This post might get a little whooo whooo so be warned. About six months ago I randomly bought a ticket to the Hay House Writer’s Workshop. For those of you who are thinking about publishing a book (not just with Hay House), I highly recommend it. I’ve been getting whispers for the last six months or so about a book. I found myself on the Hay House Website randomly and then they had a workshop in Sydney in August so I bought a ticket. Then I forgot about it. I’ve been so busy with Hotels With Cats that I Ignored the book thing. I didn’t know what it would be about, or why I was going to write it, and it was scary. So better not to think about it. But I sensed a book or more was coming. About two weeks before the workshop, I received my first ever email from a reader. And it went something like this.
I went through a phase a few months ago where I had literally zero creative ideas in my head. Nothing. I thought my writing days were over. I went through a (short) phase when I even thought I would delete this blog. Then I thought what’s the point in that? At the very least, it can remain on the internet for someone one to find something useful, whether it be a childfree resource, some travel tips, or a cat story to make someone laugh. And at the very, very least, I joked with The Ginger Hunk that he will be able to read it to me like the notebook, when we are old and grey and I have lost all my marbles.
Primarily, I decided to keep it going and write this blog when I feel like it for me, because it makes me feel full, happy and inspired. I feel a bit naked without it. Then if other people get something from it, and learn a little then that is great too. (Actually, that’s more than great.) After a season of non creativity, I’m enjoying (or getting stressed by) a season with too many ideas and too little time.
I’m pitching stories, developing a new business and keeping this blog going. I’m tired fitting it in with the day job, but I’m happy.
I digress from the point of this post. This thought about seasons of creativity came into my head when my Mum announced to me the other day that she was “over” knitting. She told me she is going to focus on cross stitch and swiftly throw out all her wool because knitting takes her too long. We had a chat and talked about seasons of interests. Sometimes you might want to knit. And sometimes you might want to cross stitch. Sometimes I might blog, other times write articles, pursue new projects, or sit on my arse and do nothing (because there is a season of non-creativity and nesting too, lets face it). Last week I even had a very random thought about learning how to crochet. Crochet isn’t my thing at all and I have never been into it. But as nanny could do it, and mum could do it, the buck stops with me unless my niece picks it up. And I do fantasize about sitting in front of the television and MAKING something useful that someone could use. (Better than scrolling on the phone.)
So the seasons of my creative life so far have taken me from poetry, to short stories, to ceramics, to drawing, blogging, picture book drafting, profile writing, to travel writing and perhaps next to the knitting needle. Maybe one day, I’ll even write a book.
It’s all about following your curious and enjoying the seasons.
Where will the next season take you?
Much Love, Ashleigh XXX
I’m still getting used to writing 2017. The other day I accidentally wrote that it was 2019. Time is just going too fast. It has been six weeks now post surgery and the recovery journey is going strong for The Ginger Hunk. When I tell people my husband had a hip replacement, it is like they wonder if I have married an elderly person. I can see it in their eyeballs. Nope, just a worn out one, I want to say. He goes from strength to strength each week and I can start to imagine life coming back, working, travelling, going for swims, doing all those things before that I took for granted. Coming off the painkillers has not been pleasant, and there were a few weeks there he sat in silence on the couch that were a little testing for us all, but we have almost come out of the other end of that now in time for the big 4.0. in a few weeks. Piper is happy about that one.
January has been a planning and booking things in for the rest of the year. I’m taking two lots of long service leave, six weeks in Bali to do my free-diving training in April, and four weeks in Europe in September. Sounds exotic, and like we are rich….. but we are not. I’ve just decided that life is too short to wait to do the things you love. Especially after spending all this time waiting for things. Give me travel over a big house any day, I say. The Europe flights are some long gone tickets we have had to change three years running cause of hip problems, it went from Japan, to India, to Hawaii, and now Europe. We are going to be seeing friends in Greece, Rome, and then spending 8 days in the Dolomites doing all those outdoorsy things we could not do before then heading to France for a week with the in-laws. I love the booking and the planning, almost as much as the holiday itself! I’ve found little hotels and Air B and B places to stay, so freaking excited! It’s been a while since I have been to Europe, about 5 years in fact. Continue Reading…
I’ve been thinking this week about my goals for 2017. I’m a bit late to the party with these posts, eight days in, but I’ve been doing a de-clutter of sorts. I had a bit of a nightmare the other day when I sat down to write this post, and edited all the fonts, then had to basically re-design the whole blog. Anyway. I won the war against wordpress finally and I am here now. Last year I wrote a whole heap of intentions, but this year I want to make things a bit more concrete. After three years of injury and surgeries, 2017 feels like a new start for us, setting the foundations again for the rest of our life. We keep saying it kind of feels like getting engaged again (minus The Ginger Hunk not being able to walk for a while), and so the time is now to set new goals.
