Reflections and Intentions


At the close of the day on Christmas eve, we stood with a small, hushed, group of people and gazed skywards, over Ham Wall hoping to see the starlings murmurate, after the frenzied build up to Christmas, it was a joy to stand in the quiet, as the sun slipped away and wait for possibilities. The starlings didn’t come together in a great clouds and display. They simply passed over in small groups and I took photos of reeds instead (which I posted on Folklings).
Some waiting had tried over again over to see a full display, it takes time and patience. The starlings are late this year, giving more time, the weather is milder. Time and patience is always something I’m short on.

As someone wiser than me, pointed out yesterday, 6th of January, that to come to Social Media land with New Year aspirations is very late to the party. Here I am! Late but laden down with intentions. Over the past week, I have greedily read articles on the year ahead, I have consumed post after post on aspirations, intentions, resolutions. The social media world and their cat have picked a word for 2015 and I’m still mulling things over. I have been on a “big think”. Reflecting on the last year, surprised at how much I’d forgotten already, and the years that led to the point we are at now, permanently living in Bristol. Of course, I’ve been thinking about 2015. We are, finally, in a good place and I want to make 2015 count.

I started writing lists between Christmas and New Year; plans for the house, plans for us, plans for me, plans for travel, plans for the blog. I suffered plan/list fatigue and paused, deciding just to focus on January, because I am notoriously bad at adding things to a list and never reaching the item to tick it off (see Day Zero Fail). I have decided to set myself some intentions (avoids the word goal – too committing!) for each month. By giving some consideration and putting things here, I hope it gives me more motivation and focus.

Shake me heartily via the medium of social media if I try to slope through February a. without some new intentions and b. without mention of these.

Intentions on the table for January.
Hot chocolate because a cold, long January shouldn’t be about denial, it should be about being nice to yourself. Walk in winter sunshine, hot chocolate, long hot bath with a book.

Book: I really do want to read more, it is something I continually fail to do, if I put a book a month on the table and say “I am going to read this….” it’s the motivation, to get off social media and get into a book. I’m beginning with ‘H is for Hawk’, it is beautifully written and I’m enjoying the book and the act of reading.

Store cupboard eating: The tin of olives represents an intention to store cupboard eat in January. Make something from those tins that have sat there for a while, empty the freezer.  It also helps with being frugal.

Pennies: We have made a family commitment to being frugal this month, which isn’t hard as I spent all my money in the sales.

A sales splurge and Christmas presents combine, means that I’m over-hauling my wardrobe. This has been a long time coming, because of purchasing the house, I’ve not spent on clothes. I like to feel comfortable and confident, clothes contribute to that. My intention is to be ruthless. Out with the old; white with navy stripe and in with the new; navy with white stripe. (Long time readers know, I like a stripe, classic item).

The back room: I bought this bloom of Hydrangea for my desk in the back room. This week we ordered a sofa bed and this month I intend to put finishing touches to that room. The house needs to paced a room at a time, it is so tempting to want to everything at once. Putting my intention here curbs my over-enthusiasm. I am to focus on this room and get it finished.

Reflections: ‘Shelia Hancock, My Life with John Thaw’, I read this over Christmas, as the title suggests it’s reflections on their life together. It left me thinking about age, relationships and that I don’t often “hear” the voices and perspectives of older women. My own mother isn’t here any more and the magazines and media I read tend to reflect the experiences of younger women. It reminded me to take some time take some time to reflect, the years flash past.

For the last two years, I’ve completed the Susan Conway “unravelling the year” workbook, picked a word for the year, then I’ve shelved the workbook and failed to come back to it, entirely missing the point of using it as an on-going reference. This year may not be different, however I think it is a good exercise in reviewing the previous year and thinking about the year a head. And, yes, I am well aware that every blog I look at, a word has been chosen, I’ve failed to even open the workbook. At least I managed to print it off and I have January. Time and patience.

I want to make this year count, I want to ensure we do what we love as a family, which is exploring new places. The National Trust book arrived this week and my intention for January is to put aside time properly plan for the year ahead. Places, visits, spending time with people we love.

One last one for January, some blog housekeeping; broken links, tidy the side-bar. Dull but needs doing.

Right, there it is on the table my intentions for January. Hold me to it people.

Come on, what are your intentions/aspirations/resolutions for 2015?


  1. Emily Beale

    I love, love love this! I could see this turning into a month project – ‘my intentions for the month of …’! I love this month’s ideas! Good luck with them all, I hope they come together!
    And starlings, I have LOVED watching them this year. All through December they have been flying over Weston-super-Mare, I’ve never seen this before. Yesterday must have been a good day for murmurating (is that a word) as there were thousands!!! 

    1. helloitsgemma

      I’ve loved doing this and it seems to really work for me, I definitely think it will be a monthly project. I think I should try Weston for starlings, we didn’t have loads of luck at Ham Wall. 

  2. Lianne

    your intentions left a smile on my face…that’s one of my good intentions ticked off already: smile and laugh more 🙂 Thanks G!
    The cover of that book is gorgeous, let me know when you’ve finished it and I might want to borrow it (i often do judge a book by it’s cover)
    Another one (or 2 actually) of my good intentions is to be more social and explore more…from the corner of my eye I can see the NT handbook staring at me too, haven’t opened it yet to plan ahead. But if you need company on one of your trips…(we could go somewhere else on Saturday???) X

  3. Tinuke Bernard

    Lovely post as are the photos. Good idea to break down the intentions by month rather than looking at the whole year; it’s much more manageable and more realistic that you’ll reach all of your intentions / goals!

    I don’t have any specific ones but many mini ones, quite like you. Reading more, cooking as many meals as possible from scratch, making the most of my time with the little one before she outgrows me!

  4. 76sunflowers

    What a beautiful idea! Love the view of laying it out as a plan and a reminder. I have a word for the year – fulfilment – which is very open. I might borrow this idea for February and begin to break that word down! Enjoy your planning 🙂 x 

    1. helloitsgemma

      the National Trust is such a great discovery, I love exploring the places and so does my son, so much better than standing in a freezing cold park and the cafes are always better! x

  5. older mum in a muddle

    Happy New Year and I loved this post…. planning fatigue – I know exactly what you mean. I agree, January should be about relaxing and looking after yourself as much as you can, gathering all your energy before we are hit with spring (whenever that happens). X.   

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