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12 Months of Gratitude 2022 - Number 11!

Updated: Jan 10, 2023


"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life forever."

~ Amy Poehler

This year has been quite the rollercoaster for many reasons and as we start a new one I look back with immense gratitude for all of the amazing people around me today. I speak from the bottom of my heart when I say that without them, I would not have achieved quite so much as I have done.

My family are my world and nothing is more important than them, they are my greatest achievement and they all know that, I tell them all of the time. My husband Ged is my king, he provides me with the strength and stability that I so desperately needed when we met over 20 years ago: he encourages me all the way and makes me believe that anything is possible.

I haven't always had this level of loving security around me, I've had my fair share of troubles in the past and some of them continue to taint the current magic with poison. I suffer a lot with self-doubt, insecurities and other negative thoughts and I often turn to self-help books for guidance. Having read a little about other creative people, it does seem like these feelings are very common and quite typical for our personality types, maybe its because we expose a lot of our vulnerabilities through our art?

Here are a few books that I have found helpful, maybe if you feel the same, they can help you too:

  • End The Struggle And Dance With Life by Susan Jeffers

  • Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

  • The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle

  • 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos by Jordan Peterson

  • Calm The F**k Down Journal by Sarah Knight

  • Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself by Dr Jo Dispenza

It's taken a lifetime to reach this point, the point where most days are positive and I look forward to starting each new day. I have a lovely family and Ged and I have dedicated our married lives to raising our children the best way that we know. It sometimes really bloody hard work as any parent will verify but it's also the most rewarding job in the world! Our daughter Hannah is incredible and inspires me greatly; she gave birth to her first child in her living room (birthing pool) during lockdown and the second baby this year. Sadly all did not go well after his birth and our beautiful grandson Rowan battled with Sepsis for the first two weeks of his tiny precious life, he is now six months old and is thriving thank goodness and makes us smile every day! Rowan's good health is most certainly the thing that I am most grateful for this year, we all are of course.

I'm also proud and grateful for my sons, very much so, and this year we have waved goodbye to our middle child as he left home for University. His new home is a good 4-5 hour drive away but he said that he's happy about that as its good to get away from home completely and be independent. Our youngest son will be taking his GCSE's this year so I will be offering him whatever support that I can to help him achieve his best potential. My art projects will naturally fit around his needs as we naturally want the best for his future too.

Adam, Maggie, Eugenia and Rachel

I have the most wonderful friends and I will be forever grateful for all of their help during the York Open Studios event, I couldn't have done this without their support as they each stayed with me for the entire days during the event. Its a huge ask as they were on their feet from 10am till 4pm talking to unknown visitors. I must also mention my youngest son who relished the opportunity to help with this event and was really helpful greeting everybody for the full five days.

Jo, Sharon, Ian and Suzy

Friends have also given me a stream of continuous work from special projects to pet portrait commissions. I have loved working with them, they trust in my judgement and suggestions and I have learnt so much from them too. For all of those fabulous friends who came to support me at the Opening Evening at the York Open Studios event, you are all absolutely fantastic!

2022 was also the year that I joined the gym with my buddy Emma, together we are on a mission to combat all the usual signs of peri menopausal women, we are not there yet but we are certainly feeling stronger mentally as well as physically. Its amazing how determined you can be at achieving something when you feel like it is beneficial to somebody else...we have both said that we could quite easily give-up sometimes if we didn't feel like we would let each other down. With this in mind, I was inspired by the following quote, so I will leave it with you as my parting message:

"Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others."

~ Martin Luther King


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