January. A new year. A clean slate. Time for resolutions that last until February, if you’re lucky. But it’s also a time to reflect. How do you sum up a year of your life? January 1 is just another day. Someone, some time, decided that the year would begin in January and end in December, but it is completely artificial, really. Yet you can’t help treating it as a significant milestone. Maybe there’s a sigh of relief at getting through the year unscathed. Perhaps there’s rising excitement about a special event coming up. Maybe you are tired and just want a holiday. Maybe this will be the year you get fit or thin or organised or give up smoking or take up knitting or learn a language or spend more time with your family or learn to live more simply. Maybe you are hoping for an uneventful year with no nasty surprises. Maybe this will be your year to shine.
When I reflect on 2014 it has been quite a momentous year for me and my family. This time last year I was living in my home of 22 years, in Sydney, Australia. I had a full time job, as well as my work as part of the pixels2Pages team. I had one son at home, and one living an hour away. I was a member of a church I had been attending since 1979. I had friends and family nearby, and life was pretty comfortable. Fast forward 12 months. If you’ve read my blogs or seen my pages on our pixels2Pages Facebook page you’ll know my life has taken some sharp turns since then. Instead of our hundred year old 5 bedroom semi-detached house in Sydney, we now live in an almost new, modern, two-bedroom apartment on a man-made island in Doha Qatar. My two sons are living in my house, together with two flatmates. I quit my day job, and I’m now an ex-pat wife living in the Middle East. Other than my husband, my family are all on the other side of the world. We’ve joined a new, large church and are learning new patterns of worship and lots of new songs. I’m a long way from my old friends of many years, but meeting new people and making new friends all the time.
It’s been (and continues to be) an amazing journey, and one I never expected that I would be taking. Life really does catch us by surprise sometimes. To be honest, we are loving life over here. We are empty-nesters for the first time, and while we do miss our sons we are loving the freedom and flexibility that comes with that territory. Quitting my day job has allowed me to devote more time to what I love better (pixels2Pages, of course!) but also to enjoy getting involved with other women here, and committing to regular activites like MahJong, craft groups, book club, the Natural History Group and more. And I’ve had opportunities to indulge my love of travel, which was one of the attractions of coming over here in the first place.
Of course, through all the changes, my constant companion has been my laptop, loaded with photos and my favourite programs, Artisan and Historian. I have created around 180 pages in 2014, but only finished one StoryBook and some canvas prints. I love digital scrapbooking for lots of reasons, not the least of which is its portability! I can work wherever I am, and setting up and packing away take moments. My completed albums take up hardly any room on my bookshelves. My goal for this year is to finish the several projects I have on the go, and get them printed! I love that the Panstoria Print Shop will ship direct to me over here in Doha, and I am determined to fill my coffee table with Photo Books of my travels, and my life in this exciting and very different phase of our lives. I’d like to say I won’t start any new projects until I’ve finished one I’m in the middle of – but I already did!
So no New year’s Resolutions this year, but I am setting myself a few goals. Get a new Fitbit (my last one died) and start counting my steps again. Get more involved in local life (I think 6 months is long enough to allow myself settling in time!). Finish all the unfinished travel scrapbook projects, and keep up to date on current photos. Ambitious? Probably. But if I can’t catch up this year, I will only be more behind next year or the year after. It’s not like it’s a chore! I love digi-scrapping!! I’ve been incredibly blessed with the amount of travel I’ve been able to do in the last few years, and the fabulous places I’ve been, so it is certainly no hardship to spend time reminiscing and reliving those times.
Below are a few pages from my unfinished projects. You can see I have my work cut out! If you’ve been with p2P for a while you might recognise a few of these from old Blueprints or videos. I’m a little embarrassed to reveal how far behind I am! I might need you all to keep me accountable. I have no excuses.
So what are your scrapbooking goals for 2015?