A belated Happy New Year! As 2018 drew to a close and my world continued to shift and change, my poor little blog fell off the radar and has languished for many months. First I got busy going all DIY on my house to incorporate a “productive” element to my sabbatical. Then I re-entered the workforce in October, joining an amazing company in a totally new industry doing sales and business development. BIG learning curve! Just as I began to hit my stride at work, the holiday season hit high gear. Then in January amidst traveling, I began to work on my design website and studio…you know, because one career at a time is never enough. Whew!
Only now in the cold, twilight days of February have I been able to exhale and begin to unpack how epic 2018 truly was. I love the cocooning that happens at this time of year, giving pause for us to turn inward to process, ponder and dream in the sacred heart of winter. As I finish writing this post I am nestled by my fireplace with a lovely piece of music playing, watching snow softly drift to the ground. Somehow home and hearth never seem sweeter then during this period of hibernation.
Heading into 2018, I knew that it was going to be a year of upheaval, reinvention and renewal. That was by design. For those who are new to my blog, I left my job as a hotel General Manager after a 20+ year career last March, to launch off to Europe on an open ended sabbatical and begin the process of rebuilding my life after my Mothers passing from cancer the year before. It was a shakeup that was long overdue. There is nothing like the passing of a loved one before their time to make you begin to ask yourself some difficult questions about happiness, priorities and being authentic.
My time in Europe was wonderful, and the 2 months I spent in Paris were truly a balm for the soul. I imagined that somehow my new future would become clear to me when the “distractions” of everyday life such as work, home and anything that resembled structure were removed. Not so much. I learned the valuable lesson that creativity, inspiration and clarity come in their own time. So I surrendered to the lovely blank void that had become my schedule and mind, and instead focused on enjoying Paris in spring. Long lunches at cafes, beers while soaking up the sun on the Seine, Sunday afternoons in the Jardins du Luxemburg, cooking classes. I discovered that these things too can be healing, just giving oneself permission to be free. It was marvelous!
Only in the sacred heart of winter, free of glorious warm days or a million sunny distractions do I have the time to unpack these thoughts. It was one hell of a year, and I am keeping my seatbelt on. If the last few years have taught me anything, it is that the world and life are completely unpredictable. Chart a course, set your compass to true north…none of that matters my friends. Move ahead with your best foot forward, but know that the world may have other plans in store for you. Be open to them, embrace them, and they too will be more magical than anything you could have imagined.
I have included a few images that I have snapped during my recent adventures in the heart of winter. A few from a twilight walk along the boardwalk in Halifax, some from magical New York and one while hiking deep in the woods.