Why I feel like Alice in Wonderland

Don’t you just love the start of a new year? January 1st is the ultimate do over, the slate is wiped clean for a fresh start.

Exactly one year ago the new year truly was a fresh start for me because I had just finished up with 8 months of cancer treatments. I didn’t set any goals for 2016 other than to live life to the fullest and hold on to what I had learned from having cancer.

For the most part I did just that. I embraced every opportunity the universe put in front of me. I traveled to Las Vegas, Atlanta, Italy, High Point NC and London and I made some wonderful new friends through these trips. I was busy with design jobs and worked only with clients that I chose to work with. I took the time to reconnected with friends from the past and for the first time in my life I took time to recharge and not feel guilty about “doing nothing”.

January 2017 though feels different. Last year at this time I was simply happy to be alive. This year I feel like I need to jump off the high board. I want to do something big and challenging and step out of my comfort zone in a big way. I’m just not exactly sure what it looks like. I can “feel it” but I can’t “see it”.


I keep thinking about this quote from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and in all honesty I don’t know where I want to go. Do you ever feel this way?

Maybe I don’t know where I want to go because there are too many places to go and roads to choose from. The thing is, I want to go down ALL the roads. I want to continue growing my design business and blog. I want to spend more time on my photography. I want to write a book teaching designers how to take better photos using the iPhone. I want to travel as much as possible and I want to focus on my personal life and my relationship with my husband. I want to spend more time with friends and I want to take the time to prepare healthy food and exercise. I want the biggest life possible but I can’t find the one road that will take me there.

On the flip side, I want to to simplify my life as much as possible. I want to declutter even more. I am ready to let go of our big house and a life time of collecting “stuff”. I am ready to live with less yet have more.

I want to simplify and expand all at the same time.

So as I head into 2017 I feel both fear and excitement. I don’t know where I am going but I know it will be a year of change, challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Happy New Year to you all and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along on my journey and for reading this blog.

As always, I would love to hear from you. Do you know where you are going in 2017?





18 Responses to Why I feel like Alice in Wonderland
  1. Karen Regan Reply

    Linda: god bless that you beat cancer! 2016 was a great year for you.

    I was just laid off from a 20 year job that I hated. Not sure what 2017 brings for me as I don’t want to go back to corporate America. I am exploring my Life Coaching experience along with a new interest, Tarot card reading. Goes hand in hand beautifully, but I don’t yet know how to move forward with both.

    Here’s to a fantastic 2017, no matter where we end up!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Oh wow Karen. So sorry about the job situation but the fact that you hated it must be a blessing in disguise. Now you have the time to pursue the life coaching and your other interests. I wish you all the best that 2017 has to offer.Hopefully a year from now you will think the job loss was the best thing that ever happened to you!

  2. carol beck Reply

    Oh Linda! How glad I am you are a year past cancer!. I have so many of the same feelings about the coming year. So much I want to achieve, but the road, the “right” path to get me “there” isn’t clearly out in front of me. Perhaps it never really is. That is why, I suppose, we are built to take steps, one at a time. And I find that oddly comforting. I hope your 2017 is fabulous and leads you into the path of 2018!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so very much Carol! I think you are right, it’s just continuing forward one step at a time.Best wishes for 2017 to you as well!

  3. Deborah Main Reply

    Congratulations Linda on a year out from cancer! And I have to agree, you sure lived life to the fullest in 2016. I could not keep up with which city you were flying off to next….seriously!! I’m so glad you had all those wonderful opportunities to travel and make new friends and reconnect with old friends. And you’ve done such a great job on your blog….love reading it!

    I also understand what you’re feeling about not sure which path to take. I tend to always feel this way in January. Usually I try to “fix” that feeling and plug something in right away. But over time, Ive learned to “trust the process” more, the “not knowing” and give myself the time and permission I need to not have clarity. Because eventually it comes.

    Usually by the end of January I’ve chosen a path. But it often morffs into more paths than I can keep up with. And while my 2016 was great, I definitely felt stretched thin. So I spent the last half of 2016 (from the summer on) shifting gears completely. I mean drastically. I found an online art course called Art Career Success System and for once, it was THE perfect choice for me and opened up a whole new world.

    I’m still not sure of myself and there is definitely uncharted (out of comfort zone) territory ahead, but I feel a shift. And the shift is a lot like you described, decluttering, wanting to spend more time with my hubs and reconnecting to friends, focusing on my health and well being, and doing what I love.

    Like you, there’s so much that I want to do that sometimes its hard to choose. For example, I want to get back involved in a nonprofit, but which one??

    So I just wanted to say I hear you. You’re not alone in these feelings. And you don’t have to choose a path right away. Sometimes I just like to clear my calendar and see how things unfold. This will be the first year I’m consciously not going to Dallas market, or any trade show for that matter. I’m going to try and spend more time in my studio creating my art. But I still worry about IF I can create and what that will look like.