These are the areas I want to work on.
Get Serious About Money
It’s time for me to get serious about money in 2017. I’m okay with money, learning the hard way by paying off debt in the past. We have a budget of sorts. We have a floating amount in our mortgage that I don’t like to go under. But it is time to get serious about money in a grown up way, so that our money is making money for us. I would like have a plan to invest in a property that can just sit there for our retirement, have a monthly savings plan, and have some ways to make some passive income. There are some big trips coming up this year that we really need to save for as well! (More about that later.) Continue Reading…
It’s time to wrap up the year that was! A lot of people have had a pretty bad 2016. Mine wasn’t all terrible, but I felt I spent a lot of it in a state of anxiety holding pattern waiting for The Ginger Hunk to get through his DVA battle and have his replacement.
Let’s take a look at month by month, on reflection, it was a busy year!
In December 2015, I quit my job with no real plans, with the idea to help The Ginger Hunk recover from surgery and restart his business. Surgery was put off, and so I found myself beginning a new job at NSW Health in late January. Having said that, January was a time for reflecting. We did a massive de-clutter of the house, and I by default, turned back to being vegetarian.
February I settled into work and routine. I was excited to be interviewed for “Unclassified Women”, by Michelle Maria McGrath, reflecting on being childfree. This made me think that podcasting might be something I would be interested in for the future. No time though to pursue this so far. The other thing I did, much to the disgust of my parents, is get my first tattoo! A little lion cat on my wrist. Almost a year on I don’t regret it one bit. She looks so pretty, and it did not hurt at much as I thought.
In March I tried cat yoga for the first time with my friend Sanch who blogs over at Living My Imperfect Life. I felt a little bit abandoned by friends who had moved on to husbands and babies and wrote about what it feels like to feel like you are no longer needed. I had a flop of a fundraising stall at Kirribilli Markets and wrote about the five annoying types of women you meet at the markets.
In April, I was stoked to hit 3000 visitors per month for the blog. Not huge I know, but seeing I’m not selling anything, nor do I have a niche, I was happy that I’m making a difference on my little space on the interweb. One quiet Saturday evening, The Ginger Hunk and I found ourselves breaking up a domestic in our street and spending the night at the police station. I reflected on violence and that we all have a role to play in preventing it. One of the biggest things that happened in 2016, was that we extended our feline family. We brought little Piper into our home in April, and it took some months to achieve peace. Now we have two happy cats I am pleased to say. What did we do without her? A big win this month, was being published in the SMH.
In May I went back to school for a career night. I wrote about advice you wish you heard in school. May was not a great mental health month for me. I had low motivation and I felt pretty frozen, waiting for The Ginger Hunk and his hip surgery. I tried energetic healing for the first time and it is now something I add to my self care menu.
June saw me taking a two week break from blogging and physically took me to Bali for a week of freediving training. My Dad randomly decided to join me at the last minute for a few days, so it was a special time just chilling with my Dad and having him there for my 35th birthday. The Ginger Hunk is still waiting for news. Continue Reading…
Friends like these.
Take you with all your shit, bullshit and darkness. Laugh with you in the light, know your actual weight and call you out when you accidentally fart.
Buy you presents from overseas “just because” they saw it in a shop on their travels.
Fight with you like a sister, bury it, and get over it quickly and move on to the next journey.
Stop a card game for two hours to go on to solve all the problems of the world (and then some.)
Call you up on your lies, pick up when you are holding truth from them and when something just isn’t right.
But again, bury it, move on and move forward.
Wake you up to walk, when you don’t really want to, but you’d rather be half asleep with them than miss out on the opportunity to be with them at all.
Growing, learning together, getting through the messiness and wonderfulness that this adult life is all about.
Friends like these.