Happy New Year! How was your break? I went up to Queensland to spend Christmas with my family, and enjoyed the balmy weather and many afternoon thunderstorms. I’d forgotten how hot and muggy it can be up there, as the contents of the suitcase I brought with me showed – far too many jeans. Not sure what I was thinking. But it was certainly a welcome change to be back in the state that’s ostensibly stuck in perpetual summer… Where I am in South Australia, it only just now feels like we’ve made it to the season – when most of us are back at work again, of course. All I can say is, thank god for daylight savings! It stays delightful and warm up until just after 8 p.m., so after-work beach trips are a very real possibility that I’m keen to take advantage of. 

Have you set any new year’s resolutions? I know it’s cliche, but there’s nothing wrong with using the turn of a new year to evaluate life and set some goals for the 12 months ahead. I recently did a ‘life audit’ (after seeing someone I follow on some channel do the same), where I thought and journalled about:

  • What I want out of life
  • What I would do if money weren’t an obstacle
  • Similarly, what I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail
  • Who I want to be as a person
  • What my ideal day and week looks like.

It was great to sit and write things out, even though I wasn’t overly surprised with my answers. There’s always something about seeing them on the page. 

A big aspect I want to focus on this year is getting over — or pushing through? — a fear I have about putting myself out there: with this blog, with my online business, and in this unfamiliar place that is my new home. I used to think it was mostly laziness that contributed to not getting done what I wanted to, but now I think, though laziness does play a part (because that’s a part of being human), fear plays a much stronger role: fear about what people will think, that I’m not good enough, that it’s silly to do what I want to do, and so on. So I don’t do the things that I want to do. And I’d like to change that.

I had a quick look at my blog this morning and saw only three posts since my last new year’s post. I’d like to give 2024 a few more words. I’m going to try posting at least once a month, even when I don’t think what I’ve written is any good, because that’s not the point. The point is to write, to enjoy the time I can take to think and write about life, and to document (and take more notice of) the special things about that life. I’ve decided that Sundays will be my posting days, and hopefully I can do them every couple of weeks, but I’m aiming for at least once a month. Small steps, you know? Here’s to the first Sunday post.

I also want to actively explore my new home, McLaren Vale, as well as the nearby city of Adelaide. I haven’t really given it a shot yet. And if or when I leave, eventually, it’d be a shame to know I didn’t give it a fair chance to love. It’s true: if I hadn’t met Nick I would have never left Brisbane to live anywhere else for probably longer than a year. But, it was still my choice to move with him to his hometown, and I’m taking more notice to shut down the sneaky thought I have at times that I’m not here by choice. I am. Plus, I’m clearly in my head a lot (hah!), and some new experiences will likely work wonders for me, not to mention that they usually involve exercise, another plus for mental health. 

For instance, I’ve started to take long walks along the esplanade starting at Moana Beach early in the mornings some days before work. It only takes about 10 minutes to drive there, and sets me up to feel great for the rest of the day. There’s even a small coffee van at Moana, so I can treat myself when I’m done. I’ve noticed on two occasions a group of people braving the cold Southern Ocean, and I think I may want to join them! But even the walk by the ocean is a balm for the soul, without the 20-degree plunge before or after it. So I’m definitely going to keep it up — and who knows, maybe one day I’ll bring my togs with me.

I’ve also recently decided to spend a long weekend in Adelaide; as in, actually stay at a hotel or air bnb for a night or two, so we don’t have to travel the 45 mins home every night, and check out some of what the city has to offer. I thought I might blog about it as well, and create a ‘48 hours in Adelaide’ post or something like it. I’d like to check out restaurants and bars, as well as some exciting things to do during the day. 

Yesterday, a warm Saturday, Nick and I went to a friend of his family’s farm to pick mullberries from the enormous ancient tree behind their house. We took some gin and tonics, bread and cheese and enjoyed a picnic within the folds of the tree’s massive arms before and while we picked its fruit. The tree offered a magical escape from what was a very hot day; it created a natural alcove, reachable only by a small parting in its outer branches, that seemed to be several degrees cooler than outside. In and around this shady alcove, many of the tree’s huge branches dived to the ground before twisting back up again, giving us plenty of places to perch and enjoy our lunch. The ground was spongey, littered with fallen leaves and overripe berries, whose colour and smell only added to juxtapose our little haven from the outside world. We picked berries for a few hours, until sticky blood-red juice was running down our forearms, and came out with almost 5 kilograms of berries, which Nick promptly turned into more than 5 litres of cordial. I’m sipping on a glass now mixed with ice cold sparkling water – delicious. 

This week, it’s back to work more seriously (I took it slow last week), and I’m really working hard to finish my online course in the next few months. Again, I know I need to up my online presence as a business owner. I think I might take half a day to create and schedule some content. This way, it can be published automatically while I’m doing and thinking of other things, and perhaps this method is a lot less painful? Anyway, we’ll see.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

E. xx