in spite of the knowledge that it wont necessarily ‘perform’ against accepted measures of success. The feeling of self-assurance in your skills and experience, and an understanding that not just anyone could do your job the way you can (after 7 years, you would hope so). And the acceptance that you might not be able to change the world in an instant, but there are things you can do to help the collective make a difference.
Because one of the primary shifts in my mindset and lifestyle this year has been around consumption and waste; Slow Fashion Season saw me stop buying new clothes, shoes or accessories for three months, and I can honestly say I think I’ve bought two new things since it finished at the end of September. This has been something that’s difficult to align with what I do in this space and on Instagram, as my goals of a year and a half ago no longer fit with my values, and it’s left me in a sort of limbo that I hope to figure out next year.
For now, all that’s left to do is eat a bowl of pasta, put on some mascara and head to the pub; it’ll be a low key evening, but it’s been a lovely year in lots of ways, and as ever another 12 months of growth, failures, and the little things in between that make up day to day life. I’m excited for 2020; I’m not a natural at relaxing, and get bored quite quickly, but this gentle period between Christmas and New Year always feels necessary for a renewal of motivation and hope.
In a matter of hours it’s a new decade – here’s to the roaring twenties.