There is something very strange about this time of year. So many of the happy-go-lucky, optimistic, sparkly people I know and love in the year are struggling to get through the last few days until the Christmas break – me included.

insta profile picThe last time I felt properly awake, back in September being a steampunk-Alice bridesmaid!

Yep, for the umpteenth year running I am feeling, and so writing about, burn out, in the last month of the year. You’d think I’d have learned by now, wouldn’t you?!

It’s been a weird up and down of a year, and I’ll post a full round up with pictures and links and stuff over the festive period, but I felt the need to waffle into my keyboard today.

It starts in November, when the evenings are drawing in, the leaves fall from the trees (or they do here in England, anyway), there’s a hint of a cold snap in the air, and I find myself perpetually tired. Once the clocks change, it’s like a switch in my body goes to “hibernate” and stays there until the clocks go forward again. I don’t, to the best of my knowledge, have any major deficiencies or illnesses that cause me to feel like this, but apparently I depend more than I realised on sunlight to keep me awake and healthy and happy. (maybe I’m partly plant?!)

November and December have also been really unexpectedly busy months for me – with a return to weekly burlesque classes, co-working sessions with Lizzie, visits from some of my best friends, my first studio shoots for boudoir and bumps, finishing off the renovations, a mini business retreat with Louise Rose, birthdays, Christmas shopping, a new baby and several engagements in my circle of uni friends, a trip to London to see Elizabeth Gilbert and meet up with my fabulous solopreneur friends, four successive sold out Ink Drops boxes (there are still a couple of slots left for January if you’re quick!), a Christmas shoot with local models and photographers, two long-awaited courses, the arrival of my mermaid tail and ice skating and a carousel ride to kickstart Christmas… it’s no wonder I’m exhausted!

the-morning-after-the-night-before

Real title: The Morning After The Night Before. Actually, this is how I feel 95% of the time right now)

And so in the couple of weeks before Christmas, I am inevitably tired, tearful, broke and cross, just as my day job is ramping up to push everything through before the January UCAS deadline and the Christmas break. My own businesses go on the back burner, my house descends back into chaos, my kitties sulk because I’m hardly home, and it’s all very far from the idyllic, calm, sparkly months I’d really like to experience through the winter.

Though actually, writing that list has made me realise my temporary bad mood is just that – temporary! Everything at the day job is completely manic and quite stressful, apparently for lots of us, but it really is only a few more days until Christmas. And except for time with my family and my kitties, and a hula hooping workshop between Christmas and New Year, I don’t especially plan to leave my house until January 4th.

So burn out, you can just fuck right off now, thanks.  I’m looking forward to immersing myself in my exciting new business plans in photography and the Unicornery, to my annual New Year’s Eve year reflection and planning ritual, and loads of time with my family and kitties. And sleeping in my lovely new bed. Which doesn’t play a symphony of springs whenever you sit or lie on it. Maybe I’m not burned out at all, and just catching up on years of lost sleep?!

So now I feel like I’ve slightly misleadingly titled this post – I am definitely teetering on the edge of burnout, which is an improvement on last year, but I’d really like my take away lesson to be to remember to breathe and say no, next year. In another improvement on last year, I’ve managed to recognise it and take some steps to make sure I don’t succumb in quite as bad a way… and I shall be planning carefully for 2016 so the final months of the year are blissful… or at least not stressful!

With love and unicorns, and narwhals too,

Carla xxx

And so this is Boxmas...
Big Magic and belonging