Winding down 2013: Embracing the Christmas spirit
The last few weeks have been a blur as my family makes the mad dash towards the end of the year. It’s been crazy trying to wrap up projects, purging the inboxes which I’ve been attacking like a Viking mercenary, chasing clients who still owe me money, and trying to get into the holiday spirit.
You know, twinkling up the place with lights and all that jazz.
But above all, 2013 has been such a blessing. I’m eternally grateful to be able to do what I truly love and feel is part of my calling. I fully realize it’s a gift and all I do is by God’s grace. Nothing more. Sure, hard work factors in. Real hard work, but it only bears fruit if God says so. So I’m grateful to be able to mark 2013 as another memorable year of growth in all aspects of my life.
Work-wise, 2013 was a weird yet exciting one. I can’t wait to run the statistics and share my annual pitching pie charts. I’m curious to see how 2013 shook out. Broke into a few new outlets and also got radio silence from outlets I’ve written numerous times for before. Lots of fun projects like Slow Travel Stockholm which I can’t wait to grow and expand, loading photos into my Image Bank and National Geographic (massive ongoing tasks), as well as picking up a lot more local gigs such as an editorial consulting job for a large Swedish company and contracts with the Swedish Institute, Visit Stockholm, and Swedish Lapland.
Will share more once I break down and analyze those pie charts for 2013. They’re a fantastic exercise in identifying weaknesses and areas for improvement as well as trends and publications where I should be focusing more time on.
This is a task I truly believe every freelancer needs to be doing. Maybe not as crazily detailed but nevertheless, it is a wonderful assessment tool.
Last few features of 2013
- Outside Magazine (online) – Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland
- Four Seasons – Holiday Leftover Ideas: Deluxe Turkey Burgers
- Women’s Adventure Magazine – The New Age of Adventure
- Korean Air Inflight Magazine – Land of the Reindeer
2013 was a busy travel year and places I visited included the Netherlands, Morocco, Swedish Lapland, Germany, Nigeria, Ireland, Northern Ireland, USA, Canada, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Portugal, and then back to Ireland and the US. Been slowly loading photography into the image bank.
Places I would love to go in 2014 include Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, Russia, UAE, Qatar, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Namibia, Tanzania, Gambia, Mozambique, Botswana, and Hong Kong. I have no idea how I’m going to make these happen – while factoring in other time commitments – so I’ll just leave this list out there. You never know how the universe works.
Already have trips planned for Jan & Feb and will share those once ready.
Wishes for 2014
Every year, I pick out a focus word. A word that governs various aspects of my life that year in lieu of resolutions. My previous words have been focus (2009), discipline (2010), growth (2011), and nurture (2012).
My 2013 word was “Surrender” and in many ways, I did and just let things, opportunities, situations, and challenges flow through my life without fighting them. Last year, I fought. This year, I surrendered.
I already have my 2014 focus word all picked out and will share it in the new year. In the meantime:
God Jul (Merry Christmas) and Gott Nytt År (Happy New Year)
Wishing you all dear friends and family a wonderful Christmas and joyous new year! May 2014 bring you the joy and blessings you desire and may 2014 be your year to let your light shine oh so brightly.
Thank you so much for your continued support which inspires, lifts, and humbles me completely.
To my dear husband, there are not enough words to describe the depth of my love for you and gratitude that God chose to bring you into my life.
Not enough words.