    You have really taken off with your photography and I would not be surprised if that is a new path you follow. But be good to yourself and don’t rush the process. It will reveal itself soon enough. Remind me of that if February rolls around and I still don’t have clarity…lol. But I have a BIG birthday coming up this year, so I’m kind of letting that be my guide.

    Here’s an idea: You can always fly out to TX and we can do a girls road trip out west. Now how fun would THAT be!!! 😃

    Wishing you all the best in 2017, a definite year of change for many of us. Right there with you my dear! Happy New Year! xo ❤

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much for all the support you have and continue to show me Deborah. Life is a twisted path and you and I both know that even the best thought out plans can be derailed in an instant. I guess it’s best to plan as much as possible but always be open to detours. There are lessons to be learned even in the toughest times. As far as your idea of a road trip…I love that idea!

  4. Beth Reply

    Wow Linda – You and I are on the same wave length bigtime – ready for something big and challenging. We should talk!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      We sure are Beth, in fact I thought of you as I was writing this post. Hopefully 2017 will be defining years and bring clarity for both of us!

  5. Laurel Bern Reply

    Happy New Year Linda! I am so proud of you and admire you Immensely! It was great getting to spend time with you in Italy and in November!

    I think in many ways I’ve been lucky. For me, becoming financially solvent was the main priority. And I did NOT want to grow my ID business. :] The numerous, often financially debilitating problems were getting to me.

    Plus what IF I couldn’t do the job for some reason?

    But then at some point, maybe about 3 years ago, I realized that if I could focus on my blog and really build it up, it could open up new opportunities for me. I saw that happening for others.

    At first it was to get more business, but then a couple of years ago, I could see that there was much more that I could do with it.

    I didn’t do it alone, though. I had mentors and people to help me figure it out.

    Some things have fallen by the wayside, in the process and this year I hope to gain more of a social life and continue to build my new career as a full-time interior design blogger.

    And I’m super excited about my workshop at the Design Blogger’s Conference in March. I’m going to be sharing exactly what I did to build my platform which is my blog. (and make a handsome income from it)

    I’m not saying that it’s easy or that I’m never filled with doubt or know exactly where the road will take me. No one knows that and I think allowing for flexibility and change is necessary too.

    All the best to you in all of your endeavors. You’re such a wonderful talent!

    Hope to see you again soon!



    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much for this Laurel. What you have done with your blog is nothing short of amazing. I also know how hard you have worked over these past few years and you deserve every bit of success and recognition. I can’t wait to hear your talk at the DBC in March. I’m not quite ready to give up my design client’s but I admit there are days that it sure is tempting! Happy New Year and I will see you at KBIS!

  6. Linda Pakravan Reply

    Wow! Wherever your road takes you, you’ll continue to be great. Happy New Year!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much Linda and Happy New Year!

  7. Jil Sonia Interiors Reply

    Wow, Linda, what an open and honest post, it takes a true warrior to let us into your heart and mind.

    I wish you and Jim wonderful things this year, you are ready to take life by the horns and really rock this year!

    I’m so lucky to be your friend and I treasure our friendship.
    Much love, Jil and Brander xoxoxo

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Oh Jil, thank you so much for such kind words. You know I feel the exact same way about you and Brander and I am so grateful Maria’s class brought us together. Wishing with all my heart 2017 is filled with good health and recovery for Brander.

  8. Sheila Taylor Reply

    Happy New Year Linda! As a survivor, like you, I had those same feelings. Year one: fighting for your life, year two: where do I go from here? Achieve all my goals at once? Take care of my ‘bucket list’ or do I make a difference in some way? I struggled a lot with that. I learned to take a deep breath, be mindful and see what was presented to me. This year, I am doing a Vision Board exercise to give me clarity. With every good wish for you. Please keep your amazing blog posts coming. I love your heartfelt honesty.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks so very much Sheila for sharing that with me. I love the idea of the vision board. I think I will do that and see what comes up. Thank you for the suggestion.

  9. Liza Reply

    I so get where you are coming from. I’m just a bit behind you. 5 more weeks of radiation then wait and see. Great blog post!

  10. Diana S Walker Reply

    Yes. I think every year is a new beginning and we have to gain a perspective of life as we want it to be that challenges our soul to be our authentic self. As I get older I’m embracing more of the person I love to be. I’m going to relearn music again. I figure at 63 I can learn to play the piano as kids do and feel quite accomplished in 10 years when most kids have stopped lessons. Anyway there’s more fun on the bucket list as I age. Love my children and grandkids. Learning patience with Mom as she continues to age and face more hurdles. Keep all of us in your prayers. Continue down the rabbit hole. There’s lots to explore ahead.

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