Hi everyone! You probably notice that I’m back on my old domain. This doesn’t mean I’ve closed my photo blog – it only means that lots of stressful things are behind me and that I want to write again, and that I have something to write about that is interesting! If you’ve been to my photography blog, you know that I’ve already written quite a bit during the autumn, about my knee injury, running, and related things. Since I want to keep that as a photography-focused blog, I’m reopening this one to continue to share my progress with training, fitness, habits, reaching goals, and more! On the photo blog I’m continue to share my photos, thoughts related to photography, and places in Ireland.
Please note that this blog is a work in progress, design-wise. I’ve built the theme with the WordPress full site editing feature, it’s still beta and I have no idea what I haven’t thought of… so please bear with me!
It’s the last Thursday of the month, which means I’m joining the link-up for the word of the year. I haven’t joined every month, but thought I would give it a try this month because I have lots to share!
My word of the year posts haven’t really fit anywhere lately, so I haven’t saved the old posts – I apologise if I’m repeating a few things, I’ll try to do it briefly. This blog will be a good place to save them, so I’ll keep them up from now on.
The calm project
2021 was a difficult year for me, coming from the hopeless 2020 with lots of hope for better times, but I went from hope to despair and I really struggled to find meaning with things or to see a future. During 2021, I suffered from anxiety and various other stress-related issues.
For 2022 I was inspired by Deb to choose a focus/word of the year, and chose CALM. I needed to learn to react to bad events in a healthy manner, create calm in my own life, and worry less about things I can’t control.
CALM for me means
That every moment of life can’t be calm, because we live in an imperfect world, BUT
- I can learn to react to the stresses of life with calm, AND
- …not worry unless there’s something real to worry about
- …focus on the good things in life and what I can control
- …declutter my “have to’s” and remove things from my life that cause stress, where possible.
November meant finishing projects
October and the beginning of November was a stressful time, with lots of work on my exam projects for my graphic design course, while I also had to do a magazine layout project at the same time. I’ve been doing this since 2015. It’s for my former church in Sweden, and it’s been enjoyable and helped me keep my InDesign skills fresh and also to keep in touch with the people over there, but over time it’s become too much of a burden and has mostly caused stress. In addition to that, now I need to spend that time on projects that can potentially give me an income.
At the start of this year, I already knew that creating calm, in terms of decluttering the calendar, wouldn’t be fully achievable until the end of the year, because so much of it consisted in finishing projects. The layout project is a year-to-year commitment, and I couldn’t just quit in the middle of the year. I could only decide to resign from it but still had to continue the work until November.
Now my last magazine is being printed, and it feels great! Actually the whole committee was quite worn out after doing this for so many years, and when I sent the e-mail that I would quit, many expressed that they would m be leaving too. Probably nobody will take over the work, but that’s ok, we’re all happy with the work we’ve done over the years, and perhaps there isn’t a lot more to cover anyway.
A new beginning
I’ve finished my studies (or at least the exams) and the big layout project is behind me. So what now?
November 2022 is the start of something new. To begin with, it will be about learning to relax and allow myself to have free time for real. It feels strange! Evenings when I can do what I want without guilt? Feels weird, but fabulous! I can even get back to reading books eventually!
Now is also the time to create a good, normal routine. I had been making plans for this during the autumn, mostly when it comes to exercise but it’s also relevant to work and music.
The first step was to add another day of strength training in the week, so I now go to the gym Tuesdays and Fridays, and I’m in the office in town those days. Being around people does wonders for my mental health. I love working from home, but I really need to be in town and around people more often than I’ve been in the last 2-3 years. I want to be more a part of the local community! The people in our Friday music session are fabulous, but the daytime everyday life in our lovely little town is there to enjoy too. And what better time is there to be around town than the time leading up to Christmas?
Now after this last graphic design course, I’ve come closer to the new career I’ve been hoping for, and can start some actual work, not only practice and studies! The autumn with its many challenges has given me a kick in the butt, a different mindset. I’m more driven and determined, to get things done to get to where I want to be, to not quit, not let self-doubt decide what I do, and to challenge myself. I’ve described some of it in this post. And this attitude gives a sense of purpose… and calm.
Do you have a word or focus of the year? How are you doing with it?