So many challenges; but so much to be grateful for too
When I reflect back on all that has happened in the past year I can’t help but think that it seems we are living in two parallel worlds at the same time. In one world everything came to a grinding halt and all the securities and ‘ordinary’ things we were accustomed to and perhaps often took for granted disappeared in a blink of an eye. And it’s only now we are starting to realise the extent of this.
In the second world the days just fly by and each of them seems impossibly short. At least in terms of tasks and activities that always need getting done. Or perhaps it is just me. Maybe it is because I’ve chosen keeping myself busy and filling each day to the brim. Living each day to its fullest in order to get through this strange time. Squeezing happy moments from each day and most importantly taking time to think about all the good stuff that happened.
Even though we seem to live in a permanent state of uncertainty, worry and anxiety at the moment, we shouldn’t forget there is so much positive happening too. I, for one, feel the past year gave me a break I had been needing for a long time. A break to think about what my values and priorities are and how I would like my future life look like. Time to press pause, evaluate and recalibrate. And finding courage to start new things and projects too.
Starting something new: The Journal
I am sure you can agree that the last six months have not been kind to some of us and our intentions. For me having a new creative project and something to put my positive energy into has been a true blessing and it helped me to navigate through these difficult times. I am very grateful for being able to follow my dream of starting a little publishing branch of my business, where I can focus on creating beautiful and inspiring publications from Shetland.
Starting the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal has been my dream for a long time, and I am so delighted with how it came together. Created during these strange and challenging times, it wasn’t an easy feat, but it brought me joy and a destination to steer towards. I am grateful to have been able to start this new venture which will hopefully spread the joy of creativity and positivity further afield. My aim is to inspire through stories, beautiful photography, interesting interviews and personal insights into our lives here in Shetland.
One of the biggest compliments about the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal I received is that it was able to transport you to Shetland – at least for a little while. At the moment, since travel is on hold, our wanderlust is being satiated through photographs, books, podcasts, films and going back to places we visited through memories. I’m so happy I could contribute to this a little through the Journal.
… and why I started it
There are several things I’ve learned over the past few years of running a business, such as not being afraid of making bold decisions, not worrying about making mistakes or failure. All of this comes with time. But the most important, I think, is that if you come from an abundance mindset, good things will come to you. I really truly believe that! I think we can all achieve wonderful things if we put our minds to it and focus on positivity. Over the past few months I’ve seen many inspiring people starting new ventures or taking a different life path and that’s wonderful. Life is too short not to!
It’s always scary when creating something new. In particular when it is a big project that involves a lot of time, effort and money… That ‘s why I haven’t taken the decision to start a new publication lightly, despite it having been on my mind for a long time.
But sometimes decisions are taken out of our hands and we simply have to act. This was in the case last spring, when things virtually fell apart over the course of a few days when the pandemic unravelled. I had been gearing up towards the busiest Shetland Wool Adventures season yet, with fifteen regular as well as bespoke tours scheduled to take place. You can imagine how much effort and time it took to plan and book everything, to communicate with the clients on a personal basis to help everyone to prepare for their trip they have looking forward to for so long. But sadly it was not to be. Instead I was faced with the additional huge workload of trying to figure out what to do and how to keep my small company going… It felt desperate at the time to be completely honest.
“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”
And there is another quote, by Haruki Marukami which offers wisdom and much needed comfort when things are hard:
“Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.”
So one early morning, after a restless night full of worry about the future, the thought of starting the Journal came to me. All of the sudden things made sense! Some of you know that I was behind two Shetland publications that became very popular – 60 North magazine which sadly no longer exists and the Shetland Wool Week Annual. Publishing and print have always been something I enjoyed immensely. I love the feel of a beautifully produced book, magazine or brochure. And the smell! Am I the only one who smells new books when you open them? When I started in my old marketing job over fifteen years ago, the trend was going online and digital. But my passion had always been print and I always managed to persuade my former boss to print beautiful Shetland promotional material rather than going digital only.
I really ought to thank you personally for all your support and kindness. This wouldn’t have been possible without those of you who pre-ordered your copy, without you who contributed or without you who encouraged me and cheered me on this journey. Thank you so very much!
And if you have a dream I would like to encourage you to follow it and don’t be scared of the difficult moments on your journey. Good things will come to you!
I’m currently working on volume two that is scheduled to come out in April. If you would like to order volume one there are still a few copies available.
I’ve also added the Journal to Ravelry with details of materials, needles and more.
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