January is the month of new beginnings. A time when we take a break, catch our breath, spend time with the people we love and reflect on the last 12 months. It's a time when we make plans on what we want to do differently and what we want to do better in the coming year. And a time when we start making those plans happen.
I've made a number of professional and personal resolutions for 2015, but probably the most important one is to spend more time with my husband, my family and my friends.
I know it's an age old resolution, which usually falls in a heap once the pressures of work, school, caring responsibilities and sporting commitments mount up. But I am determined this year to carve out some space to be with the people I love, physically, and not just catch up on their lives fleetingly over the phone or through text, email or Facebook.
At a recent women's leadership conference I was asked how I achieve work-life balance. And I was honest in saying, quite frankly, I don't.
After recharging my batteries over summer, I've decided on a renewed focus this year in an attempt to achieve greater balance in my life.
For me it means managing a rewarding and demanding workload, while also sharing a meal with Chris, pottering around the garden, getting some soul food from our national institutions and galleries, walking around the lake and testing out new recipes on Sunday afternoons.
I know from my many conversations, mobile offices, doorknocks, business walkarounds and community forums that last year was a tough one for Canberrans. And the tragedies in Sydney, Cairns and Peshawar meant you headed into your Christmas and holidays reeling.
So in 2015, I encourage you to spend more time just hanging out with those you love. And taking the time to stop and smell the roses... although my personal favourites are Asian lilies.
Published in The Chronicle