As of Thursday this week I officially have two school aged children. I feel like I’ve told every single person I know or have ever known because it is so very, very exciting. Exciting firstly for Alice, who was so ready for her first day that she basically couldn’t get rid of us quick enough. She strolled in confidently, popped her bag away and found her desk as if she’s been doing it for years. 

The confidence of the second or third sibling is such a treat as a parent. There were a few parents with their first born starting and most of them looked slightly panicked - leaving their oldest at this new starting line of the next phase of their little lives. Alice did an awesome job of comforting a few first timers which almost made my heart pop. I know everyone thinks their kids are the best, why bother otherwise right? But Alice really is the best. We’re so proud of both our kids (not forgetting Frank of course) and are so excited for them and what the year ahead will bring.

This year is going to be great. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know. ‘I can feel it in my jellies’ as Frank would say (this is a pokemon movie reference). I can genuinely feel this underlying current of positivity and prosperity for everyone. Maybe it's just because I’m getting older or maybe it's my recent connection with Stoic philosophy and living each day as if it was my last, but there is definitely a feeling of tranquillity swirling around me.

I’m happy to admit that this feeling of euphoria could very well come from the fact that for the first time in over 7 years I’ll be able to work full time. It goes without saying that a big chunk of that excitement for the kids comes from regaining more time in my week. I remember my wise aunty telling me that people with grown up kids will always tell you not to wish the time away when your kids are little - kids grow up so fast that you should treasure every moment you have with them - she also said that was bullshit and the primary school years are by far the best!

So far, I agree. 

Being able to work more is something that I never thought would be at the top of my priority list but when you have a couple of businesses, working more is the only way forward. I’ve managed to survive some pretty lean years as a freelance designer with 2 small kiddos running around so the idea of being able to invest more focused time into my work is really exciting.

It couldn't have come at a better time with The Design Dept looking at its best year yet with a variety of projects planned and in progress. I have a great balance of exceptional clients that will keep the work and roles changing which is always fun. Finally after 10 years of freelancing, I’m finding my stride.

My to do list for The Design Dept has been growing over the years to the point where I could probably spend the next 12 months just working on my own projects. Riding on the success of my InCopy Tutorial, I want to put together a whole suite of resources on long format publishing to help other designers and publishing teams. I suck at making the content, but you’ve got to start somewhere and what I know is really useful. I can’t wait to invest more time in this.

Then there is TinyOffice - gosh, where do I even begin! We have so much to do and I’m so pumped about finally being able to give the time it requires. We have an open day coming up that we’re really excited about sharing with everyone. Our open days have become a great part of our business not just as a way to meet potential customers and show off our product, but the event itself is something our team rallies around.

To be honest I could do with more than 5 days of kid free school hours but one thing that working with small children has taught me is how to be efficient. How to pump out something productive in the 15 minutes you have before the kids need something else. It's always about working smarter and not harder so I’m more than confident I’ll be able to achieve massive things in between drop off and pick up this year. 

Before I finished bragging about how great my year is going to be I wanted to mention what I’m really looking forward to the most, the one thing that is more important than all the other stuff and that's owning my boundaries. Boundaries are so hard to maintain when running your own business and this year is about completing my work in working hours. I want to be able to pick the kids up after school and not check an email till I’m at work the next day. 

It’s about living in the present moment. When I’m at work, I’m working and when I’m with the kids, I’m parenting. Sounds simple enough but it’s easier said than done. Today, my first task is to officially set office hours in my email signature as a way to celebrate this new control over my time I have. 

I’m excited. Excited like Alice on her first day. Excited about the possibility and potential of what lies ahead for our family and for yours. Even if everything turns to shit, which it will do in some shape or form, right now, in this very moment, it's smooth sailing. Let’s celebrate that!

Video of the week
Benedict Cumberbatch reads a hilarious letter of apology to a hotel
Podcast of the week
The Futur: How affiliate marketing works with Jacob Cass
Font of the week
Baustraße: Font of the week by Fantasia Type

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