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How I Learned to Be Me (Finally, at 47 Years Old)

Here's How I Learned to Be Me, Finally, at 47 Years OldWhen you look back on 2016, what do you think of?

Do you review the hard facts of your business results?

Do you despair at politics and feel anxious about the world? Do you feel sadness about the people who passed away?

Or do you think of what you learned and discovered?

My business in 2016 looks pretty good

Web traffic is up. My email list is growing. My ebooks sell well, and my courses sell out faster than ever. Turnover is well up while I’ve worked fewer hours.

But it’s not just about the numbers.

Above all, I love what I’m doing.

I love helping people find their voice, and I love writing and interacting with commenters (thank you!). I feel extraordinarily lucky to have stumbled on something I’m passionate about, in my forties.

But despite all the positives, 2016 was a tough year.

It wasn’t so much about running my business, although at times I struggled with that.

It wasn’t even Brexit, although that knocked me out pretty badly.

I struggled to cope with my injured body. Instead of getting better, I was feeling worse. Early in the year, I felt my body was tailspinning out of control. I suffered panic attacks. What if I am unable to live in my body?

But slowly, I built up the strength to walk again. I kept breathing. I learned to really appreciate the support and love of my husband.

Most of all, I found the courage to just be.

In chaos, I found a new inner calmness

What has surprised me most about the past year is how much I’ve learned about myself. About what matters to me and what doesn’t. About setting my own boundaries. About who I am and who I am not.

I’m learning to listen to others but still follow my own path.

I’m learning to listen to my mind, but also to my heart. I’m learning to find the right balance when making decisions. To stay true to myself.

In my business, that means taking care of my audience’s wishes, but also my own. I choose to do what energizes me.

I write for you, but perhaps even more for me. More than before, I follow my curiosity and write what I want to write. To explore, to learn, and to discover.

I rekindled my creativity

Thanks to Thuy Pham, I started a “Five Minute Journal” last month. It’s a journal for people who don’t write journals, and it helps shift your focus, to concentrate on what matters to you.

At the beginning of the day, you write down what would make your day great; and at the end of the day, you write down what you could have done better.

What I learned?

The one thing that would make me happier would be drawing more. I knew creative side projects make us happier but I had neglected this all year. That was a big mistake.

Last month, I finally started a creative hand-lettering course. I hand-lettered almost every day. Sometimes only five or ten minutes. But those few minutes of messing around made me feel so much better.

Creativity nurtures my soul.

For years, I’ve worried about my weaknesses

I’m a slow writer. I don’t like big parties. I think more than I do. I’m a slow starter. I’m overly sensitive.

But, I’ve learned I can turn each weakness into a strength.

I don’t like big parties, but I love teaching a small group of people, to provide in-depth feedback rather than fleeting support. I am sensitive to other people’s needs so I can pick up on issues others might not notice. I read between the lines.

I might be a slow writer, but it helps me dig deeper. I’m learning to accept that it doesn’t matter if I write less and think more.

The world likes to tell us what we should do

Or perhaps: we’d like the world to tell us what we should do and who we should be.

But the truth is inside us.

We have to find ourselves by trial and error. By finding the courage to really listen and accept ourselves. Step by step.

When you think ahead of 2017, what would you love to do? What does your heart want to put on your to-do list?

I wish you happy holidays and a 2017 full of inspiration, creativity, compassion and love.

PS
Here’s my to-do list for 2017. I’ve hung it on the wall, next to my desk:

to-do-list-2017

Comments

  1. Kurt Schievelbein says:

    I always enjoy your posts Henneke, and this was no exception. Enjoy your well-deserved break. Look forward to reading more from you in 2017!

    Kurt

  2. Thank you for sharing this and all that you do. I’ve learned and grown a tremendous amount because of you. You are an incredible person.

    Lots of love in return.

  3. Henneke, you’re inspiring as ever!

    This is one of the best ways to end a year of self-discovery and I love what you’ve just shared. Creativity can be pursued in so many ways, and I love that you’ve found a way to pursue yours.

    We get so tangled in our goals to start or grow our business that we often forget we need to set goals for our well-being. Your to-do list serves as a reminder for that. Thank you for sharing!

    I hope 2017 is nothing short of wonderful and amazing for you. Happy Holidays, Henneke!
    Ralitsa recently posted…9 Ways You Let Procrastination Get the Best of You Every DayMy Profile

    • Yes, so true – it’s easy to ignore our well-being. I’ve been trying to find out what helps me feel better most, and make a conscious effort to prioritize those things every day. Even if it’s just five minutes of hand-lettering!

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Ralitsa. Wishing you Happy Holidays, too!

  4. Andrew M. Warner says:

    Very well written, Henneke.

    I LOVE how you were able to turn those weaknesses into strengths like that. And I love how your goals are all about things that’ll make you happy.

    Wishing you and your loved ones and everyone that loves this site as much as I do a great 2017.

    -Andrew

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Andrew, and for cheering me on all year!

      Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful 2017, too.

  5. Well done, Henneke! For your successes and especially to honor who you are. Wishing you a wonderful year 2017!
    Monique
    Know yourself, shine your light and be stress free

    • Thank you, Monique.

      I love this: “Know yourself, shine your light and be stress free”

      Happy 2017 to you, too!

      • It is exactly what you are doing. And your light is shining on us.

        By the way, at 62 I am still learning to be “constantly” me. It is a wonderful journey, not always easy but so..hum? so rich.

        At a turn now. I am selling everything (not much since downsized since 2010, little by little) to avoid any distraction to write more and to better serve myself and others. The goal? To hit the road to talk about love, self-love and to let our inner light to shine in 2018.

  6. Henneke, when I see an email from you in my inbox I always make time to read it. I know it will make me smile, inspire me and of course I just might learn something! Thank you so very much. Please keep doing what you love.

  7. This was beautiful. My experience has been quite similar this year. A year of surrender, allowing and enjoying. Happy to see you in this space.

  8. I love this, and maybe it’s the age (I am also 47) but my year has been similar, without the physical challenges, but still 🙂 Finally being at home with myself.

    Thank you for writing this 🙂

    • 47 is a beautiful age!

      We’re never too old to learn. I’m sure I keep learning and discovering more about myself in the coming years. 🙂

  9. Thanks, Henneke, for “permission” to be ourselves instead of trying to live up to others’ standards. I am sorry to hear of your health issues this year! I’ve had some of my own this year as well. Those situations are great catalysts for self-evaluation, are t they? So happy to hear that you are doing better! Happy holidays to you and yours.

    • Yes, that’s so true. Health issues really make us step back and take stock; and it has helped me become a better person.

      Happy holidays to you and yours, too. Wishing you good health in 2017!

  10. I love your to do list for 2017! If it was a postcard I would buy it and send it to all my friends and family 🙂

    • What a lovely compliment, and what a great idea! I wish I’d thought of that before …

      • Beate Plapper says:

        I Love the idea, maybe you would like to reconsider? Or a printable: Headline and your lovely girl-with-heart-and-dog drawing, but empty for customizing 😉 I’d appreciate that!
        Love,
        Beate

        • Thank you, Beate! I’m happy to consider, but the timing is tricky – I just don’t know how I could get it done before the end of the year.

  11. This touched me so much! I’m almost teary—a lot of me in here.

  12. Hi Hennke,
    You have been AN inspiration for me since the day I visited your site in 2016. Your articles, writing style, examples, drawings (yum) and that valuable free snackable course have changed my life. I owe a lot of my business growth to you.

    Naturally when you are a icon so awesome, your business has to do good. What breaks my heart is your ill health. I hope you’re feeling a bit well now and send prayers your way, yes I mean it.

    Whoa! loved your to do list, to be frank with you, I read the first line and imagined when the last time had I looked at the clouds in the sky? And guess what my childhood filmed in front of my eyes, that means I have NOT seen them or rather gazed them since then.

    What a toll professionalism and busy lifestyle is taking from us. We should be reminded that the bets things in life are FREE.

    Your post left me pondering!

    Again, wish you all the luck and good health coming year and ever after.
    -Swadhin
    Swadhin Agrawal recently posted…Top 15+ Inspirational Robin Williams Quotes For Marketers and Small Businesses OwnersMy Profile

    • It feels crazy, doesn’t it? How little we stop, be present and simply observe the world around us. There’s so many beautiful things around us and we don’t even notice.

      Happy cloud gazing in 2017, Swadhin. 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comment.

  13. I loved every word of this post <3

    Thank you for being you and for sharing that with the world 🙂
    Bart Schroeven recently posted…Happiness is the only success that mattersMy Profile

  14. Laura Jolly says:

    This is lovely. Thank you for sharing. By doing so, you connect with so many of us, as we all relate to being human.

  15. Neat journal idea!

  16. Wow.
    I did not know.
    It never occurred to me that you had pain and disability.
    The thought that you suffered while bringing us such benefits is humbling and at the same time, joy-giving.
    How glad I am that you had your husband, that he was good to you and for you.
    Much love and good wishes for you for next year.
    May all your work be successful.
    <3 K
    Katharine recently posted…Excellence vs. OCDMy Profile

    • My blog and the weekly interactions have helped me so much, too! It was part of keeping a sense of normality.

      Thank you for being you and for all your support, Katharine. May 2017 be a wonderful year for you and your loved ones.

  17. Hi Henneke,

    So I’m not alone when it comes to my weaknesses? Little did I know giants like you share same weaknesses.

    You’re inspirational.

    As a matter of fact, you’ve completely changed my approach to blogging with your articles on the internet. And I appreciate that, Henneke.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Lee Miller says:

    Thank you for sharing yourself, Henneke. Inspiring. Full on real. Courage lived out. Makes me adore and appreciate you even more (how could that be!).

    2016 has also been a year of change for me — reclaiming my health and finding my joy again (two wee granddaughters).

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Joy filled 2017! Lee <3

    • It’s so wonderful the hear that you’ve been reclaiming your health and finding your joy in 2016.

      Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and enchanting 2017!

      And thank you for your lovely comment. Sending a hug across the big pond!

  19. Enjoy and happy holidays!

  20. Hi Henneke,

    You have been a breath of fresh air in 2016.

    Thanks to your sound and sensible approach to business , I am certain you have assisted many others besides myself to find their voice.

    Thank you for all that you do. Wish you a happy, healthier and joyful 2017.

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Ray, and for cheering me on this year. 🙂

      Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and joyful 2017, too!

  21. Hey Henneke,

    let me say that this is a truly inspirational and honest post. You start with “mind-reading” and then transition to your personal experiences. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, fears, frustrations and joys. And for finding the right words conclude this crazy year 2016.

    For me personally, this year was characterized by personal growth but also growing fear, that I hadn’t known before. That whole populist BS going on seemingly everywhere … Maybe it’s because I’m a father now and my two-year-old starts interacting with this crazy world. I don’t know…

    That being said: I actually liked this year. I learned that embracing change is a huge oppurtunity to grow personally. I learned to sort out toxic people. And that I don’t have to deal with clients just because of the money. Makes life so much easier.

    And not that it’d make a difference, but just as a general statement: Yours is the only english-speaking blog I comment on because, you know, as ze german guy I don’t make zat effort everywhere 🙂

    Wish you all the best. Simply have a good time.

    “See” you next year.
    Chris

    P.S.: That to-do list is exemplary!

    • It’s been a crazy year, hasn’t it? It seems difficult to me to bring up children during these times.

      I’m honored that you’ve chosen my blog to comment on quite regularly. I appreciate your efforts, taking the time to leave valuable comments.

      Wishing you happy holidays, and “see” you in 2017, Chris!

  22. Yes, “be me”. Great advice for all of us. And I am so glad you are you!
    Hugs from across the pond.
    Janet

  23. And a happy 2017 to you, too! May your health keep improving, dear friend!

  24. I absolutely can relate! I’m also 47 and sometimes wonder if we ever stop learning lessons? Especially the hard way, lol! I usually don’t have a problem being myself, because honestly, it’s too hard to pretend to be anything else & I couldn’t if I wanted to. Ha! But, I’ve been struggling with something in my content. One of the subjects I will talk about in my personal social media, I’ve avoided on my social media for my website. I’m afraid of running people off, as it’s a very polarizing subject, but have intended to incorporate it one day when my site has more following. Now I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t just deal with it now, be myself, and those that will follow will follow. Ya know? Let my tribe develop from the beginning? What are your thoughts on the subject? I’d love a little professional guidance here. =)

    • The questions I ask myself in such a case:

      Am I comfortable with sharing this?
      Can I help my readers by sharing this? (It helps to write an ideal reader profile so you can evaluate the question better)
      Can I share this without feeling sorry for myself?

      I don’t want to share things to rant, or to whine, or to get them off my chest (although that helps, too!), but I want it to be valuable and useful, too.

  25. P.S. I love the to-do list! Those are all simple changes that will boost your health every day! Sometimes it’s the little things we forget to do that make the biggest difference. I’m super thankful I’ve found your site and excited to learn more from you in the coming year! <3
    Kim Johnson recently posted…Everything You Know About Healthy Food Is A LieMy Profile

  26. This is lovely! Good for you.
    It is indeed an adventure to be who we are, rather than who others say we should be.
    Enjoy the ride!
    Christine

  27. OK. That was beautiful. Our work is about more than what we do. Thanks for the reminder.
    Happy Holidays Henneke.

    • That’s so true: “Our work is about more than what we do.”

      Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, too, Chris!

  28. One of the best virtual experiences I have had this year.

    Physical challenges sometimes bring out that which we take for granted: nature, friends and family.

    Thanks for the reality check and may you be “watered” as you keep “watering” others.

    Stay blessed, Henneke

    • That’s so true: “Physical challenges sometimes bring out that which we take for granted: nature, friends and family.”

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Bernice, it nurtures / “waters” my soul!

  29. I loved to read this and your todo list for 2017 Henneke!

  30. Thanks for letting us into your personal life in this post. I am inspired.

    Merry Christmas and happy new year!

  31. Hi Henneke,
    I’m so glad that the five-minute journal was helpful.
    You are an inspiration to me in terms of “being”.
    Cheers to a healthy and creative year in 2017!
    Thuy recently posted…How to create a more fulfilling lifeMy Profile

    • It’s amazing how big a difference five minutes of journaling (plus five minutes of hand-lettering!) makes. I really appreciate your suggestion.

      Wishing you restful holidays, and a healthy and creative 2017, too!

  32. First…thank you Henneke for revealing such deeply personal pain points! Wow. Finishing your blog for the year on a personal note is an excellent idea!

    What courage you have, as you pull back the curtain to reveal vulnerability that we hadn’t seen in you before. As with every other topic you’ve covered here, you develop your story with such mastery that I hung onto every word and felt I was right there watching stuff bombard you as you trudged through 2016.

    I’m deeply saddened to read of your pain and disability. At the same time I’m happy to know you have a loving, supportive partner to accompany you on your magnificent journey!!

    Thank you for being the authentically warm, creative, generous, brilliant person you are. Happy Holidays Henneke!!!

    • Thank you so much for your kind and warm-hearted comment, Lee. I appreciate it!

      I’ve found that accepting my vulnerability and allowing myself to be “fragile” actually strengthens me. Writing this post guzzled up a lot of energy, but at the same time, it gives me a lot back… a deeper understanding of myself plus lovely comments from people like you. So, thank you.

      Happy holidays, Lee!

  33. Teresa Mynko says:

    Thank you for sharing; you’re one of few able to enter the sometimes dark and delicate places of creativity and illuminate it for others.

  34. Patricia A Brown says:

    Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your life through your honesty and transparent messages. This site has been such a tremendous blessing and encouragement! Sorry to hear about your health challenge and pray for healing and strength as transformation continues to occur in and through you. Happy and safe holidays to you and your family!

  35. Dick Johnson says:

    Henneke, you are an absolutely amazing teacher, leader and writer. An absolute inspiration. But I don’t want the world to know about you! Your tips and advice is too good and I don’t want the competition getting it!

    Have an amazing 2017, and thank you for helping me grow my business and my mind with your selfless free content. It’s really too good to be free :->

    • Ha! Your comment made me smile, Dick.

      I’d love everyone (even your competition!) to benefit from the power of writing well 🙂

      I hope your 2017 will be amazing, too!

  36. Hi Henneke,
    thank you for every post you’ve written this year. Each one of them is helpful. We started our businesses roughly at the same time and I wish I could say mine is finally shaping up to be something not to be embarrassed about. I’ve always looked up to you and studied how you became better and better over the years.
    I wish you all the best for 2017. Hope your health troubles were only a blip and you fully recover (or learn to be happy with your body regardless).

    • I don’t think we should ever be embarrassed about stumbling around in our businesses. It’s hard to find the right path and there are so many distractions and there’s so much conflicting advice. I’ve been lucky to stumble into the right direction pretty quickly – even though my business turned out completely different from what I had in mind!

      Wishing you all the best for 2017, too!

      • Yes, I couldn’t agree more about the distractions and conflicting advice.
        It is your honesty about not always getting it right, and seeing you make massive improvements over time that make your teaching so rich.
        For me reading your blog is only in part about writing. Another important part is how to succeed in business and life in general. 🙂

  37. so happy for the self discoveries, greater inner peace, and creativity you’ve tapped into this year. wishing you happy holidays Henneke!
    Steven Daar recently posted…Want More Traffic to Your Website? Learn The “Secret” To More TrafficMy Profile

  38. I have to admit that your post stirred up a tiny bit of envy. All that self-knowledge is valuable! You sound so comfortable in yourself (even though your body hasn’t been well).

    Thank you for your support (& Henrietta’s!) and an inspiring year of learning via your blog posts. I wish you the most restful, rejuvenating holiday season ever.

    x
    Alison
    Alison Beere recently posted…24 Ways to Keep DrawingMy Profile

    • Yes, it’s so true that self-knowledge is valuable, and getting to learn more about myself is definitely the silver lining of struggling with my health. It made me step back and reflect. It’s an ongoing process – I’m sure there’s more to discover in the coming years.

      Thank you for all your support, Alison, for cheering me on all year. Learning to draw from you and Sean has changed my life.

      Wishing you and your loved ones a rejuvenating holiday season, too.

  39. Steph Simons says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts, I find them inspirational! I’m like you though, in that I think about things, a LOT, but am slow to take action so I also thank you for introducing me to the 5-Minute Journal – I LOVE this idea as I’ve started many journals and never persevered, feeling like I was getting into Dear Diary territory and not enough reflection… so I’m going to get this journal and change things up. Bring on 2017! Merry Christmas and enjoy your restful break 🙂

  40. Hi Henneke.
    Your lessons provide a true picture of promising business and personality. Could you please share with me how you over came slow writting and reading since this is where my weakness area hinged.
    Thank you and I wish you a prosperous and fruitful 2017.

  41. You’re a total gem! You’ve certainly improved my 2016 – thank you!

  42. Merry Christmas and enjoy your Holidays, i always like your way of thinking and achieving goals. Keep going we learn a lot from you… Happy new year.

  43. Hi Henneke,

    I really appreciated this post!
    I started the year with many goals about increasing my subscriber base, writing guest posts, and content for Stop Feeling Crappy. Then in February I got pregnant and my brain turned to mush.
    I realized that pushing too hard for these online goals strained my relationships. So I eased off and focused on what’s truly important: my health, pregnancy, my children and husband.
    And running the yoga studio.

    So for next year my goal is to set achievable goals that include family, yoga and friends.

    I’m truly grateful for you and your courses. Even with a newborn, because the are done in simple steps, I’m able to keep up. And the work I’ve done has vastly improved my website. Thank you!

    • “I realized that pushing too hard for these online goals strained my relationships.”
      I’m so happy to hear that you realized this so soon. It’s far too easy to get entangled by online goals and forget what’s essential to our soul. I’ve in the past (in my corporate life!) gone on for far too long before realizing I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live.

      I’ve been truly impressed by how you kept up with the course despite giving birth. It’s been lovely to work with you (and all the others).

  44. And now I’m wondering whose class you have taken for the Lettering…

    I ask because for the last 6 months I too have been taking a lettering/doodling class and it has been such fun. I will email you privately..

    And so glad you’ve had a great 2016! x

  45. Henneke,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges you’ve been facing.

    You really are amazing, even with the difficulties you’ve been having, you have been such a positive influence in my life.

    Thank you for all your help and I wish for you all the best in health, happiness and relief from pain.

    • Working with you (and others like you) illuminates my day and makes me feel grateful for what I can do (rather than feel disappointed or angry about what I can’t do). I am lucky.

      Wishing you & Amy a healthy and happy 2017. Thank you for all your support and for being you.

  46. Annamarie Muirhead says:

    Yes about my ideas for 2017 as well. Don’t take life too seriously.
    Enjoy this glorious planet we are living on.
    Look for the good things in life and people.
    Have more fun LOL and be kind to every one I meet.
    Smiles turn strangers into friends.
    With Love all things turn out the way they are meant to.
    And most of all, LOVE WHAT IS. Have a great holiday filled with fun and laughter, Love A.

    • “Look for the good things in life and people.”
      That is so true. This is what I’m learning 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Annamarie. Wishing you a holiday full of joy, too!

  47. Henneke,

    Thank you for a great year of communicating so much, and with such depth. I hope that your holidays are magical, reinvigorating, and magical. Thanks for all you taught me!

    Bill

  48. Hello Henneke,
    I can’t even remember now how I found your blog, but I always read every post. Today’s post SO inspirational. I too am going through my own transitions, working to be more of who I am. You said it so beautifully. Your story gives me hope that I can find my passion in my mid-forties.

    Here’s to an incredible 2017 for you. Keep up the great work!

    • Hello Amy,
      If there’s one thing I’ve learned, then it’s that it’s never too late to change direction, to discover who we are, to find a passion, to live the life we want to live.

      Wishing you a 2017 full of passion and creativity!

  49. Dearest H…there’s something about you and your writing that makes me keep coming back for more. Thank you for your honesty and simplicity. This post was quietly inspiring and motivating. Blessings on your down time and looking forward to seeing you soon

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Cilla. I appreciate your words. “Quietly inspiring and motivating” – that’s how I’d love to be 🙂

      Wishing you a rejuvenating holiday season, too!

  50. Bill Honnold says:

    Henneke,

    Your introspective posts always make me feel like it’s OK just to be me.

    Thanks.

  51. Wonderful post, Henneke! I hope 2017 brings you amazing things. xoxo

    • Thank you, Sonia. And thank you for all your support through the years.

      Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy and happy 2017!

  52. Another great post Henneke. 2015 was a year of great personal loss and continuing physical pain for me – at times it all seemed “too much” but each day I could start to see things clearer and found the strength to carry on. Your course and blog has been one of my two great finds in 2016. Thank you so much for all your inspiration and I truly hope that we all in the Henneke “family” have a joyous 2017

    • I’m sorry to hear about your personal loss, Gerri. But it’s good to read you’re starting to see things clearer and finding the strength to carry on.

      I love your wishes for everyone in the Henneke “family.” That sounds lovely. Thank you.

      I wish you strength, health and inspiration for 2017!

  53. Thank you Henneke for your authentic sharing. This is a beautiful post filled with inspiration. Thank you also for supporting me through your course this year. You deserve pure joy in 2017!

    • Thank you so much, Sheila. I’ve truly enjoyed working with you (and all the others!) on the course. Wishing you an inspired and compassionate 2017!

  54. Henneke,

    I too open all your emails. I have loved your snackable course, and apply it as my small brain munches it up. I find you thoroughly enchanting! Looking forward to becoming more productive as I follow you. Thanks, and see you on the flip side.

    • Ha! That’s what I heard … your brain was munching up my snacks 😉

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Kate. See you in the new year! Happy holidays 🙂

  55. So many great comments here! Now I don’t even know what to say. Everything seems to have been said already…

    Except I wouldn’t have considered all those things to be weaknesses in the first place 😉 I think these qualities of yours are exactly why you and your writing can change our lives and why everyone wrote all these beautiful things about you.

    Henneke, you are such an incredible person! I can only agree with all the great comments here.

    I wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2017!

    • Of course, you’re right – they’re not weaknesses. It just took me many years to figure that out, as I tried to adopt the more typical traits associated with successful people. I think I hung around for too long in environments where typical extrovert skills were more appreciated than sensitivity and creativity. I’m glad I escaped! 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Gill. I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and enchanting 2017!

  56. Henneke,

    I’ve missed reading your material. 2016 was a long year. I’m sorry I’ve only found out about your injury. I hope you are really getting better. Enjoy the rest. Please know good thoughts are coming your way.

    • I’ve missed you, too, Curtis! I hope you’re well?

      Good to “see” you again – I appreciate your good thoughts 🙂

  57. You nurture your soul girl, like you nurture ours. I’m pulling for you in 2017 and beyond! HUGS! 🙂

  58. Marianne Post says:

    I’m a slow writer, too! Thanks for sharing your personal experience with this.

    I’ve wrestled with this block since…forever. And I finally worked through it this year – not by writing faster, but by coming to terms with it. I finally stopped pressuring myself to write at a journalist’s pace and stopped forcing speed tips that don’t resonate. Just like you, I concluded that my writing style allows me to dig deeper. I’m free to play with my words, instead of forcing them onto the page at a painful speed. Feels amazing!

    On that note, I love your blog. It’s one of a select few I read no matter what – even when my inbox is overflowing.

    Happy Holidays:-)

    Marianne

    • Wow, yes, that’s exactly my experience, too. More digging and more playing 🙂

      I recently read that Leonard Cohen took 5 years to write the song Hallelujah. I think Bob Dylan has said that he’s written Blowin’ In The Wind in 10 minutes.

      So, I guess we all have to find joy in our own process and work at our own speed. 🙂

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Marianne. Happy Holidays!

  59. Wonderful and wise post, Henneke! It really inspires me to go on with my own adventure to be me. Thank you very much.

    Hope your health will improve and you’ll feel better in 2017. And I hope you’ll keep writing these beautiful blogs.

    All the best!
    Happy Holidays and healthy 2017!

    • I like your choice of the word “adventure.” We can feel more fulfilled, when we choose our own adventures, and lead our own expeditions to discover new things.

      Thank you for your well wishes, Karien. I appreciate them. Happy Holidays and a healthy 2017 to you, too!

  60. Yvonne Reese says:

    Dearest Henneke,

    AS IF I couldn’t adore you more…then you come up with this post. Tears in my eyes today. Loving your “mad” writing skills and your spot on observations.

  61. Henneke,
    Thank you for being such a generous coach-in-a-post with pizazz – of course 🙂
    “Danke” for sharing a journey exploring and discovering authentic writing with personality; littered with a few well deserved broken rules 🙂 Much appreciated.
    Be tender with yourself, recharge and Happy Holidays.
    Read you in 2017…
    Nicole recently posted…Stuck? These Will Get You Unstuck and Surprisingly Fired UpMy Profile

    • Ha, yes! Let’s not forget about breaking the rules 🙂

      Thank you for all your support and comments, Nicole. It’s always a pleasure to see your face pop up on the blog – I know I’ll be in for a treat.

      I wish you Happy Holidays and an enchanting 2017. See you again in the new year 🙂

  62. Dear Henneke,
    A lovely post for which I am sending a Thank You, together with my very best wishes for 2017.
    Looking forward to reading you as of January 2017 🙂
    Take care. Doris

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Doris. I’m sending you my best wishes for the New Year, too.

      See you again in 2017! 🙂

  63. Hi Henneke,
    A healthy and happy Henneke will keep on writing great blog posts and next year. I am empathic with you and your pain and I suggest Bowen therapy: painless, fast and it doesnt interfere with your work. You just give up drinking coffee for the day of the therapy.
    Wish you a great New Year and rock solid health!
    P.s. I do like your drawings and hope to see more of it. Pictures make me absorb and remember information faster.

    • Thank you for your recommendation, Denise. I don’t drink coffee at all 🙂

      Like you, I also like images to help me absorb information. I’ll definitely keep drawing in the 2017, hopefully more than in 2016.

      I wish you a healthy and happy 2017, too!

  64. Hi Henneke,

    “I’m a slow writer. I don’t like big parties. I think more than I do. I’m a slow starter. I’m overly sensitive.” – – you and me both…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this year and your plans for 2017. I have to admit that I’m still processing my data and refining my goals, but there are a few days left before kick-off, right?

    Best Wishes
    – David
    David Hartshorne recently posted…How To Write An Engaging Blog Post (That Your Readers And Google Will Both Love)My Profile

    • I’m surprised how many people are “slow writers” – I guess most of us don’t talk about being slow as it might not make us look good. Perhaps it’s time for a slow writing movement? 😉

      There’s still plenty of time to think about your plans for 2017. Wishing you a happy holiday season!

      Thank you for all your comments this year. 🙂

  65. I love the idea of the Five Minute Journal! I’ve been so focused in 2016 on landing guest posts, building email lists, selling novels…I haven’t been making space for anything that’ll actually make me happy. And that’s what I need to do in 2017!

    • I highly recommend it. There’s a little more to it than I described in my post, but it does only take five minutes a day and it’s a great to nudge ourselves to find some time to do things that make us happy.

      Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative 2017! Thank you for your all your comments this year, LJ.

  66. Dear Henneke,

    Thank you for this post and everything else you’ve shared this year. The giant, glowing heart in your drawing illustrates your generosity perfectly!

    Here’s to good health and doing things that make us happy in 2017!

    • Wow. What a lovely comment, Liza. I’d not thought about the heart like that.

      I wish you a restful and rejuvenating break, and an enchanting New Year. And yes, let’s do more things that make us happy in 2017!

  67. So sorry about your physical challenges this year, Henneke. I hope you feel better. As a journal keeper for years, I can attest to how wonderful they are. You’re smart to follow your heart. As we get older, we learn to do that more and more. Happy New Year.
    Laurie Stone recently posted…What Are The 6 Most Annoying Holiday Songs?My Profile

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