I know, I know, it's the 5th of January, and it's a bit late to be talking about New Year plans. But hey, as there are 365 days in the year, I feel that it's ok!
My Christmas was quiet but lovely, with just Mum and I, and skyping with family and friends around the world made it what it should be, so I am so grateful for that.
I belong to the 'Positivity Team' over at Etsy, and last year and this year we have made Christmas Decorations for another member within the team- those that choose to participate. This year a very thoughtful and touching tree ornament landed on my doorstep, from the wonderful Kate (a dear friend), over at Kates Cottage Shop (have a look at her beautiful silk butterflies), and Larkspur And Linen - her beautiful wedding shop. Here is the ornament on our small but perfectly formed tree:
It is made from a family photo, taken on my Dad's 60th birthday family barbeque, so you can imagine that there were a few tears as I put it in pride of place on the tree. :) Thank you so much, Kate.
My stocking was full of costume books, as always, but my little sister, in the midst of preparing for her first baby (gorgeous little girl!), read here on my blog that I quite fancied one of these from Merchant & Mills:
And so bless her, she bought it for me! I love it!
This last year has been a real rollercoster of the best things happening (one nephew and a niece, whom I love so much it is like my heart might burst), and the sadness surrounding my poor father's death and then my grandmother. My grandmother was a very difficult lady at the best of times, but still, she was my last grandparent to go, and we did have some good times, amongst the bad. So this Christmas was an emotional and strange one, although this year's Christmas will be different again, I am sure.
I had a rest over Christmas and New Year, and so now it is back to work. My New Year's resolution this year is a simple one; to take care of myself and others, and to just take things as they come. Now, those reading this who know me, will know that I am not a laid back person. It just isn't part of my nature. But having gone through the horrors of this year and last with my Dad, and knowing that I have an auto-immune disease and most likely a mild form of CFS (which doesn't feel mild on certain days!), I have begun to realise that if I don't take care of myself, I will certainly be no good to others, my mum especially. And at some point this year we will be moving to the west country (an hour away from Bath- Jane Austen central, whopppeee!!), so taking it easy and not piling the pressure upon myself is the only wise thing to do right now.
Do I have plans for 2013? You bet! And I have all ready make a great start in the last week, catching up with a lot of jobs that needed to be done (such as being able to blog and have my email account free at the same time- seriously, why do they make things so tricksy?!), and getting my tax return completed BEFORE Christmas, and not in a mad rush towards the end of Jan. These tasks sound small, but for me it is about getting myself in a good place to be able to move forward in a gentle manner. And by the way, now that I do have this blog pickle sorted, I will be on here a great deal more often, mostly with my own historical dress projects and English social history posts. For the first time I have organised my working week into a plan which incorporates time for the blog, my etsy teams, research and historical clothing making for myself.
Those of you who have seen the TED talk by the creator of Super Better might remember her discussing the top 5 statements that are most commonly expressed by people who are sadly terminally ill. They really struck a chord with me:
* I wish that I hadn't worked so hard
* I wish I had kept up more with my friends
* I wish that I had let myself be happier
* I wish I had had the courage to express my true self
* I wish I had led a life true to my dreams and not what other people expected of me.
May you all have a fabulous 2013!