At the conclusion of 2018, I feel like I’ve achieved more balance and a clearer vision of what I want out of life. I applied minimalism to my physical, digital, and mental worlds by clearing clutter in all three. While I wasn’t able to meet my goals of reading a book and completing a crochet project a month, I still found time for these activities- more so than I have in the past!
Here's a look back at my year of minimalism...
• I had some wonderful travel opportunities this year. Shelby and I went to Crawford Notch on my birthday to photograph the train tracks in the snow - something I’ve always wanted to do. Earlier this year I took Nanny and my cousin, Eddie, to Mystic, visited Providence, RI the following month, went to Lake George, NY in the fall, and was whisked away to LA on an impromptu business trip with the fabulous Emshika!
• This year Mom and I enrolled in an intuition class and I feel that I am becoming more in tune with myself on a spiritual level. I’m also working on grounding and living less inside my head (goodbye insomnia!- someday). I’ve been using essential oils in more areas of my life and am also learning about crystals.
• As an extension of building my intuition and unloading clutter (in the form of personal baggage), I’ve made amends with the hurt I experienced from people in my past.
• I was asked to judge the Miss Littleton and Miss White Mountains Outstanding Teen pageants! It was an amazing experience and I discovered that I really love judging. (Whether that’s good or bad!)
• NH PBS produced a show on Littleton and I was interviewed! I shared the story of Tannery Marketplace owner, our former Serendipity Studios landlord, Ray Cloutier. Out of 37 interviews, I am proud that mine made the final cut! Check out NH PBS’ Our Hometown: Littleton.
• I’ve realized just how hard marriage is. All my life I’ve been focused on my goals, my dreams, and how I like to live from my routines to my mindset. And while being married hasn’t slowed down or impeded on these goals and dreams, the way I live my life has certainly shifted. Being married doesn’t mean you give up who you are, it means you adjust your way of living to mesh with the person you chose to marry. This year I’ve had a few serious conversations with Shelby about our household clutter, finances, and also how we each like to be treated. I’m going into 2019 with the mindset of compromise and respect (and Shelby is too!).
• I educated myself on minimalism, Kon-Mari, Swedish Death Cleaning, and other ruthless de-cluttering methods and have pared down my physical belongings at both home and the studio. In fact, for as long as I can remember my off season wardrobe filled two tote boxes. Now it only fills one! Not only that, even Shelby is clearing out his clutter. SUCCESS!
• I also went through my digital clutter by unsubscribing from email newsletters, going through emails, organizing files, and condensing my business social media accounts to minimize my marketing efforts.
• In the spirit of minimalism, I took a look at my businesses and determined which services I most enjoy offering and how I work best. As a result, I officially removed weddings from my MegaBug Photography offerings, restructured my MegaBug website to focus more on product and food photography, and shifted MegaBug from its own LLC to a dba of Nutmeg Media to reduce the time I spend on bookkeeping and accounting. Whew! I’ve also raised my rates a couple of times because I’m finally realizing what I’m worth. Furthermore, I’ve been exploring passive income ideas for both businesses.
• As an extension of my current business epiphanies, I also charted out my life and future business goals. They’ve been swimming around my head, causing confusion for some time and now I finally have a clearer plan of when I want to achieve each one. I also started vision and affirmation boards.
• Throughout the year I’ve been very hard on myself for not taking home what I was when I earned a full-time wage. But Shelby pointed out that I pay way more in taxes and expenses as a self-employed individual, so I decided to look at my gross income instead. Between MegaBug Photography, Nutmeg Media, I grossed MORE than I did working full-time. So I made more money this year than any other year in my life!
• And speaking of which, because I did so well in my businesses (a 20% growth to be exact!), I was able to quit my job at the Littleton Chamber back in August.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished this year in my life, businesses, and dreams. My goals are now becoming a bit loftier, but I know I’ve got this!