2015 : Looking Back

January 3, 2016

Well, that was 2015. Apparently. I mean, I don’t really recall seeing it in full detail myself, but I’ve heard rumblings on the street that yes, that was indeed the year 2015 done and dusted. Huh. I guess that means it’s time for another summary of the year that was, hey?

I’m going to cut right to the chase and say it – 2015 feels as if it’s been far less impressive than 2014. Last year I went overseas for the first time, presented at a conference for the first time, started taking blogging more seriously, made lots of things for my Etsy shop. This year? Not so much. There were no overseas trips, no presentations, no big steps on the blog front, and I actually stopped making things for my Etsy shop and temporarily closed it. Definitely less impressive than 2014.

Or is it?

At first blush, that’s what I thought. I looked at the different aspects of my life – uni, work, blogging, making – and was left feeling a little disappointed in and sorry for myself. But then I realised that it’s not always about how many new things you started or saw or experienced. Sometimes it’s about just keeping on going. Maintaining. Staying steady, staying on track. Those type of years can certainly run the risk of appearing boring or not worthwhile in retrospect, but it takes hard work and some guts to stay on track. *TRUTH BOMB*

2015 has been one of those years for me. I’ve designed, run, analysed, and written up one of three studies for my thesis and made slow progress, but progress nonetheless, on the second. I’ve sent off two manuscripts for publication (fingers crossed they get accepted). I’m in charge of teaching a whole unit at uni (who let that happen, just quietly). I lectured in front of 100+ students again and actually felt pretty comfortable. I collaborated with two excellent bloggers (I’m looking at you, Isabel and Laura). I took lots of photos that I’m proud of. I read a craptonne of books (yeah, not quite the 50 I’d aimed for but still – LOTS). I paused and stripped back my Etsy shop to figure out what it was that I actually really wanted to make.

A lot of these things seemed quite ordinary, or maybe even insignificant, when they first happened. But reflecting on them now? Man, am I proud. They may be small things when compared to travelling overseas or moving into a new house or getting a new job but sometimes the small things really make the difference, don’t you think? Besides, I have an inkling 2016 will hold some pretty sweet big things for me…but more on that in upcoming post.

So tell me. How was 2015 for you? What are you particularly proud of achieving in this year just gone?


    1. I think it’s perfectly okay to have a consolidating year, or a reflective one, where you just sort of sift through what’s working and what isn’t. I’m pretty proud of myself for starting my blog this year – having the guts to hit the ‘publish’ button and put my words out there. Taking the plunge has been well worth it as I’ve met some pretty ace people both online and in real life. I’m also pretty pleased with the number of books I’ve read, the woolly things I’ve made and the sketches/illustrations I’ve plugged away at. I think maybe 2016 will be my consolidating year before I make the transition to being free of school commitments and routines next year *happy dance* *fist pump*. Look forward to reading about the big things for you!

      1. I agree! It was a pretty good year in the end and pretty important in just keeping me going.
        Starting a blog is a big thing! And yours is so lovely and doing so well! I love your drawings as well – that’s another thing I’d like to do more of this year.
        Hooray for being free next year! That is going to be so great ๐Ÿ˜€
        Thanks Carolyn ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think reflection is so important. Not the kind you are doing in this post but the kind you were doing when you stopped Etsying and made tweaks to your blog etc. The starting new things is great but reflecting, making changes and maintaining is so vital to the future of any projects and its kind of when the real stuff starts happening. Sometimes it’s not as much fun as starting but is so important. And just keeping things alive is HUGE. Keeping blogging, keeping making and thinking about making, keeping PhD-ing. Yep, a good 2015 for you!

      1. Precisely, Laura! And it’s something I tend not to recognise in the moment when I’m actually doing it. It’s only after, when I actively think back and can see clearly with hindsight, that I can really see the value of pausing. Yep, I’m pretty happy overall with 2015 ๐Ÿ˜€ Looking forward to this year too! Hope you are as well ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    1. Reading your summary and reflection this morning has made me feel proud of myself for keeping on going last year. I believe there is so much value in just doing that, despite what life throws at you to maintain some sort of momentum or even just stay afloat being true to yourself. Sounds to me like you did a lot! And me, I’m glad I have kept up with my creativity, blogging and kept our family on track through the ups and downs of 2015. Here’s to a happy healthy and creative 2016. p.s looking forward to seeing what you make for your etsy shop ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Definitely, Emily! You had a big year last year, especially nearing the end. And you did some excellent creative work and blogging too! Go you! I hope 2016 is a wonderful year for you in all your pursuits ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks! I’m feeling pretty good about the Etsy shop – I just wish I could make more time for it all. Thanks for commenting, Emily ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You know what, I think maintaining good things in life can be even harder, and more important, than starting new things. Maybe it depends on your personality, but sometimes I think a constant grasping for the shiny, new and exciting is actually not such a good or healthy thing. Personally I get a bit low when I haven’t done some major life shattering thing, ie move to China. I think I need to practice maintaining, consolidating, and valuing the good in the here and now. 2015 was a great year for you, from an outsider’s perspective! Such cool things you did, and many more that you will do in 2016 and beyond. Your blog kept me sane in China and connected with Melbourne happenings, and for that I’m super thankful x

      1. Oh Isabel, such lovely words! Thank you so very much – that means a lot to me. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog ^.^ And I think I agree – it definitely varies from person to person, how much “new stuff” one seeks. I like it sometimes, especially since travelling for the first time, but agree that maintaining and holding the fort also has its time and place.

        I think 2016 is gonna be a ripper of a year for you too! I’m very excited for all the things you’ll no doubt get up to ๐Ÿ˜€ x

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