2016 was really sh*t. Not just because of the politics but because of my mental state. It may come as a surprise but I had managed to become quite disillusioned with my business; Forage Botanicals.
I never thought I'd be rich as a herbalist but this is really taking the biscuit. As I've matured I've stopped taking as much pleasure from doing things I enjoy for a living, if they prevent me from being able to contribute to the family funds.
I've been reading a lot of Virginia Woolf lately. If you haven't already, you really should read A Room of One's Own at least. She was writing in a time where most women didn't work, couldn't work, and certainly didn't have a wage of her own. They were reliant entirely upon the gifts of their husbands for the lifestyle they led. Virginia was one of a tiny minority of women that did actually earn and have their own money. She was experiencing a freedom few women would know in that time. Her books record that and she writes about how important it is for women to earn money and have a room of their own.
Thankfully, I don't live in those times and I am free to do as I wish. But I am very aware that I am not able to contribute to my future in the same way my husband can.
I have to say, I've never felt the pressure of earning enough for it to affect Forage. I keep them quite separate. In fact, at the start of 2016 I got a part time job to help with the problem instead. I work at Middlesex University now. As a dispenser for their training clinic.
But despite that, the fact that Forage wasn't making the money I had been promised from the countless business courses I'd been on. I got myself into a money-centric-fog. Whatever I was doing I couldn't appreciate the small achievements because it was never enough. This feeling is what I've been reflecting on over Christmas. How to alleviate it. How do I lift the mist?
I knew I had to realign with why I do this. Why do I work so hard on Forage? It's certainly not for money or I would have given up ages ago. So I thought I'd make myself a mood board. I collected up all the gorgeous magazines I loved from 2016 and started chopping into them. Distilling the essence of what I love about them into a single collage.
I'm a visual person and I knew what I was looking for as soon as I saw it because it lit me up. I took out the images that made my heart swell with excitement. Through this process I remembered that I have Forage because I want to help people connect with nature. I want people to feel, deep in their heart, how beautiful the natural world is. Because it's not possible to keep depleting its resources and acting with complete disregard for it once that connection has been made.
It's mutually beneficial you see. When we live more naturally we get healthier, and the earth does too. So this year, 2017, I'll be measuring my success by how many people I help connect with Mother Nature. Not how many pennies are in my pocket.