Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year to one and all wherever you are!

In five hours it will be 2006. I still don't have an internet connection and am having to grab odd moments when I use the laptop and upload stuff(but not pictures as I don't have them on the laptop). For some reason although I can receive emails I can't send them. As my email and my broadband are provided by different people I can't understand why this should be. Suffice to say that it is all very annoying and typical of 2005. The year for me has been just like this from beginning to end. Things go wrong but a sort of way out presents itself which is good but not good enough as there are always stray ends that don't get woven in. So I'm hoping that this next year 2006 will be lived on a more even keel. I enjoy the highs and I can cope with the lows but at the end of the day they are both in their own ways very wearing and exhaustive. So give me a quiet life which unfolds before me in a serene and gracious manner.
Because Martin always works on New Year's Eve I spend it very quietly at home, usually on my own. I don't mind this as I have always been comfortable with my own company. It has become a habit with me to ask myself some quite searching questions with regard to looking back over the past year. The first one of these questions is:
What did I accomplish?
My first reaction is to say not a lot but that isn't strictly true as I have actually accomplished a lot though not all of it good. Thinking about it I would say that I managed this year to organise my workroom so that it was acceptable to me and a pleasure to work in. As this entailed completely changing two rooms over this was no mean feat. And the result of this was that I did more work and eventually found the path I wanted to follow.
What roles did I play this last year?
I was wife, mother, daughter first and foremost and this is how it should be. Then I was sister and friend. But closely following this I was also a teacher, mentor, colleague, and student. And also creator, designer, worker and salesman. There are so many roles in my life and each has its own compartment. Was I successful in my roles? I think I was, especially in entwining them all together. Sometimes some roles took on more importance than others and then they would become less intense and others would take the limelight. It is a bit like a play. Every part is important and all are necessary. Without one player the whole would not work.
What are my goals for each role?
My family roles are pre-defined and I hope that I will continue to do my best and be a good wife, daughter and mother plus grand-mother; sister and friend. As a teacher I hope that I will continue to encourage, inspire and reassure my students. I have set several goals for myself as a student. Keeping a sketchbook is one of them and making samples illustrating my learning curve is another. As a designer/maker I am going to clear out the dross and have a clear cut vision of what I want to achieve. It is good to be able to turn one's creative hands to many things but with only a small amount of time at my disposal I'm going to concentrate on the things that make me feel good. I'm going to stop worrying about the commercial side of things; there has never been enough money but we survive so why let it dictate what I do. This is the year when I do it for me and I do it my way as Frankie would say! So the role of salesman is going to take a back seat and sit in the wings.
How can I make sure that I achieve these goals?
By allocating my time wisely. I shall not beat myself up if I can't achieve everything I want to do in the day. I shall be pleased if I can achieve most of what I want to do in the week. I shall keep lists and tick off things as they are done. Into these lists I shall build 'me' time. Time when I can read, sit in the garden, muse, meet with friends. Each day I shall walk down to the beach come rain or come shine. Not only will this be good for my figure but it will also give me thinking time. Time to plan with no interruptions such as the phone or computer. I don't have television so I am ahead already!
What have I enjoyed most about the past year?
The thing that has given me the most pleasure and provided the most fun has been writing my blog and finding other people's blogs to read. Writing my own blog has been carthartic for me and often I have found out things about myself that I was subconsciously hiding. Reading other's blogs has been instructive, amusing, interesting and educational. I have learnt such a lot from people I have never met but who have entered my life, even if only briefly, and opened my eyes. Even if I've been opposed to their opinions it has still been good as it has made me examine my own and work out their worth and place in my thoughts. Sometimes I've even changed my stance from this in depth examination.
I have also enjoyed getting back into painting and drawing. Dyeing has given me all I needed in the way of making colour but actually putting paint onto fabric or charcoal onto paper has enabled me to 'see' so much more deeply. Art is really all about seeing.
My personal goals?
To be a better person. To have more patience and to take more time thinking about things rather than rushing in where angels fear to tread. To be more disciplined! This is important as it will enable me to keep to an exercise program, to follow a sensible eating plan, to produce work regularly and to fit more into my life. Not to worry about the big stuff but to keep the small things under control. And above all to have fun and enjoy life. This last statement I wish for you all in this New Year. And peace and understanding. It is lack of understanding which produces fear and it is fear which breeds mistrust and intolerance and once on that path it isn't far to the bottom! We are each of us unique and wonderful people who together make the world a better place. Lets relish that thought in 2006!
A Happy New Year to You All!


  1. Happy New Year, Val. Sounds as if you have a great year ahead of will be great to follow your progress. I have truly enjoyed getting to know you and sharing our Bon Jovi fanship. I hope we will continue to learn more about each other as next year goes by. Cheers!

  2. Happy New Year, Val. Hope the new year brings all the things you want.

  3. Happy New year! Great idea. Maybe now that I am feeling better, I will do this also in my blog. Doesn't it help to share in public, kind of makes me feel more accountable.

  4. Happy New Year to you too! I'm certain you'll achieve your goals.

  5. Valeri I raise a glass (of soda-water)to your sentiments for the new year and wish you huge fulfillment in all your creative endevours. Hugs Helen