1. Addictions are bad, but mine to books has brought some heart changing stories into my life. TOP of the list? The highly acclaimed, heartbreaking, funny, beautiful Sifting the Dust by Marjorie Rose. The paperback is now available here.
Lesson: I’m keeping this addiction, I don’t care what you think.
2. In 2013, anything that I accomplished that was worth anything was due to the kindness of others.
Lesson: Being kind is probably the only thing that really matters.
3. When I wrote 5 Reasons Why I Should Never Have Become an Artist, it became my most popular post in 2013. Apparently a lot of people agreed with me.
Lesson: You just never know, so really, don’t try to.
4. I found and lost A Very Big Fear that I didn’t even know I had. Who knew that recording myself on video would be such a game changer?
Lesson: Self-acceptance. You’re never too old to learn it.
5. We lost our beloved little dog Lucy this year in a car accident. But we rescued a gorgeous dog, which we named ‘River,’ from a life of wandering the streets and eating out of bins. You could say that River the Dog wandered right into our hearts. (She still tries to eat out of bins).
Lesson: Losing something precious is terribly painful. But it can open the door to letting in something beautiful.
6. My daughter Mary and I woke up one morning to find ourselves in the middle of a rain-forest at the edge of a fast-flowing stream. And then there were the giant butterflies. Sculptured rice fields. Thundering waterfalls. Massive volcanoes. Lovely offerings. Very Kind People. Bali. It’s just a few hours away, and I’ve travelled the world but I’d never been there before.
Lesson: Never underestimate your own backyard.
7. Gratitude is a one-size-fits-all response to everything.
Lesson: My mother was right.
8. You know that thing where you start the year off by choosing ‘a word for the year’ that’s meant to guide, inspire and steer for 365 days? Well I didn’t choose one last year. Instead, a word chose me. Not straight away, it took it’s time – first fluttering around my friendships, then working it’s magic around my workshops, only to plonk itself in my paintings, and finally landing in my heart. The word? JOY.
Lesson: I’m starting earlier this year.
9. In 2013 I sometimes I worked 18 hour days, for days at a time. I can’t tell you how excruciating that was for someone whose favourite pastime is lying in bed under a doona with a good book and/or a bowl of noodles.
Lesson: Doing nothing is vastly undervalued. I plan some 18 hour days of doing you-know-what.
10. I noticed I’m getting better at the Big Things. Like (drumroll…) ‘Facing my Fears’ and ‘Embracing Uncertainty’. But I’m still flummoxed by the little things. Like bits of paper on my desk. Or finding my glasses. Or putting my pants on. These often take more time and energy than I care to admit.
Lesson: Take delight in The Little Things while you can still do them.
11. Everything, EVERYTHING I do starts off seemingly impossible in my head. And then, it’s done.
Lesson: Best not to pay too much attention to what goes on in my head.
12. Despite my constant assertion to my husband Gregory that “I am always right”, NOTHING turns out quite the way I expect it to. Fortunately, it usually turns out far better. That kind of sums up 2013.
Lesson: Apparently I’m NOT always right. (Gregory, I hope you’re not reading this)
May 2014 be one of Good Addictions, Incredible Kindness, More Time With Your Mother, Hours of Doing Nothing, And Many MANY little and Beautiful Things.
Here are some of my moments from 2013, photographed by Mary Parker Photography or me. Happy New Year everyone!