Hello and Happy New Year!
Ive started something new and begun a newsletter! Its called Simply Lovely Sundays! (If you want to subscribe you can at the bottom of this post!) However I know sometimes emails are not good, can be overwhelming so It thought I would post a round up or the best bits here for everyone to see!
First up - Christmas. I realise you might think the first post would be very goal orientated already but I think first we need time to mourn the loss of Christmas and basically the 2020 we had hoped for. Life has looked very different this year and has put many things into perspective for the majority.
Working right up until Christmas week and soft launching my handmade paper flowers meant a lot of December was late nights and very little festive cheer. Also we have a three-year-old who still doesn't totally get Christmas - I'm sure next year will be very different.
This year has been one of lost plans, lost post and at times lost hope. I am not a fan of change so very much took the approach of - do not get excited until we are sat down and eating, then relax and enjoy. I realise how lucky we were being in tier two and being able to see my mum and dad but we have family in higher tiers and this Christmas has been tough.
I would love to share a tip I am using to learn from this year and implement some changes for next year. My biggest one is to give yourself reminders for next year - take it from me - you will not remember all those little things you learned from this year.
You may not know but my husband suffered a stoke in 2013 and since then has basically no working memory. As a result he uses his phone for everything. Me, on the other hand, despite a lot of evidence to contradict, think I am super human and can remember all of the things. I can't. So most of the time I have to rely on Will's heavily-laden phone calendar to piece together what it is I am trying to remember.
This year has been no different, too many plates not enough hands and many crashes on the floor. I started off so well buying the first of my presents in October and making great plans for gifts and time spent. But the time then flew and I went from being ahead to very far behind.
Be more like my husband and assume you will forget and write it down. If you have a paper diary like me, flip ahead to November/December and write to yourself about the need to remember what is important and what can be let go. Or go into your phone calendar and write yourself some reminders - 'Hey gorgeous (always compliment yourself!) maybe start gathering all of the addresses you need for sending cards!' 'Hello beautiful, this would be a great weekend to get a Christmas Tree, last year you were a bit sad you left it so late. You got this!'
What struck me this year is how much it was just the people - I missed the people, the laughs, plans only limited by time. But what became clear was how much we used to pack into the two Christmas weeks. We usually drive miles and miles and see as many people as possible. There was something nice about slowing down and not becoming stressed by packing up our tiny car and getting a small child across the country to multiple houses and counties.
We zoomed and FaceTimed and had our usual Christmas jokes and it felt almost normal, our cups were filled with family love. Reggie performed to the faces he would usually see and we saw bumps and presents and were reminded of how lucky we are to have family to miss. We filmed Reggie opening presents and sent them to the senders with a thank you - thank goodness for technology! However, I know next year we need to strike a balance of celebrating and resting. Think of a way to be present and find some peace to end the year.
So I am going to spend some time this evening looking through my notes to Amy 2021 to help her navigate whatever next Christmas will look like next year.
Above everything else this year, it was the simplest of things which reminded me of the luck and love I have in my life. Reggie's Great-Nanny who is a confident FaceTimer. A husband who buys me gifts as ideas I sent for others. A mum and dad who infinitely love. Family who drive numerous hours in a day to do a '2020 present exchange'. A warm and safe home to enjoy our new gifts in. A new perspective on what is important next year.
My main lessons for next year are: