I didn’t think the world needed another blog. What did I have to say that others would want to read? Sure, I have always loved writing, and kept a regular journal from the time I was 13, but how could that be turned into something that helped others?
Then one fall day, a book arrived that The Man had ordered. It is, “The Art of Nonconformity,” by Chris Guillebeau. I had my doubts about this book. We already owned a collection of “self-improvement” books, and while I was in the midst of taking care of our 3 and 1 1/2 year old kids, I was in my de-cluttering-nesting phase. What could this book really have to offer? Did we really need anohter book? I was pleasantly surprised to find myself engaged to read the whole thing in less than two days (between breastfeeding, cleaning, cooking, errands, etc).
The book spoke about how we all have every right to live life the way we want to, a privilege of this time in history and development in technology. It had stories of folks doing what they wanted by helping others, and sometimes that meant writing a blog. The message I needed to hear was: You have something to share, so share it!
A few months later, without a plan, I started holliwithani intending to focus on my photography. But, I got distracted by food and the journey I was on to feed my family from scratch. Hence, the birth of this site.
I really have Chris Guillibeau to thank for helping me decide to start. He does something every year on his blog called an Annual Review of his projets and life. I’ve decided to adopt the idea here.
Unlike New Year’s Resolutions, this review will be a way for me to share things I’ve learned, and what I want to do differently next year. Hopefully, some of my mistakes and victories will inspire you!
What Went Well in 2012
1) Pursued my Art Photography Business from a Coffee Shop show to Art and Gift Fair. After my first Coffee Shop Art Show, the other opportunities opened up to get my work out there! I also did several photo sessions and a wedding that really fueled my creativity (plus, I LOVE working with people).
2) Kept Scratch Treehouse running with recipes, posts and shared with others. I did slow down a bit this Fall, but all for the better. After a year of blogging about these topics, I needed to slow down (add kids in school almost full time + Playdates + after school classes like Karate = busy times!).
3) Fed the family more veggies than I could have imagined 1 year ago! We have come a long way in 2 years, and it keeps getting easier. Consistency is the key!
4) Found a small community for accountability to reach my goals. I joined the Puttytribe over a year ago. It’s like a forum for mutlipotentialites (people with a variety of talents, skills and interests). There, I’ve met a wonderful variety of people and have been able to bounce ideas off them and gain advice and insights outside my local circle.
5) Nurtured new friendships off and online. I found a few folks with like interests and made the leap to ask if they’d want to meet up in person (one is a fellow blogger!), the other someone who was introduced to me as a fellow photographer (you know, a situation where you happen to meet someone briefly and are told, “Hey, You two should meet, you have a lot in common” times? Well, thankfully, they folloed up too and I have new friends!).
What Did Not Go Well in 2012
1) I failed to meet my personal goals for our home and family:
- The laundry is never, ever done (perma wrinkle, anyone?). I want to be better at this!
- Didn’t repaint the bedrooms, even after getting paint samples and making the choices.
- Didn’t establish a consistent rotating cleaning chart so that clutter and dust don’t pile up (I actually have 2 methods and a plan for trying them but never prioritized doing such).
2) I didn’t say no often enough. There were a few times where I over-comitted myself and lost sleep and patience. There were a few projects I wanted to jump into, but simply could not because I was already booked. So, I have started to say no, and am trying to not feel guilty about it. If only I didn’t need to sleep or eat, I could do everything I wanted!
3) Smart Phone – seriously, I have only had one to use with Apps for social media and all that jazz for 3 months, and found myself addicted. I finally uninstalled a few apps and have put myself on a stricter social media diet (because, really, I need not “like” every single cute photo my friends or family post on Facebook. And, really dont’ need to check in 23 times day).
. . . . . .
How about you? What did you learn in 2012? Have any insight in helping me master laundry or routine chores with the whole family (instead of, you know, tackling it myself in about 3 hours of fast paced effort)?
Happy New Year!