2016 was an interesting one. The news was depressing, I was overworked, and with my youngest starting secondary school I felt this sense of time passing far too fast. After years of complaining I could never have a wee in peace, now all of a sudden I could have fallen down the loo and no one would know until they needed a lift somewhere. None of this was helped by a landmark birthday looming on the horizon - you know, one those with a '0' at the end. It is not util the end of 2017, but when awake at 2am it gives you that sense of 'am I a failure, what have I done well, why aren't I as creative, successful, skinny, wealthy, sorted' as I thought I would be if you had asked a 16 year-old me what I would be doing at that age. (Actually, I probably would have thought 'ugh, that is ancient!')
So, with my big 2017 thing trying to approach life the glass is always half-full, I wanted to put this feeling to good use. I made a big work change, and next week I give up the big piece of work, which isn't as scary as I thought as I have been lucky to find lots of smaller freelance work which will hopefully give me space to be creative. That sodding creativity is like an itch that has to be scratched, and I get frustrated when I don't get time to work.
This sense of time passing has also spurred me on to think of a challenge. A friend trained to run the marathon when she approached this '0' birthday, it was as if she needed something to say 'I am still here, and able to do ANYTHING'. It set me thinking about what I could do in the run-up to 'the' birthday. One of things I have always wanted to do is walk the South Downs Way, so after a bracing walk in November decided that was what I wanted to do. However, I want to walk it over the space of the year, and to walk some of the sections several times over. I don't have time to commit to long walks, but can do lots of short ones and by repeating sections I will enjoy seeing how they change through the seasons.
The walks also cohesively link some of the things I want to do this year:
1. Write more. I usually write with deadlines looming, and rarely write down anything personal. I will be keeping a journal to document the year, and where my family are now, but also to discover writing for enjoyment again.
2. Stitch more. Again, this has been deadline led, and I am looking forward to trying lots of different techniques inspired by my walks.
3. Learn how to use my DLSR. I did a course many years ago at college so know the basics, but my skills are very rusty.
So, at the top of this post is my first piece of work which was based on the walk I took last November. I hope you will enjoy reading and seeing some of the work that relates to the project - and fingers crossed I will have more time to come on here with news.