This is week 2 of Susannah Conway’s “December Reflections” project. If you’d like to join in, download the list of prompts from Susannah’s website.

I’ve been feeling a bit tired this week, so I’ve missed a couple of prompts – and I only posted one on social media.

Day 5: “Best Book of 2016”
I’ve chosen two books as my favourites for this year. After all the hype around Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic”, and all my friends saying how fab it was, I was pleasantly surprised that it actually WAS fab!! It’s probably the fastest I’ve ever read a book. I found it funny and informative in equal measure.

I also finally got round to reading Susannah Conway’s book “This I Know” from cover to cover. It’s about her process of unravelling herself and her life after the death of her partner. I started reading it nearly two years ago, but perhaps I wasn’t ready for it then. I found it very helpful and have left lots of bookmarks in it, to remind me of the most poignant bits.

best books 2016 - Big Magic, and This I Know

Day 6: “In The Air”
What’s up in the air at the moment is a decision about The Quiet Entrepreneur. The question is whether it fits in with what I want to do, going forward, or whether it might act as a distraction.

Since I launched the website, in 2013, I’ve had two diagnoses of metastatic breast cancer – and for the past two years I’ve pretty much abandoned the site. But I’m still passionate about helping introverts to shine in the world. Hopefully by helping others to shine, I will find opportunities to shine too.

This is a photo from a morning in May this year, spent filming kites flying on Streatham Common.

kite in the air

Day 9: “Best Day of 2016”
There have been a few “best” days this year, despite the challenges – so, in chronological order:

  • Our first day in Venice (and the second, third and fourth days)
  • My wedding day! (and no, I’m not going to share any photos)
  • The day I got the results of an MRI scan that showed no sign of brain metastases following treatment

a canal in Venice, Italy

Day 10: “I Made This!”

I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve made so much art since the summer, while I’ve been recovering, and I’m excited that some of my artwork is now available to buy as Art Prints, as well as on postcards, iPhone cases, coffee mugs and various other products in my online shop.

I made this! Original artwork by Julia Barnickle

Day 11: “Biggest Lesson of 2016”

There have been two big lessons this year:

  1. It’s time to stop being afraid of – and running away from – my own light. To stop hiding in my own shadow. It’s time to shine.
  2. The friendships you build on social media are real friendships. I realised that from the love and support I received from my social media friends at a time when I needed it most. ❤️
"Shooting Stars" - original artwork by Julia Barnickle
detail from “Shooting Stars” – original artwork by Julia Barnickle

2 thoughts on “December Reflections 2016 – Week 2

  1. I like your second biggest lesson from 2016. I remember when I got married I invited a bunch of my closest friends that all lived in the same state as me as well as an e-friend who lived in Germany. Out of my long list of friends, I was shocked to discover that only the German came, a person I had never met in person in my entire life. (Well, him + family, husband’s family, co-workers, and husband’s friends came, so it wasn’t exactly a small wedding.) That had such a huge impact on my perception of my “real friends” vs. my “online friends”!

    It sounds like, even with cancer, you had a wonderful year. Exploring Venice? Getting married! Reading great books and painting? <3. I hope 2017 is filled with much of the same for you. Except, perhaps, more good diagnoses and less cancer, whether that's wishful thinking or not. 🙂
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  2. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you Mandy – hopefully it’s not wishful thinking… What a wonderful story about your wedding. And yes, I had an amazing year, and I’m looking forward to an even more amazing 2017. 🙂

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