2018: My Year Of…

We are halfway through January already and, as ever, I’m not really sure where the weeks have gone.  They seem to have passed by in a bit of a fog of flu (the husband, Ella and Lola this time – Mimi had it over Christmas and thoughtfully shared it with them.  I’m still germ-free thank goodness and feel very grateful that my immune system is strong and it has passed me by!); birthday celebrations for the littlest one; the girls going back to school; and getting myself back into a work mindset ready for my first clients of the new year.

At the start of each year I choose an intention, a way I want to purposefully live my life over the next twelve months.  It’s not a resolution to give something up, or a set of targets to work towards achieving – it’s much deeper than that.  It’s more a way of being.  That’s the best way I can think of to describe it.

2017 was my year of letting go and leaping into the unknown.  I’ve made some big decisions over the last twelve months.  I said yes to the incredible opportunity I was gifted to go to Colorado for a solo travel trip to study photography with a photographer I have admired for years.

Behind the scenes in Colorado

We took the leap and used our hard-earned savings to go on a trip of a lifetime to Disney World in Florida instead of moving house.

Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World, Florida

And I chose to let go of my therapy room in Harley Street in London and moved my therapy business solely online so that I can be at home with the girls more (and have more time to dedicate towards growing my photography and blog businesses).  Plus a whole host of other, smaller-but-just-as-significant events along the way.

To do all of these things I had to let go of all the stuff I’ve carried for so long – the worries and anxieties, the fears and the mistakes, insecurities about pretty much everything, limiting beliefs that I’ve had my whole life, guilt about money and feeling like I’ve let people down… anything and everything that would stop me from taking the leap and diving in to these choices with my whole heart.

“Let go and leap” became my mantra for the year.  Every day I would silently say it to myself: in difficult moments; during yoga classes; when I needed to make a decision about something; when I felt scared; when I felt confident… those words were there.

“Let go and leap”

And so I did.  I let go.  And I leapt.

It certainly wasn’t easy by any means.  There were times when the stuff I wanted to let go of was clinging on desperately by it’s fingernails.  But I let it go anyway.  I can’t even describe how I did it – I honestly don’t know.  I just…did.

They still pop up of course – I’m only human.  Intentions aren’t magic spells, they take hard work and commitment.  You get out what you put in and I can truthfully say that I don’t regret a single one of the decisions I made, and that every time I chose to let go of something and leap into the unknown, it was 100% worth it.

This poem really sums up 2017 for me:

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.  Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

~ Rev. Safire Rose

I have plans for 2018.  I nearly wrote ‘big plans’ and then realised that they’re probably not really all that big in the grand scheme of things.  They are significant to me though and that’s enough.

I’ve booked on to a wedding photography workshop with the guy who took some awesome photos of me with my girls last summer and I can’t blooming wait.  I love ‘Love’ in all of it’s forms and I think it would be an absolute honour to capture someone’s wedding day for them.  I’ve second-shot a couple of local weddings before and loved every second of it – it’s definitely something I want to add to my portfolio of photographic offerings.  I’ve been invited to capture some maternity photos for a couple of friends too and I am ridiculously excited about this.  (Ahem, it’s also a dream of mine to capture a birth – just thought I’d put that out there into the universe for a couple of years time).

Photo credit: Steve Gerrard Photography

I’ve signed up to go to a blogging conference where I hope to meet some lovely people from the blogging community (many of whom I know online and am yet to meet face-to-face in person), make some good connections with brands and learn a heap about all the blogging-related stuff I don’t know yet.

We have two family trips planned so far – one to our familiar home-from-home in Bude in Cornwall, and one little bit more adventurous trip to the Italian Lakes which we’re all really excited about – I can’t wait to explore somewhere new.  Travel is something I’m so passionate about and I’m determined to show our girls the world.

Our happy place, the Cornish coast

I also want to get our house sorted out this year.  Properly.  We’ve lived here for nine years now and it’s definitely not our forever home.  But in order to find our forever home we need to a/ save a ton of money and b/ make this house lovely so we can sell it, possibly next year when we’ll have been here for a decade. That means a mammoth decluttering mission, refreshing the décor, and getting all the jobs done (both big and small) that need doing.

And finally, I turn 35 this year and that means I’m halfway through my ’40 Things Before I’m 40′ timeframe.  I have a lot more things I want to tick off this year to make sure I’m on track and actually achieve them all.

That’s just for starters!  Many of these things have only been put in place since the beginning of January and it feels good to be actually doing something proactive instead of simply waiting for things to happen.  As a result I’ve decided that 2018 is going to be my year of taking action.  There are always plenty of things beyond our control, I know that.  I also know that there are plenty of things I can do, choices I can make and opportunities that I can create which will have an impact on whatever the final outcome ends up being.

I took me a long while to come to those two words: Taking Action.  I went backwards and forwards over various other completely different possibilities but none of them felt quite right.  As soon as I said those words to myself though something clicked and I knew they were right.  They feel right and that’s good enough for me.

2015 was about bravery and balance.
2016 was about following my heart.
2017 was about letting go and leaping

And 2018 is going to be about taking action.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

2018: My year of taking action

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5 Comments

  • Fabulous post! I think setting an intention can work better than a resloution so I chose balance energy and love as mine! I feel these words can resonate through everything! I wish you lots of luck in taking action in 2018 I look forward to hearing all about it x

    • Reply January 27, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks for your comment Gemma 🙂 Those are lovely intentions to choose – do let me know how you get on with them.

  • Reply February 3, 2018

    Erika Parker

    This post is awesomely inspiring! I know your photography is going to take you to new heights.

  • Reply February 18, 2018

    Sharon

    New year, new adventures, jump right in and get your feet wet. Good luck.

    Cheers Sharon…
    Sharon recently posted…2018 Scuba Emergency Spare Air backup. You Refill, not the Dive Shop!My Profile

    • Reply February 19, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Sharon!

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