Farewell and Welcome

I say farewell to 2014 a tad reluctantly – it has been such a lovely year, with so many wonderful events and meetings and good changes and opportunities to learn more about myself, about the world and about other friends.  But it just flew by in a flash – was it the same for you?

My friend Alys over at Gardening Nirvana chooses a word for herself every year.  Her latest post reviews the word for 2014 and reveals her new word for 2015.  This all made me aware that, without knowing it I had a word for 2014……….

‘Settle’ it turned out, was my word of the year.

2014 was the year I decided to settle where I was.  This was quite a momentous internal shift for me to make and it was certainly a new and quite liberating experience.  It was also something that grew and deepened as the year progressed until I find myself now, on the last day of the year quite astounded by the changes it has wrought both within me and around me.

For starters it meant giving up on my dream of a cottage by the sea and of owning my own home again. It meant giving up on being dissatisfied with the way things are and existing in a camping situation.  It meant I freed myself of waiting for a mythical future to arrive and allowed me to begin living in the present moment.   It also meant I stopped all blaming, hurting, wanting and regretting.  I gave up on the lot.  And in a flash of blessed intuition decided [that is a very important word!] decided to become truly contented.

This all happened very early in the year and I pretty much spent the rest of it turning my very small home into a place that not only worked for me as a house, but one that also felt like the one I would create by the sea.  If the sea-side cottage wouldn’t come to me, I would live as if it had anyway.

Literally and figuratively I gave away everything that I was holding on to. I was happy to think that the miscellaneous items that had been stuffed into boxes, bags and cupboards would find new homes with others who needed it now, would love it now and use it now.   It’s a win-win situation!  I discovered that by ridding myself of unused stuff my home grew bigger.  I kid you not – my home has turned from a small, over filled packed nest into a cute, airy space that makes people smile.  As my home grew bigger, I grew lighter.  Not physically so much [alas!] but certainly within myself – a new lightness of being slowly unfurled and a new level of contentment deep within myself was born.

The last two months were dedicated to making my art space really work for me – I was tired of trying to work in a space that often ended up being about 30 sq centimetres surrounded by piles of supplies.  I was constantly losing bits I had made, bits I needed for something I was making and tools.  Now I have three work benches, most of which is space available to work on.  Fabulousness!!

Bench space

The alert viewer may even have a glimpse of something finally being created here and bound eventually for Tasmania ….But folks – lookit all the creative space and the pretty tiny garden gets to peek in too.

bench space2

Everything in my home is current.  It is here because it is beautiful and useful.  There are a few ‘just because’ items that have been gifted, mostly from my dear blogging friends.  But they too are beautiful and bring me much happiness.

In May I adopted a puppy and in September I retired.  Both events are memories that make me smile and laugh!  Siddy is the happiest pup in the entire world – you can’t help but smile when you see him.  He goes about constantly with his big puppy smile on, looking up at you, dancing in time with your steps, keen and eager to be there, to do the good thing and if possible a treat or two would be absolutely wonderful………. maybe, just maybe, might you agree?

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Retirement is something old folks do.  My pal Robin just wrote about Rod Stewart and Tom Selleck turning 70.  I don’t see age when I look at these two men.  I see wit and humour mixed with maturity which makes them really appealing.  I think we Boomers are playing a huge trick on the world – we don’t know how to become ‘old’.  I think we know how to wisen up a bit, slow down a tad and we are learning to enjoy every day.

It’s true that age is just a state of mind.

Orlando and I ‘settled’.  We made a home, we opened it up to a new friend and we all [learned to] live together happily ever after….. We even made a very small garden.

I companion planted and my tomatoes and peas have zero bugs.  My broccoli alas did not make it, but an abundance of herbs and salad greens have been happily eaten on a daily basis.  I am picking sweet scented sweet peas every day.

SweetPea25 12

The work of settling is now done.  So maybe, it now occurs to me, maybe it is the exact right time to say goodbye to 2014.  Funny how things work out 🙂

2015 will be the year of ‘Create’ and ‘Breathe’.

‘Create’ because back in August I decided to sign up for ‘Life Book 2015‘ and dedicate the year to learning more about my chosen path of mixed media.  It starts tomorrow!

‘Breathe’ because that is my word when I feel myself wanting to control situations.  I want to go with the flow – see what happens, be okay with whatever happens.  Live in the moment and strive always to see the bigger picture.

And, as always my New Year Blessing remains

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

The rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand

                                                                          ~From an Ancient Celtic Blessing

Thanks for coming by today and throughout the past year.  I hope you will continue to visit and chat next year.  I love that you do!

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96 thoughts on “Farewell and Welcome

  1. Happy New Year Pauline! All three words are wonderful – settle, create and breathe 🙂 I know you will have a splendidly successful 2015! I know what you mean about 2014 – where did it go? Yikes? AND Tom Selleck is 70??? I’m still trying to get my jaw off the floor. ps. your ‘art space’ is perfect.

