Wednesday, 29 January 2020

2019 - A Year To Forget.......






Goodness me. 

Best intentions and all.

My plan was to blog more. My plan was to blog every season from 2019. My plan was to be creative in 2019. My plan was for it to be the year of the garment, not the year of the blanket. My plan was to try the new. 

I failed. 

I failed in it all.





I had plans.........so many plans. I had wanted to push myself with my crafting. I wanted to make garments. That meant reading tricky patterns. I usually am a cop out and just do the easy.....but I wanted to stretch myself in 2019.

It never really took off.

I constantly found myself low on time. Working part time, left the days off being for the mundane and playing catch up with the never ending household lists and chores. I became resentful that I never achieved anything or got anywhere. I did the same old things everyday.....stuff I needed to get done before I could even contemplate starting on anything creative. And then I had no time.







I went on a family Holiday in the Easter. A much needed break away with the family, but I just found that I was really anxious before it. Anxious because I was so looking forward to it and so needing it, that I was sure something was going to happen to take away that happiness and pleasure. Glass half empty girl here.

Nothing happened and I had a lovely break away.......but I felt odd. I felt dissatisfied still with my lack of achievement in the year. I felt like I was wading through VERY thick treacle. I felt disorganised in my life and in my head.



No garments were made. I had stalled creatively. I had patterns and yarn, but absolutely no enthusiasm.

So I did what I always do.......made another blanket.


Actually, it was born out of seeing a lovely knitted patchwork blanket on a cottage bed on a pinterest picture. It looked homely and cosy and I was sold on making one for myself.

Using up old oddments of yarn, and in my predictable palette of colours.....off I went. I think I just needed to feel like I was actually making something. I didn't want complicated. I just wanted to craft and watch something be born from nothing.









I loved making it. I joined as I went. It meant that for a few moments a day I could be transported into creative happiness.








Spring, turned into Summer and I pootled along. Semi happy that I had at least started on something creative....even if it was not what I had had in mind at the beginning of the year.







Then, my world was turned upside down.









I lost my big brother.


💔

Suddenly. 

Unexpectedly. 

That was 6 months ago now. I still can't believe it. I can't come to terms with it. It feels surreal. 

I've mentioned many a time on this blog, how Christmas is a time that, as much as I want to enjoy it, I can never seem to. Family Birthday's take over the last three months of the year. As well as my little family bubble, my outer family also. Painfully hard when still so raw and distressed over my brother's death. The onset of Christmas cheer everywhere just made it that much harder. I felt no desire whatsoever to indulge in anything of a Christmas nature. It was made very easy by the fact that we were not having a tree this year........


A puppy made sure of that........







Meet Minnie, our Wire Haired Fox Terrier.

It just seemed easier not to even think of decorations to go alongside it. The Bear's weren't too bothered. To be honest, I think it's only me that enjoys the ritual of Christmas decorations. So that was that. No festive feeling entered the house, and I found it hard to look at everyone's Christmas joys and happiness when I was feeling so rubbish inside. I just wanted to blink really and it all disappear.


So.........we got through Christmas. A milestone. Next year might be a little easier mentally.

We saw in the New Year. Other happenings beyond my control, lead me into an uncertain 2020. 

All in all, 2019 was a year I'd like to forget, although one that I'm sure that I won't.

✿✿✿

Hindsight is a funny old thing. As I came rushing towards the end of 2019, I looked back and realised I had started the year with a feeling of foreboding. I couldn't put my finger on it. I realised I had been waiting for life to be turned on its head. I knew it was coming in some way shape or form. Really quite weird.

Goodness knows how I'm going to feel by the end of 2020. Probably quite exhausted.

I wake up and quietly repeat to myself 'choose your mood'.




It's quite a hard thing, to summon up enthusiasm and energy when you feel quite numb and raw. 

Ah well, we soldier on. We get through it. We come out the other side, and hopefully, all the stronger for it.

I seek out the light, the softness, the gentle, and the reassuring at the moment. 

I know it will take time.  I just have to gentle on myself. 

My plan to blog more was sadly interrupted by life.......and sadness.




Hopefully, I can get myself back on track. Not that this is a particularly happy post with lots of creative joy to share, I guess I felt the need to jot things down......if just for myself.




“Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.”

