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2016: Slowing Down and Dreaming Big



2015 was a great year for me and after this holiday I'm dreaming big and planning on taking things a little slower in 2016. As you undoubtedly noticed, I took some time off from blogging—like really off, for the first time since maybe ever. I’ve been blogging since 2007 and while it began as a hobby I was always fanatical about posting. Every time I traveled I’d work around the clock before my trip to have posts ready to go up while I was away and then while I was traveling I would continue to work on new posts to share when I got back. I even took pictures to share on the blog on my honeymoon (no regrets because Matera was too gorgeous not to excessively photograph)! It worked for a time but for the past year the relentless pace I set for myself was starting to really wear on me. I didn’t even notice how tired I was until this Christmas when I actually stepped away from e-mails, stopped taking photographs, and stopped writing posts for a full week. In the blink of an eye I had finished an entire novel that had been sitting in my bedroom for months. New notebooks were suddenly teeming with lists and ideas and inspiration. And I spent lazy, full days with family and loved ones doing nothing but eating, catching up, and watching the occasional holiday movie.
Stepping back was a big reality check. I’ve always felt that you can’t be a workaholic if you love your job. And you definitely aren’t allowed to complain about your job when you do the sort of thing I do! But stepping away from the computer, seriously saying no to work and ignoring the constant influx of e-mails and messages for a short time made me realize my job has been burning me out. And while I never thought I was sacrificing quality (because I would break my back to keep the quality up no matter the circumstance), I suddenly realized that my blog would be better if I stepped back more often to get refreshed and re-inspired.
Taking a break boosts creativity. Working constantly doesn’t mean your work isn’t good, but the direction of your work tends to be more limited. For me I was focused on a certain pace and quality of image; so frequent posts and decent photographs were what mattered to me. But what about style development? What about exploring different directions you can go—rather than trying to run a mile at a certain speed, I realized I need to look at the different routes my figurative running can take me. Maybe it’s a little slower to run uphill, but the view at the top could be spectacular, no? 
What does this mean for this blog in 2016? Don’t worry if you like what I’ve been doing for the past seven years—it’s going to be a lot of the same moving forward in the new year! I’m still a personal style blogger and I still plan on sharing outfit posts as often as I can. However, I might not be posting as frequently as I have in the past in favor of more thoughtful, more highly crafted posts. I’m going to be more intentional about my style direction too; experimenting and sharing casual looks as well, but honing in on different vintage styles I’ve been admiring for a long time but not attempting often enough. I’ll also be introducing new types of posts (guides to vintage dressing, the occasional recipe) and bringing back old favorites (like easy-to-follow photography guides). And I'm working on some big and exciting off-the-blog projects; things I've always wanted to do but never seemed to have the time for.
So, here's to 2016; a year where I hope to be more intentional, dream bigger, and achieve more. I write this between bouts of packing and preparing for my flight back to Northern Ireland. I've enjoyed my time away seeing family more than words can say, but I'm also eager to be back in my tiny gatehouse knuckling down for awhile and putting some of the ideas I have into action. 

13 comments:

Klara said...

That sounds great and I'm so happy for you! It's so refreshing to figure out stuff like that. Rooting for you, as always.

Rachel Elizabeth said...

I love this so much. I am also trying to do a similar thing I just put up a post today on taking life a bit slower in the new year. Its important for yourself to take that time out to become reinspired by the world around you and actually enjoy it. I look forward to what you will do in 2016!


http://www.lifewiththeroofdown.com

Pat Palmer said...

I'm so glad you and Thomas had a long visit with family and away from work. I think you are wise to begin slowing down and do take time to smell the roses and read the books that you would like to read. I'm sure your blog will not suffer from this.

erin @ thh said...

I am so excited to see this change for you this year! And very much looking forward to the new (and not new) types of posts you'll be including. I really do think you've kept up an incredible level of quality despite the frequency of your posting, so I am really eager to see these more finely crafted and thoughtful posts--I know they will be great. I found your blog about a year ago and have enjoyed following along so very much through 2015. All the best for the new year, and your new plans!

Signe A. Svendsen said...

Hey, I would ask you if I could lent some of your photos to a blogpost about my favourite blogger, and that is you:) There would be a link of course, and credit to you.

Justina Kenyon said...

I think this post is already a sign of being more thoughtful and intentional. I hope this change will renew you and keep you excited and happy about your life. While I have loved your blog for many years, I am excited to see the new directions you take it in. Plus, I'm always up for a good recipe :)

Julie Talbot said...

So happy to hear your had a nice break, you certainly deserve it. I think you should absolutely take more time for yourself- I have no doubt your blog will be even more spectacular for it. Can't wait to see what new ideas you come up with! Happy New Year!

Damaris // The cat, you and us said...

This new year looks very exciting, I think you are already very creative & thoughtful in your current sessions so I can only imagine how amazing they are going to be now! I'm very looking forward to see them, read your tips on fashion, food and photography. I love to see your approach to photography when travelling so I cross fingers there are also "postcards from" and/or guides in your plans ♥ Wish you a magical 2016!

Damaris | The cat, you and us

sleeping24/7 said...

As another American living in Ireland, I'm excited for you :)
Elitealien.blogspot.ie

sleeping24/7 said...

As another American living in Ireland, I'm excited for you :)
Elitealien.blogspot.ie

mentinfusion said...

Happy new year Rebecca!

I am so eager to see what new things you will bring us.
I also have a request, I know you don't really like the big chain stores like H&M, etc, but i would love to see every once in a while what you would pick from these stores and how you will style them.
x

Style Bits & Bobs of M.E. said...

Such great goals. I find myself having to do the same too. I'm so glad I found your blog late last year. I really like your style. :-) Here's to 2016!

larkspurvintage.com said...

this was very inspiring for me to read. i've been thinking alot about this exact thing. i've been struggling to post as often, feeling absolutely burnt by the amount of work i expect of myself and quality at which I will not sway from. it was nice to read something about this that didn't come from my own brain, but so perfectly articulates the way I have been feeling and the direction at which I would like to go this year. I've been feeling wholly uninspired, which is dead clear when you go to my blog and notice how infrequently I have been posting. sometimes I feel so inadequate and alone, in that all these bloggers can post such great content so often, and lately I can only muster a few posts a week, if that. anyways, all that ranting to say, this was nice to read. and im looking forward to everything you share, as always. here's to a year of being more thoughtful and a little easier on ourselves <3