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  2. Happy year of Create and Breathe, Pauline! I thoroughly enjoyed this post as it allowed me to get to know you a little better, and to look forward with you as well. I was struck by this:

    “I discovered that by ridding myself of unused stuff my home grew bigger. I kid you not – my home has turned from a small, over filled packed nest into a cute, airy space that makes people smile. As my home grew bigger, I grew lighter.”

    I moved to the ranch almost two years ago, and it still feels crammed and small and packed with too much stuff (we downsized in terms of house). It occurs to me that maybe I can use my word for the year (Playful) and make a game of lightening up.

    Your art space is wonderful (and light and airy!). And Siddy is so cute I just want to cuddle with him. 🙂

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    • I like your word for the year ‘playful’ It is a very good word! Just think of the other people in the world who could make wonderful use of your unused items. Someone out there is waiting for just this very thing …. how playful a thought is that?

      I am totally in love with my art room – it is a fabulous space and I am so fortunate to have it! And Siddy, it has to be said yet again, is possibly the best puppy in the entire world! 🙂 Again, I appreciate my good fortune!

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  3. Good Morning Pauline! Now you’re probably snuggled in your bed with your pals while I get on with my day. I’m loving the view of your garden from your art room. It’s really insanely cold here today (-30C but even colder with the windchill) and I wish I can only dream about bringing in sweet peas today. I’ve really been missing them since we moved into the city but plan some for this summerll

    I like that you adopted the word ‘settle’ for last year. I can sure relate. It really free’s you up for time to do more creative things if you aren’t constantly looking to move. Or that’s what I found anyways. Living out of box’s can be somewhat depressing I found. I enjoy being surrounded by special things, collected or gifted over the years. Maybe you’re a ‘nester’ too. I sure am. This includes the outdoors as well as the indoors and I can see you settling both.

    Maybe you can still rent a seaside cottage once a year for a week or two as a sort of ‘stay-cation’. New Zealand looks like the perfect place to holiday so you never really need to leave. I’m very envious. Alberta is not exactly a tourist destination unless you’re traveling to visit the Rockies.

    There’s are good things about not being a homeowner. One, you can move whenever you wish if an unbeatable opportunity pops up. Two, you don’t have to do the home maintenance. Three, when appliances or heat pumps break down, you don’t have to spend your money to replace them.

    I giggle every time I look at Siddy’s photo, he’s so darn cute and innocent looking. What a joy he’s been for you. It’s like igniting a spark when you adopt a puppy While the first few weeks are tricky, they add so much to our lives. Thank you for sharing and the New Year Wishes. I’m so looking forward to 2015 too, many good things are happening! Cheers my dear, Love Kelly x

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    • No, I’m up and having first coffee while pets eat first breakfast 🙂 Yes to the ‘no maintenance costs’ of renting. There are always pluses! I am a nester and the process has been all about it being okay to nest in a rental, when for most of my adult life I owned. It took me a while but I got there.

      It must be such a wonderful feeling for you to come home to your own nest every day now and to be free to unpack and arrange and create as you wish. Isn’t it amazing how the move coincided with the job too? It was like everything came together after a long period of waiting! I like when life shows us that all good things come when the time is right!

      Siddy was gifted a child’s happy face cushion yesterday and he has been carrying it around with him ever since – it is so cute!

      I cannot begin to imagine what -30C feels like. Really cold here is at least 28C warmer. Yesterday we reached 30+C everyone was languid! xoxo

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  4. What a lovely round up of your year. I do agree that 2014 went by in a flash, but then they do say that time flies when you are having fun – and from reading your posts you have certainly had a busy and enjoyable year! I laughed when I read about your cluttered workspace before your art room, I can totally relate to that! Your new space is wonderful though and how lovely to be able to look out onto your garden while you work. I like the words you have chosen too, breathe is good one – to let go and trust that things will always work out in the end! I wish yourself, Orlando and Siddy a fabulous 2015 xx

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    • Thank you Jem – it has certainly started well! So many people can relate to the picture of trying to work in a tiny space in the midst of chaos – it’s amazing how we do it really. I am so enjoying being able to spread out – though yesterday I noticed I was busy piling things close around me and closing in the viable space…… Habit! I quickly reversed that trend! 😀

      You are exactly right. I shall print this out and stick it on my notice board: Breathe – to let go and trust that things will always work out in the end! Thank you xoxo

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  5. What a beautiful and heart-warming post, Pauline. You’ve spread out so much wisdom and shared such lovely inspiration for the upcoming year. I seriously felt my own soul lightening as I read through your inner journey. I can only imagine the mass of creativity and accomplishment that will flourish in this welcoming breezy space of yours. I wish you a very healthy year in which all of the above will bear fruit. And I look forward to being here to have a taste of it.
    Cheers!

