I don’t make New Years resolutions, what a waste of time! New year, new me, no thanks, I’m fine the way I am! I believe that we are on a continuous journey and are always able to heal and grow ourselves. Just because its a new calendar year, we don’t need to go on extreme diets or join the gym to prove anything to ourselves. Nor do we need to vow to learn Korean or throw away all our worldly possessions (unless of course, that’s what you’ve always wanted to do!)
For example, the past couple of years I vowed to become vegan. Each time, my veganism has only lasted a few months then I start eating eggs, chocolate or whatever again. I’m not vowing to become vegan in 2019. Its not achievable for me right now, it may be one day and I might come back to that way of eating at some point but to be honest, while I think there is a lot of good in that way of living, I find it stressful and struggle to stick to it and feel good. I have a lot of admiration for those who are passionate about this lifestyle and I think its great but I do not think that being vegan is as easy or black and white as people claim it to be. Its impossible not to cause harm or death to other animals, even as a plant eater. Some people thrive on that particular diet while others don’t.
My plan is to continue in the path I have chosen of reducing my harm to the planet as much as possible, this includes cutting down on single use plastic, eating plant based as much as possible, educating myself about seasonal and local produce, buying everything possible second hand and at some point using washable nappies with the baby. I want to live more simply, continue to find contentment in the everyday and live in alignment with the seasons. We are all a work in progress and no one ever has the highest moral ground. I am a believer that you also have to take care of your mental health too and if you are struggling with certain things or only doing them because people online have told you that you have to then its not doing anyone any good. Little steps, one day at a time, are more sustainable.
Back to reflecting on this past year. 2018 has been a very quiet year in a lot of ways. I have been thinking about how we as a family now live what I’d describe as a fairly ‘normal’ life – living in a house, jobs, paying bills, going to school etc and its actually quite hard to adjust to that. From 2013 onward we lived with so much anxiety, grief and uncertainty after Seth was diagnosed with cancer and the following years, dealing with his illness, disabilities and death were obviously very difficult and heartbreaking. We also moved house twice and have had to adjust to new areas, new schools and new routines. Going from life being like a roller-coaster to living a quiet and normal life has taken some adjustment. For a while I was constantly on edge, sure that we had to start running again or being ready to have everything thrown upside down again. I think that we are all learning how to manage our grief and carry it as we move forwards. I’m proud of us all.
This year has brought good things. We have had to rebuild our lives again from scratch with literally no money. We sold everything we had that was worth any monetary value – my piano and Jonathan’s beloved computer and any other electrical things we had and we bought a tiny car and a wash and reach pole system window cleaning equipment and started up our own window cleaning business! We are now self employed and enjoying that and all the challenges that it brings (winter weather and no holiday pay!)
I also received the commission to illustrate the front cover for a children’s book which was a great privilege and one that I enjoyed very much. You can read about it here: http://lucyandmoon.com/illustrating-a-book-cover-for-the-blue-bottle-by-emilie-noelle-provost/
My Etsy shop did well at the beginning of the year although unfortunately not so well for the latter half. Its always such a joy to hear the little ‘ca-ching’ from the Etsy app on my phone and I still feel so excited to know that my artwork is in someones house. There are people that actually like my art, how weird and great is that?! I know that I’ve not put so much effort in recently and art has taken a back seat.
We’ve also spent a lot of time painting and decorating our house – there’s still a lot to do but its looking so much better than it did when we moved in as it was pretty awful! Its definitely starting to feel like home and I don’t plan on moving again unless we somehow become millionaires and are able to buy our own place!
The most exciting part of the year was finding out in June that we were expecting our third baby, who will be joining us in little over 8 weeks. I’ve been exhausted for months now, its hard work growing a human, especially this time round in my thirties but I’ve been very lucky to have a straight forward and healthy pregnancy with only a few unpleasant side affects (nausea, tiredness and sore hips!). I’m feeling very excited now to meet her and so happy that we are onto the final hurdle and it won’t be long at all now until our little girl arrives. I’ll be a mother of three and I have a feeling that she will bring so much joy and happiness to our family.
As always, heading into a new year brings sadness as its another year that Seth and my mum won’t be with us, another year wondering what could have been. I know that I carry them always with me and cherish the wonderful memories that we had and I’ll always have their love.
I can honestly say that I’m learning how to feel content and that I think is where the greatest happiness lies. My 2019 will be spent loving and cherishing my family, creating more art, writing and seeing more of our beautiful country. I wish you all much love and joy for the upcoming year.