journal

2016 without resolutions

01.01.16

2016 | humphrey and grace

New Year always makes me pause. Theres a bit of ‘where did last year go’ and a bit of ‘what shall I do this year…?’ so much happens so quickly and we make so many plans, some of which we carry through and some of which fall by the wayside. I start 2016 without any resolutions.

Instead of resolutions (which I just don’t make, haven’t done for years, never keep them anyway!) I am choosing to look back with a grateful heart and look forward with hope. 2015 had it’s ups and downs. I have said this before and you may well have noticed that, generally speaking, I don’t share or dwell on the downs. There have been some fairly epic ones BUT life has a way of balancing them out with amazing times. So dwell I will not. This is not to keep anyone in the dark, more that I choose to live this way. I choose to hope and move forward.

On the up side, renovation progress was pretty epic also! We are almost half way round the house (operation save-up is back on for the next round of work) and the kitchen/dining/living spaces are just about done. We will ignore the bedrooms/bathroom a little longer as the roof is leaking again and there is a small flat roof to replace. I’m still quietly hoping for my shed/workspace, but it seems to be nudged down the priority list…

Anna finally decided she is happy to go to playgroup without separation issues daily. Such a small thing that makes such a big difference. And if I’m honest, a bit of a relief since she will be starting school in September. New adventures await.

Ed sat his SATs, finished primary school and moved on to secondary school with so little fuss, considering he knew only a couple of people there and the school is huge, another of my proudest moments. I’m convinced we can learn a lot from the resilience of children.

Millie continues to be the most amazing Millie I know, she went away for a week without us over summer 2015 on a big camp, the longest time she has been away from home and was so full of independence and confidence when she came home. She has a big heart and an incredible appetite for reading books, we can’t keep up.

I started a blog. Still that makes me chuckle. I’m pretty sure I’m not actually a blogger but I adore this corner of the internet very much! And that you visit, well, that is just the best feeling ever, so thank you.

We hosted gatherings and parties, the biggest was for around 100 people, so much fun!! So much tidying up afterwards… We had weekends away none of which were planned more than a month or two in advance and all of which were brilliant, we had a summer holiday disaster and came home early. That’ll be one of the downs…

The great de-clutter started again this week, I love a good clear out. It always amazes me just how much stuff has come into the house each year though I guess that just happens with a family of 5. I’d like to slow it down a bit as the giving away of ‘things’ is becoming a mammoth task, the material items too numerous to consider, and I reckon at least half of it has been used rarely if at all. Well meaning gifts and impulse buys, eek, too much…

I’ve been absolutely inspired by a couple of my friends photo projects in 2015 and am definitely going to attempt to keep some going this year. Sarah (who is all kinds of lovely) shared a portrait of one or both of her gorgeous daughters each week. Often candid moments that capture them just as they are, this is my favourite style of portrait photography and one I hope to develop. I may well have to resort to covert camera operations as it seems my children are about as happy in front of the camera as I am (i.e. find it rather painful) so I’m not promising a full 52 weekly photos, but I’m going to give it a go! Hannah rounded up each month with a grid of nine photos. Beautiful enough but oh so much better when you look at them as a collection, she sums it up on her blog and I am inspired.

I won’t write a long (likely unachievable) list but there are a few other plans I have for this year. I’d like to read a couple of classic novels. I am a third of the way through Wuthering Heights at the moment. I can’t remember ever having read any of the great novels before.

In May, although not necessarily a plan, I’ll be turning 40. Eek. Until then I’ll be in denial.

Most of all I hope to keep appreciating the little details. The mispronunciations of childhood, the wildflowers of early summer, the curls of steam rising from a hot cup of coffee. The details and moments that punctuate life, the softness of a woollen blanket, the first buds on the trees. The musky scent of my favourite rose… And the daydreams that somehow morph into reality, the taking of photographs that leads to the writing of words that leads to a lovely new path to wander.

With nothing but a grateful heart.

Julia x

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19 comments on “2016 without resolutions”

  1. just wanted to leave you a comment dear julia as i didn’t manage to back when i read it – this post brought me teary eyes and your children and hubby call themselves blessed because they have you in their lives, i am certain of it. you are a truly special and kind person. lovely inside and outside and i feel just so so so blessed and grateful to have met you in 2015.

    Instagram could collapse tomorrow but i know I would be taking away some quality friendships (yours is on of them) as massive gifts in my life. our coffee catch up is one of the positive highlights of my 2015. little by little, time flies, we live busy lives, whilst you get on with your daily life, and i mine. know that your world of photography, stories, writings etc etc. is a world of delight, joy, peace and comfort that i treasure and cling on to. Thank you for sharing your well written stories and thoughts with your readers, big hugs!! xx

    1. Ah thank you lovely Joi! You’re such a sweetheart, it was so great to meet you last year and we definitely need to be planning a get-together soon, a proper catch up would be perfect wouldn’t it? xx

  2. Here’s to an amazing 2016. Decluttering is something I really need to do, maybe I should start small and work my way up to the big stuff.

    1. Yes here’s to 2016! Starting small is always a good idea, it inevitably helps us be braver about what to keep and what can go. Good luck xx

  3. Lovely blog. I’ve been blogging for ages and have decided to get out and about and read some new people. It’s not easy when I don’t always manage to keep up with existing favourites! But is good to find new people to read and new images to share.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I agree, it’s always inspiring to have a browse of different blogs, I know I enjoy it when I have a chance! x

  4. Lovely to read this and learn a little more about you Julia. I’m with you on the grateful heart and the need to declutter, the latter is so good for the soul isn’t it? Here’s to a wonderful year ahead x

    1. Thanks Jules! I’m trying to find a bit of confidence to share more, it doesn’t come naturally for me shall we say… The great de-clutter is in full force, 17 years worth of Christmas decorations sorted yesterday… I’m feeling ruthless x

  5. A lovely reflection on the year :) I miss reading. I look forward to the day I can sit and read again – one day when I have more time.

    Have you any particular classics you have in mind?

    Wishing you a great year ahead :)

    1. Thanks Jenna and Happy New Year! I haven’t read much since Anna was born almost 4 years ago so I’m hoping to put that right this year. I have Great Expectations to read next and then I am undecided… Any suggestions would be welcome xx

    1. Thank you so much Karen! I’m still finding my voice I suppose though it is getting easier to share, thank you for visiting and a happy new year to you xx

  6. This is so beautifully written Julia, I’m so happy to hear of all your highs. Your blog is a huge achievement and such a beautiful space. I think 2016 will be just epic for you! And a huge thank you for the mention, I’m very touched, and glad that you liked what I did. I’m very glad I continued with that little project, little did I know when I started I’d have a blog of my own to wrap it all up on! Xxx

    1. Seeing your collections all together this week was so lovely Hannah, nice enough on their own but all 12 months in one place is so inspiring! And thank you, I was scrolling back through my posts since I started this blog and thinking how much is here, still amuses me that I started it though I’m happy I did xx

  7. Oh my Julia, that’s just blown me away! Thank you so much for saying such lovely things about my project. I really do hope that you do your own project because, while I love your still life images, it’s the shots of your children that I truly adore xxx

    1. You’re welcome, I have loved watching your project unfold Sarah, and the sneaky previews earlier in the year. Are you going to keep it going this year?

      1. I’m going to try a 366 (leap year!) day project but it won’t just be portraits this time, although there will be a lot of them I’m sure xxx

          1. I’m doing it promptless although I might dip into 365_today occasionally as I think it’s got some fabulous moderators xxx

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