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    • It’s always great when you get to the end of the journey and can look back at it – but you should have heard all the whining while it was in progress 😀 I do love my play room – the colours make me smile and there is so much room to spread out …… Thank you for your kind words 🙂 xo

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  6. Dearest Pauline, it has been way too long on my behalf, but I’m so pleased I dropped in at just the right time to see your beautiful craft space and the gorgeous view over your garden. Being content and settled in the here and now is so important, isn’t it? Once again you have put it all into words so eloquently. Your home is beautiful and your art course sounds very exciting. All the very best to you, your family, Orlando and Siddy this year. xoxoxox

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    • It is so lovely to hear from you Dani – I hope you are having a wonderful relaxing holiday! It certainly makes life more enjoyable and easier and opens us up to amazing experiences when we do that little sideways shuffle from discontent to content, doesn’t it! I have started the course and day one was pretty cool – I am going to be busy – and happy and most likely incredibly challenged 🙂

      I hope you have a good year Dani and that you and your entire family is blessed! xoxo

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  7. (sigh)…I really admire your ability to “cleanse” and “shed” all the baggage + move forward…I need to do that this year. Your place looks so peaceful and a place one can breath + create….calming:-) You have achieved it….I have been sitting on the fence far too long in my life…I need to set some new goals for 2015, I just need to figure out what they will be….You have done a great job of finding balance… “create” + “breath” …..that is beautiful:-)

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    • I have just been having a conversation about this very thing – the feeling that we ‘need to’ do something, because the status-quo is not good enough. Says who? No, no Robbie! That smacks of us not being good enough in some way, which is a beating we do not need to give ourselves. If you feel you would like to change something there is freedom in that. If you are motivated to start, then start. But don’t try to push yourself to do something that your heart isn’t in. Look at where you put your energy – look at all you do for others. Look at who YOU are! Wow!! 😀

      This was a year long process, for much of the time I was whining about not getting things done and finished and so on and so forth. All the time I was digging deeper through the layers without realising where I was really going. I was ready to ‘settle’ and ready to ‘shed’. I’d carted that stuff around for ten years, waiting for a dream to come true while not realising – not wanting to see – I could make something I already had fit the bill just perfectly. The time was right and I was ready.

      I didn’t set this as a goal. I thought I was just tidying and prettying to start. A kind of a half settle. It just gained momentum organically and grew itself. I just went along for the ride. I think that is what happens when you are ready and the time is right. Does any of this make sense? I’m saying it because your comment reads like you are beating yourself up over something and you mustn’t do that. You are so wonderful and your garden is the inspiration for so many. And if I got it wrong – I’m sorry !!!!!! 🙂

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      • awww….your right- it did sound like I was beating myself up, but really I am feeling a bit trapped by my “baggage”-lol. It is holding me back and I need to clear some space, so I can breath + create in different ways.. As I read your post, I thought-hmmm-that sounds like me…when I am doing a project, I can’t find this or that or can’t get this or that done because I forgot where that or this was!
        I have been feeling unsettled lately + your post ( of reflection) was inspiring-I need to do something. The garden has been my primary source of creation, but there are things, “I” want to make/create/ do, “I” want to see where it takes me…and I need to clear some space/time to make that happen. I love creating in the garden, but something is feeling a bit out of balance…I have been one-dimensional lately, and I am not a one-dimenstional type…..I am a 3D soul-lol
        You inspire me!
        Your right-I need to not beat myself up, but I need to make some changes for I am not being all that I want to be:-) I have left, part of me behind + need to clear the baggage to see the horizon!!!:-)

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        • I’m sorry I was not here to respond right away – life interfering with blogging! Tsk-tsk!! When I read this the important bit that jumped out was that you are feeling unsettled. That’s a sign. Yes, this is much clearer – the first response was needing to set goals and needing to find out what they might be and sitting on fences – which is never comfortable 🙂 The thing is to have that slightly off kilter feeling, to feel something is missing, to know what that something is and to quietly set about doing what wants to be done. This inevitably leads to the next stage and phase and slowly something is allowed to unfold. So if you feel you are holding on to stuff, start sorting it out and give it away, donate it, sell it, trade it – whatever – just get it gone. .I had three separate stages last year which I thought was hilarious in hindsight. I spent ages sorting through what could go and what needed to stay and got the first stage complete. A couple of months later I did it again. items I had previously thought myself incapable of parting with, went. The final stage – it all went. I didn’t sort and sift – I knew what was there and it didn’t need to be. If it was in a box in a cupboard, it went. If it wasn’t in a box it went. Stuff that didn’t even know it was in danger found itself living somewhere else.

