One of the greatest personal lessons I have taken on board this year has been to listen more and talk less.
I guess it kind of runs contrary to this social media driven society we find ourselves enmeshed in these days, and that's why it's more important than ever before that we switch off our mouth and turn the dial down on our over active thoughts and 'listen' to what those around us are actually saying.
I remember when I was 21 with a three year old and a new baby and had moved to the other side of the country, far away from my beloved Nana and Pop. We would write letters back and forth each week or so and Nana would question me about what she was 'reading between the lines'.
She knew my personality very well from the many years of conversations and shared stories as I grew up and that gave her genuine insight into what was truth and what was not when it came to our written correspondence.
I found it impossible to hide my troubled life behind a 'happy' letter when it was being sent to someone who had given of her time to listen, given attention to look into my eyes as I spoke, invested of herself to care for me, about me, and to love me unconditionally even when it was inconvenient, exhausting and financially beyond her ability.
So making time to listen to my own loved ones is becoming more important than it has before, because I want to be like Nana, I want to be able to 'read between the lines' the way she did and I can only do that if I take time to listen, look into their eyes, and truly know the person I'm spending time with.
This year of twelve Gentle Domesticity designs has been dedicated to my Nana and the lessons I've learned from her, lessons I'm still learning.
When I was young I didn't appreciate the wealth of womanhood I'd been gifted with by her example, but now I do, and I hope I remember more things even though I'm getting older and my memory is fading. Writing them down in this blog and making designs that honour some of those lessons help me focus on the good things from the past I can carry into tomorrow.
Nana's life makes me think of kindness, courtesy, making do, laughter, cleanliness, simple delicious meals, washing flapping in the breeze, gingham, aprons, making jam and pickles, jam tarts baked on saucers, Sunday night scones with pots of tea, flowers growing at the front door, polished taps, the radio, cooked breakfasts, scraps given to the dog, darned socks, starched tablecloths, shelling peas on the back step after school, the best and cuddliest hugs in the whole wide world.
But mostly, her life always makes me think of love.
I hope you've enjoyed this year of Gentle Domesticity too.
Thanks for joining me on this very special journey.
Want a peek at my 2017 BOM?
Next year I've decided to keep the home fires burning with another domestic based BOM to share with you. It will begin on February 1st and is called "The Love of Home".
Here's a peek at block 1...
Have a wonderful week everyone!