Gosh, it's been eons since I've made space for poor old Pink Tape. But I'm not apologising. This year I seem to have spent most of my time neglecting Pink Tape or apologising for neglecting it and promising I'll try harder.
But I'm not going to try harder. I WANT to find time for Pink Tape. And I will. But I'm not going to wring my hands, chase hit rates or make crappy apologetic posts for the sake of posting something. When I have something to say and the time to say it I'll say that thing.
2018 was a year of constant, somewhat frenetic juggling of impossible commitments and pressures. We spent six months living away from home due to building works (and even though we were lucky enough to be able to camp with fantastic extended family I have learnt that change is harder for some children to handle than others), I spent a significant portion of time fretting over 3 or 4 particularly demanding cases, and spending nights away from home with work - all whilst being constantly asked to make decisions about building materials, electrical works and decor in between witnesses - all whilst trying not to blow the budget whilst wondering when I might next get paid. I finished and published a book, and the demands of The Transparency Project have grown and grown. All good and exciting things - but exhausting nonetheless. And in amongst those balls hurtling through the air, each depending on being caught by me are my family and my mental health. When you sit down for just one moment and stop to think - it hits you that these balls are too precious to drop.
I've spent the best part of two weeks at home, with friends and family, scarcely switching on my laptop (just as well the poor thing needs a rest it is near burnout too!), and generally eating and laughing myself into a stupor. My family have needed it. I have needed it. And whilst I can't fit into any of my clothes I do feel refreshed and that my priorities have been reset. I may be about to launch back into the frenzy with a four day trial on 2 January (when did courts start sitting on 2nd January for goodness sakes?) but I am determined that 2019 is not going to eat me up and spit me out the way that 2018 has done - to me and to a number of others I love and respect. I LOVE my job, but 2018 has made me realise more than ever that if I want to keep doing it long term and want to keep doing it well I have to take time to breathe, and I have to do a bit less of it.
So, maybe fewer posts here - but hopefully posts worth waiting for...
Here is to a fabulous 2019 to all who read this blog. Look after yourselves in 2019 and do not let the system eat you up.
Before I leave you though, I thought I'd float a new year's resolution that myself and a mischievous friend thought up over the sloe gin when trying to work out how to make the many noble words spoken in 2018 about wellbeing into more than platitudinous crap - would it be next level trolling or a harmless yet symbolic reminder to ourselves and The Man of the "workload challenges" faced by advocates, if all orders drawn by advocates at the request of the court in 2019 were prepared and lodged in green comic sans font? Because we're worth it.... (after all I'm pretty sure *someone* was trolling us with the inclusion of multicoloured fonts in the order templates)...