Friday, 12 January 2018

Monthly Log: Christmas, Maxime, and a Very Happy New Year

Hello everyone,

I hope you've had a happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate (or don't celebrate)! My Christmas was a wonderful occasion, as I was feeling happy and relaxed for the most part, and my aunt visited us from Australia. We played lots of hilarious games, which made me laugh until my face hurts; one of which, we seemed to play to death, but was probably my favourite part of the month. Along with that, there was delicious food cooked by my Nana and Granddad, and I snapped lots of photos using my new Polaroid camera (first time using an instant camera, so it's exciting but I need to work on getting the right settings).
It's 2018 now, and I'm determined to make this a very good year. Looking back on 2017, I had some dark moments, but also some lovely ones, including; a trip to Tenerife, visiting Chatsworth House, spending a bit more time with friends, seeing some old country houses from the National Trust that I love, going to New England - where I swam in the sea on a Maine beach, stayed on a farm in New Hampshire, and went on a five-mile rowing and swimming trip on the Connecticut River! I also did some baking, had a wonderful little birthday get-together, saw By Jeeves in Yorkshire, bought a ball-jointed doll, and started writing a new book. It makes me realise that there are happy times in my life, and that I am lucky.
One of my wishes for 2018 was to feel more connected to people, such as friends. Already, on the first, second and third days of January, I had gotten sweet messages from friends that truly made me feel appreciated - a "love you" from a friend in response to a picture I posted of us and our other friend, and a "you're a wonderful friend" from another. I was really happy and thankful that my prayer had come true already, but I know that I still need to work hard, especially seeing as I'm applying for university.
My other goals this year include eating more healthily (I don't think I've put on weight over Christmas, but I'm seriously lacking fruit and vegetables right now!), possibly cutting out dairy and sugar from my diet, along with all gluten/grains, as they're all foods that make me feel ill and sluggish. Having a kinder attitude towards myself, getting some exercise, finding a treatment that works, and hopefully volunteering in an animal shelter, is also on my list, as all of these things will help prepare me for the future.
The last five years haven't been good for me, and as a result I believe I was trapped in the time and head-space of my younger self, unable to move on and mature like most other people my age. Some days I'm still like that, and it's awful, but I feel like the months September-December have improved me in aspects, and it can only continue to develop this year into something wonderful. Positivity is key! And I'm going to accept so many different treatments and positive offers!

A certain plan that I have, is based around mindfulness - or, perhaps not that exactly, but something that will be relaxing and make me focus on the present moment. I have a lovely vintage/antique rocking chair in my room, that has been reupholstered and rejuvenated thanks to my family. It's in the corner of my room, between a wall and the wardrobe. I don't know about anyone else, but I find furniture-based enclosed spaces very calming, so this area is ideal for me. I want a specific place where I can sit and read, embroider, and drink tea, maybe once or twice a week, and focus on that relaxing moment with no distractions or thoughts about to-do lists or messages. Focusing on the stitches or tea is a good way of staying present, and can ward off stress as long as you don't expect the embroidery to be perfect.
I'm even thinking of decorating the little space further, perhaps getting a little coffee table to put my silver tea-tray on, and a small foot rest. I could make some cushions and find a nice throw, and hang some nice things on the wall behind me. One thing that I've always wanted to put up is my great-great-grandmother's tapestry from the late Victorian - early Edwardian era.

Tapestry by my Ancestors - © Ellie Morris

The message isn't very sweet, but I find it funny in a way that a child spent time stitching something that sounds so ghastly to most modern people. I don't believe that my great-great grandmother could have possibly been "such a wretch" as to warrant going to Hell (though admittedly I never met her), but it appeals to my dark sense of humour! 

Another hopeful goal is to develop my personal style more, in a way that is suited to my tastes and love of alternative fashion, but is comfortable for daily wear. To help with that, I'm planning to have a new fashion blog up by the end of the month.
New Year goals aside, the holiday season is always a very busy, and usually hectic, time of year. I'm kind of stating the obvious there, but it explains why I'm so out of sync with my routine and projects now! Although it was probably one of the best Christmases I've had in five-ish years, it kind of takes over the entire month, and therefore I haven't had much time to write, including on the blog. I'm getting back to a normal schedule now, however, and a few nights ago I even wrote 3,000 words of Maxime in one sitting!
Time seems to speed up when I'm writing that particular book. The first time I look at the clock, it's just about seven o'clock. The next time I look at the clock, I'm feeling rather thirsty, and I find that ten-thirty has crept up on me.

I hope that everyone reading this has a happy and successful 2018, whether it be emotionally, financially, or otherwise!

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