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opening chapter one – hello january

1th January 2024
Happy New Year!
The first dawn. A clean slate. Take a breath. Begin.  Wrap up. Venture out. Don’t forget to look up. Brisk walks. Inhale. Blow the cobwebs away. Bare branches quiver in the glacial breeze. Indoors, potted ferns breathe life into bare homes. Slow mornings. Snug evenings. No need to rush. Wooly hats. Leather gloves rescue frostbitten hands. Zero qualms about nights in with no plans!  At windows we watch as snow settles below. Puddles mirror the moon. Evergreen trees. Candles glow. Patient bulbs hunker down, biding their time. Hedgehogs hibernate. Paw print tracks. Fallen twigs. Glassy skies. Midwinter’s magic, mistaken for the mundane. Misunderstood and overlooked, yet again. Pause. Commit to goals from a place of rest. Resist any urge to race ahead. With last year’s lessons in mind, look ahead with hope. Dream Big. Even bigger. Bigger than that! Let’s go.

Whether you refer to it as clean slate, a new leaf, a fresh start or a new chapter, it’s hard not to associate hope with New Year’s Day.

World over, we’re given the opportunity to start again, or take a breath, regroup and build on the momentum we created in the previous year.

Personally, I’m hoping to do more of the latter this year. 

If 2022 felt like the year I found the courage to lean into what makes me happy and ignore what the algorithm wanted at the time, 2023 felt like the year I learnt to share that happiness with you all in the open, setting aside fears of ‘what will others think?’ in the process. 

Naturally, working on and releasing my debut book, Evergreen, played a big role in that.

Sharing Evergreen with you all last year felt pretty monumental. It wasn’t just your average book release, for me. It felt like an opportunity to find my voice, share how I truly felt and feel about so many moments I’ve experienced throughout my life and spread the learnings that I’ve taken from those experiences far and wide in the hope that they might help you in some way, too. The journey provided me with a sense of catharsis unlike anything I’ve ever known.

Which is why my goal for this year is to lean into the momentum and freedom that catharsis provided and well and truly go after more of my dreams this year.

As I say in my book, that doesn’t always feel comfortable. I think we’d all struggle to name someone who’s had their dreams come true that said the road to get there was plain sailing, after all! But every time I push myself to go after what I truly want to achieve deep down, I become more familiar with the feeling of discomfort that ‘stepping out of my comfort zone’ to achieve each dream entails… So much so that I’ve found myself finding comfort in that discomfort in recent months. 

With that in mind, if you’re currently reading this secretly hoping that this is the year that your goals materialise, I dare you to dream big in 2024. Dream often… Then do the work (however uncomfortable) to bring those dreams to life!

From me and mine to you and yours, happy new year everyone – let’s make it a special one, shall we?

I’d love to hear what your hopes and goals are for 2024! Let me know in the comments below x

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  • Anna
    2nd February 2024 at 5:09 pm

    I just discovered your poetry, and I LOVE it all. These are such good daily reflections. Thank you!

  • Brandi
    29th January 2024 at 10:42 pm

    My goal for 2024 is to go out for more walks.

  • AEL
    9th January 2024 at 12:02 am

    Happy New Year, Lydia.
    I’m back home in my hometown in Norway, where we are currently experiencing -28°(!), and there are few daylight hours. Regardless, I don’t think I’ve ever been more filled with more amazement and appreciation for this place. For context, I just read the first part of your book, Mid-Winter, early in December, and whilst I’ve never been one to dislike Winter (I secretly love gloomy, dark weather), I have never actively loved it either. However, after listening to Evergreen – I just can’t help myself. I have made an effort to dress for the weather (a hard task, but a possible one), and get myself out the door most days, and with your words ringing somewhere in the back of my head, I can feel my heart beat faster when I look at the endless snow-covered trees; I can feel my curiosity spark when I look at the fields, wondering how far below the surface the mice are, to survive the cold; I can feel myself get emotional and impressed all at once, it really is something quite grand. The nature around me is a force to be reckoned with, fierce and mighty, in brutal and beautiful weather, that’s somehow impossible for me to ignore now – although I did, in a way, for a while. I feel such an influx of emotions and deep wonder when I look around myself now, and I know you have played no small part in getting me here.

