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2024 - The year of growth!

Hey friends!

Happy 2024, even though we are now into March. I hope everyone has had a great start to the year. I certainly have, but not in the way I would normally expect, but before I go into further detail. I just thought I might reflect on the year that was: 2023.

Last year, I would consider 2023 as my "dream" or "free pass" year where I was able to devote most of the year to investing in my dreams, especially as my word for the year was "Dream". I was able to do lots of gigs (mostly, if not all paid), I started getting back into songwriting again (after an 18 month malaise where I wasn't sure if I wanted to write another song again) and I was able to solidify what kind of artist I saw myself as (after seeing two of my favourite bands perform in Melbourne: Evanescence and Paramore). If 2023 was going to top the cake, I wasn't sure what was going to beat that, which is why I stepped soberly into 2024 with one word that was lingering in my mind: growth.

As you all know, we live in financially troubling times, and I had to make the difficult decision to go back to my job and actually teach at a school. Don't get me wrong, teaching is an admirable occupation, and not everyone can do it! You either are passionate about empowering young minds, or you feel it is your vocation to teach. I certainly felt like that nearly 20 years ago when I decided to become one, yet over the years, for reasons which I won't go into too much detail, I have had to reevaluate my goals, directions and career path. At one point, I didn't want to be a teacher anymore, which is why I feel I have "one foot in the room and one by the door" by mostly doing CRT to pay the bills, however I have taken on a small load to teach Primary Drama two days a week (or two half days to be specific). But I digress.

As well as go back into teaching, I have decided to try to balance my work life with my family, especially as my eldest is now in Prep, and I am still getting used to school drop off and picks up and organising rosters with mum and in-laws as to who will be picking up who and when, and I have also decided to reserve some time to focus on my physical and mental health. I have to say that doing this "work, life, balance" (or in the words of Mia Freedman "Work, strife balance" ) seems almost impossible, and realistically non-existent. Because the fact is, life gets in the way, and sometimes we have to abandon projects at the drop of a hat to commit to the most important thing, and that is why my word for 2024 is all about "growth".

Growth can be a good thing. If you're my age, you are probably wishing to find the fountain of youth and stay young and good looking forever, but as we age, we grow wiser and smarter and more resilient. As a woman in my 40s, rather than focus on just cardio as a workout, I have to do more resistance and strength based training to counteract my loss of muscle mass as I age, generating new muscle growth as a push forward.

Yet, growth can also be painful, even debilitating. We can't always get to do the things we want to do because we need to work to pay the bills, we need to put our childs' health and wellbeing first, and we need to make sure our relationships and marriages are still in tact and are thriving - not merely surviving.

With that said, even though I am putting more boundaries in place to my dreams and aspirations, I also finding I can still have time to do the things I want to do. Believe it or not, having boundaries can also be productive, even liberating. I am writing more songs than I have in a long time, I am exercising more regularly, I am making time to read and learn, and I am feeling more present with my family and friends and even with God!

So just to wrap things up, I am going to hint at some new projects coming up for 2024:

I am still performing with the Treblettes while also filling in for the Rockin Tones. (Check out my next round of gigs in the "Dates" page), I am planning on releasing a new single around April/May this year, I am still teaching and running showcases for the Andrea Marr Music School, and I am slowly in the process of writing my first novel (which at this rate, may take a while to complete, but hey, I'd rather do it well, then do something half baked).

I will try to write more blogs this year, whether it would be the odd rant or a rejected article (sorry MammaMia, but if you won't publish it, then I'll be happy to post it on my website) or movie/book/album review.

Whatever your word or goal is for 2024, make it a good one, and one that will also nourish as well as challenge you for the year ahead!

Sending much love your way.

Katie xx


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