Dolly Henry is a sewing and design blog for the creative wanderer, where style meets play and making is a lifestyle.

Hi, I'm Megan - owner, designer and writer at Dolly Henry! Join me here as I explore the ins and outs of creativity, dabble in dollmaking and raise my voice on issues facing creative entrepreneurs.

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Hello 2019

I am so happy to move into 2019, a brand new year. It's like getting a new journal - all new, not yet written on. Good intentions for the fresh white blank pages, knowing that some of those pages will not contain the best words ever written and some will even be torn out to use as a shopping list. Some pages will be reduced to scribble or a flurry of notes that might come in handy on a rainy day. But for the moment, the promise is in the new and that is worth taking a moment to inhale and enjoy.

I have seen a lot of people coming up with a word for 2019 - a theme if you like, to guide them through the next twelve months. If I was going to think of a word, it would probably have to be 'Acceptance'.

There is so much power, peace, and contentment in acceptance. Whether it's your current situation, a particular season or phase, taking a deep breath and accepting where you are for the moment is often quite difficult to do. Acceptance comes from letting go of the control you think you have over a thing, a situation or a person, and just going with the flow.

2018 was a tumultuous year for me in many ways. There was a lot of change, and I floundered for a while there with my creativity. It wasn't easy, but I learned a lot of really valuable lessons, which I am really grateful to take into 2019 with me.

So many people push for the fast-paced hustle these days, and it is exhausting. There comes a point where you have to accept that you do or have done your best and leave it at that. This was something I learned last year when I continually exhausted myself trying to yank open doors that weren't meant for me.

Wise words from a friend at one point helped me see things more clearly: She asked me what my true intentions were, and to look deeper at what I really wanted. When I did this, I realized that the avenue I had been trying to travel along wasn't actually where I wanted to go.

Rest is greatly underrated in our current climate. Simply being still and letting the mind wander. Off the screen, away from a TV or even a craft project. Allowing yourself headspace and downtime is so important, and though people have always worked very hard, I believe they also had more space in their life. Manual tasks were often so much slower that you would have had a bit more time to just think. If you walked or rode a horse to your destination, still slower and more mindful.

I had a three month period where I decided I would not engage in ANY business activity and focus on my own health and well being. This was really difficult to do, but as time went on, I realized how VALUABLE rest and stillness is. It's not optional and it isn't lazy. Taking a proper break helped me focus, and become more productive. You can't always see the full picture until you take a step back.

If you have your own creative business, you will understand how often we don't rest, how often you keep working when you really should have called it a day six hours earlier. This is where acceptance comes in. Accepting that there are only a certain amount of hours in a day and that you don't have to slam yourself into the ground to have had a productive work day.

Time and again I have seen others experience burn-out because they failed to ever take a break, pause or stop for a while to regroup. I have experienced it myself. I wonder how many little creative enterprises would still exist if their creators had ONLY taken a break, and some time.

Valuable lessons I learned in 2018, that I take forward into 2019 are:

- Rest. Take time off. If the day before was full on, have a break. The sky will NOT fall in. And neither will your customers or your business.

- Let Go. Realize when you are at the end of your tether and break free. Allow yourself to let go so that you can embrace the next thing coming your way. You KNOW when you have had your fill of something. Don't be afraid to quit and let the next thing come along! It could be something much more fulfilling and you can take all the experience you have gleaned from your last pursuit and channel it into your new adventure - whether it's a new business, new job, new hobby, parenthood or a new relationship.

- Fail Fast. Failure is amazing because it allows us to grow. You learn to ride a bike by wobbling around and falling off. You learn to walk by stumbling around and falling over. The trick is to accept when you feel something isn't working for you and move on quickly. Get back up again and do something else! Failure might mean failure, but it doesn't equal nothing. It yields experience, growth, and wisdom. It's a not so great pill to swallow that gives you valuable things in return.

- Be Brave. Thinking 'wouldn't it be nice...' as far as your business goals go isn't super helpful. If you don't put your prices up (nobody else will give you a pay rise!), if you don't contact that shop/publisher/blogger, if you don't plan that new collection, if you don't enroll in that course, if you don't schedule a holiday, then nobody else is going to. We aren't wallflowers at a party, waiting to be invited to dance by the handsome prince. We have to make our intentions known, and we have to make them known to ourselves FIRST. By being brave enough to acknowledge what you want, and even if it sounds silly, or you are shouted down or rejected at first, the only person that can make your aspirations known to others is YOU.

- Acceptance. Accept that you did your best. Accept that there are only 24 hours in the day. Accept that life is short and therefore you should be doing something that fulfills you. Accept that some seasons of life aren't that fun, but that nothing lasts forever. Accept that some days, salad doesn't cut it and you need cake. Acceptance is powerful because you can rest in the knowledge of ENOUGH, rather than feeling the impossible squeeze of MORE.

More keeps you running on overdrive. Enough brings you satisfaction and contentment. Leave the hustle for the hustlers and march to the beat of your own drum. We are all unique, life doesn't have a filter and mess happens. Some people can run as fast as a hare, and others get there on tortoise time. It doesn't matter. What matters is how much YOU enjoyed the journey.

I am so excited for 2019 - I can't wait to go forward and see what this wonderful year brings! I don't make resolutions, I know I'd never keep one. But taking the things I learn forward with me, and learning from a whole new set of challenges and making a whole new set of mistakes is the way it is meant to be (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)

If I was to make a resolution it would be this:

Live in the moment, and let go of what doesn't really matter. Stop resolving to be the one day *insert improved lifestyle, body, house, bank account, whatever here* and just accept where you are right now!

May you have a fulfilling and creative 2019!

Megan xx


  1. Last evening I tossed two ugly quilt blocks in the trash bin, something I almost never do. Accepting that sometimes the things I imagine don't deserve to "be" felt freeing. Loved your post.

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