Looking back, looking forward

Okay, so this won’t be a stunningly original post, but I still feel it’s necessary.

I look back at 2014 and words like ‘overwhelming’, ‘upsetting’ and ‘super-busy’ come to mind (all mainly with negative connotations) as I struggled to come to the decision to let go of my involvement with the charity La Leche League and focus all my energies on my family and work. My son started pre-school (a few sessions a week) and that proved a challenge. My daughter’s adjustment to her new school year proved (and still proves) a challenge. Finding time to unwind and chat to my husband at the end of a long, tiring day was challenging too as work and the needs of our children seemed to fill every available moment. Financial burdens weighed down both our shoulders.

Yet words like ‘enriching’, ‘friendship’ and ‘creative’ spring to mind too as I recall the inspiring books I read last year; the wonderful chats I had with my friend Helen and my artistic and literary endeavours which brought fruit (spiritual and financial).

2014 was also the year I got old. I don’t mean this in a vain way – anyone who sees me on a daily basis knows that ‘I dress down’ most days. (My husband and children tease me and affectionately call me a ‘bag lady’. Actually, on reflection, I think that’s a bit offensive to bag ladies who I think are very vintage chic!) What I mean is that I actually took note of the bags under my eyes and deep frown lines. I don’t really have any issue with them, the point is that I noticed that they are now there on a permanent basis. Although, when I smile they (mainly) seem to dissolve…

2014 was the year I started to run an art club at the local school. It was also the year that I received several commissions for illustrations. It was the year I fell in love with Zentangling and felt a deep urge to create with pencil or paint nearly every day. I felt (and still feel) a real sense of gratitude for the fact that some of my art resonates with some people.

Zentangle lady with heart necklace by Marija Smits
Zentangle lady with heart necklace by Marija Smits, inspired by the poem ‘Jet Heart’ by Angela Topping


2014 was the year that I made myself focus more on the positivity of saying ‘no’. To ensure I got a little time to write or paint I had to say ‘no’ to something or someone. I reminded myself that it was a powerful ‘yes’ to myself.

As I look forward into 2015, inevitably, I see much (in the way of challenges) that will continue on from 2014, yet I sincerely do hope that the benefits will journey alongside the challenges bringing sunshine too. And anyway, if there are rough patches to negotiate there will always be Morecambe and Wise…Β  πŸ™‚


Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise


Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015!

9 thoughts on “Looking back, looking forward”

  1. It’s good to look back at the closing year and see the good and the not so good, I think it helps filter out the things that don’t work in our lives and make positive changes.

    I loved reading this, as I do all your posts, and I wish you much happiness this year! : )

    1. Thanks for continuing to read my posts – that means a lot to me, and I wish you much happiness this year too. I really do love looking at your gorgeous photography, and on dark, winter days find them inspiring πŸ™‚

  2. You can do the tangle vega! That one defeats me. And using fescu as hair – how clever! 2014 was tough for an awful lot of people, it seems. Like you I’ve found Zentangling a wonderful island in the maelstrom. Here’s to a happy and creative 2015. x

    1. Well, I still think I need more practise with vega Cathy. I’m thinking a flexible ruler may help! And yes, definitely, here’s to a happy and creative 2015! Best wishes x

  3. Oh, bless you. You know I think you are inspiring in what you do and how you do it – you’re a powerhouse! And such a good example to anyone trying to carve out time for creativity. All of these hard times are going to pay off.
    (And I love our chats too!)

    1. Thanks Helen. Yes, I hope too that there will be some pay off, but of course I wouldn’t be doing these things if I didn’t enjoy the process. And mostly I do, I really really do. πŸ™‚

      Chat soon! πŸ˜‰

  4. maddy@writingbubble

    It sounds like 2014 was hard work for you and yet there was an awful lot of good stuff amongst it… kids, friendships, creative endeavours, running your own press… lots of celebrate even if juggling it all is challenging!

    I’d never heard of zentangling so just went and googled it. Looks like kind of extreme, specific and fabulous doodling! I have a hunch I could get hooked. Genuinely think I might look further into it as I do love that kind of creativity. So thanks for the inspiration! xx

    1. You’re welcome re: the inspiration πŸ™‚ I found the book ‘One Zentangle A day’ by Beckah Krahula pretty straightforward to learn from – and although I don’t push myself to produce one zentangle a day I really enjoy the process of creating this way and look forward to spending time zentangling. Hope you get a chance to enjoy it too! xx

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