Burnt out sparklers are bundled on the table outside. Two champagne glasses sit in the washing up.
The drying Christmas tree is outside on the front porch, awaiting its scheduled Council pick-up. A thousand pine needles have been swept from the lounge-room floor and two hand-painted nut-crackers, 60 tiny sleigh-bells, one giant musical snow-globe, three china Santas, two tangled ropes of twinkle-lights and a sizeable stack of Christmas-themed story-books and DVDs have all been packed neatly away, to hibernate for the next 11 months until we are ready to start breathing pine and cranberries again.
It feels cathartic. After all the chaos that was December, and all of 2015 really, I couldn't wait to pack and discard and clean.
I didn't love 2015, to be honest. Which is unfair to all the great things that happened and all the wonderful people who populated my year. After all, I am incredibly blessed and I have the kind of life and home and family and friends that people dream of having. The kind of life that, once upon a time, I dreamed of having.
But my dad once told me that, psychologically, you needed to hear 10 good things about yourself to negate just one criticism you might receive. I feel like maybe the same could be said about a perception of a year. Plenty of good things happened during 2015. But some pretty awful things happened, too, and maybe my subconscious needed them to be outweighed by good things 10 to one in order for me to feel like this was a "good year." It's not smart, it's not logical, but the bad things that happened do seem to dominate my memories and emotions when I think about the past 12 months.
Aside from that, I kind feel like I spent most of 2015 trying and failing to catch up. The whole year spiralled out of my grasp and I spent every other day feeling like a failure, with ever-stretching deadlines, ever-mounting work briefs, to-do lists un-ticked, big work-events in our home (the washing up, oh! the washing up!), and rushing and herding my over-tired children from one engagement to the next, running late for daycare late for ballet lessons late for music lessons... late for life.
I don't want 2016 to be the same.
I want to notice more things, appreciate more good things. I want to really commit myself to doing the things I love, and to get better at saying "no" to the things I don't love. I want to help, love, play-with, inspire, educate and just watch my children grow up. Even when sad things happen, I want to take the time to grieve.
I have some thoughts on how I might work towards this in the coming 12 months, and I'll share them on here shortly. But in the meantime, I just wanted to stop by and say hi, and to share these thoughts of mine, for what they're worth.
Happy New Year to you and yours! Love, Naomi x0
ps. I thought this was a pretty great start on preparing for the New Year