49213116_537432966758073_2715236805082349568_nLong term readers of This Northern Gal will know that I usually avoid making new year resolutions. Instead I pick a word that I am going to focus on for the next 365 days, a theme that I want to bring into my life for that year. I’ve focused on things like positivity, happiness and friendship. It’s a habit that has done me well for the last few years.

This year however, I’ve struggled to pick a word. None of them seemed to fit.

And then I realised that 2019 wouldn’t be about a word at all. 2019 was going to be about a phrase I had to remind myself a lot of in the last few months and that I don’t want to forget in the new year. That phrase?

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

You see, 2018 was a good year. I read some fantastic books, went to the theatre and ate great food. It was the year I saw two short stories published and finished drafting two novels. I travelled to Bamburgh, St Andrews, Oxford, London, Paris and Bath. I started a job that I loved and a post-graduate course I had been looking forward to. I moved house. I read 89 books and wrote 133 posts on This Northern Gal.

2018 was a good year and a big one.

And towards the end of the year, I started to feel that. I don’t like to talk about the negative things on This Northern Gal but I pushed myself too far. In the last few months of the year, I was so busy and tired that I was barely reading, writing or blogging (three of the things I like most). I had burnt my candle at both ends and it was time to pay the price.

I spent my Christmas finally taking some time off and relaxing and it made me realise that I don’t want another big year. I don’t want to end 2019 as exhausted as I was by the end of 2018. I want this year to be full of laughter, smiles and terrible, terrible dancing.

And so, 2019 will be the year of realising that I have limits and that caffeine can only carry you so far. It will be the year of saying no and protecting my time a little better. It will still be a year of adventure but also a year of relaxing when I need to. It’ll be a year of respecting the fact that I am human and that there is only so much I can do. It will be a year of not being afraid of slowing down and relishing the little things.  It will be the year of remembering that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

It’ll be a better year because of it, I think. What does 2019 have in store for you?

Kelly x

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