The Life Audit

By Alison November 7, 2019 3 Comments 10 Min Read

It’s been ever such a long time since I did a public Life Audit (though it remains a mainstay of my private journaling practise). And so here it is, same format as always with a freshly designed printable audit for my lovely VIP and Salon members here, so you too can hold a thorough examination of all that you are right now…

Today I am…

Escaping the house because we have had a new oven fitted and after switching it on to burn off the protective chemicals as instructed by the burly sorts who fitted it, I now feel as though I am living in the midst of a nuclear wasteland and thus must seek the fresh air of the local vintage emporium in search of more inspiration for my Christmas Playbook. That my dears is my excuse and that my dears is the one I am sticking to. Thereafter I shall return with much printed inspiration in hand (fingers crossed!) and accompany large child and his eccentric father to a college open evening where I will lose my mind on two separate premises: that Finley isn’t sufficiently fascinated by the possibilities of education and would rather write another (excellent) song and that Mark could ask the craziest of questions at any given point and I must be on guard to deflect his lovely, genuinely curious, madness by making it clear to anyone bemused that we split up years ago and I am not responsible for him!


Relieved. Normal order has been somewhat restored at home after the recent trauma of Ste’s sadness and now that he is back on medication we are once again feeling our way toward the future we both agree we want, whilst acknowledging that this is a scenario we may have to replay for always as mental health issues can be the most persistent and mithering of friends.

Also feeling: worried about the damp in the living room. A bit demented by the very idea of the chaos a damp course could cause before Christmas. And of course, stressed by the very idea of Christmas itself though I already have it under control and worrying is futile in the face of something that will happen anyway!


Everything. Do you too go through spells of incessant reading? Whereby the real world feels irrelevant when there are entire other minds to jump headlong into and so many new ideas to be grasped? Times when the normal obligations and conversations central to family life feels like soooo much noise and interference in your endeavours to do nothing at all beyond what is absolutely necessary because books like this exist? When not deliberating little weirds, I am also contemplating the ideas in this (still), and found this engaging, real and sad.


Hmmm. I want to give a straightforward answer to this very straightforward question but a) I haven’t got much appetite for anything other than blue cheese at the moment and b) my Dad is staying which means all bets are off in the food department for this is a man with very specific tastes. In fact, while Ste is muttering darkly about going back to a Keto diet, I am seriously considering recommending a diet of Blacksticks Blue, green grapes, corn on the cob, and dark chocolate for she in desperate need of taste sensations, but very little desire for proper food. While sprinkling a bit of chilli over the lot so my even my fussy Father will consider it worthy.

Gosh. I do wish I was the kind of person who liked food and ate normally and thus could regale you with endless lovely recipes. But hey ho, I’m just not. Soz about that.


2020. Even typing that excites me for the pattern in the numbers. (Small things right?). But aside from the joy of numerical sequence, 2020 feels important to me, not least because it will be Finn’s last year in school and more than likely our last full year in this house as the lease ends in February 2021. While I find change both frightening AND exciting, these two changes could overwhelm me and so I’m trying to streamline all other aspects of my life, including the way I work here at BrocanteHome, so that I can maintain some semblance of emotional stability as we navigate new paths together. 

Dreaming of…

A White Christmas? Oh, of course I’m not! I do believe my Chioniphobia is well documented isn’t it? No. What I’m actually dreaming of is the most subdued Christmas I have ever contemplated. One perfectly decorated tree instead a houseful of decoration, a small selection of just-right presents for those I love instead of the stockings full of nonsense I usually send myself insane shopping for. Food we actually enjoy, not the Christmas packaged buffet style nonsense we all endure for days on end. A no to places I don’t want to go. Peace and quiet and the joy of my nearest and dearest.

Heck I do believe I am wishing for a geriatric Christmas. Doesn’t it sound like all manner of festive bliss?


This Jeannie Burnout Twist headband from Anthropologie. Because despite the fact I look ludicrously horsey in a hairband, I have convinced myself that the wearing of such an accessory would be the epitome of Bet Lynch style housewife chic, if only in my mind. Though the older I get the more I think that what I look like in my own mind is more important than whatever anyone else thinks I look like… 

I also want (I want, I want, I want!) this Liberty journal, Gabrielle Bernstein’s Super Attractor Card Deck,  this rose candle holder and this absolutely perfect linen apron. (You can see me in this and the leopardskin hairband combo now can’t you??)

What’s that you say? Want doesn’t get? What a frankly outrageous thought.


