Saturday 31 December 2011

2011: The Summary.

It's been a great year. I've had ups and downs, like everyone else, but I think it's been
the most productive year of my life. I've set so many things in motion that my day has purpose
and meaning now, as opposed to just sitting around all day day-dreaming.

   I've lost my grandfather, my dogs, and Sugar. I never saw my grandfather much, but he was (I know I shouldn't say it) my favourite grandfather. He was funny, so very Bristolian, and very jolly. It was the first funeral I'd ever been to, and I've been told it was one of the best anyone else had been to, as it involved happy stories, some Monty Python music and a slide show.
   It's also been the first year of my life without dogs. I've had dogs for as long as I can remember. Candy was 4 when I was born, and she died when she was 13. We went 6 months without a dog then, until we got Poppy. I don't remember those 6 months, as I was too young, and it wasn't something I enjoyed. But then we had Poppy bouncing around and chewing table legs. Then we got Rosie shortly afterwards, too. A year or so passed then we got Francis, though she wasn't a puppy, she was already three. She'd had a littler of puppies but refused to have any more when they were taken from her by the breeder. She maintained her maternal instincts, though, and would groom a little toy of a cavalier we had (they were all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels). But she passed away in her sleep one day some years ago, she was 10, and Poppy and Rosie both died at the vets a few months ago. Dogs make your life so much brighter.
   Then I lost Sugar. I still won't disclose the species because of such negative responses I get that anger me. I'm not at all ashamed of it, I just don't like getting angry at people for their close-mindedness. It was the first time I ever had to make the decision myself as to whether or not an animal had to be put down. It was horrible, and I won't forget it. It was also the first time I was present in the building when it happened.

   Aside from the losses, however, I've had a great year. As I said, a very productive one.
   I have a habit of saying I'm going to try something, or do something every single day, and then I'll spend the rest of that first day thinking about it - I won't do it as I may not have the materials or equiptment, man-power, money or energy - but then when I wake up the next day I've either forgotten or I can't be bothered anymore.
   In around April I decided I would attend the school fair as a seller. I had made one or two pieces of jewellery at this point, nothing like what I make now, and decided it was fun to do it. So I carried on through the rest of the day and even managed to make a few pieces from clay. Then, remarkably, the next day I was still thinking about it. Though it wasn't impossible, it was still unlikely that I would continue with the plan.
   I'm happy to say that two months later I was sat in the cold wind at the end of June, behind my little table with all of my many pieces of jewellery blu-tacked down to prevent it all being blown away, and I made £50 selling £4 necklaces and bookmarks. I then went on to develop my Etsy shop, and I have since made 10 sales - no small feat, at all! People actually want my jewellery! It's a wonderful feeling.
   I'm so proud of the fact that I didn't give up - in fact the idea to do so never even occurred to me until afterwards! I'm unemployed so all money makes a difference! I don't have plans to shut any of it down, only plans to go further...though I might give the Christmas fairs a miss. They weren't as successful.

   Then there's weightloss. I've tried for years to lose weight; I've dieted, exercised, tried another diet, and given up all in between. This cycle has gone on for about 6 years. Then, my boyfriend got me a Wii for my birthday in January, and after the money he spent on that, I had to use it. I have exercised almost every day since then, and my waistline is actually finally dropping too! It's amazing! I've gone with it now for so long that it wasn't difficult to make myself get up and do it on Boxing Day either! I'm really proud of my own dedication and with what I've achieved with only the support of one person. I've not given up chocolate, but I have recognised that it is actually quite easy to say "no" to food being offered to you. And just because it's a holiday, that doesn't mean you have an excuse to pig out. I did say to myself I'd go easy with Christmas, though, and that didnt exactly go to plan, but I managed to stop myself from continuing on Boxing Day, and did my exercise instead. As a result, I'm back on the horse - I never really fell off. I exercise Monday to Friday - Christmas Day was a Sunday. I'm just pleased and proud that I managed to continue exercising on Boxing Day. If I hadn't, there's always the chance I wouldn't be doing it now.

   I also started this blog! Now, I know it's not very full and it only has about 30 followers, but I know that a few of those followers actually do read it. And I appreciate it so much. I tried blogging in the past, on Tumblr, but I only follow about 17 people who only post pictures, so I've found that my blogging has stopped and instead I'll only really reblog pictures or videos that are cute, funny or stylish, and I rarely say a word about me anymore. I post like one thing a week, 90% of which are reblogs. But no one reads it, and they don't need to. It's just pictures of me, my animals, my boyfriend, and a lot of pictures of other stuff.
   But, I do intend to take this blog further. I'm changing the name, because I've found that it's far too connected to my shop and I need it to stand on its own two feet so it can actually become a blog rather than a poor marketing option. The problem is, I'm synaesthetic. That means that all letters and numbers have their own designated colours. Most synaesthetes find words to be multicoloured, but for me they have their own single colour, which is generally determined by the most dominant letter in the word. This creates a problem because, with titleing my books, I obviously title them depending on the story, but with this blog, there is no story. I know what sort of name I want, but the problem is I can't piece the right words together, and half the words I come up with are ugly colours, and ugly colours will make me dislike the name, and in turn, the blog itself. Not to mention I plan on purchasing a domain name so whatever I choose has to be available on the web too, and will be set in stone for about 2 years.
   I feel like I might be on the verge of finding a name, however, and when I have chosen a name, I will let you all know. I will change the header to a new one, and create an announcement that it will change a month after that date. I'll still be on blogspot so you'll still be following me, but the name will change, and the link will, too.

   What else have I done...I finished my first book, as you know, still final-drafting it; started the second book, it's going all right but I'm struggling a bit...Still looking after my mother, of course, if that ever changes, you'll hear about it...I run an Etsy team, but I am aware that I've neglected it a little bit. I'm trying to juggle quite a lot for what I'm used to (in otherwords, I'm not used to having to juggle anything), but I don't have any intention on giving up. I just need to come up with a plan.

   Also, since opening my shop, I've sold jewellery to Europe and America. It's amazing how small and accessible the world seems now. I sent mere teabags to a friend in Malaysia for goodness sake! Though, I know a lot about space, so of course I know the insignificance of this planet in relation to everything else out there. Why wouldn't it be small and accessible? Opening my shop is one of the best things I've ever done. I'm making money, I'm learning things, I'm creating things again, I'm making friends, and I've found confidence.

   In conclusion, 2011 was one of the best years ever. I can only hope that in 2012, I can
further everything I've achieved this year. Lose the same amount of weight, finish the
second book, make double the sales, start contacting agents, everything.
I hope 2011 was successful for all of you, and I hope 2012 will be even better. And remember,
when you suffer a loss or worse, there's something awesome waiting around the corner.
   This is, of course, my last post for 2011, and hopefully I can update you all soon on
my Christmas, post some new printables and tutorials, and also remind you all when my
Birthday Sale will start in my shop (9th to the 23rd, 21% off with Etsy On Sale).

Thanks for reading, everyone x


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