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The countdown is upon us, the days and hours are counting down for the turn of the clock and the beginning of the New Year. It’s exciting! I wonder what the New Year will bring? What adventures will I take myself on? What opportunities will knock at my door? How will my life be different a year from now? The only thing I know for sure is that I have zero control over any of it, I can only control how I treat myself and how I treat others and I’m ok with that.

Broken Rose

For the past few years, instead of creating a new year’s resolution to feel guilty about not achieving, I have had a word. My word reflects where I am in my life or a time in my life I have recently experienced. Sometimes I have one word, sometimes 2 or sometimes a word gets added as I progress into my new year.

My first word was ‘nurture’, I decided I needed to give back to myself. After experiencing a great loss in my life I went into survival mode. I forgot how to really care for myself, I didn’t show myself any compassion, I just went straight ahead with what I had to do. While the outside smiled, laughed, hugged, got married, finished a Diploma and celebrated, the inside was depleted, I had nothing more to give to myself or to the people I love. ‘Nurture’ helped me turn the mirror on myself and I asked myself what I needed and how I’d achieve it. It was the beginning of a new me, I recognised that I was learning to live my life without my Mum (and I still am). I learnt how to spend time with myself again – a scary task when grief is your constant companion. I learnt that Yoga is a perfect match for me. I reminded myself that I am loved. I learnt that the ocean really does soothe my soul.

Mum and I copy

Another word was ‘grateful’. ‘Grateful’ is such a wonderful word because it encourages you to recognise everything that is wonderful in your life. Here are a few of the things I am grateful for… my health, my husband, my family, my friends, my clients, my abilities, my capacity to continue to learn, the income that I make, the home that I have created, my ocean view, my garden, clean running water, my freedom to choose, I am grateful that I went ‘home’ for Christmas and saw most of my family, I am grateful for the meals we shared, the laughter that filler our childhood home and the gifts I gave and received. And there are so many more…

Dear reader, I am so very grateful that you visit Gardens and Polka Dots to read my words. Thank you!


Now it is time for a new word to enter my life. I welcome JOY! Joy will envelope my whole being, it will sit in my tummy where anxiety was, it will stand tall on my shoulders where the expectations were, it will fill my head where the stresses lived, it will control my tongue where the frustrations burst forth. Joy will remind me that it’s all ok because I have so many things to be ‘grateful’ for.

Dave & I copy

The magical thing about having a word is that the word never leaves, I don’t hand it in for a new word at the end of the year and it doesn’t expire it just continues to be. Eventually all of the words  moosh together to become ‘life’.

What’s your word and how will it make your life more fruitful?

I wish you a wonderful new year.

Until next time.


Thank you to my friend Nykke Coleman of Paper Elephant Press for the gorgeous image from my wedding day