Hey friends! I hope you had a very merry holiday season, whether you celebrated Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, all of the above, or none of them at all.
It’s that time of year again – the time to think about what we accomplished (or didn’t) during the year, and to make plans for the year ahead. I’m going to break mine down into personal, spiritual, and career/blog sections, since those are really the three big chunks of my life at the moment. I’m going to start with the blog stuff so you don’t have to read all the personal stuff if you don’t want, haha!
This year in April, I quit my full-time job and dedicated my time 100% to blogging and freelance writing. It was both easier and harder than I ever could have imagined, and I wrote about some of my reflections on this already over here. I currently work a part-time retail job to help support myself financially while I grow my freelance career and I’m feeling more stable than I did over the summer when there literally was just no money and it felt like I was working (and I probably was working) 60-80 hours a week for very little pay. Not fun!
In terms of this blog, I’m really proud of the fact that I managed at least one post a month (two for the majority of the year) even when things got tough. The twice monthly posting schedule works well for me, so I hope it works for you, too!
It felt like this year, I got away from what I wanted this blog to be. I really want to share more personal glimpses into my spiritual practice to sort of give examples of how witches like, do the witch thing, so I’m planning that at least once every other month I’ll share a look at my personal practice and how I celebrate the Sabbats/interact with nature/basically integrate my spirituality into everyday life (and how you can too!)
I also realized that my approach to social media needs a serious overhaul. I deleted Twitter altogether because it was more stressful than it was helpful. I stopped posting to Facebook because I had no clue what I was doing, but that’s going to change in 2018. The Lavender + Lupine School of Magick Facebook group will be back with a vengeance (and weekly prompts and other goodies), but my personal/brand Facebook is going to be more about sharing my blog posts as a way for people to keep up with Lavender Moon than it will be an actual active platform. There’s only so much time and energy I have, and I want it to go to the platforms I enjoy using (like Instagram!)
What to expect from the blog in 2018:
- Changes to my social media promotion: scheduled content on Facebook and Pinterest, more personal and spontaneous content on Instagram
- More essential oils! (Don’t freak: it’s a good thing.) You all know I’m a Young Living distributor, but the way I was sharing about oils this year felt out of alignment somehow, like it wasn’t the kind of information I enjoyed sharing and felt kind of sales-y. My focus in 2018 will be more about how to use essential oils in everyday life and WTF they even are with less mention of what brand I choose to use. I feel like Young Living is the brand for me, but it might not be the brand for everyone and I never want anyone to feel isolated or called out on my blog for not using the same oils I do.
- More courses from the Lavender + Lupine School of Magick!
- Guest posts from other amazing and talented folks in the witch community
- More personal-ish posts about my spiritual practice and how you can incorporate elements of witchcraft into your everyday life
This year was a rough one for spiritual work, even moreso because what I needed my practice to be was not something Instagram-able or picture-perfect for the blog. It was messy, imperfect, sometimes rushed, and sometimes forgotten, but it was what I was capable of with the mental health reserves I had this year. (Depression was a big ol’ cloud over the entirety of 2017 and of course I can’t blame all of my failures on that, but damn, it was like moving through molasses.)
I didn’t keep up with the Druidry course I’d started through the OBOD (although I want to come back to it once I’m in a more permanent living situation – more on that later!), I didn’t manage to finish any challenges, and I didn’t really spend much time at all in nature this year.
That said, I was also reminded of the powerful magick within me. I manifested some truly incredible, miraculous things for myself. I realized that my core values were more clear to me than ever and I held on to them even when things didn’t make sense. And I downsized my tarot collection a little to make space for the decks I really use and care about!
Spiritual goals for 2018:
- Revisit the Druidry course from the OBOD
- Meditate 3 times per week (come on, Serena, you can do it!! this is your year!!)
- GO OUTSIDE at least one day a week and spend some quiet time in nature (walking through the grocery store parking lot on the way back to your car does NOT count)
- Give seasonal altars a spin. I’ve always changed mine according to my whims rather than the Wheel of the Year, but I think setting up a separate seasonal altar would help me stay in touch with nature a little more.
As I mentioned above, 2017 was a rough one for my mental health. I’m happy to say that I’m in a much better place now than I was a few months ago, and a big part of that is having a few things fall into place…
For one, announcement time: in February, my boyfriend and I are MOVING TO NASHVILLE! My parents live down there and I’m so, so excited to live near them again. I love Wisconsin and the entire Midwest, but I think it’s time to head south for a little while. I think it’ll be good for me to know I’ll be there for at least a few years, and I can take some time to get to know the landscape and the local plants.
For another, having a steady paycheck again. This retail job has taken a lot out of me (it’s really hard to deal with the scrutiny of others when you quit a successful corporate job to go back and work with a bunch of high schoolers at the local big box store, but I’m working through that) but honestly I’m in such a better place than I was at my corporate job. Leaving that place has only shown me more how much it was… not for me.
Highlight of the year: I got a cat!! Her name is Luna and she’s the light of my life. She’s so fluffy!!
Things felt a lot like learning to ride a bike in 2017, but I’ve got a death grip on the handlebars and I’m determined to get it down next year.
Personal goals for 2018:
- Complete Couch to 5k! I started it in November but the weather quickly got too cold to reasonably run outside. I have a treadmill now, though, so I’m going to try it again in January.
- Spend more time on my hobbies. I started watercolor painting this year and loved it, but I hardly ever make time for it.
- Pay more attention to where my food comes from and make ethical choices about the groceries I buy.
- Stop biting my nails. Like, for real. For good this time.
Overall, while 2017 was probably my hardest year to date (or top 3, at least), I also amazed myself with what I accomplished. I started a freelance writing career from scratch and went from $0 to $1k a month just from that. I kept up with my blog even when I didn’t feel like writing anything and made some amazing new friends along the way. I learned the hard way that you can’t define yourself by just one thing – not your career, not your faith, not your partner or your family – and although I still haven’t really figured myself out, I know what my values are and they’re stronger than ever.
This year felt like the cocoon before a massive transformation. You don’t really understand what’s going on in there, and there’s probably some gross like, bug-slime happening during the process, but the end result is going to be simply magical. So here’s to 2018!
What are you most proud of this year? Do you have any 2018 goals? Let me know, I’d love to hear all about it!!