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2017: ending my year intentionally

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I’ve never been one to set New Year’s resolutions – the reality of me is that I’ll last about 2 weeks before life gets in the way and I think to myself “I’ll keep going with that next week…. there’s always next week.”

because life does get in the way and 2017 has been no different

I had intended doing a blow-by-blow summary of my year, but then this post from Daisy on No Sidebar gave me the direction I needed to finish my year with intention.

1. What makes this year unforgettable?

2017 has been a year of loss.

The loss of dear friends… too many of them my age, which reminds you of your mortality and of the need to live every day as if it is your last.

My Boy’s diagnosis with ankylosing spondylitis…  a tough gig for a teenage boy to deal with, losing control to the pain that has become a daily part of life for him.

The Girl leaving home for the second time… letting one of my little birds fly free and marveling at just how comfortable she is with this change.

2. What did you enjoy this year?

The highlight of the year was definitely our trip to Fiji.  It came at a time when we all needed a break – physically, emotionally and mentally.  Ten days of family, good food, swimming, beach and, books.  Exactly what our hearts and souls needed.

3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?

Miss L. who has been my sounding board for all things related to my Boy and ankylosing spondylitis.  Whether to cry about his pain or fist pump about a great day, she’s been there for both of us this year.

4. What’s your biggest win this year?

I pitched a job for myself to the Boss, and am loving my new role as the media manager at the school.  It was time for a job sea-change and I’m glad I had the balls to do it.

5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?

It’s been a year of learning about minimalism for me.  The sites Becoming Minimalist and No Sidebar being the main ones, plus a host of others that I don’t keep track of, and the book “The gentle art of Swedish death cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson.  I’ve begun going through cupboards and crates and getting rid of things that no longer bring me joy.  It’s a process, and it will continue into 2018, and probably 2019 if I’m honest, but it’s a process I have been enjoying and intend to make a part of my everyday life.

6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?

The Boy was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis this year.  It’s rocked his world, and ours as a family.  The constant pain and fatigue that he’s been experiencing have had him (and me) in tears – literally.  And as a Mum, not being able to take that pain away has been bloody awful… it’s making me tear up as I write.  When all I can do is rub his back and cry right alongside him… it sucks.

But we’re a determined bunch.  Me – I’ve read medical journal articles until my eyes were blurry.  I understand this disease, from an academic perspective at least.  I know about the drugs used to treat, the alternative medicines that will help and how diet and exercise play an integral part in the spinal health of a person with AS.  We’ve found a brilliant GP who has set us on a path to health, and we’re feeling confident that with her guidance we can achieve some semblance of the life that was for my Boy.

From here it’s about educating him about how to manage this disease because we’re both determined that this disease won’t manage him.

7. What was your biggest regret and why?

Regrets?  I always struggle with the concept of regret.  Life is a lesson and if you’re smart, you learn from the mistakes – therefore no regrets.

8. What’s one thing that changed about yourself?

I learned to care more about me, and less about what others think of me.  I’m definitely a zero-fucks-given sort of gal.  In a polite way, of course!

9. What surprised you the most this year?

That I miss my Girl less than I thought I would.  When she moved to the Northern Territory it was hard.  It’s different this time though.  She’s not too far away, and we text and talk every day, so the only thing I’m missing out on is her cuddles.  Which makes them extra special when I get them, so win-win.

10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?

You are where you need to be. Just take a deep breath.

So that was 2017.  2018 looms.  There are plans.  It’s exciting and nerve-wracking and who knows what it’s going to bring.

but whatever it does, I’ll be ready

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53 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice: No.14

2014 is going to be your year

There’s no time like the present to make changes.

I’ve decided to make some changes in my life this year.

I’ll be dropping back to 3 days at the paid-job.
I’m going to start making jewellery again.
I’m going to overcome my fear of putting myself out there on social media.
And I’m going to offer my photography for sale online as prints.

Because if we don’t bite the bullet and do it now, when the hell will we ever get around to it?

What will you be doing to make 2014 your year?

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The Year That Was

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What did I get up to in the last 12 months?

1. Waved goodbye to 14 Christmas guests, then went and collapsed on the couch for the afternoon.

2. Drove a 10 hour round trip to take Daughter to a naturopath appointment (in-car bonding time and we’re so glad we’ve found Pauline).

3. Started a new job (one that pays fortnightly *gasp*).

4. Stayed ‘dry’ for the month of February.

5. Found out there is no cheap time to travel to Tasmania.

6. Mourned the passing of an old and dear friend.

7. Did not speak to my Sister weekly (and missed our conversations).

8. Made time to have lunch out with the Husband regularly.

9. Learned to Zentangle.

10. Photographed a dude getting arrested, at gunpoint, by the side of the road.

11. Watched and giggled while my kids and their friends had massive water pistol- and bucket fights in the backyard… all the while wishing I could join them.

12. Hosted 17 teenagers for lunch at my house (and yes, I would probably do it again!)

13. Made 2 new friends.

14. Re-read the entire ‘”Tomorrow Series” by John Marsden.

15. Invested in a DSLR (I *love* my camera).

16. Tossed out all of my old make-up and invested in natural, no-chemical lovelies.

17. Did not conquer my fear of balloons.

18. Learned the difference between a plug-in and a widget (I think…).

19. Celebrated my Big Brother’s first birthday with us.

20. Remembered that if it doesn’t get done today, I can always do it tomorrow… no stress attached, because I am in charge of me.

What did you achieve this year that you are particularly proud of?

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