          Now I wonder why I kept it all these years at all and why I didn’t let it go sooner. I guess the answer is I wasn’t ready.

          If you need to make yourself a create space set to and start work. Creating the create space can be a very satisfying and creative job – so be okay with the time it will take. My advice is make it speak for you and to you.

          This is very exciting Robbie – perhaps you have reached the stage in your garden when it no longer requires all your attention and energy all of the time. It is releasing you and allowing the next step to make itself known. ……………..

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      • + it makes sense what you are saying…..I hope I don’t sound “helpless”…I don’t feel helpless, I just need to make some changes in my life with the people as well as the clutter around me….reading this post….inspired me to “do” and as I “do” …I believe, I will find my way…+ it should free me to do more of what I want to do as I discover all the possibilities….I want 2015 to be my year to bring my garden inside-does that make sense?:-)

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        • I didn’t realise another thought was here 🙂 It did sound a bit helpless and like you were beating yourself up – but now I know you didn’t mean that. I really think what is speaking to you is the motivating factor to start you moving to allow this new thing to be born. Just please don’t chivvy yourself for not having done it before, we do it when we are ready. It’s a magical process. I say all this stuff and will myself behave just as I always do when the same process awakens in me again. 🙂 It’s so much easier to see where others are at 🙂

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  8. I am so blessed with this post, Pauline! I have lived in a one bedroom apartment for 8 years now. I shared it with my then-college aged daughter for two years. I believe everything I have in this home has a meaning and purpose to my life. I enjoy the toys for grandies and also, my memorabilia that I did not give or sell of ‘pittance’ special enough to hold on to.
    I was so surprised, as I chose not to look at my own posts today, but concentrate on whacking away at my own list of fellow bloggers, when I saw my name here! Wow! Thank you so much and hope my two days off around the New Year did not make you wonder why I wasn’t here or even, there on my own blog…
    I enjoy time and space, I enjoy fellowship and friendship. I value real friends and truly blessed family members, too.
    Your posts always bring me smiles, this one brought a huge grin on my face, thank you so very much! Happy New Year, so glad you are happy just where you are, (although I can also imagine giving up the dream of a seaside cottage a difficult one, Pauline!) Hugs, Robin

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    • This is a busy time for everyone Robin – I did not give your absence a thought 🙂 I knew you would come by when you could and if you wished to – it is always nice for me when anyone decides to pop in – especially when they stay for a chat!

      I think it is wonderful that you have a small home too and are surrounded by beautiful things you love. I think it is important to live in beauty – whatever that means to anyone and it is so subjective – I feel really strongly that lack of space and lack of cash does not mean you have to live without beauty.

      2014 was a special year for so many people – I am intrigued to see what 2015 will bring us all xoxo

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      • I am always feeling that the place where I live is just a stepping stone to where I like to go and someday hope to go.
        I forgot to tell you that Celtic prayer or wish was over my Mom’s sink for years. She still would recite it, if I started the first line… smiles! (Over her sink presently goes her center where she lives calendar, she circles what she likes and would like to attend.) Thank you again for passing some of your friends over to my posts!.Hugs, Robin

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  9. Forgive me if this is redundant – I tried post it yesterday twice but it didn’t ‘take’ – did I land in Spamland again??

    As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s been delightful getting to know you this year. I love how your house grew around you as a result of freedom-inducing decisions you made. VERY inspirational! There is so much life around you – even your workspace windowsill has growing greens! Any chance you can come for a visit to Oklahoma any time soon?? 🙂

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  10. A very Happy New Year Pauline. I really enjoyed reading your review of 2014. I think that we are immersed daily in idealistic and aspirational images of what the seemingly perfect home,body image, lifestyle etc should look like and we often picture ourselves sitting comfortably in our own picture perfect setting living happily ever after. Life however is very rarely like this and as you say when we stop looking and appreciate the beauty of the present and live in the now we can find many things that make us happy. You have a very positive outlook on life and I love popping in and ‘ visiting. Life Book 2015 seems tremendously exciting I am sure you will create precious memories whilst working on it. I have been in a transition year in 2014, my little gap year as i like to call it so i am still trying to figure out how to move forward in 2015. Your post has been incredibly inspiring. xx

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    • Happy New Year Karen! I have discovered that when I think I am doing nothing and going nowhere, that is the very time when I am incubating great change! We just have to learn how to ‘Be’ and how to breathe and how to trust and say ‘Yes’ – saying ‘Yes’ is very important – [I say ‘no’ far too readily I’ve discovered] Anyway, I’m happy you found something inspiring within this post – go forth and BE! 😀 xoxo

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  11. Happy New Year Pauline 🙂 xxx

    Isn’t it funny how we manage to live, often for a very long time, with hopeful dreams for the future but discontentment with our now and the realty of how lives, always wanting something different. I too need to settle myself this year so this reasonated with me..I have felt pulled in too many directions this past 6 months.

