Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Simplifying 2014 with just four goals

explore the essex coast; black hair; black hair and beauty; creative writing; the only way is essex; the pier harwich;
I have been looking back and 2013 and well what a year! We moved home and business and that was such a big step both for my family and for my little business.  It was also a total nightmare that almost, I say almost, crushed my spirit but now Strange Fruit has a studio to call its own and we have a house we all love the foundations have been set for a very busy 2014.

I am a natural planner. Since I was a child I have broken what I want into manageable goals, I don't do well with focusing on the big goal. Just working on one small bit, then another small bit works much better for me. My other big thing is not talking about those goals until I have really got my head around what I need to do in order to achieve it. I am still plodding my way through some big goals so my main 2014 goal is to keep doing what I'm doing and keeping all the balls in the air! 

There are some things it really is time for me to focus on but I am keeping it simple and simplifying my New Years Resolutions and setting myself just four goals for 2014.

1.  Explore the Essex Coast.  I have read and looked at so many lovely pictures of the Essex Coast that I cannot wait to go and explore it for myself. We like Southend and Westcliffe – we have spent many a New Years Day wandering along an Essex Beach in the freezing cold but we have never really ventured beyond the usual towns and I know there is so much more.  So even though I am proud to say I have never watched an episode of The Only Way is Essex I am heading up the A12 to see what I can see and quite possibly eat my way through the entire menu at The Pier in Harwich!

Southend as the sun sets
2.  Fall in love with my hair.  I have never been big on my hair – it is there on the top of my head, I have a lot of it (with a few grey strands now) but I have never really taken much interest in it. To be honest I find doing anything with my hair is just too much effort. 

Tracee Ellis Ross has great hair and a great blog, where she talks about - yep hair

When I was younger I was excited by hairdressers – but what a nightmare that turned out to be – black hairdressers took all day – wasting time I did not have and European hairdressers had no idea what they were doing.  But times have changed and I am totally inspired by all the great blog posts, products reviews and pictures I now see - advertisers take note - I am a consumer hungry for more black hair and beauty. And now I want to slip into this new world where other people will not only love my hair but teach me how best to look after it and love it. You never know I may even start wearing it out – but give me time – my hair has been ‘up’ for the last 20 years – this is a big emotional journey for me. I am investing in a monthly products from Root to Tip and I have saved a link on my phone to a lovely blog Freshlengths which charts Lesley Buckle's hair journey, you know, just to keep me feeling secure. I know am going to need all the advice and support I can get!

3.  With a settled mind and a room of my own I have got a place to write. It seems I haven't really changed much since childhood, writing short stories and plays was the one big thing I loved to do and that always made me happy. More recently making the time to write down the stories in my head has been in a box marked 'later'. Later is now and I will even try to be brave enough to share some short stories here, I might even get round to editing my novel - but no promises ha ha.

4.  The last goal I am setting myself for 2014 is of course to continue to grow Strange Fruit. I couldn’t expand the business without first having putting in some strong foundations to stand on – that has been done and now Strange Fruit can flourish. I have ideas everyday about new avenues to explore; a bit like the Essex Coast the possibilities for Strange Fruit are unexplored. But now at least Strange Fruit has a base that isn’t the corner of my bedroom and what a difference that makes. I love the room I use as a studio. Its grey – the best colour - which is a major bonus, it has everything I need it and best of all I can cut up as much paper as I like and not have to tidy up until I am finished on a project. My productivity levels have gone through the roof as getting work done is now so much easier.

Deciding to move home so I could continue to work Strange Fruit around my life was the right thing to do. I love that I can be working on new designs while to boy sits in the arm chair ‘reading’ a book or laying on the floor with his Star Wars Mini Figures. I always wanted Strange Fruit to enhance my life and what I was giving back to the world and not to encroach on family time or other commitments – my new live and work space has done that and I am super happy and totally ready for 2014.

Happy 2014 everyone , hope it is prosperous and full of adventures for everyone.

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