I have discovered a very strange world after the end of the 52 challenge.
Having worked up to a frenzy by the end of the year, I thought I would be glad when it was all over. No more discipline of making sure I take photos of anything I might log as a challenge, or clearing time to make sure I could get online when I needed to.
But, come 10pm on 31 December, and the posting of my 52nd new thing, instead of feeling relief I suddenly felt ridiculously proud of myself. I had come up with this outwardly silly idea a full 12 months earlier and stuck with it all the way through the year. Some of the challenges were bigger than others, but all were important to me for one reason or another.
This followed naturally on with thoughts of what I would do next: what will I feel proud of in December 2012? There are a number of reasons why 2012 looms even more horribly than 2011 did, so what can I think of next?
52 more things is the obvious thing, but also a bit toooo obvious. Plus the discipline, while undeniably helpful, has been a bind at times. Then there is the problem of the successes of 2011 spilling over into 2012: the choir continues, the scavenger hunt goes on, the successes of my little craft world in 'says alice' desperately need to be built upon, I'm speed reading for book club and behind in arranging the next film club get-together. Is finding more new things really the right thing to do, or would the whole exercise become counter intuitive?
We began 2012 with a wander to see the seals and hopefully seal pups at Horsey beach. Which is where it occurred to me that I really wanted to share the seals with the blogging community that I had found, even though it was too late to be a first. Which I then realised made me a bona fide blogger. Which I THEN realised meant I didn't need a challenge, I could always just, you know, blog.
I am sure most of you know this already and could probably have told me months ago.
The end result is that after a morning of playing around with blog layout and getting very frustrated indeed with the tools in blogger, I have done a minor relaunch of the blog and will be taking it forward into 2012. It is strange not to have the structure of the challenge and we'll have to see where it goes, but I'm looking forward to it all the same.
For now, here are some of those wonderful seals. The sign on the walk up to the beach was a request from the local wildlife trust to ask us to keep to the dunes to avoid disturbing the seals and to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the seals pupping in the wrong place. I am rather pleased that they did.
I particularly like the big stripes they leave on the gravel when they drag themselves about. They really are quite ungainly and the pups look tremendously vulnerable as they can't escape to the sea until their fur is waterproof at 6 - 8 weeks old.
So, that's me as a blogger out there in the big wide world, Hope to see some of you along the way!