Creative Business Musings

Year in Review – 2020

Really, with a year like 2020, where do you start?!

Up until mid-March I was filled with enthusiasm about the possibilities ahead of me. Creating products from my paintings to sell at markets, painting bigger works to sell online, meeting fellow artists were all things to look forward to. And then the world changed.

I am not going to go over the details of COVID-19 here, we all watched the news and lived through a world of lockdowns and uncertainties. But despite the year that is was, I can say the one word that sums up 2020 for me is:

GRATITUDE

For me there were so many reasons to be grateful during the past 12 months. I am extremely fortunate to live in a country that has not nearly been affected by the virus as the rest of the world. Being already financially prepared for not earning for a year and the generous government support meant I didn’t have to worry about how to pay the rent. Access to the internet meant still “seeing” friends and family, plus finding amazing and inspirational people online meant I wasn’t totally isolated and lonely. It also was a massive year for personal growth.

After working full time since leaving school, it was such ablessing to have time to think about the meaning of life and my place in this world. I feel I have learnt so much about myself and grown in a lot of ways, but I can say with absolute certainty that despite a year of contemplating these subjects I am still no closer to finding the answers. Instead I am finding myself more content to live in a state of not knowing, and that is ok.

>> I just want to insert here that I know this is incredibly ‘first world’ for me to be able to say that. I am very aware that the world is still right in the midst of this terrifying pandemic and that tens of millions of people have been affected and tragically over 2 million lives have been lost. However, I truly believe in the importance of embracing a hopeful mindset through the appreciation of what we have, and to recognise the values and strength that many have found during this difficult time. The practice of gratitude is available to all of us.

I highly recommend using Susannah Conway’s free workbook “Unravel 2020” as a way to look over the past year with some more clarity. It gave me a lot of insight into how the year went, where my growth was and how I want to focus for the new year.

Here are revelations I had:

  • I have low ambition and drive for “success”. I don’t want to conquer the world, or leave a legacy. I still want to feel more content and focused in my daily life, and I still want to live comfortably, but if no one is watching me do it, and it takes a while to get there, that is ok.

  • I have stopped living in the future. I am a massive planner (hence 17000 Pinterest pins!), always thinking about what I could be doing in the future. Buying a house? Living in France? Touring Egypt? So many possibilities. Well as we all know, 2020 took most of those options off the table and I am ok with that. Turns out one of my weaknesses is having unlimited options available to me, it paralyses me with fear of making the wrong decision and second guessing everything. And honestly, after all the events of 2020, how could I possibly kid myself that I have any freakin’ idea of what could happen in the future?!! Making plans – HA!

  • Some things I do know for sure. I have the gift of very rarely dwelling on the regret of things past (well, except when it comes to stupid things I have said in small talk!) I know for sure marrying Pete, moving to Yeppoon and then moving here to Brisbane were the right decisions, no question. Many of lifes questions are still up for debate, but those things I know to be true.

  • I am in danger of becoming a hermit… and liking it. I am definitely a social person – I love loud dinner parties, ladies lunches, and dancing on stage in a nightclub. But despite technically being classes an extravert, I am equally happy to spend days and sometimes weeks at home by myself.* (*I should caveat this by saying I do have a cat for interaction and conversation, I am not sure how well I would do without her for company!)

  • I am still searching for “home”. A place I know I am supposed to be. I worry this is a fantasy, but I know people in real life who have experienced this, so I know it is a possibility. The hardest part is trusting my judgement in what that looks like. Sometimes is a chateau in France full of friends, others its a minimalist apartment in the city with a roof top garden. Right now I am in the place I am supposed to be and I just have to trust this place will show itself when the time is right.

Like I said, I think this kind of learnings only leads to more questions, but I am feeling less in a rush to get to the end now I know it’s really (insert cliché) a life long lesson. Have you taken the time to review the past year? If you would like to share some of your revelations I would love to hear from you!

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