    Enjoy 2015 with your precious and most beautiful creatures Oscar and Siddy, with your newly sorted home and art space. I look forward to seeing what comes out of it this year 🙂

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    • Happy New Year to you and Roger, Wendy!

      You are exactly right – I lived most of my younger life waiting for my life to begin. 🙂 I thought I’d gotten past that and then became painfully aware that I kept falling into a state of wanting – which means I was then dissatisfied with what is.

      I see now the whole year was a journey towards present contentment. Both physically and emotionally and intellectually too. Layer after layer, step by step – and not one iota of consciousness about the whole process until it was finished 🙂

      I hope you can settle into what is the right way for you and hopefully keep working your magic with your soaps and creams. I know you are very busy and it seems your well honed social consciousness and ability to organise things might well put you in positions you would rather not be in and then it becomes hard to work with joy ……….. I’m just intuiting and may be way off the mark.

      Let the settling begin! xoxo

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      • Intuited correctly 🙂 I have been thinking of how to start a post for this year and can’t quite get the right words so it might be a tomorrow job lol.
        My year started very similarly to how yours has gone but my need for some peace and quiet to do it in went way out the window…..I have felt stuck in limbo while being frantically busy at the same time lol.

        I am pleased you have found your peaceful place xx

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    • PATTY!! [Holds arms wide and rushes in for a big hug] How lovely to see you back here – are you posting again? You are missed and I often wonder what delights you might be creating. I’m so happy you liked this post – thank you.

      Happy New Year to you! I hope your year is filled with wonderful opportunities and love, laughter and happiness! xo

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  12. Hello Pauline, I’ve enjoyed reading this post very much. Lots that you’ve said rings a bell for me, and some was even a big gong going off as if saying …” are you listening, pay attention”. I loved Marlene’s comment about when we have deep contentment and gratitude the rest flows…..thankyou Marlene, although I “knew” it I had to hear it again. Your creative space is delightful, and I love the look of your bunting, it’s going to be so colourful and cheery. I’ve nearly finished mine as well…..perhaps a sneak peek on my blog would be fun….so I’ll be wanting that address soon too. Thanks for a thought provoking, inspiring post. Wishing you a wonderfully creative new year.

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    • Hello Nanette! Thank you for coming over and joining in the fun – I did not know you had been by and were doing that! It is a complete surprise and I am absolutely delighted 🙂 I popped by your lovely blog too. Unfortunately for some reason it wasn’t loading properly otherwise I would have left a message, a like and a ‘follow’ but I shall try again later. How did you find me here? Was it through the Snail? [I saw her listed on blogs you follow]

      Thank you too for your kind words about my post – I simply write what’s in my mind and heart and share my little self discoveries with whoever comes along to read ’em 🙂 It makes me happy to hear you take some inspiration from these words and my view of life. Best wishes for your journey through 2015 – whatever happens, it is all for a purpose.

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      • yes from the Snail, I saw her comment about you two cooking something up across the world, so checked it out. I did leave you a comment before Christmas to say I would join in, and you even replied! but I understand how easy it is for these things to slip by,especially since I’m a new visitor and you get so many comments that really are wonderful conversations. Sorry to hear you had trouble with my blog, I had a lot of trouble trying to write and publish my latest post, with things not saving, and writing and photos disapperaring so maybe Mr Blogger is a bit hung-over after Christmas 🙂 I’d love you to try again. Cheers

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        • I felt so bad not remembering you, I went back and tracked down the previous comment – and jeepers there is a lot of chatting that goes on here isn’t there – sometimes it feels like a party! 🙂 I don’t know how you slipped from my mind because I was so impressed with the bottle top gathering aspect as well! I’ll plead age 🙂

          I will visit again and get into your blog properly as soon as I get Fran’s bunting finished! And I’ll leave a note when I do…… . [Have you ever considered emigrating to WordPress – we have such fun over here 🙂

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  13. You are my hero when it comes to acceptance of the status-quo Ms Pauline. When our dreams come out of our heads and we turn them into reality, whether they are exactly the same as those in our heads or not, we are making a start on a new and most exciting adventure. It took me almost half a century to work out what this living thing is all about and I am not even sure I have a real handle on it now BUT I am eager and willing to learn and that’s not a bad place to be in…OH that bunting looks scrumptious! What an amazingly lucky Tasmanian person and OH how grateful she is going to be, err…whoever she is! (Ahem! 😉 ). You have more space than I do and I am slavishly and most positively Germanic in my need to minimalise. I love how organised you are and how beautifully everything works together. You are a girl after my own heart with those mugs full of “stuff”, I very rarely use the things in my cupboards for what they were intended for. My glasses are usually full of cuttings (thus making my mugs glasses by default 😉 ).

