Just a quick ramble this week. I hope everyone has been able to enjoy at least part of the festive period. I appreciate that many of you will have been working, or that it is just not a good time of year for some. As for me, I've been able to enjoy a nice relaxed few days with my family and I've felt really festive for the first time in a long time.
I used to have a lot more festive spirit than I do now. I would really enjoy all the decorations, the songs and the sparkles. When I was younger, we would all move in to Nan's house for a big chunk of the Christmas holiday so it always felt really exciting. In a similar fashion, coming home from uni at Christmas always felt special too as I often didn't come home for the other breaks. Since then I've often been working right up to (and sometimes right through) the whole Christmas period. I think that's partly why I've not really been very festive as an adult. Also, when you live alone for a while (or with a bit of a Grinch) it can feel more of a chore than a joy to prepare for Christmas. It's a lot of effort to maintain that Christmassy energy when you're not around other people that share it.
This year I tried to make a conscious effort to feel some of the excitement and to look forward to Christmas. I was busy making decorations, designing cards and getting ready for Christmas fairs from October. I think this helped because although technically I was working, it was enjoyable and exciting as a start to my new venture. I also made sure the house was decorated, dug out my festive jumpers and even sent a few cards. I had all my presents wrapped fairly early and I let myself look forward to spending time with my family (and delicious food). It's been great that I didn't have to work right up to Christmas; I chose to stop doing any work the week before so I could unwind a bit.
It's been a pretty crazy 12 months for me overall. This time last year I'll just say I was not in a good place. With support from family and friends, magic pills, a nutty dog and encouragement from my advisor at the Job Center I've managed to pick myself up. I get to end the year as an artist, a business owner and a dog mum.
I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me. Every card or picture bought, every post liked or shared and all the feedback means so much. I wish everyone a great New Year, especially if this one has been a difficult one. You can and will get through. Onwards and upwards and all that.