Whew, the first day of the new year…. it feels almost a relief to be here. Not because I’m glad to see the back of 2018 (far from it actually, it was a pretty awesome year on the whole) but because there seems to be so much pressure around having fun and partying and celebrating over Christmas and New Year.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore the festive season. I start watching Christmas movies in October and one of my favourite things of the year is bringing in and decorating my little living Christmas tree  But I don’t like to feel the expectation that it’s meant to be an endless party from Christmas eve to new years day!

Part of this may come from being self employed – I don’t ‘break up’ from work, in fact most holidays, at any time of year, will include time spent on work things because they have to be done. I don’t walk out of an office at 5pm and forget about work until I’m next due back.

With this way of living comes a huge amount of flexibility, that was the main reason I chose it, yet because you are ‘always on’ it can become very tiring and quiet time at home holds a much greater appeal than going out partying.

This year was no exception! We spent a few days with one side of the family, a few days with the other, then saw in the new year on our own, (reunited with puss after his little festive holiday) and it was exactly what we needed.

Some quiet, reflective time. A moment to celebrate what has been and anticipate what’s to come. A walk out in nature today to ground us ready for the rest of the week.

And all the time, quietly, in the background, I’ve been planning new art pieces. Thinking what panel sizes I need, how many in each series I want to work on, how similar or different I want them to be from each other.

Nothing painted yet but experimenting with digital images, testing colours and compositions, getting clearer what I want to have a go at next.

For me, THIS is what the festive season is all about. Quality time with family, walks in nature and laying the foundations for the coming months.

The winter season is a time to go inward, be still, rest, contemplate, plan and regroup so that when spring arrives we can burst forth with energy and vigour. THAT’S when I want to party, when the seasonal energies are high and I’ve allowed myself to be restored 

Photo of Widemouth Bay, my beloved hometown of Bude, a place that never fails to energise and inspire my creativity 

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© Natalie Day 2019

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