2016 in Review and 2017 Plans

2016

Right from when I first found out I was pregnant I knew that the first year after the baby was born would essentially be a year of tending to the basics of survival and not much else.  A newborn has a way of consuming the hours in the day without you ever really knowing where they go. However, despite that, and despite Baby F barely leaving my arms for the first four months, I still managed to achieve a handful of things:

A New Book

I’m working on a new book and have written 47,000 words so far. I’m about halfway through and I’ve had a complete break over Christmas, ready to pick up again in the New Year.

A New Business

I launched my new digital media company, Five Pixels, at the end of October. That sounds far grander than it is – it was a very low key affair! I booked a series of clients and I have a lot of work on for the first quarter of 2017. All very exciting.

A Growing Baby

Baby F is saying Mama and Dada, and babbling lots of other sounds. She is knee-walking and cruising, but yet to take her first steps. She is a climber and an explorer, but she’s still very much a Mummy’s girl. I reached one year of breastfeeding with flying colours and I was so, so pleased that we had made it that far. After Christmas I swiftly weaned her off of the night feeds as she was still feeding up to four times a night and one year on I was literally a broken mess from the lack of sleep. It was affecting my mood and my health and I knew it was time for me to stop. We did a complete cold turkey between the hours of ~10/11pm and 7am and she did brilliantly. Honestly – I was so worried it would be nights of screaming, but aside from a few minutes of wailing, she settled back to sleep and last night, our seventh night, she slept from 10:30pm (her last feed), to 7am without a peep. She was obviously just as ready as I was 🙂

Osteoarthritis

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the second half of the year. After doing some running over the summer I had to stop completely due to the increasing pain in my toes. I have something called hallux rigidus and I can no longer bend my right big toe upwards properly. I can’t stand on tiptoes and I can’t do yoga or lunges or any other exercises that requires toe-flexibility. I have really struggled with accepting this and have had a few evenings where I have felt really sorry for myself. Running is one of my ‘things’ and to not be able to do it, when I have waited so long to get back into it, is quite a blow. Worse, is the fact that I am now getting pain in my knees, hips, elbows, wrists and thumbs too. My GP said that the chronic lack of sleep I’ve suffered will probably be contributing to my joint pain, so weaning baby F off the night feeds will hopefully help provide some much needed time for my joints to rest and repair.

2017

Health

I have one overriding, overarching goal for 2017 that takes priority over everything else, and that is my health and fitness. I have a little bit of post-baby weight to lose (maybe 4kg), but mostly I want my energy back, my fitness back and my strength back. This is my BIG theme for the year.

OmniFocus

I am currently working through a training video on using omnifocus so that I can get everything from work and personal projects into a decent digital task/project manager. I really want to find a system that works for me this year.

Work

I want to streamline my business processes and get a decent portfolio up on my website. I am totally open to how business pans out – I am enjoying all of it at the moment, so I’m just going with the flow.

The Book

My goal is to finish first draft, revise, and then send out to an agent.

Photography

As much as possible I want to work on my photography skills. It’s just something I love to do.

I’m looking forward to a healthy and productive 2017 🙂

A Writing Break

I’m taking a break from my daily writing until the New Year. The school holidays are coming and Steve has two weeks off work also, so there will be less time for me to sit and write in the day. Sometimes I write when the children are all in bed, but I don’t do my best work at the end of the day, and I don’t like to constantly have the commitment of having to write at the end of the day hanging over my head. Also, I am lucky enough to have a huge amount of work on at Five Pixels, so any spare time I do get will likely be filled with trying to get ahead on the projects I have running.

I’m at about 47,000 words and I am a bit nervous about stopping as I’m worried I’ll lose momentum. I’ve paused my coaching with Jen and we’re picking up again in January, so at least I have someone I’m accountable to to make sure I get back to it. I still have so much to write – I’m probably around halfway through, if that, so this is looking to be my biggest work yet. Completing it and doing the second draft will definitely be on my goal list this year!

Up and Running

My brand-new, self-hosted, creative baby is up and running. After so much angst and deliberation about what I ‘should’ be spending my time on, I’ve decided to do it all in one package.

Some days I want to write, other days I’m all about taking photos, sometimes I have my head stuck in a programming book, other times I’m off on some other crazy adventure. For a long time I thought this was down to some inherent inability to focus on my part, but after a lot of self-analysis, and self-observation, I have realised that (despite believing my brain to be logical and organised), I am a creative person who needs to create. Whether that is code, words, pictures, or some other thing, it all fulfils the same desire. So instead of fighting it, and berating myself for spending four solid weeks writing like monk, only to drop it and spend the next four weeks trying to improve my photography, I’m going to embrace the lot and put it all under one roof.

I’m actually really excited about having a space to indulge in all the things I love, because for my entire life I’ve had to fight this notion of narrowing down my interests in order to be successful. And I’ve stopped and started probably dozens of websites/blogs because they have always been too narrowly focused on whatever idea I was currently passionate about.

No longer.

There are a handful of things I return to time and time again, because I love spending time on them. So instead of feeling guilty about not being focused enough, I’m going to embrace doing ALL of them. Right here.

I hope you find something interesting to read 🙂