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The holidays are officially here!! Yes, I still have a little shopping to finish but I think I’m nearly ready. Tonight I’m on wrapping duty and tomorrow night we’ll be on IKEA-play-kitchen-assembling duty. But before I log off and rush back out the door to finish said shopping, I want to thank you for choosing to take a few minutes out of your day to read the blog and be a part of this community. I know that you are all very busy and I am so appreciative that you choose to stop by and spend time here. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

I have also been trying to carve out some time to reflect and plan for the year ahead. Some of you may already know about my obsession with the Design Yourself podcast hosted by my lovely friend, Sharon Lipovsky (if you’ve been following, you may remember her from this post). If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and give it a listen. In a recent episode, Sharon posed 10 important questions in the context of giving thanks that made me pause and reflect, and I thought it would be fun to share some of these questions – and my responses – with you to offer you a moment to pause before you are completely engulfed in the season (if you’re not already).

These prompts also help me think about where I should focus my energy for 2017 (I’m not big on resolutions, I prefer to select a “theme” for the new year that I try to stick to). For a complete list of Sharon’s questions from this episode, check out her show notes here.

1. What makes you happy?

I love sitting down for a meal together with my little family, which right now only happens on weekends and usually only on Sundays. It’s such a simple thing, but it makes me so happy. And laughing with my toddler who is so funny and sweet melts my heart; I could do it all day. Also geeking out over design stuff and writing this blog bring me so much joy.

2.  What are you most proud of professionally and personally?

For me this is a joint response for both; I think it’s hard to separate my personal from my professional life. I am proud that I asked for, and received, help at work (I am now on a reduced-hours schedule at my consulting gig after many years of long hours and travel). This gave me some breathing room to start something new (like this blog, for example) and spend more time at home with my daughter. In other words, it gave me more time and space to do things that make me happy (see my response to #1).

3. Consider something that has been difficult for you this year…what have you learned from this situation?

Starting and maintaining this blog was, and continues to be, difficult! There is so much to learn from the technical perspective let alone trying to create good content. I have learned that in order to persevere and get better at something, I have to be willing to be bad at it for a while – this is very uncomfortable for me. Hopefully I get the hang of it soon:) And, again, thank you so much for being on this journey with me!

4. What’s one thing that you could let go of that would bring you a greater sense of peace and gratitude?

Letting go of my need to be doing all the time. I am one of those people who cannot sit still and I don’t think that is serving me well at this stage in my life. I could use some more time and space to just be and not do.

5. What are your greatest gifts?

I see the potential in everything and I am compelled to leave things better than I found them.

6. If you could give one gift to yourself, what would you want it to be?

Sleep and time are the obvious choices here, but as I dig deeper what I would really like to give myself is the space and time to be more creative and mindful without feeling guilty about everything else I should be doing instead. I know that this mindfulness is important, yet I’m not valuing it as much as my productive time. Maybe this will be my theme for 2017? Hmmm….stay tuned!

I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday! I am truly grateful for your support and I have tried to get this thing off the ground. Thanks for sticking with me and I am looking forward to what 2017 has to bring:)

Happy holidays from my family to yours and wishing you all the best in 2017! xx

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