Today is the last day of January and a time for me to reflect back and look forwards after a long summer holiday with my girls.
They went back to school last week, and I spent those 3 days getting things organised, sorted and tidied up ready to begin my working year.
In the Middle
A couple of weeks ago, I had a funny thought and checked a statistic out - average life expectancy here in Australia.
I'm now 42 years old , and that average life expectancy for women is 84. Which means that I'm about half-way right now!
So is this my mid-life crisis? Maybe!
What I really feel, is excited at this statistic. When I think of quite how much I've learned, done and experienced in my first 42 years, the possibilities for the next 42 are incredible. The first few years of my life were spent learning to do things like walk, talk, feed myself etc. In this second half I'm already pretty proficient at that kind of thing, so I'm starting at a much more advanced point. Think of all the things I can learn, do, see, places I can go, things I can try...
I think as we get older, we maybe tend to make fewer, or perhaps less lofty long term goals and plans. When we are kids, we have the whole, 'what will I be when I grow up' to think about, the world is our oyster! Learning, choosing, studying and working towards what we want to do with our lives. But there's no reason why we can't do that at a more advanced age too!
Henry Ford, created the Model T car when he was 45.
Charles Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species' when he was 50.
Ray Kroc bought McDonalds when he was 52 and turned it into the world's biggest food franchise.
Colonel Sanders was 62 when he franchised KFC.
Martha Stewart hit it really big with the publication of her first book aged 41.
Samuel Jackson was 46 before he got his first major film role.
Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus at age 72.
What about me?
So having had this thought, I'm now standing at the beginning of a world of infinite possibilities! I'm starting to look at plans and goals I've made and set, and think that I need to think much much bigger, to start laying a foundation now for the next 42 years.
Whereas before I have thought that my blog has been going for nearly 6 years now, and I sometimes feel frustrated that I haven't managed to grow it bigger in that time. If I haven't made it big blogging yet, is it just a hopeless task? Should I just give up now?
NO! Absolutely not!
I'm now looking at it as 6 years of learning and foundation.
My motto is very much,
'Use what you've got'
as I mention often, so now my task is to use what I've built up over the past 6 years to take it to the next level. I've spent the past couple of years churning out LOTS of new sewing tutorials and a couple of e-books, but during that time I haven't really grown my blog. I share my tutorials in the same circles and on the same sites all the time. Maybe it's time to start stretching further afield. The internet is a massive place and I've only explored a tiny corner of it.
So I've decided that maybe it's time to pull back on the whole producing endless new tutorials and focus more on promoting and getting what I've already made, out there for more people to see.
I still have new tutorials planned for this year - but more like one a month rather than the one a week I was doing at several points over the past couple of years!
A New Look
This past week I've made a start on reworking my blog a little. I've thought lots and often about the whole change to Wordpress, and getting my own domain name. And I'd like to say a big thank you to all those who took the time to answer my questions about your experiences doing just that.
However, once again with my 'use what you've got' mentality, I've decided to stick with my Blogger blog with its mismatched domain name of 'jembellish.blogspot'!
'What's in a name' anyway? as Shakespeare famously said
(Romeo and Juliet).
A few days ago I decided it was time to add something to my blog that I've wanted for a while -
a drop down menu.
I know this is just a simple option on Wordpress, but not so easy on Blogger. However, as one of my favourite quotes says:
"If you really want to do something you'll find a way.
If you don't you'll find an excuse"
- Jim Rohn
Adding a drop down menu to Blogger wasn't simple and straightforward, but neither was it too difficult. I found this tutorial from a couple of years ago which helped me create the menu and insert it into my Blogger template. I had to fiddle around with the sizes and colours to get it just right for my blog. And then I had it working on my 'test blog' (one I created for trying out new things) but once I transferred it to this blog it didn't work! So more Google searches of my problem later I'd learnt even more about moving things about on Blogger.
In the end I got it to work and it was so satisfying to test it all out and see it working just as I'd imagined it!
Revamping the whole blog is going to be done gradually as I want to do it myself and that's going to take some time and learning on my part. No rush though - I want to get it right and I have plenty of time to do that!
Learning something new
The satisfaction I felt in creating the drop down menu on my blog was how I'd felt over the summer holidays when working with my youngest daughter on building cars powered by balloons, propellers and rubber bands.
We learned together how to build these cars and with lots of trial and error, made a few cars that worked. What a rewarding project that was. Spending the summer with my girls, learning and doing things with them, reminded me of how much fun learning and trying new things is and I want more of it!
This blog is just one aspect of my new thoughts about plans and goals. There's my family, my other education blog, my fitness, things to learn and places to go. I've made a small beginning with my blog - and have also decided I want to learn to crochet properly and have made a start on that! There are so many possibilities it's hard to know where to start - so I'm starting small and adding plans and goals as I go. This isn't like making New Year's Resolutions and plans. I'm not writing everything down and trying to do it all at once.
I do hope you'll continue to come back and read my continuing and growing adventures on this blog.
And do tell me - do you have goals and plans as an adult, as big as those you had as a kid? What are they? I'd love to hear your stories too!