Reflections on my Word of the Year for 2021
Long, long ago in January 2021, for the first time, I chose a word of the year. I chose Forge as it was already apparent that 2021 wasn't going to be an easy year. We were almost a year into the pandemic which wasn't showing any signs of ending any time soon, I could see my son beginning to embark on the "Terrible Twos" as well as nearing dropping his one and only nap - which up until that point had been the only available time I had to work on my business. I knew 2021 would come with it's challenges but I was determined to push through it and the word forge really resonated with how I was feeling:
1. To move forward in a determined way although progress is difficult
2. Create something strong, enduring or successful
3. Make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire and hammering it
Little did I know that 2021 would turn out to be the most traumatic and challenging year in my life. My marriage (and almost 20 year relationship) broke down in late spring and I found myself navigating all the subsequent emotion and hurt alongside embarking on single parenthood - all on top of the aforementioned challenges that already had felt like they were plenty enough to deal with for one year!
However, it has also been a powerful time for incredible healing, learning and self-development.
I am learning so much about myself and my business along the way. Rediscovering connections and joys that had been long forgotten or de-prioritised.
And despite the challenges I have still achieved a lot this year that I am so very proud of:
My first published magazine article ('The Mum-Life Juggle', in the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums
My first published tutorial (recycling scrap Silver into my Pebble studs) for Kernowcraft
New stockist - reputed and stunning art gallery Beside The Wave in Falmouth, Cornwall
Featured in Favourite Designs of the Year for the second year running by Kernowcraft (see 2020 here and 2021 here)
I refined and successfully re-released my silver Orbit range
Beside The Wave Gallery, Falmouth
And while these achievements appeal to the academic and business-minded side of me, you know what I'm really proud of this year? I mean, really, deeply, proud of?
I learnt to accept that I am walking my own path at my own pace. Remembering the importance self preservation and not overly comparing my internal narrative with others' highlight reel on social media
I picked myself back up from an incredibly difficult time and am re-building myself and my business stronger than ever before
I've reconnected with friends and family who have shown me incredible love and support that I didn't realise was even possible. What a gift these special people are in our lives!
I'm learning more about how to be a better mum to my beautiful son - and how intwined self-care (and self-respect) is in that. I've read and listened a lot to Anna Mathur this year (see her blog, podcast and social media), which I highly recommend if you are feeling burnt out by motherhood, work or whatever it is that life is throwing at you right now:
"You'd want a pilot to value rest because their ability to fly depends on it. I might not be flying a plane, but I'm organising lives, navigating and nurturing relationships, juggling jobs and anchoring myself & kids. I need to value rest because my ability to do these things well depends on it"
This newfound clarity in my life is exciting and somewhat addictive - I am eagerly looking forward to all the amazing things I know this year, and those following it, will bring. I accept that this year won't be without its challenges either, but I know that moving through them will only build my strength and resilience and bring a positive outcome on the other side of it. And that is a wonderful place to be!
I was given this wonderful embossing by Megan Fatharly for Christmas which was a perfect sentiment to round up the year!
Megan Fatharly embossed print "We grow through what we go through"
I hope that 2022 has started well for you, and that you are easing yourself gently into this new year. I will be working on finishing my Birch collection which is a hugely personal and seminal body of work. I am SO excited to share it with you, so keep an eye on my socials and on here for more info on its development and release date coming soon!
Prototype of the new Birch collection. Hand cut Brass with Sapphires & gold-fill
But for now I'd like to wish you a very happy New Year! Thank you for your support and here's to a bright and happy 2022!