On Reflection

Last week I turned 32. Admittedly, quite a non-eventful age. Not grand enough by comparison to its 30 or 35-year-old neighbours. But a birthday nonetheless. And, much like the chiming clock that welcomes each new year, I find birthdays bring with them a certain amount of reflection. Dare I say, navel gazing. I'm not a 'serial birthday celebrator' (the thought of too much attention makes me feel skittish), so no big parties for me, but I do relish the idea of looking back over the previous year. Always a fan of a fresh notebook and a clear diary, my September birthday seems to offer both. (It must be the back to school spirit which happily coincides with my birth date.) 

Being heavily influenced by my surroundings is one trait that remains year after year, and so for this reflective moment I decided to light a candle. To me candles offer calm, clarity and the chance to just sit and breathe. With a mind that constantly buzzes, during times of prayer or thinking and mulling things over, watching a flickering flames brings welcome respite.
On Reflection (with The Fragrance Lounge) | Gathered Cheer blog

*Lights candle*

Oh, wait. What's for dinner?

Forcing my mind back to its quiet place. To stillness. And calm.  Don't forget to defrost the chicken. 

And so it goes. The ever constant tightrope walk between the sublime and the mundane. 

The fresh fragrance of earl grey and cucumber fills the room. And I finally find peace.

On Reflection (with The Fragrance Lounge) | Gathered Cheer blog

While we're here, let me just say how enamoured I am with this gorgeous Terrain by Paddywax candle. As a gatherer of all things ceramic and pot-shaped, it's my new favourite. While I'm loving it burning in our living room, I can't wait to fill it with a little pot plant! Just look at those watercolour, earthy stripes. Sigh. It's just perfect.

On Reflection (with The Fragrance Lounge) | Gathered Cheer blog

32. So, what have I learnt? 

I'm comfortable with who I am - thankfully, I seem to be reaching an age where the worries that filled my former years (about fitting in, being liked, not drawing attention) seem to be drifting away. 

I am confident in who I am becoming - the path I'm following, in work and life may not look the same as many others I know, but I feel God is leading me on. So I'm going to trust him and his plans for me.

Fretting doesn't help anyone - I'm finding life so much easier since I've gradually learnt to not obsess about things. Whether its friendship struggles, my weight, where we'll live next year... 

Love the ones you're with - I am so so grateful for the people that surround me. This last year has brought much change and new friends who now I couldn't imagine being without. 

I'm more capable than I think - Often times I defer to others - be it my husband, family or friends. But this last year has taught me how much I can achieve for myself. 

On Reflection (with The Fragrance Lounge) | Gathered Cheer blog

What an amazing year it has been. There has been: a house move, a new church plant, new friends and new work and blogging avenues. Busy? Yes. Scary? Absolutely. Worth it? For sure.

On Reflection (with The Fragrance Lounge) | Gathered Cheer blog

All photos styled and photographed by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer, with the exception of the lighting candle shot, which was kindly taken by the lovely Emily Quinton

Please note - the candle was gifted to me by The Fragrance Lounge. All opinions are totally my own, and I only ever write about things I'd be happy to enjoy in my own home! 

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