Happy new year everyone :o)  I hope everyone had the new year’s eve that they wanted – in my case I went the rock ‘n’ roll route of a nice bath with a good book while eating my dinner, followed by watching a few things that I’d recorded over Christmas while starting to make my double gauze quilt, a notion that took me at around 10:30 last night.  As you do.  Jack was having a few drinks… (don’t worry, I gave him a straw)

Anyway, looking forward to 2016, Pat Sloan encouraged a group of us to think of a word this year using Susannah Conway’s ‘Find Your Word’ series.  I’ve never been good at publicly declared resolutions where you have a lofty list of things to achieve that have usually gone out of the window by Easter if not Valentine’s Day, mainly because life happens, outside influences cause you to go in different directions, sometimes good, sometimes bad, and you have to roll with it.  On the other hand a word allows you to bend and flex and suit where things have taken you, and it’s good to have some sort of thing to focus on no matter what twists and turns occur, so this year, my word is:

Freedom.  I think it would be safe to say that last year’s word, had I had the energy to come up with one in January, would have been ‘Recovery’ after the annus horribilis that was 2014, culminating as it did in a nervous breakdown.  The net result of the need to recover meant that I spent rather a lot of time indoors either sewing or attached to a computer, save for a few weekends away, and whilst nurturing my inner hermit was perhaps required, this year I need to get out and about more, I need the freedom from my self-built, self-protective constraints.

Freedom also means saying ‘No’.  Whilst there is a temptation when trying to grow a business to say ‘Yes’ to everything that comes your way, sometimes you need to stop and think about whether or not it’s a good idea, and whether filling all your time with what other people have asked you to do is truly going to deliver your desired end result.  I’ve already said ‘No’ to a few things, and this year I want to really try and use my free time wisely, and to have the freedom to explore creatively.  I have ideas bubbling away that would like to escape.

This year I have a few big adventures, the first, Sew Brit Bag Camp in March, which is the first retreat that I have been involved in organising, the second will be taking my friend Lori and her husband on a tour of the Highlands and Western Isles in June, and for the third I’ll be going to France to meet up with my parents, uncles and aunts to celebrate my parents’ retirement.  It will probably be in September, but they haven’t quite made their mind up yet… ah, the joy of not having to be anywhere at a particular time nor having to book the time off work in a timely manner!  Anyway, beyond that I have decided that I want to get out and about with my camera a bit more at the weekends – the price of fuel has dropped, so I should have the freedom to get out and about a bit more without having to worry about selling a kidney to pay for the transport.  For example I’d like to get up to Perth and see the poppy installation there during the summer at some point.  Dad and I went to Liverpool to see the Weeping Window last week, so I’m intrigued to see what they’ll do in Perth:

Finally I want freedom to influence my eating.  I want to start cooking less comfort foods and eating more healthily again.  I haven’t got the worst diet in the world right now, but I have been falling back on some quick, more carb laden offerings at times, and have been guilty of munching at my desk after lunch when I probably didn’t need to.  I’m not going to go back to an ultra strict diet plan, because I’ve found in the past that although it can be successful in shedding weight, it also means that you spend an inordinate amount of time planning meals, so I’m going to take the freedom of mixing and matching my way through the various healthy things that I’ve pinned and not counting parts of the nutritious content to the nearest gram.

Jack thinks this best represents his idea of freedom.  I’m not sure if that means that he thinks he needs to escape from my photographs, or if he’s just taking up running, but I’m sure you’ll seem him around:

How about you, do you have a word for the year?