Jan 082012
Firework Photography 101 by Matt Pasant


This week’s post is a day earlier than scheduled. Tomorrow I’ll be sailing around the fabled Whitsundays on Australia’s east coast – the last adventure before Paul and I return home after 18 months of travel.

What a year it’s been! I must admit, I was quite sad to bid farewell to 2011. It’s been the most spectacular year of my life. The year ended with Paul proposing to me on Sydney Harbor Bridge. How do you beat that?!!

I’ve never felt so free or happy or alive in the 34 years I’ve been on this planet. I think this was due to many things but the 3 that stand out are:

  1. I was following a dream I’ve had for this past decade
  2. I was sharing it with someone I truly love and connect with
  3. I was totally free – there were no ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’ in my life. I did whatever I felt like doing.

I’ve known about the first two elements ever since Paul and I took our first train out of London 18 months ago. But the 3rd element has been a recent revelation. It’s what’s inspired my commitment for this year.

I’ve decided that this year I’m going to snub resolutions and (gasp oh gosh) even goals! My commitment instead is to celebrate all the bits about me. Out with the ‘must achieve, or change’ and in with the ‘I like this about me and my life because’.

I’m sure many of you will find this counter intuitive. Surely we must have some kind of strategy to achieve anything in life. And maybe you’re right. I’ve been following that formula for quite some time in my life and truth be told, it has helped me achieve lots of stuff. But did it make me happier?

I was lucky in that I chose to test this out. A whole year of travel – no work, no goals, just my partner in crime, a back-pack and a sense of adventure is all I left London with.

Some people might look at what eventually turned out to be 18 months of travel as a waste. I spent all my savings, put my career on hold and chose not to put a deposit on a house. I’ve basically left  everything I’d built over the past 10 years of living in London.

On the other hand I’ve learnt so much about the world and about myself, that I can’t even put a value to it.

Two of the major things I’ve learnt this year (amongst many) are that:

  1. If I met the person I’d been trying to become – the thinner, more confident, self-assured, high achiever, super witty, extra clever, perfectly rounded gal… she would have scared me silly!
  2. The absence of ‘shoulds’ has meant I’ve laughed more, loved more, chatted to far more strangers, enjoyed more, connected more and funnily enough lived more.

So if you think the latter lesson is more important than achieving more here’s my proposition to you. Start the year by celebrating all things you. Do more of the stuff you love, less of the stuff you hate, cherish the quirks for they’re the things that set you apart and just celebrate you! No attempts to change, just attempts to accept and appreciate.

Here’s to a year full of magic and miracles

With love



P.S. Firework Photography 101, a photo by Matt Pasant on Flickr.
P.P.S. I said yes!

  3 Responses to “Forget resolutions, this year is about something else”

  1. You just gave me goosebumps Karen! :)
    You are so right… inspirational stuff!

  2. You Go Girl Let nothing stop ,live and enjoy,

  3. Way to go Karen :) – love your thinking XX

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