Word of 2016 - Crystallise

Friday, January 13, 2017

Verb. crystallise - cause to take on a definite and clear shape; "He tried to crystallise his thoughts"

2016 was, and I believe a lot of 2017 will be, about crystallising.

It started in 2015 while reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Not that I did as much de-cluttering as I'd have liked, and certainly not in Kondo's do-it-all-in-a-day-and-be-ruthless way, but it did make me stop and think for a while.

It sparked a need to be more aware. Why do I do certain things? why do I want certain things? how what I want and need have changed? why I have changed?

It's easy to go through life doing what you've always done, not questioning what you're doing, or why. Not making plans, just plodding along without much thought.

I wanted, needed, some clarity at a time that felt oddly off kilter. Something wasn't right, I knew that. And it turns out it wasn't just one thing, it was a multitude of things that either changed, or I needed to break away from.

Being able to give some thought to things, over time, has helped me see my life more clearly.

It might sound strange but de-cluttering, and having a capsule wardrobe have been about so much more than a tidy living space and what I wear.

The de-cluttering has been about moving forward in life, or feeling like I'm moving forward. Letting go of the old, embracing the new and starting to move toward the life I want to lead now.

I wrote a post on this in more depth here.

Style is important to me - as shallow as that sounds. I like to feel good in what I wear, even if I'm sat at home alone (which as a freelancer happens regularly). Getting out of bed, going through my morning routine and putting on an outfit I feel good in has become a ritual that allows me to think about the day ahead, mentally prepare for it, and allows for a little me time everyday.

My capsules have helped me to pick out all my favourite items of clothing and figure out how I like to wear them, slowly evolving my style.

Putting something on that makes me feel good is a real treat. You know that feeling you get when wearing your favourite dress, or those trousers that fit just right? Imagine feeling that way almost everyday.

Some online organisation helped cut through the noise on my favourite social media platforms. On Twitter I unfollowed a lot of brands, magazines and people that I didn't connect with. On Bloglovin' I unfollowed many blogs that I no longer found interesting - when I started blogging I was interested in the latest trends, fast fashion, outfit of the day type posts and little else, but these hold no interest for me these days. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good outfit post but I like to hear about real life, thoughts, ideas, and personal style over trends and mindless purchasing of the latest thing. My feeds are now more reflective of the type of content I want to read, instead of wasting time scrolling through page after page of irrelevant nonsense.

On all fronts I'm consciously making changes to improve my life. Taking care of the now has been incredibly satisfying, a whilst I still have more to do I can look to the future with more clarity. I'm making plans and taking action.

What words best describes 2016 for you?

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  1. Making changes are part of life and, while sometimes it feels safest just to stay put, are a meaningful part of life. Taking the time to reflect on where you are in life, which areas you are happy with, and which ones you need to address, is something all of us should do from time to time. 2016 marked a beginning (the start of my blog) and an end of an era (my father's death) for me, and both have been meaningful incentives to make a couple of changes in my life. Change can be daunting but will change your life for the better. xxx

    1. I like change, I welcome it but some sneaks up slowly and without warning - that's the kind I need to be mindful of.


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