Saturday, 7 January 2017

Reflections on 2016, The Blog and The Holidays

For those of you who are regular readers you will have noticed a gap in December. Well there were a few contributing factors the main one being floored with god awful lurgy, in truth I am still coughing a month later. It has hit a lot of people hard this winter. Illness or no illness my book still had to be promoted, (the perils of writing a seasonal book), my child still had to be cared for, and at Christmas that means dragging myself to many holiday events and that on top of the exhaustion of the third trimester meant something had to give. Sadly that was the blog. The time away allowed me to reflect on the blog and stepping away has had a positive effect on my view of the blog and the direction I want it to travel. 
I am not part of a blog team, I have no intern and the few posts ahead that I keep are soon swallowed up in times of crisis. I sat there and I had photographs but I was so weak, to the point of falling asleep typing I would have been throwing posts up there just to fill a gap and that is not something I want to do. I started to think about how far I have come with the blog and the opportunities I have gained because of it, such as presenting on TV and writing a book. I also thought about how I had grown in terms of professional development and the 'time off' allowed me to see improvements I still want to make, and take action. 
Over the holidays I have contacted a lady who is coming to my home so that I can work on food photography and styling. I have also decided I need to realise my limitations. One of the hardest things to do in business is to know how and when to spend money. I have to admit I have not always made the right choices. Letting go of control is something I am learning to do and it is hard. I have learned so much about blog design but there are so many things I want to do both technically and in terms of brand development and I am ready to spend the money paying a professional to do this. It is not only about skillset but also about time, when you run your own business you have to decided how your time is best spent. So look out for changes in the future.
Let's just come out and say it 2016 was a real bugger of a year, many awful things happened globally and we will feel the repercussions for some time to come. One of my dearest friends married her soul mate last year and she and I chatted about the fact that every bit of bad news was reigning on her parade. We turned it around by realising that even in the darkest of times there is true joy. That made me sit down and think about all of the wonderful things that happened in 2016. Friends getting married, my friends having babies, friends getting their businesses back after the floods, my book was published, I spent everyday with my little boy, I became pregnant, I met a wonderful woman and embarked on a new business venture, (talking about you Kimberly). On top of the specifics I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and love in my heart. Recognising the good does not make me blind to the heartache around me but no one is helped by me not seeing it.
The holidays are hard when you are sick, mostly because my parenting style is feeling guilty for not being enough, (I know I am working on that). Sitting down and thinking about all the things I did not manage to do was getting me nowhere so I sat down and thought about all the times I saw Sebastian smile and all the memories we made and guess what, we actually did loads so I did myself a small favour ad let myself off the hook.
A real highlight for all of us was visiting a reindeer farm in the midlands. It was truly wonderful to go on a sleigh ride and see these majestic creatures up close. In fact that week we could not have had more Christmas if we tried. On Thursday I kicked off the weekend by promoting my book at the Country Living Fair, Friday was reindeer farm, Saturday we went and got our tree from a local farm. We were a 2 tree house this year, I plan to up that next year. On Sunday we went back to Harrogate and the Country Living Christmas Fair for more book promotion and crafting.
When it comes to resolutions I have not really officially made any but I have made a number of plans and goals but I also started a bullet journal so I will talk about those and my late to the party bullet journal another day. For now I want to thank everyone sticking with Archie & The Rug, I hope all of you have things that you were thankful for and continue to have joy in 2017. 

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