I am a self-confessed stationery addict. Pretty journals and notebooks inspire me and I cannot help but collect them. I now have several gorgeous blank books and always have the feeling that I will use them ‘one day’ when I have created a life worthy of writing about, on the other side of all the things I have to do. In the meantime, I write on cheap jotters and scraps of paper, putting my dreams on hold whilst I do what’s needed to pay the bills.
Recently I gave a friend a gorgeous notebook for her birthday. I felt affronted when she started to use it immediately. How ludicrous! She was absolutely right to begin enjoying it straight away. Lots of blank pages of high quality paper in a gorgeous book intimidate me. I feel as if whatever I write or draw has got to be perfect. If it isn’t perfect, it is as if I have ruined the book forever by creating an indelible stain.
A desire to do things perfectly means that I simply don’t get started. Instead I live vicariously, reading other peoples blogs and books, watching too much TV and stuffing down my frustration with comfort food. I fear starting my own work. However I have now reached the point where I fear the alternative more. I have all these dreams about what I want to create and there is never going to be a perfect time to get started. No one is going to give me permission. I am never going to feel qualified enough or feel that I have enough clarity to begin.
The way I’m living isn’t making me happy so this year, I am going to try an alternative. I am going to try to design my year. I am going to try to teach myself all the things that I need to learn and write about them here. This isn’t just about recording ideas that have inspired me, it’s about actually putting them into practice and experimenting with what works.
I want to be less stressed and more present with loved ones, creating special moments in the everyday. I want to take better care of my health, walk more, cook more, eat healthily and take the time to enjoy my meals. I want to feel less overwhelmed, to de-clutter and simplify my life, so that I can see how much I have to be grateful for. Developing a sustainable, value driven business is also increasingly important. For too long, I have worked with any business that will pay me, even if they don’t share the same values. It’s important to work with organisations that care about their staff and their customers, and have a genuine desire to do something good, beyond just making profit. I need to have the courage to stick to my principles and just have faith that in doing this, I will still be able to pay the mortgage.
I need to start being the protagonist in my own story, creating my life rather than reacting to what happens without a plan. I want to live more deliberately, to make progress each day but also to enjoy the present moment. That is what my year by design is about.