New year, new me?

How are you keeping after the first week of 2024?
Are you doing last year’s summary?
Do you plan on making New Year’s resolutions?

Personally, I love filling in new calendar and diary. It feels like a new beginning (Spoiler, it’s not). Usually, after the first few weeks, I can’t keep up with my diary, so it’ll end up half empty, but my wall calendar is my monthly compass – can’t live without it. No digital one does it for me, it HAS to be an old-school family-sized calendar!

What are your thoughts on all the resolution stuff? New year, new me?

My 2023 was a strange year. I had some exciting UPs, but also a good few bummers and disappointments – probably to keep the balance. I’ve tried new markets and fairs, some large ones, such as Galway Potters Market and Gifted, and smaller end too, like Oldbridge and Killruddery. The biggest positive was Galway, definitely! I’m planning to attend this year as well and maybe drop to the Kilkenny one too.

It was also a year of learning. In early 2023 I joined the Biscuit Factory which gave me access to lots of business-related courses, mentoring and insights from other creatives. I qualified and completed the ‘Building Craft & Design Enterprise’ programme developed by the Local Enterprise Office and Design Craft Council of Ireland in association with the World Crafts Council Europe. On a personal level, I took part in the ‘Understanding and Managing Adult ADHD’ course by ADHD Ireland which helped me, well, understand my life a bit better.

For the first time, I took part in the August Craft Month and I made it through the first round of Carrolls’ new Failte programme. In my (only!) second year applying, I was a finalist in the DCCI Future Makers Awards and Irish Made Awards by Irish Country Magazine. Close to Christmas, I made a strong national appearance by being featured in numerous gift guides – RTEIrish Independent & printed in Independent’s Weekend Magazine, Irish Examiner, and Irish Country Magazine – to name a few. I had my first interview in a national newspaper – the Irish Farmers Journal ‘Meet the Maker’ column. During the Gifted Fair, you could spot my Splash Vase displayed in the central Made Local area.

Business-wise, I will start 2024 strong as I was accepted to the Local Enterprise Office area in the 2024 Showcase.

On a personal note, we had fantastic visits from my sister & her family, as well as my inlaws. After losing our oldest ‘lady cat’ previous NYE, we decided to give home to a rescue and our cat count is again 3 – Sputnik, Lola & new addition, Kluska. Just as Stories by Ola turned 1 in 2023, I turned 40 – surrounded by my closest family at the most beautiful outdoor party organised by my sister & my husband. Although I was stung by wasps three times, I still think it was a magical time.
On a more bummer side, I don’t drive yet, our car needs to be replaced and we got a notice on our home of over 12 years. If you’re familiar with the rental situation in Ireland, you know what it means.

So yes, it was a strange year. My numerological Year 9, End Of a Cycle.

As for the New Year’s resolutions, I’m trying to keep them to a minimum. I’m a person with an all-or-nothing mindset (thanks, ADHD!) so even one slip can put everything I’m working on in the bin.

I would love to go back to yoga! I’ll ease myself into it with Adriene from Find What Feels Good, her free monthly schedules helped me many times already to get back on the mat.

I want to take better care of my health, mental & physical. Less caffeine, more gentle movement, less stress, more enjoyable reading – I feel this is the way.

Maybe I’ll take a few driving lessons, hopefully, my first driving test..?!

I want to spend more time outdoors and do some camping on this beautiful island. More creative and planned time with a family, as we did when the boys were younger.

Biggest change? Less ‘new’ learning – more using the knowledge I already have.

2024 is marking our 20 years as a couple (yay!) and 20 years in Ireland (who would have thought!) – I’m really looking forward to some celebrations.

Welcome New Year 2024 – please bring Peace & Love.

 

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