An photo of an open journal

How 2021 Was For Me

Hey there! It’s good to see you here. My name is Lizzie, and I am the redhead who is always wondering! Wondering about life, about this beautiful world, about words and light and colour and form. And mostly about how I can be the best me that I can possibly be.

I am a creator of hand bound books and of art, in the form of cyanotypes and photographs. I am also an avid journal-keeper and I’d like to share some of my journal wonderings with you today ….

The Results of My End of Year Stock Take

In my last blog, I told you about my End of Year Stock Take, where I journal on the year that is just ending, and when I think about all that I’ve achieved and learned.

So, for this, my first blog of 2022, I thought that I would share my end of year journal entry with you.

I hope that by being open and allowing you an insight into the sorts of things that come up for me when I write in my journal, I will encourage you to pick up your pen, grab a notebook (or a beautiful hand bound book created by yours truly!!), and journal it out … and maybe find a window into yourself.

The Power of Journaling

I cannot tell you often enough just how helpful I find writing. I know that I can get a bit evangelical about it, but that is only because it has helped me so much, and I am so passionate about this powerful self-development tool, that I want to share it far and wide.

I’ve had some pretty awful times in my life, times when I have felt utterly alone and lost, times when my self-esteem has been battered out of me by life and circumstance; and the life-line that journaling gave me was the thing that helped me most; it saved my sanity and it helped me to not only survive those difficult times, but to come through them stronger, more whole and a better person.

So, my take on how 2021 was for me …

I Started With Some Questions

I always start by asking myself questions ….

What am I most proud of this year?

I am actually proud of lots of things I did in 2021 …

My website.

Joining The British Craft House.

Doing the Abundant Business Bootcamp.

But I think the thing I am most proud of is that I show up consistently on social media – I post to Facebook and Instagram every day.

I’ve also shown up consistently here in my blog, publishing one every two weeks.

Why?

Because visibility is hard for me. I’m afraid of being seen, I’m afraid of being criticised. I’m so much more comfortable staying inside my shell, behind my defence wall.

Now, some people may not think that it is much to be proud of, but for me, it’s huge. For me, it’s taken such a lot of courage, and I am proud of that.

Did I do something that was outside my comfort zone?

This kind of follows on from the being visible thing … not only have I consistently shown up, but I’ve also told (some of) my own story.

I’ve told the truth about how I feel, and I’ve talked about some of the shit I’ve been through.

To complete strangers!

Possibly even to people who have hurt me in the past (for we do not know who sees our posts, when we make them public!). And that is a fear that is always there for me. Every time I hit <enter> and post something raw or painful about myself, there is a voice inside me saying, “What they read this? What if they try to hurt me again?”

But I hit <enter> anyway.

Because honesty and authenticity are two of the pillars that I want to build my business on.

Also, way WAY out of my comfort zone, but in the same vein, was appearing on Ann-Louise Harbutt’s Podcast. Actually using my voice to tell parts of my story, and not just the written word … Holy Moly … now, that was REALLY scary!

And how did that make me feel?

TERRIFIED.

All of it.

Scary, scary shit.

It was like dropping the drawbridge and inviting people inside. And that is very scary for me.

But I did it anyway.

And the doing of it, the facing the fear and doing it anyway, well, that was amazing for me. I’m still scared. The pain that was inflicted on me was so deep, that I can still feel it. But I will not let it rule my life.

I will be vulnerable. I will be raw. I will be brave.

And I will tell my story, because who knows?

It might just help someone else.

And that would make all the vulnerability, all the fear, worthwhile.

If just one woman reads my words and sees that it is possible to move from fear to freedom (thank you Gemma James!), then it will be worth it.

And Then There Were More Questions …

Was I honest with myself and others about how I felt?

Yes. That’s an easy one. I hid my truth for so long, I spent so many years being lied to, and lying to myself (you know the lies I’m talking about … “It’s okay, I can cope, it doesn’t matter, I don’t deserve love/happiness/a life”), that I can no longer tolerate dishonesty.

I tell myself the honest truth in the pages of my journal. And I speak my truth to others.

And I like it!

I like honesty.

I cannot “do” dishonesty.

Life is way too short and way too precious to waste any time on untruths and denied feelings. I don’t do that shit any more!

I have wasted enough time!