    I remember back when you were despairing of ever having a centred home again but slowly Orlando caved and I am assuming that the status-quo has been reached. It is amazing how time mellows things isn’t it?

    Congratulations on retiring. I think I retired about 10 years ago but am not quite sure. I have been studying ever since and am not sure where studying sits on the chart.

    You and me both with breathing. This year I am going to stretch (literally and figuratively), to learn Pilates, to de-stress naturally and to diffuse my 50 year old bad temper. I am going to learn to share (HELLO Stevie-boy 😉 ) and how to work with other people without having to be the boss. I think the imperative words here are “Learn” and “Do” for me. Here’s to a magnificent melding of muse and magic this year Ms Pauline and for this awesome privilege that we have been given to grow older that so many others are not able to achieve, I salute the powers that be and say “Thank YOU” most heartily and gratefully 🙂

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    • I think as soon as you think you have a handle on it you will be tested so best to assume you know nothing 🙂 I like your words and your aims. And your reminder that it is a privilege not given to all, to age. The task is to do it gracefully! That is my word for my art course 🙂

      I am most pleased to think I am your hero. Do I get a cape I wonder? I should like a cape very much…… and a mask. Oh, that’s a SUPER hero. Darn it!

      I am not at all Germanic – I am definitely gypsy. A tidy gypsy, but a gypsy none the less. It’s just that my caravan doesn’t have a horse. I got the most delightful Christmas card from my friend this year with a gypsy caravan on it and I think I want top try and scan it and make it my blog banner for the year.

      You don’t know how relieved I am that you saw those colours and liked ’em. These banners have been such a challenge for me – I knew I’d end up over-doing them and I have! Two are completed and now I know where I am going with them so you should see them at some stage during this year 🙂

      And the reminder of the pain poor Orlando endured six months ago when Siddy arrived so abruptly on the scene – I had forgotten about. He lived on the fridge for the first three months. He travelled about the place without touching the floor and everything got moved to accommodate his need for height and space away from the boundless enthusiasm and rampant ignorance of boundaries that was the new puppy. The thaw was gradual and some things happened so slowly even I who was on the look out for them, did not always notice exactly when something changed. I do remember the first time they met on the floor without O having a nervous breakdown. And the first time they touched noses and the first time O bent his head down so Siddy could lick his ear. And the first time they shared a chair without O having yet another meltdown. Now they tussle to see who gets to sit on my lap in the evening and who can sit the longest on the floor, side by side, without movement – Siddy always loses! Orlando has learnt to line up judiciously when the treat drawer is opened so that he too gets a little something even though he has done nothing specifically ‘good boy-ish’ to earn said treat.
      And he has learned how to bound across puppies head when the lap is in danger of being compromised.. Siddy has learned to sit, quivering with anticipation, to the side of the door when O is going in or out and not jump on him immediately. O has learned that if he gives Siddy a head butt he gets a few more seconds of peace at floor level before the inevitable leap comes and if he is not quick enough he, Orlando, is splayed flat beneath the not inconsiderable weight of a round and enthusiastic pup………….. Ah the joys!! Thanks for the memories 🙂 xoxo

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      • I think the cape and mask should be entirely metaphorical as imagine trying to go to the supermarket in them. I have reached the ripe middle age of 51 without having much of a clue about anything to be honest. I think it would be very cruel of “the fates” to assume otherwise ;). You are indeed more Gypsy than anything else and your art echoes that gypsy spirit. What a great idea to use that caravan as your blog banner. I am laughing about Orlando lining up for treats. Bezial would stand on his head if he thought it would help him get an extra one and Earl lines up as if he has done something (anything would be a nice change…) to earn one as well. Kids eh? 😉

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  14. This is the best post I’ve read this year so far. You inspire me. I’m a bit behind you but the process is similar. In other areas, I’m a bit ahead. I remember last year sitting in my apartment thinking I had found the best one ever. I loved it and made it my own. Thinking I would be happy to stay put and be perfectly content with it till the end. That’s when this place popped up. I think when we have deep gratitude and contentment with what is, the rest just flows in. Being open to the new while in deep appreciation of what we have seemed to make all the difference.

    I’m finally starting to settle here but if Alys showed up and saw all my clutter, she would have a slight (maybe large) fainting spell. I want to purge so much more and that’s what will happen throughout the next year. I’ve given away SO much this year but as I look around, SO much more needs to go. I put up Christmas this year to reorganize it and to see what needs to move on.

    I’m going to take some time this week to look at my numerology chart, astrology chart and do some deep meditation while waiting for my son to move in. 2014 has been a year of transition for almost everyone I know. I’m hoping 2015 is one of culmination. All the energy expended finally brought to fruition. I have my home that I can share with those who need a resting spot. Now I want to complete many of the creative and personal tasks I had set for myself.