    Winters in Norway will always be snowy, icy, white, dark and unimaginably cold – and I am so lucky to get to see it all unfold every year for the rest of my life. Thank you for helping me realize that.

  • Raluca
    4th January 2024 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Lydia,
    Long time fan, almost 9 years. I have to say that I could not be more excited for the release of your book. I ordered and have read it quite a few times, I have been revisiting mid-winter and I cannot express to you what it has done for my soul. It has inspired some really meaningful conversations with my husband about how we want to live our lives and really had us thinking about resting and the guilt that comes with taking time for ourselves. Transformative. I start the job of my dreams today and I am giddy with excitement; cannot wait to delve into the passion of early years advocacy and embrace my strengths, learning as much as I can as I go.
    Greetings and New Year wishes from Ontario, Canada.

  • Pavlina
    3rd January 2024 at 12:58 pm

    Dear Lydia, this is exactly how I want to start my year 2024. Last year was challenging for me, but now I want to start with a clean slate and materialize my plans for free enterprise. How inspiring it is for me to see you on walks with your dogs, enjoying those moments outside. Instead, I don’t want to rush to my job on time and be frustrated that I don’t have that freedom.
    Thank you for your words and your videos, I am a proud owner of your book and I love it.
    Happy New Year and I wish you a lot of success from Czech Republic

  • Marie Eenigenburg
    2nd January 2024 at 12:32 am

    I love your style. I’ve become an empty nester, we’ve sold our family house, and we’ll be building a new home on a 10 acre farm that belonged to my husband’s grandpa.
    Definity a new beginning for us. Lots of hopes. Loved your book and love seeing what your up to and enjoying!

    Marie

  • Elsa
    1st January 2024 at 7:19 pm

    Dear Lydia,
    Those words above speaks so loud for me. Thank You so much. This give me more energy, more fuel to realize my dreams. For me this year, it’s my time, my year where a I think only for myself, take care of myself. It could sound really selfish, but believe me when I say I forgot myself to much in the past years… And it’s also the year I want and i’m gonna move in your faboulous country. I always wanted to live abroad, particularly in Europe. After a first trip in London in 2018, I totally fell in Love with your marvellous capital and the british people. I hope by the end of the summer, be in my new home in your lovely country. I gonna work and do all i need to do for acheive my goals. Thank you again. I wish you a marvellous Happy New Year. Love to follow you, such an inspiration ans love your content. Your marvellous!!
    Love from Quebec!! Elsa

A little indulgence from my comfort of my own home thanks to INCREDIBLE @kmp_skin and @freshbeauty Ad 
for the launch of the new Lotus Youth Preserve Resurfacing dream serum which is a gentle AHA serum with prickly pear flower extract said to boost radiance and it was so lovely to be treated to a first trial to get a very first impression of the serum thanks to KMP and her magic hands. I’ve literally never had a facial like it!
The plum tree in our garden is always the first blossom to erupt at this time of year narrowly beating the much loved aubretia that grows in abundance through our old garden wall. As soon as is acceptable I’m out with my secateurs ready to fill vases and prickly jars with its delicate confetti like blooms 🌸
Februarys carpet of Crocus blooms is always quite the spectacle. I find these little cheerful perennial flowers popping up in the most unlikely of places and what’s special is how they naturalise and multiply each year to create a carpet of flowers ready for the early Winter-Spring bees 🌱
Winter Spring views.
Primrose & Snowdrops are on their way!
February is a very special month, it almost feels like the build up before the crescendo of spring and I can’t help but feel a flutter in my chest at the thought of what’s to come 🌱
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