2014 was the first time ever that I chose a word to carry with me through my year as a guide, for encouragement and for inspiration! I’d seen others choosing their word for the year and I really liked the idea so decided to give it a go myself.
The word I chose for 2014 was ‘Believe’. I chose that word because at the end of 2013 I had some generalised goals and dreams but they lacked clarity. I also carried way too much self-doubt which was often resulting in self sabotage. It was therefore a pretty easy decision to choose the word ‘Believe’ as my word for 2014 because I really needed to better believe in myself, and if I did that, hopefully clarity would come and I would get closer to achieving some goals.
Did I keep the word ‘Believe’ in prime position in my mind as I travelled through 2014? Yes! Yes I did! Did I always have rock solid belief in myself? No not always but I certainly believed in myself a lot more than I did during 2013 and when I had self-doubts I pushed them aside and kept on going forwards regardless.
I can’t really provide an itemized list of moments or situations where I used my word Believe throughout the year but, as I said above, throughout the year I kept that word BELIEVE at the forefront of my mind and used it to cast aside self doubts in order to keep moving forward towards my goals. Here is a snapshot of some highlights for each month of my 2014.
- I survived my first break-up in quite a while! My daughter broke up with her then boyfriend of nearly two years. Who knew that it would be hard on the mum too?! She has a new boyfriend now by the way so she survived just fine!
- I did a lot less blogging this month and more stuff like painting a new bed for my daughter, experimenting with new recipes and gardening in my newly fenced off front yard.
- My gorgeous old girl – tri-colour Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – ‘Chelsea’ turned 14!
- Hubby and I had two nights away in a gorgeous cottage at Possum Creek in the Byron Bay hinterland. This was such a beautiful experience for me. I loved where we stayed and have every intention of going back for a longer stay next time. I loved the Byron Bay hinterland. Wow – what a beautiful part of the world! I took heaps of photographs, including sunrise shots over Byron Bay beach and sunset shots from up at Cape Byron Lighthouse looking towards Byron Bay beach. This trip reminded me how fun it is to explore new places and it confirmed how uplifted I am by nature and countryside and how I need to do trips away like this far more often!
- I completed my 365 Grateful Project! It was a little later than I expected to finish. There were a few hiccups along the way, but at no point did I give up. I completed what I started and was proud of myself for that. Doing this project was such a worthwhile experience. The process of looking for something to be grateful for each day helped me to slow down, be observant and re-connect to everything around me in a way I had not been for quite some time!
- On 31 May, I turned 50! For a long time during my 40’s I absolutely dreaded the day I would turn 50. It sounded so old! By the time I did hit 50 I was ready for it and I gratefully accepted and embraced it. There is something quite free’ing about being this age and it’s also a privilege to still be here to turn this age. Not everyone is so lucky!
- I got a new computer – a gorgeous 27″ iMac. Finally, I can see my images to edit them! Happy Birthday to me!!
- In June 2014 hubby and I had 3 nights away in a beautiful cottage at Montville. This was part of the celebration of my turning 50. I adore rural settings and nature and so it was my choice for this little getaway. The cottage was beautiful. It looked out over a lake, had a fireplace, the most comfortable bed in the world and a deep gorgeous spa bath with views out over the lake. It was all absolutely gorgeous and most definitely a place I will visit again!
July and August 2014
- I decided on the name of Marguerite Louise Photography and started a Facebook page for my photography.
- I upgraded my camera and purchased some new lenses.
- I engaged a Graphic Designer who created my Marguerite Louise Photography logo and watermark.
- I registered the photography business name and got an ABN and PO Box for MLP.
- I entered a local photography competition. I didn’t win but it was certainly an experience that taught me a lot!
- My beautiful ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Ava – turned 2!
- I bought the domain names for Marguerite Louise Photography and Write of the Middle.
- I signed up with BlueHost to take my new blog self-hosted.
- I graduated with a Diploma of Professional Photography!
- I revealed the name of my new blog and announced that MinsMash would be shutting its doors.
- I took the “Clean Processing in Raw” training classes with Damien Symonds.
- I engaged an illustrator to create the cartoon image of me holding the leads of my two dogs with a camera around my neck and a daisy in my hair – for Write of the Middle!
- Katrina Chambers and I started working together to set up Write of the Middle.
- In November MinsMash officially closed its doors and my new blog Write of the Middle was launched.
So far …
- I was featured blogger over at Digital Parents!
- I have been on a beautiful holiday at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast (more on that to come!). Not only that but I’ve been lucky enough to share the experience with my sister and her husband and another sister. They stayed in the same complex but different apartment.
- At 50 years of age, I am blessed to be able to look forward to spending Christmas with all my siblings and both my parents!
My Biggest Achievement for 2014
2014 has certainly had some ups and downs, but overall I think it has been a good year for me and one where I really made some progress towards achieving goals. I do believe that by choosing the word ‘Believe’ and keeping it always in my mind and spirit throughout the year, it enabled me to cast aside any doubts that came into my head and to keep on going forwards regardless. For that reason, I believe that I have achieved far more than I might have otherwise.
The achievement this year that I am the most proud of is that I finished my studies and assignments and graduated with a Diploma of Professional Photography. I have the Diploma framed and it sits atop my computer desk. I think that I will forever carry this word with me as I still need to remind myself to BELIEVE in myself often and amazing things can happen when you believe in yourself! 😉
My Biggest Challenge for 2014
Whilst my graduation with a Diploma of Professional Photography was the highlight of my year, it also proved to be my biggest stumbling block and challenge for the year. Once graduated, I felt enormous pressure to suddenly be a ‘photographer’ and have an income earning photography business. This was all self-inflicted pressure of course. It brought me to my knees for a while there. I had a bit of a freak out, backed right away from photography and didn’t touch my camera for quite some time. As with anything like this, I have learned to look for the lessons. The lesson here are plenty but the main ones are: (1) I still have perfectionist traits that need working on – particularly around putting far too high expectations on myself, and (2) There is more clarity needed here on my direction and specialty, so slowly and easy does it – no need to rush!
What’s left of 2014
There isn’t too much more of 2014 left but I know that the days of it that remain will be good ones. It’s the holiday season and I hope to catch up with friends and spend time with family. I see many days of swimming and floating in the pool. With my husband on leave, little jobs that have needed doing will get done around the house and we will go on some lovely day trips. New Year’s Eve is always enjoyable as my sisters and various spouses usually come over. We eat, chat and swim and try and stay awake until midnight when we watch the fireworks on TV, wish each other a happy new year then say our farewells before collapsing in bed to awake on a fresh New Years Day! I love that feeling of a fresh new year full of possibilities before me. Don’t you?
My word for 2015
I feel a very strong pull towards a word that I’m pretty sure could be perfect for me for 2015, but I will sit on it a bit longer before revealing it. I want to be absolutely sure it is the right fit for what I need going forward into 2015. I’ll reveal it a little later in December or early in the new year.
How was your 2014? Kick some goals? Face up to some challenges? Did you have a word?
Ciao for now,
[This post is linked up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT]