First published on 24 June 2016.
Two months ago I drafted a blog about our first month at Halsbeer Farm but I didn’t post it anywhere. I was uncertain whether it hit the right tone, whether it would be well received and whether anyone would actually be interested in reading it at all. My uncertainty turned into procrastination and that blog has languished in the virtual back office of my website ever since, not doing anything, my thoughts risking being forgotten in the mists of time as I get on with all the other “things” that I have to do.
Yesterday I attended an inspirational gathering of women that prompted me to dig out my blog, dust it off, take a deep breath and press ‘Return’ on the keyboard. “Creative Women Together” brings together independent crafty types who want to share tips and learn how to better market their gorgeous products to their customers.
I thought at first it was strange to be talking about planning for Christmas in June and wasn’t sure how relevant it would be to me. However, I gained lots from the morning – a greater understanding of the use of social media in getting your brand better known; how best to approach magazines to secure editorial space to promote your product or service; and an eye opener into trends that will be hitting the shops this Christmas, one of which just might be my jumping off point for re-designing the decor of the cottages and conservatory here at Halsbeer Farm.
Our discussion of blogging reminded me of my failed attempt at documenting the crazy new journey we embarked upon three months ago when we left Surrey and moved to Devon. I realised that I am uncertain about a lot of things (often painfully indecisive and scared stiff of getting it wrong), but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do those things. If that were the case I would never do anything! I was uncertain about buying this old farmhouse with 30 acres of land and two businesses. I was uncertain about changing our lifestyle and upheaving our children and ourselves away from our friends and family to the countryside. I was uncertain about my ability to cope with the new challenge. I am uncertain every day – about what rates to set for next year, about whether to invest in new beds or new sofas first, about what colour to paint the woodwork, I could go on ad infinitum but that really would be boring. Life is a succession of decisions to be made, some big and important, many small and insignificant. Only time will tell whether Mark and I have made the right decision coming here. Three months in, I will freely admit that it has been (and will I’m sure continue to be) bloomin’ hard work but we love it here, have made fabulous new friends, and are really enjoying our beautiful environment. I think (but I’m not certain) that I’m glad we overcame our uncertainty and did it anyway!
Today, the day of a massive decision for our nation, many people will I’m sure be feeling uncertain too: perhaps uncertain which way to vote, uncertain about what the outcome will be, uncertain about what it will really mean for our future and our country’s future. The only certainty in life is that there is uncertainty so we just have acknowledge it exists and get on with things as best we can. One quote I’ve found that seems apt in the face of the referendum vote is from Andy Stanley who said “There will be very few occasions when you are absolutely certain about anything. You will consistently be called upon to make decisions with limited information. That being the case, your goal should not be to eliminate uncertainty. Instead, you must develop the art of being clear in the face of uncertainty.” How many times have we heard politicians say “Let me be clear…” on the radio and television? Are we any the clearer or more certain for it? Not really.