What went wrong this year?

I was badly treated by a someone. I’m not going to lie, I felt bullied. But I let her bully me, because I couldn’t bear the idea of going through more stress in the middle of lockdown (I had quite enough stress to deal with!). I felt betrayed. I felt hurt. I felt angry.

But the good thing is, I learned a lot about who to trust. And the other good thing is that she is now out of my life, and I no longer have to think about her or the situation! No negativity being carried forward into 2022, that’s my rule!

Was there anything I could have done to change it?

I could have fought back, but I decided that it would have cost me so much more emotionally, and that was a cost I wasn’t prepared to pay.

That may have been the wrong choice. It may have been better to stand up to her.

But I can’t go back and change it now. So, I am letting it go. It was an expensive lesson, both financially and emotionally, but it will make me much more discerning about who I trust in future, so perhaps it was a lesson worth learning.

“Tell the truth to yourself first.”

Maya Angelou

And Then I Let Myself Dive A Little Bit Deeper

I asked myself some bigger questions ….

What is standing in my way RIGHT now?

Not having enough time!

Not having enough hours in the day.

Having to go out to work when what I really want to do is work on my biz full-time.

Not earning enough from my biz to be able to afford to give up the day job!

That perennial Catch-22 of the small business owner!

What would happen if I overcame that obstacle?

Freedom!!!

Creativity.

Happiness.

What am I most afraid of RIGHT now?

Financial insecurity. I do feel that I have a lifetime of worrying about financial security behind me, and it is something I am working on. My money mindset is changing, but it’s a process.

(And of course, death … death is always what I fear most … but that’s a whole other story!)

What if I wasn’t afraid? What could I do?

Give up work and dedicate myself to my creative business!

Write a book.

Write more books!

Be more visible.

Be amazing!

And Then I Started on My Little Lists

Five Things I Achieved This Year

  1. I set up my website (with a lot of help from Kym!)
  2. I have consistently posted on Social Media every day.
  3. I have published blogs and sent out newsletters every two weeks.
  4. I was invited to appear on a Podcast.
  5. I completed the Abundant Business Bootcamp!

Five MORE Things I Achieved This Year!

  1. I won two coaching sessions with Gemma James.
  2. I won a year’s membership of the Dream Business Club.
  3. I started selling on The British Craft House.
  4. I have made so many connections with amazing women.
  5. I have learned LOADS!!!

Five Times I Was Happy This Year

  1. Every day! With my lovely husband, every day is happy!
  2. When I finally got to see my Bestie, Jayne, after 18 months.
  3. When I had major breakthroughs on the From Fear to Freedom course.
  4. Our day trip to Seaton, which was our first glimpse of the sea in over a year.
  5. Our night away to Seaton.

Five MORE Times I Was Happy

  1. When I made such a fabulous connection with Sarah of Godrevy Textiles.
  2. When I finally got to meet my lovely new friend, Julie, in real life.
  3. When I finished redecorating the kitchen and realised once again what a beautiful home I have.
  4. Driving around with Steve, laughing!
  5. Every day!
A collaboration with the lovely Sarah of Godrevy Textiles

Seaton Beach at Sunrise

Five Times I found Joy in The Every Day This Year

  1. Sunday mornings … The Archers … Coffee … Steve.
  2. Driving around with Steve and all our clever wordplay.
  3. Crisp, frosty mornings when the light is perfect.
  4. Swimming in the sea for the first time in ages.
  5. Watching the sunrise on a deserted beach.

Five MORE Times I found Joy in The Every Day This Year

  1. When someone comments, “I do this too” when I’ve posted something raw and deeply personal.
  2. When one of the British Craft House team includes a journal of mine in their share.
  3. When someone buys one of my journals.
  4. My Black-eye Susans.
  5. My home.

Five Things I Am Grateful for Right Now

  1. Steve
  2. My lovely life
  3. My lovely home
  4. Gemma
  5. My friends

Five MORE Things I Am Grateful for Right Now!

  1. The magic of cyanotypes.
  2. Weekends
  3. All the great new books I have to read
  4. The British Craft House
  5. That I’m finally living the right life.

I would love to know if you did some journaling at the end of 2021, and if you did, what sorts of things came up for you?

You can email me at [email protected] if you’d like to share it with me.

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