    Happy New Year Pauline and squeezes to your fur babies.You always give me food for thought. Thank you for being the kind and wonderful person you are.

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    • It’s all a process isn’t it! In so many ways I think we followed a similar path last year – the home making and ‘settling’ part anyway. I enjoy our connection very much and am looking forward to walking along side as you continue your journey this year. Another friend just left a comment here on my numerology chart and it was spot on. I am always completely surprised when it turns out I’m ‘text-book.’ I’m constantly surprised 🙂 Happy New Year Marlene 🙂 ❤ xoxo

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  15. Pauline, BIG congratulations to you for such an “active” year. Your words are action words. You decided to begin living in the present moment. You decided to let things go, both tangible and intangible things. You set goals and worked hard to accomplish them, and you created a lovely home and space for yourself.
    You’ve shared yourself with us and made us all fans and followers.
    I look forward to following along this year.
    Keep breathing, my friend! ❤

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  16. Hi Pauline, I was very impressed by the photographs of your workspace. I am sure you spend many happy hours there.

    I retired from the workforce not from life. In fact, I now engage with life quite differently now I have more time to ‘smell the roses.’

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    • Isn’t it wonderful – retirement. I recommend it to everybody 🙂 Thank you for coming by my blog Margaret and taking the time to make contact – it is much appreciated and I hope you will visit again!

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  17. Happy New Year Pauline. I enjoyed meeting you last year on your blog and continue to be touched by your words. I love that you choose a word, Im going to have a think and choose one for me. Hoping that 2015 will turn out to be creative for you, see you again soon xx

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    • Hi Jenny, Happy New Year! Now that is very good! Please will you share your chosen word? The real fun part is the retrospective where you get to check out and see what life really gifted you – is it the same word or will another appear?

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    • Thank you very much! 🙂 And thank you for coming by and taking the time to make contact too – and as you are my first new follower for 2015 who has done so there is a small gift ready for you. Please send me your address via my ‘contact me’ page and I’ll send you a couple of postcards. Happy New Year! Pauline

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  18. Wow, Pauline, what a wonderful year, indeed! Your perspective and creative flow ooze through these words, but the structure is there, too. You turned 65 this year, and if I have your DOB correct (9-5-1949) 2014 was a creative, playful, cocoon-spinning “3” personal year (Numerology) for you, and 2015 is a “4” year, meant for practical foundations, giving form to all these new ideas. Looks like you’re right in the cosmos. 🙂 I’ve loved watching all your transformations this year, and look forward to our continued friendship. Hugs and much aloha, Christi

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    • Aha! Yes, you have the date right and isn’t it nice to know I’m text book tracking just as I am supposed to. Certainly last year appears to have been right on track and the words are exactly right for the leit-motif of the year – which even I did not know I was involved with until I got to the end and did my retrospective. ‘Four’ years are usually challenging for me because I’m not good at sticking with things to deepen them – I’m a will’o’the wisp, a dilettante, a player not a star. So I am fascinated to see I have signed up for the hard yards in a 4 year 🙂 Perhaps the times they are a’changing!

      Thank you for taking the time to look me up and give me that picture, You are a gem!

      I too value our connection and look forward to the growth and deepening of it as another year carries us on. Arohanui and hugs to you both! xoxo Pauline

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  19. What a beautiful post, Pauline. You really are an inspiration. The understanding of yourself, of life, and of people….well it’s absolutely inspiring! It takes a lot of courage to dig deep and and you seem to have done that in such a marvelous way. May 2015 be a fabulous year for you I look forward to reading more of your journey.

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    • It’s been a life time of deep digging Jan – I think I have been granted a period of rest and am doing my best to enjoy it and learn as much as I can without pain 🙂

      I am glad you are here and thank you for your kind words and active participation in this blog. Have a most wonderful new year and I wish you all the best for 2015.

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  20. I’m moved to tears by your post, Pauline. You are a profound breath of fresh air.
    It clearly was an extraordinary year for you. You’ve opened your heart and your soul and wonderful things flowed in: a smart and adorable companion named Siddy, a glorious garden view, healthy and delicious eating from the soil you tend and a new car to move around in your retired world. Your space is lovely. Settle. Your golden word for 2014.

    I’m excited to hear more about your class and delighted you’ve been able to recreate your craft room into a more viable, and certainly beautiful, space. It was charming before, but now it speaks to the you of now.

    Enjoy all the wonderful things the year ahead has to offer. I’m so happy to be a part of your circle.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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    • Thank you dear Alys – you always make me feel seen and understood 🙂 The definite theme really only became so clear as I was writing – this is another gift of retrospection I suppose. I am now going to be interested to see if my chosen words carry through or if they are usurped by some other process that organically occurs. In a years time I shall have to remember to look back here. I shall do my best to remember to breathe deeply throughout the year – no matter what is going on. And I am deeply happy that you are here with me, thank you!

