Ever since I can remember I needed to visualise things to understand them and for them to make sense to me. Back at school, I couldn't remember anything I was taught if it was only communicated to me verbally. I had to write things down, actually see and read the words for the message to sink in. Despite being extremely bad at maths, I could memorise numbers like phone numbers or formulas by writing them down and remembering what they looked like. It wasn't that the numbers actually made sense or that I would understand the formula, but I could remember them by "seeing" in my mind what I had written down earlier. I guess it comes as no surprise then that everything I do now is based around visuals. Styling, food, photography, all areas which feel natural to me and which I cannot imagine being without.
Now, this is the time of the year when people make plans for the next twelve months ahead, write down their goals and ambitions and draw up lists of things to do and achieve. I've never really done that in a big way. I guess it's partly out of fear that I might look back at those goals and plans at the end of the year and realise that I haven't achieved some of any of them. I tend to make plans, think about things I want to do and work on them, sure, but I don't see those plans as set in stone more as guidelines. I do of course have an overall view of what I want my life to be like, but I also look at the small picture, the small events and daily happy moments instead of relentlessly chasing some goal. I'm the kind of person whose mind goes blank when asked about "where I see myself in five years" in an interview - luckily the last one is a long time ago. I mean, give me a crystal ball and I might be able to answer that question, but whilst I believe that we do of course need to work on the things we want to achieve, there are so many circumstances and events which are completely out of our hands and that can alter even the best laid plans, that I find it near-on impossible to answer that question in a truthful way.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I thought about combining my two thoughts in this post. Visualising some of my personal plans, thoughts and guidelines for this year. The "list" or visual is of course not exhaustive and there will be changes along the way, one area overtaking another in its relevance and some projects becoming more significant than others. So, after all my ramblings, here are my guidelines sorted by props.
- Dust sheet: Carry on making our home our favourite place with small touches. I'm thinking of repainting our living area to freshen things up, but there might also be some bigger events on the horizon...
- Candles: Enjoy the now! I see posts popping up all over the place about Spring. It's only mid January, that means we have at least another two, if not three, months of winter ahead of us. Why not enjoy that with all its cold weather and cosiness inside. Already thinking and hankering after Spring feels a little like "wishing your live away" and whilst I like Spring and nature waking up again, I also love this time of the year and intend to enjoy it for what it is.
- Spices & cooking utensils: Cook, bake and hone my skills in these areas. I'm not a chef and never will be, but I want to be the best cook and baker I can be: innovative, comforting, sometimes healthy, sometimes plain frivolous, seasonal, and fun. Of course I also want my food to look as good and appetising as possible, after all, it doesn't matter how good it tastes if it looks so off-putting that nobody wants to try it in the first place...
- Notebook: Work on my writing skills and being more open. I tend to either ramble or have a complete block when it comes to writing with not much in-between. I would love to be able to sit down and simply write down thoughts in a way that makes sense and is engaging.
- Wreath: Be mindful of waste, recycle and laugh at ridiculous consumerism. That means looking around at what I have and treasure those things. Even the smallest things. My myrtle wreath was made for me for Christmas. However, since the branches look lovely dried, I have 'recycled' it into small pots and still have the wreath hanging up. It really doesn't look festive, but simply green and it would be a shame to simply discard it just yet. The wreath, however, is probably more of a visual manifestation of the overall idea of inspecting closely whether something really has had its day or I simply want something new. Don't get me wrong, there are beautiful things to buy, but I want to buy them for the right reasons, because I will treasure them for a long time and use them. Not because I feel the need to show off.
- Map & postcards: Look for new experiences and challenge myself. I know that on first glance these could be seen as "travel" and in a way they are. They're about the kind of travel we need to do to get to our own personal destination. If I want to achieve certain things, then I will have to choose a path I might not have gone down yet instead of staying in my comfort zone and constantly retracing my own steps.