L.R Knost



xxx


56 comments:

  1. Today is the first time I have come across your blog. Sending hugs and love to you. x

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  2. I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. We need the time to grieve and the time to accept the loss of a close loved one.
    Lovely fresh and nurturing images in tones of pink and blue. Your blanket is beautiful. I love plain granny squares like these, although I'm doing one with changing colours every round. I will make it lap blanket size! I show it in my last blog entry.
    Your fluffy, curly coated puppy is sweet!
    So lovely to see you making a new blog entry!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Sandra. Granny squares are so much fun to make aren't they?!!!!! x

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  3. Hi there! Sorry for your loss... I wish you all strength you need and I hope 2020 will be a better year, full of joy and inspirations. Don't forget to look at the sky and breath ;)

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    1. Thank you. I hope 2020 is a lovely year for you also. The sky is just the most amazing thing to look at.....so I shall be doing a lot of it this year! x

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  4. So very sorry to learn of your loss. Time will heal all wounds, and it is very important to give yourself plenty of that. Never feel bad for not feeling quite up to snuff, and never apologize for still feeling the pain. Those that have lost themselves will understand, and those that have not yet lost will soon know why you are feeling the way you are.

    It was lovely to have an entry in your blog to read again, albeit a sad one.

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    1. Thank you for your comforting words. I'm hoping to just have a gentle and healing year, but I do hope to blog a bit more throughout the year. x

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  5. I'm very sorry for your loss...{{hugs}}

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  6. Sorry for your loss. It takes time to understand, to grieve, to heal wounds...
    Your blanket is wonderful. I like soft gentle colours.
    Lovely to see you blogging again.

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    1. Time is a great healer, I know. I hope it will be a gentle year! x

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  7. Sorry for your lost. Sending lot of love for you...

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  8. Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up for what you didn't achieve but instead, wrap yourself in the beauty that you did create. I am so sorry you have had such a devastating loss. Try to look at everything you do as doing it for and on behalf of your brother. Your photographs always reveal the way you see the beauty in the world. Know that this simple gift of yours brings delight to so many people and lifts their daily humdrum life with its light. I hope your little ball of fluff will be a comfort and source of joy. Warm wishes for a gentle year of healing.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Clare. Life still feels a bit surreal at the moment. I hope what I do in life makes him proud of me. x

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  9. Dear Vanessa
    I popped in. I read. I indulged in your photography. I felt. And I loved the quote. And the plant with the mouse ears. The puppy. And then I wrote you a personal message. Xxx

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  10. Sending you a bucket load of love xxx

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  11. I'm so very sorry for your loss...grief and grieving is a non-linear thing, this I unfortunately know too well. Take great care of yourself, and all of the time that you need.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss; I hope in time happy memories of your brother will be a comfort to you. I've always enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your photos xxx

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    1. Thank you. I know in time I can look back and smile at all the happy memories. I'm hoping to blog more this year. x

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  13. I'm so sorry to read of your loss Vanessa, my heart goes out to you. Although time dulls the pain, grief becomes part of the geography of your life. When my mum passed away I found a little book called Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman very very helpful, it is just short daily meditations nothing too difficult to digest as grief can be so tiring and overwhelming. Look after yourself sweetheart, I know little Minnie will be a welcome distraction as Betty was for me. Much love, Vanessa xxx

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    1. Hi Vanessa, I must go and check out that book. I do feel that these past 6 months I've been incredibly tired and drained coming to terms with it all. Minnie has been an absolute gem. She's incredibly stubborn. I don't know whether to really admire that or be totally frustrated! She is definitely putting the sun back into my grey days xxxxx

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  14. Many prayers for you and your family. I too am looking for something beyond the difficult. Perhaps 2020 will be the year that we find it. And thank you for sharing - it helps to know that there are others who struggle with the same issues. Again, prayers for you and yours.

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    1. Let's hope we both find it Debbie. Let's hope this is a healing year. Much love xxx

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  15. I'm so sorry. I lost a sibling and my heart still misses her 14 years later. Hard stuff.
    Try to make what gives you joy a priority on the "To Do" list.
    Because it truly is very important. Especially to a creative soul.
    I am so happy to see you here again. Thank you for sharing your year to forget with us. I'm praying that this new year will be one to remember...in a great way.
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. Thank you Debbie. Six months on and I still cannot even believe it. It's like I'm in some surreal bubble of an alternate life. I know it will take time so I'm just going gently. Take care xx

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  16. No, you didn't fail at anything. You just didn't get some stuff done. No matter. It will happen - or not, some other time.

