Seeping into the new year

I like to seep my way into any new year because it is time to slow everything down a little and take some time out to think.  Thinking is one of my favourite occupations but as the year gathers pace I have less and less time to think.  Projects inevitably grow wings and then I am off in search of conclusion.  While I recognise that I thrive in this sort of environment I also see that it is only possible if January is my quiet month.

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Regular readers will know about my inclination to ‘incubate’ in January and to revisit Scottish island mum and see where she currently rests.  I am not one to dwell on the past but I do like to do a quick review if just to note the highlights.  You can find my review of 2014 HERE. 

Once that is done it gives me the space to consider where the journey of Scottish island mum may go next.  Of course I have my 50 fabulous things at 50 to keep me occupied but I mean something different than that.  I refer to a need to see where she sits in the world; both real and virtual.  What part does Scottish island mum play in my daily life?  Where do I see it taking me next?  Where would I like her to be in five years time?  These are the sort of questions that I am currently occupied with.  The site has had its annual health check and some pages have been removed while others have been edited.  As we move further into January it is about the new things and this is when I get most excited.  I have a number of projects that have been waiting for 2015 to burst onto the scene so by the end of the month we should all know a lot more than we do right now.

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I am challenging myself a little further in the immediate future by dipping my toe into a new e-course context – the world of blogging and social networking.  If I am truly honest I see this done badly more than I see it done well.  I have made more mistakes than I care to admit to along the way but, just at this time, I am happy I have got the balance pretty secure.  For me, blogging is telling a story and writers need to remember that.  Capturing the imagination or the intellectual spark should be what makes the blogging world go around.  Any networking should be well considered, secure and informative.  In your face networking has no place in good story telling.  So this month sees me launch my first e-course on blogging and more details are available HERE.  As with all my courses you can take them at your own pace and in your own home.  Bookings can be made via my EVENTBRITE page HERE.

If I am honest I have a surprisingly clear sense of direction for Scottish island mum and I think that is because my ability to ‘incubate’ is improving.  I am so pleased with how this practice has developed that I am building it into many of my e-courses for the year.  Tying my courses into the Celtic year is possibly one of the best things I have done in recent years.  Using seasonality and natural celebrations seems to have taken my teachings into a new realm that is much more responsive and in tune with natural rhythms.

If you would like to view my complete portfolio of 2015 you can access my ISSUU publication HERE.  I am always happy to answer any queries.

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Digesting the journey so far is a big part of my incubation strategy.  With this I don’t mean events along the way.  I refer to how the journey feels and this is so important to Scottish island mum.  Call it my personal/professional litmus test.  It is not easy for a lifestyle blogger to separate personal from professional as both weave together for most of the time.  If my litmus test must tell me anything it must indicate that the integrity that I consider implicit within Scottish island mum is evident in all that she does.  This blog does not aim to criticise for the sake of criticism, it does not ever want to offend and it certainly never wants to assume it is always right.  If these things are still in place I am happy.

So January is such an important month and I always feel that a good January sets up the entire year.  The smallholding has been reviewed already and we shall be sharing new plans for that very soon.  My writing commitments are pretty much in place for the next eight months if not beyond and my craft activities have been captured by our new venture – The Bobbin Collective.  But there is more…..and all will be revealed as the year unfolds.

I would love to hear of any of your strategies for commencing a new year.  May I just take this opportunity to thank you for your continued and hugely valuable support.  If I ever take it for granted I expect people to start yelling at me.

Blessings to you all,

scottish island mum

Life in balance – a mix of the old and the new

Yesterday the ground was frozen solid and today it is as if spring is on its way.  We gain approximately 15 minutes of light each day now that the Winter Solstice is behind us.  I love to see the light return as I know just how much all beings depend on it.

Although Christmas day was lovely it has been downhill ever since and I am proper poorly now and so life gets a lot more challenging.  Things I could do a week ago I find difficult and sleep almost evades me completely.  I only mention this because I missed seeing my nephew and niece and they are now away on the ferry.  My illness means I miss out on things from time to time and I get cross.  I am not one of those accepting people who embrace their illness as part of their identity.  I don’t rock up to the doctors looking for more medication and sick notes.  Instead, I get cross and begin the plodding phase where everything might be a huge effort but it is an effort I am more than willing to make.  Life in bed with people running around after me doesn’t float my boat.  Today I ventured out across the fields and down the hill and all was going quite well until I tried to climb back up the hill.  I got cross again and made it back up the hill.

Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of mindfulness and you might be wondering how being cross fits into this dynamic.  The answer is that it doesn’t really and I am a bit naughty pursuing this approach but I have to admit it works for me.  Somehow I seem to turn cross into energy and as that is what is lacking I take that as a good thing.  Surely it beats wallowing in self pity?

Over the past few days I have had the joy of reading some of your 50 fabulous things lists and yesterday I was all the way to 49 and smiling until I read number 50.  It read ‘get rid of my recently diagnosed but very angry cancer.’  It stopped me in my tracks and that is not something that happens to me very often.  We never ever know people’s back story and we should never assume we do.  This courageous and warm lady knocks the socks off my illness and I should do well to be reminded of it.

So I missed my nephew and niece this time.  So life is a little challenging at the moment.  So what, get over yourself mrs.

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The walk was full of blessings as I checked out my garden studio reminding myself that it won’t be long before I am back in it on a daily basis.  I stumbled across a dead and very dry branch and managed to get it back to the wood store for kindling.  The winter sun seemed a little stronger and Lottie managed to do the whole walk without running away.  Lottie is my very naughty Labrador.

Back inside I managed some chores and finished my thank you letters.  I have also managed to write to the first person on my 50 friends list and this is someone I feared I had lost touch with so that made that extra special.  All this is not a patch on what I would normally manage in a long morning but it is a whole lot better than some.  I stop at being grateful as that just seems ridiculous to me; sits alongside accepting my illness.

So life is a balance of the old and the new as we head towards new year.  I have my 50 fabulous things to feed my soul and I have my frequent, and always lovely, walks across the fields with the dogs.  I have a journal devoted to keeping me up to date with my progress through my 50 things and I will be adding a new page to this site soon.  It has been a joy to read so many of your lists and there are lots of us doing 50 new things in 2015 and I fully expect us to have the best of years.  No one mention illness….ever.

I am now off to write to my niece because I missed her and I love her and I think she would appreciate a wee letter from her auntie.  I would appreciate writing it.

Wishing you all a fabulous new year when it arrives.  I wonder what it has in store for us all?

Much love

Fiona xx

scottish island mum