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  21. so lovely to read such a contented post – I am reminded that ‘There is great gain in Godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we will take nothing out.’ We had a bad house fire once, and were able to discover that things are only things in the end, and friends are all you need…

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  22. Hi Pauline, I enjoyed sharing 2014 in the world of blogging with you. I love that you have settled in nicely in your home that is not by the sea, but peaceful and charming as if it were by the the sea. I like it that you have a new feeling of lightness as you parted with physical and emotional stuff. I like your new words for the 2015…create and breathe. Thank you for all the inspiration you’ve given me this year. Thank for your sharing your gift of creativity with me and the rest of the blogsphere. I wish you a fabulous 2015! May good health, warm friends, and contentment be your constant companions.

    Happy New Year, Pauline!
    xoxoxoxoxo

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    • Happy New Year Elaine! Thank you for this lovely message – I have had a lovely start to the year already! I hope you had a warm and happy holiday with your family and a bit of a rest from the classroom. I wish you health and happiness for 2015! xoxo

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  23. Your post is a great reminder to us all . . . “bloom where you are planted.” Enjoy waving farewell to 2014 and giving a warm welcome to 2015.

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  24. What a wonderful year 2014 was for you, Pauline. I love the idea of one word for the year rather than resolutions. I’ve been doing it for a number of years and so far, it’s worked well for me. I always love to see photos of your creating space, the colors and the view to the outside is so lovely. Wishing you the very best in 2015! Thank you for sharing a photo of my favorite WP puppy! Hugs to all! xo

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    • Thank you Jill! The ‘word’ is a new concept for me and I am especially intrigued by the retrospective word. I hope I shall remember to pay attention in a year’s time and see if my chosen words turn out to be right. Happy New Year Jill, and all the best with your writing projects. xoxo

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  25. Wow–what a great post, Pauline! I wonder if, had you chosen your word at the beginning of 2014, “settle” would’ve occurred to you? And yet it turned out to be so perfect. I like that you made the decision to be happy and got on with it–no “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” for you! Happy New Year to you, the sweet dog boy, and the gorgeous cat!

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    • You are correct Kerry – ‘settle’ is not a word I would ever have considered – especially given all the connotations of it! yet everything [except the legal meaning] has some relevance to the process. Intriguing how things transpire isn’t it! Happy New Year to you and your wonderful spouse too!

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  26. What a lovely post… I too am being creative with Tasmania in mind… although I have deviated from the original plan… well, that’s creativity for you! I’m going to need those two addresses from you soon!
    I am so glad you have settled…now you have taken root you can really blossom!
    xxx

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    • You realise you have just given me permission to go all over the houses with my contribution? I have had such difficulty making bunting – it simply doesn’t inspire me. Who knew! But I have promised myself to get the major part completed by tomorrow evening……. I have an art course starting the day after!
      Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Have a wonderful end of year and gracious and creative beginning to the new. xoxo

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  27. This is such a moving post. I know a cottage by the sea would be lovely, but you have a rare talent for bringing beauty to your surroundings, wherever they might be. You have been such an inspiration in 2014, and I wish you (and Siddy, and Orlando) all the joy and creativity and love and peace in the world for 2015. You deserve it. The pictures you sent me sit on the wall of my study, and make me smile. Thank you.

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    • Dear Twisted! Thank you for those thoughts – I am glad my drawings make you smile. Your blog makes me smile every time so it seems a fair exchange! I look forward to tagging along in the shadow of your yarnish creativity next year! xo

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  28. Beautiful.. inside and out, you, your space and your blog. I enjoy reading about your adventures and seeing your extra cute pup and oh so patient and handsome cat. Who needs magazines when I have such wonderful blogs to look forward to 🙂 Thank you for sharing your journey and I really look forward to reading next years installments.
    Happy New Year x

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    • Kym – thank you for that so lovely comment! And it makes me smile to think about all the magazines we bloggers don’t read as we are too busy reading about real stuff from real people! Thank YOU for following my ramblings, sharing my journey and cheering me on. I hope you have a wonderful and settled 2015.xoxo

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  29. How lovely is your creative space, especially in the way it looks upon your small, but flourishing, garden. My decluttering is ongoing. But I will get there and, like you, will be able to breathe. Your blessing is perfect; one of my favourites. Wishing you more contentment and peace in 2015, as well as wonderful creativity.

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    • Thank you Gallivanta. I have realised decluttering is an on-going process – one that has layers to it. I think I spent much of this year discovering another layer and another layer. I guess one could keep at it til there are no more possessions to sort through …….. Now there’s a thought! Happy New Year!

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