    I'm so very sorry about your brother, I hope you will feel less raw and sore soon. Time does help, but sometimes we need more than we think and that is okay. Do treat yourself kindly - just as you do others, as you deserve it too.

    Your blanket is so lovely and no less than garments, there is so much creativity and thinking and tenacity that goes in to making a blanket. And everyone gets a share of it too.

    Hope you have a fulfilling and happy year, where your hopes and dreams are realised.
    Take care, Sara x

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    1. Thank you for your kind and comforting words Sara. I'm just trying to go at my own pace at the moment and not worry too much if it's sort of slow and unproductive. xxx

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  17. oh so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family. I do agree I am grateful that 2019 is over and I am hopeful that 2020 will be a calming year. Love your crafts and color patterns, I think your work is awesome and inspiring. thanks Noelle

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    1. Thank you Noelle. A lot of people have not had a good 2019. I hope that 2020 is a healing year for many who need it. xxx

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  18. Oh dear Vanessa, how awful! I'm so very sorry for for loss. It seems like last year was a crappy year for so many people and we're all absolutely needing a better 2020. Fingers crossed I guess.

    I hope that through this year you start to feel some relief from all that you've been through though. Life can be so hard can't it? Another reason not to beat ourselves up about not doing 'more' with our crafts. I feel like I need it to soothe me sometimes and doing easy and simple and probably what I always do is what I enjoy and need most sometimes. I think that's ok though, as long as we getting pleasure from it?
    ❤️❤️❤️

    S x

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    1. Hi Sandra. It's weird. I long to craft to sooth me, yet I cannot concentrate on it or seem to have the energy for it. I'm just trying to go as I feel. If the urge takes me, then I'll seize it....but if it wears off, then that's no biggie either. xxx

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  19. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a sibling is devastating in so many ways. It may not feel like it now, but time will help. Much love x

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    1. Hello lovely. I know it's just a period of time that I have to get through. It's just a very strange time. I hope 2020 is a healing year xxxx

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  20. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I am sure, at the moment, all you do is filtered through what has happened.
    Please take time to care for yourself as you do others.
    Know you did not fail, not at all. It just was not the time. Maybe in the future it will happen, or maybe it won't, but you did not fail.
    It is always such a pleasure to read your posts and indulge in your photography and now you have adorable Minnie, who no doubt will bring comfort to you all. Take care x

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    1. Thank you Pamela for your kind words. I'm taking each day as it comes and going with the flow of my feelings. You are right, Minnie has been bringing a HUGE amount of comfort! xxx

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  21. Hello Lovely one, Sooo glad you have lovely Minnie in your life to pick you up and cheer your days you've been through such sadness and i'm sorry its been a difficult time for you...I hope you find these months a head bright and cheery...Ive found the constant cottage in darkness with all the heavy rain clouds so hard going these last weeks...I dont mind rainy days, but constant rain is hard going...I long for the Sunshine!
    To help my mood and i always seem much more creative when the sun shines brightly...Ive decided not to put deadlines in my head or telling myself i should be doing this or that...but just pick up a project when i feel like doing it and No pressure!...And sometimes i let the housework wait if i get inspired or want to finish a book...One thing I do make sure now though is I go for a 40min walk everyday without fail and yes even in the rain its really helping my mind, body and soul and to keep me healthy ~ i was putting weight on not doing the school run anymore eeek...also with my niece's wedding this March i really need to fit in a dress ive got my eye on hehe....Lovely to see you in the blog world, please come back soon, No pressure! hehe ;) xxxx

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    1. Hello lovely Kazzy! Oh yes, I've found these grey wet days of this year to be particularly hard too. It just amazes me how energised I feel when the sun is shining. I seem to get so much more done. Minnie has certainly helped me to keep my mood up. For one, it's hard to be down when she is around and a constant source of bounce and energy. For another, getting out and about to walk her, means plenty of fresh air which is a mood enhancer. Never one to have been a domestic goddess, I'm beating myself up even less this year if I don't feel like doing the bare minimum that I normally can get away with! ha ha I just can't have anyone visit my house for the next year or two!!!!!!! xxxxxxx

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  22. Oh love. Don't be hard on yourself. Some periods of life are just about surviving. Make as many blankets as you need until you wake up one day feeling like just maybe all that blanket making saved you and helped you heal. That's what sock knitting did for me a couple years ago. Now I find myself with a drawer crammed with them but whenever I'm overwhelmed or frazzled or sad or stressed I go right back to making socks. Be gentle with yourself dear heart.

