I’ve not planted my garlic yet. To most, this isn’t very meaningful, but to me, it’s a really big deal. I’ve been self-sufficient in garlic for at least six years, and this is the first year that those hopeful little bulbs have not been carefully placed into the cold November earth. I’ve also not planted my spring tulips – another source of frustration and anguish – another stick to beat myself with over the dark months.
It was bound to happen. I’ve been chasing my tail – and deadlines – all year. That said, it’s been the most fun, most challenging and most fulfilling year of my career life to date. I’ve grown immeasurably in these past 12-months, I know myself better than ever, and I’m stronger, more resilient. But now, it’s time to switch rollercoasters and take on a new challenge.
Last year I wrote a blog entitled Seeking Simplicity – and I was; seeking a more meaningful working life, one that left me physically and mentally tired, rather than emotionally drained and brow-beaten at the end of every work-day. I’m pleased to say that I fulfilled that promise to myself, and I’ve learnt much about my strengths – and weaknesses – in the 12-months since.
However, it’s now time to jump back on that helter-skelter wheel of fortune and take another risk; and another gamble at my future. I wasn’t looking for a change, but sometimes that change comes-a-knocking at your door, offering up a golden ticket. And like a car moving from the fast lane to the slow lane, I took a look behind the wheel to see what the view would be like.
In November I resigned from Shetland Life magazine, a decision that I have not taken lightly, and one that is not without a few misgivings. I have loved my time editing the magazine (and I know many of you enjoyed reading it). Where I felt nothing but relief leaving my previous job last October, I feel sad to be leaving the magazine after just over a year. I have learnt so much during my time carrying the editorial baton for such a fantastic publication, and I had so many ideas for the future – but that helter-skelter roller coaster kicked into play and offered me an unmissable opportunity. Scalloway Museum invited me to come on board as their curator for 12-months, offering a chance for me to get my teeth into what I was trained to do; what I loved to do before circumstance crushed my enthusiasm like a steam-train.
So, as we move into the New Year, I’ll move into a new role, and leave behind one that I have very much enjoyed. This new job will give me the chance to be more present in my day-to-day, I’ll be afforded the summer free to guide visitors and in the winter – the quiet months – I’ll be found pouring over the collections, unearthing the voices, from Scalloway’s rich past. It will also give me more time at home with the bairns – proper time. Time uninterrupted by emails, phone calls and constant deadlines bearing down on me.
I’ve become more than a little obsessed over recent months with the Myers-Briggs personality types and discovering my INFJ persona has allowed me to be kinder to myself. I finally understand why I am built the way I am, and more importantly, why we are all different. It has helped me realise why I like to work alone, why I thrive on solitude and why I need to manage my work-load and set my own goals. It has helped me shed some of the bad-feeling and hurt I’ve experienced previously in the workplace. It has been a liberating revelation, and I would urge everyone to discover who they are and why you work the way you do. You can take the test here.
Hopefully, I’ll find a moment to carve out some time to plant garlic and get those tulips into containers in time for Spring, but in the meantime, I’m not going to beat myself up about it, it’s been a busy year!
So, here’s to the New Year, a new start and another new beginning. Shetland with Laurie will still be here, and I’m taking bookings for 2020 – although availability is limited as the diary has filled quickly. Thank you to those who have made a booking and supported me in 2019, or booked to return in 2020! You have all left a lasting impression on me, and helped me grow a little more; there is nothing better than meeting people from every walk of life. Here’s to making new friends every day!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
Ps - I got my garlic and tulips planted before this blog was published, so I’m smiling about that!
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