My family and I were lucky enough to head off on a camping trip to Montana on the Macalister, a picturesque camping ground located near Heyfield in Victoria, and bought in the New Year together in the most relaxing way.
Seven days of no phones (if you haven't taken a serious break from your devices, I highly recommend it!) really has given my brain time and space to think, come up with ideas and really think deeply about what I want to do this year. I always have great desire and intention to sit down and map out what I want to do, but the distraction of tasks and my phone is always too great and I only end up writing small bits before I move on again. This holiday has given me a big wake up call in how important it really is to detoxify yourself and reset your brain away from the distraction of your phone. I am scheduling in some 'phone free time' on a frequent basis this year as the benefits I have discovered from this has been phenomenal.
Spending time in our little camper trailer was truly wonderful. I loved cooking with our little camp oven over the fire and made some really delicious meals! I was a bit nervous at first, but it is surprisingly easy to do. Take a look at the Damper I made... my first time and it was delicious with some butter and strawberry jam!
I relished laying back in my camp chair, gazing out at the splendid views around us.. the gorgeous trees and uniqueness of the Australian bushland with the beautiful Macallister River flowing past. Listening to the birds was magical, as was observing the stunning Wedgetail Eagles soaring above us every afternoon.
I absolutely loved the conversations we all had around the campfire at night, no devices to distract us. It really was one of the highlights of my trip! It was also wonderful to see all the kids around camp playing and amusing themselves in the water and playing games of cricket and football together. Isn't it awesome how easily kids connect and make friends?! If only it was that simple for us as adults.
Although I haven't set myself any New Years Resolutions (they've never worked for me anyway!) I have written down some things that I want to focus on in 2019:
1. Get back to working out three days per week.
This year I really fell off my fitness wagon and boy did I feel the result of that! I had constant leg and back pain - my work involves a lot of sitting and some days I was in agony from making earrings all day. I also really felt a difference in my stress levels and confidence. This year my fitness is going to be my priority as so many other facets of my life will benefit!
2. I am going to write more!
I love writing and find it therapeutic. While we were on our camping trip, I rediscovered my love and enjoyment of writing, so this year I am going to write many more blogs and share my life journey with you all.
3. Nourish my relationships with my friends and family.
In 2018 I often found myself saying, after a wonderful catch-up with people "We should do this more often!" or "We need to schedule in some time regularly as the year just seems to fly by!" (Sound familiar? Yup.... we all do it!)
This year I am going to put in focused effort to arrange time to see my loved ones regularly. Sure..! Life happens and sometimes plans do get cancelled. But honestly, life is so short and can get taken away from us at any time. Last year, the sudden and very tragic loss of a wonderfully inspirational and brilliant local woman, Kelly Koochew, really showed me just how fragile life really is and that anything can happen to us any any time, regardless of our age or how healthy we appear to be.
On the third of January this year, we had to say goodbye to my beloved Grandpa.
It was an honour to call him my Grandpa. I will never forget my beautiful memories with him and all the things he taught me as I was growing up. He was an exemplary role model for Jack and a beautiful man in every sense of the word. As distressing and awful as it has been watching him become so sick in the last four months of his life, he looked so peaceful when he passed and I am so relieved he is no longer in any pain. We are all heartbroken and I can't imagine my life without him. I will miss him terribly.
We mustn't let the 'busy-ness' of life take us away from the stuff that really matters - relationships and human connection. We must cherish every day we have with the people in our lives and let them know how much we love them.
I am so keen to make 2019 my best year yet. My ideas are written down. My plans and strategy are written down and I have important things scheduled in to make them happen.
Last of all, I'm going to do the things I want to do without fear of what people may think and I hope you will too!
Love, Courtney xx