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    1. Hi lovely Jen. I think you are so right.....some periods of life really are just about surviving. I haven't really known how to feel, how to react, how to look after others who need propping up too. Whilst trying to carry on with the dailies of life and family duties, it's all a bit surreal. I'll get through it, because we do that don't we? We experience the highs and the lows of life. We learn. We heal. Creating something soothes the soul. I hope to do a lot of creating this year xxxxxx

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  23. Dearest Vanessa, I always pop by, every so often, to check in and I am so very sorry for your loss, I can’t even begin to imagine.... but Minnie, what a joy, a gorgeous distraction. We too have had a tough few years, a big house move to the sea in the summer (and our puppy arrives home on Friday) sending you much love xxx

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    1. Hi Victoria. I hope you are well? Thank you for your kind words. Goodness me.......How is it all going with pup? Minnie was like an absolute whirlwind. It was totally like having a newborn in the house. Now she is almost 6 months, it's been like having a newborn, a toddler and we are now hitting the terrible teens!!!!! Wouldn't have it any other way though. It's all totally worth it! Take care my lovely xxx

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  24. So sad... Take great care, and if blanket making is what you crave then it seems like the perfect thing to do

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  25. I am sorry for your loss, in time you will feel better but you won't forget. Little Minnie will bring you so much joy that she will help you to heal. Your blanket is lovely and colours go well together, I always chose too many bright colours. Take care Jan x

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    1. Hi Jan, I do love a bright colour too. There are some days I really crave bright colours, but mostly these days I've felt I've needed the usual pastel colour palette I turn to. Having said that, I saw a gorgeous bright blanket on pinterest the other day I was really taken with......so you never know!!!!!!!

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  26. I'm sorry for your loss, I think it's been a hard year for everyone, with what's been happening politically and the news in general and everyone has personal stuff on top of that, I also lost my brother at the beginning of November but he was younger than me, so we also didn't do Christmas, I put up a tree but took it down again the day before Christmas Eve. Let's hope that this year will be better for everyone,I hope you do find the motivation and time to blog again as I've enjoyed reading it , your new family member is adorable.x

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    1. Hi Jeanne, I am also so very sorry for your loss. Christmas is a difficult time if you are raw with grief. Let's hope 202 is a healing year for us both. Be gentle with yourself.....much love xxx

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  27. It's so good to hear your voice again, although I wish you had had a wonderful year full of all things good and beautiful to blog about. I am so so sorry to hear about your brother, it is so tough to lose someone close. Just take each day one at a time and do what you need to do to heal your heart. I read somewhere recently about grief and they described it like this, it never gets smaller, it stays the same size, so we have to make our lives bigger than the grief so that it appears smaller. It struck a chord with me, I lost my mum when I was just 21 and have always been of the attitude that I need to try my very best to live and to enjoy as much as I can even through the tough and sad times (I often fail I have to admit), in order to honor her and make her death much less painful - it's like she can still live through me somehow. Maybe I'm just silly, but it helps me.

    I miss your blog. It was always one that I looked forward to reading and your photographs always made me feel comforted somehow - I know I'm a bit mental! LOL What I'm trying to say is that even if it's only once a year, even if it isn't something creative or cheerful or colourful, I will always want to hear from you.

    Sending you much love and prayers as you embark on this first year without your brother. :*

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    1. Thank you so much for you kind comment. Grief is such a hard thing to deal with isn't it? I'm just trying to work out how to deal the the torrent of emotions that I have at the moment. It's also not just me, it's knowing how to deal with family emotions too; and helping others who are going through the same grief, but in a different way. It's taking all that I have each day really and at the moment, there is not much left to give to anything else. I hope to blog more often this year. I have realised how much I have missed this space to curate my thoughts and document my life. I hope this year brings you much joy and happiness. Take care xxxxx

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