We've said good bye to 2015 and although it had its tough moments, it was definitely one of our best years yet. We moved back to a place we love and it was hard leaving our families and friends behind, but we've thoroughly loved being back in the mountains and have had so much family fun and adventure this year. I'm happy that all three of our kids have gotten to experience living in Lillooet - this little town has a way of getting into your heart and staying there forever.
For me it was a challenging year but I find those are the times you really find out how strong you are and how much you can handle. I spent a few months of the year really unwell but I forced myself to keep going and overcome the obstacles.
My biggest challenge this year was finding balance. With an almost three year old, five year old and ten year old the house is almost always a mess and I've really struggled with resisting the urge to spend all my time cleaning. It's really difficult for me to relax when things aren't in order but I'm realizing every day, especially as our oldest continues to become more and more independent, that these years are not going to last forever and I will have plenty of time to have a perfectly clean house one of these days. So some days we left the house in a mess, left the dishes lined up on the counter and went to the river or to the park. But balancing tasks with fun continues to be a challenge for me so it's something I will definitely continue to work on in 2016. I've made three resolutions for this upcoming year. They are going to be works in progress... not a number or a goal to be achieved, but lifestyle changes that I'd like to work on.
#1 - Continue working on finding that balance and let go some of the things I feel I have to do in favour of the things I want to do - mainly spending more quality, non-distracted time with my husband and kids. We do spend a lot of time creating together, dancing, playing outside but I want to do even more of those things. And I want more date nights with hubby!
#2 - Budget, budget, budget. I am actually pretty good at budgeting and stretching our finances and all that but in this upcoming year, if we are going to reach some of our family goals, it's going to be important to really stick to the budget and limit the carefree spending that tends to happen.
#3 - Actually give myself permission to take time out for me. I feel pretty strongly, and most of the people who are closest to me and know me the best agree that the most likely reason I got so sick this year is because I spend 100% of my time and energy taking care of my family and household and I really neglect to take care of me. This is the year I am going to, without feeling guilty about it, take care of myself. I am going to make myself lunch and actually sit at the table to eat it instead of grabbing a few crackers while I clean up from making lunch for the kids. I'm going to ask for help when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm going to indulge in a little more time to myself to create that does not require me staying up until the middle of the night when everyone else is sleeping. And I am going to trust that everyone will survive just fine if I do take a little bit more time for me lol.
In terms of my creative goals for this year, I am super excited to start working on new projects. I've spent a great deal of time experimenting with different styles, different mediums and different subjects and I find myself finally discovering what I want to create and what I want to focus on. Looking back, I know which pieces of artwork have made me happiest and given me the greatest sense of satisfaction and that tells me what I need to be creating more. So the next couple months I am going to be working on smaller projects that reflect where I want to take my art. In March I'll be closing my shop for a couple of months to restock and re-brand. I'll be retiring a lot of my current prints and most likely will have an artwork sale to make room for new projects in the studio. It's going to be a good year.
This year has lots of changes ahead but I'm determined to find the silver lining in each and every one. I'll be blogging more over the next few months about both life in general and the creative process of finally discovering who I want to be as an artist.