A New Year

The ending and starting of years has snuck up on me. I feel like it pounced when I was looking the other way, a vague feeling of being watched by an unknown entity whilst I was distracted by something shiny in the opposite direction. December saw friends birthdays and christmas drinks and our wedding anniversary and Christmas celebrations flowing into one another, and by the time we came home from visiting family, we had jumped straight into the ringing of 2016.

 As I laid in bed on the first day of the New Year, I realised something. For the first time since I was 18, I have nothing BIG coming. Absolutely no massive plans are being rolled out in 2016.

Every year for the past 12 there have been prominent life blocks to move into place. I left home, went to uni, quit uni, went travelling, got a job, moved to London, fell in love, got married, had kids, ended a career, started a business, turned 30, moved house 7 times, changed cities more than once, took redundancy, started again. We worked and made dreams a reality. Many times over.

So that night when I finally remembered that it was indeed a New Year, and that we have no B I G plans for 2016, it felt strange. This is where we are, this is where we're staying.
  • For the first time in 12 years, moving is not on the agenda. We are home.
  • This month my husband and I are celebrating 10 wonderful years together. We are Us. 
  • We have made all the stupidly gorgeous babies we are going to make. We are Four. 

It sort of feels like all those years ago I was standing in a field. Slowly I started ploughing away. Through the field, working sections at a time, sometimes watching tears fall into the soil, sometimes rolling around in the hay. Discovering dark forests only to arrive in an open glade months later. Sowing seeds and planting roots and watching the weather roll in and out. I met M, and we started to work on the field together. We built and grew and strived onwards. Always moving, always working. But now I can stand still for a while. Or at least move slower. I can breathe in the air and look around at what's become of the field. At what I've made. Those seeds and love and plans and graft and tears and years of striving have made something rather spectacular. Ordinary yes, but wonderful and cherished.

And even though we're not planning for anything big doesn't mean it couldn't happen, things will always change of course. The universe loves itself a curveball. But the fundamentals of our life feel established; the things we've been building are strong at the foundations and rising steadily, some already a big as they'll ever be. Maybe 2016 will be about easing in to all those big plans that have been made and done and come to fruition.

My first feelings about the lack of BIG SHIT was by reacting like a deer caught in the headlights. I froze. Does it mean I'm not moving forward? That I'm stuck? That we've plateaued? But I'm trying to reframe it. To look at it from a different, less panicked angle. Not going to lie, it's hard. There's a little pool of anxiety in my chest some days that needs to be cleared by standing at the edge of the ocean and to remind myself how small I am. I'm trying to remember this - perhaps the lack of the grandiose doesn't mean that the small can't be challenging and exciting in it's own way. I'm wondering if the absence of the big can make way for the small?

I usually love the breathing space of January, the moments set aside for a little looking back and a lot of looking forward. It's list making season! I love a list. However the thought of setting out the small plans without the big ones scares me. On reflection, I fear I may be someone who likes to get lost in the stuff that is all encompassing. I find it easier to write on my list 'move to Brighton' - easier to plan and sort and get through a move across the country, than writing, say, 'learn to knit'. That sounds bonkers right? But actually ploughing away at something small, rewarding and achievable feels like something I could easily fail at. Maybe I'm flaky? Or just lazy. Or a little bit chicken shit. Whatever it is, this is probably something that needs addressing. Admitting you have a problem is the first step though, right guys? RIGHT? *insert praying emoji here*
So I fear that whilst all I really want to do is hibernate until January is over and pretend that 'meh, resolutions are so last year', I think I should actually sit with these feelings and work some stuff out. Write some stuff down. Someone on twitter wrote that to be fulfilled, humans need to be challenged. It resonated with me. I do want to be challenged, mentally and psychically. To grow, and to be pushed and scared sometimes and to do good things. To be excited and passionate and accomplish. The blank page feels like too scary for now, so I'm going to start with Susannah Conway's Unravelling which is always useful for provoking thought. And in keeping as true to myself as possible (hahaha) I've started a Pinterest board - full of little things that might spark a little action. (the photos of wine, cheese and cake are just general lifestyle goals. Ahem.)

And who knows, maybe one day, before the month is out, I'll come back and share whatever I come up with. Maybe I'll even put that on the list.


  1. This is really beautiful Laura, I love what you write about your field. Not having a big goal is a challenge for me too, but one I'm enjoying right now. Bon courage my friend. x

    1. (also, I love that your reaction is to start a Pinterest board, that's what I do when I'm lost too. God love Pinterest)

  2. The little stuff, and the time in between the big stuff, can be just as important and move you just as far forward. As long as we keep breathing, of course.