I’m writing this on the first Saturday of 2019. It’s bitterly cold outside, so I’ve got the fan-heater running as I type. The constant whir of its motor muffles the sound of Sigur Rós playing from my new Echo Dot on the floor below. The light in our attic-office is dull and gloomy, and I find myself wondering how the first week of January can feel so different to the final week of December.

I’ve been writing a version of this post every year since 2010. I take great comfort from the familiar ritual and relish the opportunity to reflect on the past and contemplate the future. This time last year, I was worried. Worried a bad year would follow a good one, that there would be storms to weather or struggles to overcome.

For the most part, my worries were unfounded – 2018 was a great year! Perhaps this should give me more confidence as we head into 2019, but as we’re all facing a degree of uncertainty in the coming weeks and months, I think cautious apprehension is an understandable response.

Love Audrey 5 Family Friendly Things To Do In Bristol

Looking back…

I did so much in 2018 that I’m incredibly proud of. Launching a new website, gaining new clients, selling new services, running two workshops with The Little Wedding Helper, and ending the year co-hosting a new podcast with my pal, Charlie Swift.

I was also featured by Unconditionally Nourished and Katie Morwenna, published on the State of Liberty blog, and interviewed for two brilliant podcasts, Work Like a Mother and Shoot, Edit, Chat, Repeat.

My word for the year was ‘thrive’. Professionally, that’s exactly what I did and I’m starting 2019 with my copywriting services in greater demand than ever before. I love the work I do, and I’m filled with gratitude, but behind the scenes, things have felt a little off.

The balance and simplicity I worked so hard to achieve after my CFS diagnosis has been out of whack for a while. I know I need to make some changes to my business, but for now, I’m still figuring things out. Wish me luck! Brother and sister in pyjamas cuddling and smiling

The children continued to grow and change in ways I couldn’t have predicted. Izzy turns 14 at the end of January and we’re still very much getting to grips with the reality of parenting a teen. Year 9 has been her best year yet at secondary school. I’m so proud of the way she conducts herself. She scored the lead role in the school play and shows unwavering commitment to the K-Pop dance group she attends each week.

Jesse fell hard for football in 2018 and his passion for playing and watching the sport dominates his every waking hour. Mr L.A. even overheard him commentating an imaginary game in bed the other night! He continues to work hard at Tae Kwon Do and after a bumpy start, he’s finally settled into Year 5 at school. I can hardly believe my baby boy will turn 10 in six month’s time!

As a family, the highlight of our year was definitely our trip to Koh Samui in July. As well as plenty of rest and relaxation, we had an incredible time exploring the island. I doubt we’ll travel as far in 2019, but sharing adventures together as a family will remain a top priority. The fact we purchased our first car in October should make this a lot easier to achieve. I can’t wait to embark on our first proper road trip!

Mother and children on a bridge against rainforest backdrop Lad Koh Viewpoint Koh Samui

Looking forward…

So far this year, I haven’t felt the urge to plot and plan my every move. My goals, both personal and professional, are still hazy, nebulous concepts floating through my mind.

Although January can be a useful jumping off point for change, I’m not convinced it’s the best time to overhaul my life. In winter, I crave calm, rest, and sleep. I think I’ll leave the goal setting till spring, when my energy starts to shift as much as the earth’s.

‘Nothing will give you a stronger, truer direction than yourself. Your gut, your intuition, your body, are all telling you what’s right for you.’ – Kayte Ferris, Simple & Season

For now, I want to focus on reconnecting with myself. Last year, I lost sight of how I want my life to look. I also failed miserably at prioritising things that have always brought me joy. The one thing I definitely want to do more of in 2019 is write for no other reason than to please myself. I give so much of my creativity to other people. This year, I’m determined to save some just for me.

As ever, I’m hoping for lots of travel and adventure. I’m planning a brief trip away during the Easter break and we’ll be heading to Dorset again in the summer. My mum and I are off to the Chelsea Flower Show in May and we’ve also got tickets to the Dior exhibition at the V&A. Mr L.A. has planned a packed weekend away for our anniversary later this month, so there’s plenty to look forward to.

How about you? What are your hopes and dreams for 2019?

Love Audrey xxx

P.S. Like Jesse, this blog will celebrate its 10th birthday in 2019! How crazy is that?!

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