I wasn’t quite so broody. Though the thought of looking after a teeny little babba twenty-four hours a day makes me feel exhausted, the notion that my baby days are over is giving me horrors and has got me jabbing diddy swords at the wafts of something like rage I feel when I contemplate what is now lost and the many reasons why I didn’t have a second child. While the majority of me knows this is preposterous and there has been enormous joy in being able to Mother one child so very thoroughly, and though I wholly understand that this is just the normal grieving process for my fertility so many women of my age experience, the rest of me wants to buy up Mothercare (before it goes bust) and experience once again the beautiful, soothing intimacy of feeding my little one in the deep, dark silence of the middle of the night.

Working On…

Some really boring stuff. Honestly the media would have you think that blogging is all free gifts and fancy Instagram poses, when really it’s kind of more like sitting about with your hair in an un-brushed muddle on the top of your head, while trying to remember to eat something as you plough your way through thirty nine million emails, worrying about berserk things like “your customer path” (No idea? Me neither. I’m relying on you all to find your own way!) and watching endless videos from the kind of so called experts who promise they know the secret to fortune and fame while probably also sitting around with their hair in a muddle!


The 25th anniversary of Simple Abundance. The book that has shaped my entire world and that to my absolute joy, I get a mention in, in this new, timely and lovely edition! I simply haven’t got enough words to describe the sheer serendipity of it being the fifteenth birthday of BrocanteHome on November 17th, considering that the very first day I mentioned Simple Abundance was a day later and now, fifteen years later, the 25th anniversary edition will be released on November 19th! It really does feel like a little kiss from the universe (and Sarah!) and I’m so grateful.

Grateful For…

Giddy amounts of lovely life. Here’s the thing: though I go through the most awful of ups and downs and sometimes feel like tearing my own hair out, when I sit still long enough to hush my busy head I remain astonished by how blessed I am. I really do. Though it has become something of a cliche, meditation helps me to rationalise my feelings and reminds me to keep shifting my gaze from distress to joy.

And finally tomorrow I will be…

Setting out on my usual Friday food shopping adventure with a little jaunt to my favourite, but rather out of the way deli for walnut bread and proper feta (enough already with these plastic blocks of nonsense: I want crumbly, oily, salty chunks please!) because I’ve gone cheese mental this week. Then on to the newsagents for a stack of lovely magazines for the joy of a Friday night reading by the twinkle of my bedroom fairy lights while Ste and the boys watch something so boyish they will be more than happy to excuse me if only to escape my harrumphs. I’m such a good harrumpher! 

On my to-do list this month?

* Quiet time. Life has felt so busy recently I want time to sit with nothing other than my own feelings..
*  Peaky Blinders. Though I have tried to watch it a few times and given up, my sister is now becoming quite persistent in her instructions to watch it because I will love Tommy.
*  Talking Finley in to giving up the cumbersome drum set he never uses.
*  Sorting out my bedside drawers as they seem to have become something of a medicine cabinet on Rococco legs because I’m such a hypochondriac! 

Happy November, Housekeepers!

Get Your Own Life Audit Printable!

My lovely Life Audit Printable has been re-designed and is now available for download for my VIP and Salon Members in the Library. Click here to add it your Lifebook and create a monthly auditing ritual from today.

Not a Salon or VIP member yet? Click here to join and don’t forget to use the code 2020 to get 50% off your subscription…


  1. Linda Larson says:

    Loved this, could relate to so much of it. We too are having a minimalist Christmas, just immediate family and pared down decorations and gifts. We have decided to get off the Christmas merry go round and look for something simpler and more meaningful for our own sanity. It seems in every direction we look we are assaulted by Christmas, what we should do, should by, should look like and should spend and it seems to us quite ridiculous. We will therefore buck this trend and enjoy quiet fun family times with nice nourishing food and 2 meaningful gifts each. I hope this will be a pleasing end to what has been a nightmare year, and a tranquil beginning to the New Year. I wish you the same.

  2. What a lovely post to read. I’m really excited about Simple Abundance, too!

  3. Maureen says:

    Oh Dear Alison. I just loved this post. It sounds like “the old Alison”is back !,
    You’ve had such a time of it lately and I’m thrilled things are back on track and it reflects in your writing. I too can’t wait for the new Simple Abundance. I like so many others have read and reread it so many times over the last 25 years. I look forward to doing the same with this new one. Take care Dearest friend whom I have never met but feel as though I am one of your besties. Lots of love always …Maureen xx

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