So it’s that time of year once more; a time to look back on what has been and to reflect on what I hope is to come, to wave goodbye to 2017 and welcome in the new year.
If you’ve not read one of my New Years posts before (you can catch up here and here!) then I shall warn you- these posts can get a bit lengthy and deep. Before we begin, grab yourself a cuppa and a cosy blanket. Ready? Let’s go…
2017 has been the most important year of my life for various reasons, some good, some incredible…and some utterly terrible. All in all I have come to realise that we never truly have a ‘good’ year or a ‘bad’ year. We simply have a year, and that year is made up of good parts and bad. I can tell you that 2017 has been beautiful and generous at times, and cruel and devastating at others…but I cannot surmise it as a whole.
I don’t want to sit and dwell on the bad parts for too long because they hurt and I’m not sure anyone wants to come in to the new year reading about them. Much less do I want to come in to the new year writing about them. That said, to gloss over the bad bits would be to not acknowledge that they happened, and I feel that is misleading and wrong.
So instead I will be brief with the sad bits and elaborate more on the good (much as I choose to in ‘real life’.)
In 2017 I lost my lovely grandad. He had been unwell for a long time, but still losing him was a shock that hurt deeply. Now that he has gone I remember him as he was before his operations and his lengthy illness. I remember him as this person who was so filled with life and energy. Someone who worked hard, was always busy doing something or the other but had so much time for his family. I feel comfort in remembering him this way, instead of thinking about him in his later years. And I feel comfort in knowing that he is at peace now, that he can walk again in Heaven. But when we lose someone we can’t help but selfishly feel that loss – and I wish so much that he was still here, healthy and happy again. Sometimes it feels so surreal that he has gone. I often find myself not quite believing it to be true. Sadly it is – I will always treasure the memories I have of him.
2017 has also bought illness to close family members and this has been so hard to deal with. I don’t want to elaborate on this blog, because I don’t think said family members would want that. So to respect privacy, I’m not going in to details. I will just say that this has been the single most difficult thing I have ever dealt with, and that since I found out the news I have not had one truly peaceful day. I don’t know what this year will bring, but I hope and pray for better times.
I don’t want this post to be super-sad or negative so I’m going to move on to some of my highlights before checking in on my resolutions/goals.
2017 was the year that Gareth and I got engaged!
We were on holiday in sunny Menorca at the time when Gareth proposed. More precisely the Caves of Xoroi. It was such a magical holiday filled with such wonderful experiences -and getting engaged really was the cherry on top of the icing.
We had such an amazing time in Menorca; we rented out a villa so had our own pool to swim in, but we spent a lot of time snorkelling in the sea too. Sun, sea and (prosecco) Sangria was just what we needed.
We also holidayed in Cornwall, renting out Nuthatch cottage which was so cosy. Staying in Cornwall was wonderful and I finally got to tick off a bucket list entry – visiting the Eden Project. We crammed a lot in to that holiday and managed a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Tintagel Castle -I have such happy memories of that trip.
And as if we weren’t lucky enough to take those holidays, we also squeezed in a mini break to Bourton-on-the-Water where we visited Birdland and a mini caravan holiday down in Dorset.
I also made a lot of happy memories with my family this year, going on various days out and spending quality time together. We did our best to celebrate as much as we could – including Autumn with pumpkin picking and Halloween with a fireworks and funfair event . We also visited The Lodge together and took as many family days out as we could fit in.
Other highlights for me this year include a visit to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Cambridge, Visiting The Birmingham Christmas Markets, The Weald Park Country Show, A Trip to Hever Castle and of course visiting Curious Calke Abbey
I rounded off my year by taking part in Blogtober which really pushed me as a blogger, and finished the year with a family Christmas which was absolutely lovely,
Writing it all down like this has reminded just how much I’ve actually done and experienced this year and it’s crazy because not only did we do all that but we bought a house. In 2017 Gareth and I became home owners which feels absolutely crazy.
I wrote about it here. And vlogged about it for Blogtober here, here and here!
We are still settling in but our home is now looking lovely and the area is very nice – I am looking forward to having more time in the Spring to explore and make some new memories!
Reflections and Resolutions
So now with that in mind it’s time to take a look at my resolutions. Last year I had six which were:
- Add more things to my Etsy shop. (I’m thinking a pin) and just spend a little more time working on my business.
- Progress in my career.
- Finish off my sleeve.
- LEARN TO DRIVE! (I must, I must!)
- Learn to sew. Buy a sewing machine/take a class and become good at it.
- Lose one stone, four pounds. NOT my goal weight, but the first steps towards feeling more comfortable in myself.
And I will be honest – they flopped pretty much. I did add some new things to my Etsy shop (and funnily enough they were pins. See here!) but I didn’t progress in my career or finish off my sleeve. Mind you, my sleeve is a work in progress and I have a big piece booked in for March (so we are getting there.) As for learning to drive, well – I did my best. I passed my theory test and I’m booked in for my practical. So I’m going to be kind and give myself that. I didn’t learn to sew but I did buy a sewing machine (I’m ready for it!) and I definitely didn’t lose weight – if anything I put it on! So I guess it’s a bit of a mixture really – but I’m not bothered as I know it was an incredibly busy year and I was doing a lot of living.
So what are my resolutions for this, my 28th year on earth?
- Pass my practical test. I keep it on my list every year, and throughout that time I haven’t given up – I have been steadily learning to drive. The thing is I lack the confidence and I’m not a natural at it. I don’t really enjoy things I’m not good at but I won’t give up. This year I will pass my practical test.
- Make more happy memories with my family. This one is very important to me. In 2018 I want to spend more time making happy memories with my family. I want to celebrate every occasion. Whether it be the beginning of Spring, to Easter and Halloween. Anything we can celebrate, we will.
- Think about (and possibly relaunch) my business. I don’t know what 2018 is going to hold, so I don’t want to be too strict with myself – but I definitely want to put some time aside to think about my Etsy shop and what direction I want to take it in. If I can relaunch it that’s a bonus.
- Exercise more and eat better. But not to lose weight. I am not in any way happy with my weight but I am no longer putting weight loss on my list of New Years resolutions. I just don’t think it’s fair to put myself through it. So whilst I might not lose weight, I can increase my physical activity and eat better to ensure that I am as healthy as I can be and to maintain the weight I’m at.
- Spend time in my garden. I know this is a bit of a weird one, but I have always wanted my own garden and now that I have it I really want to make it nice. For me that means tending to it, planting bulbs and flowers and getting it looking lovely. This is a big goal for me this year as I feel it will be quite therapeutic also.
And that’s it! I know it’s not a lot and there’s a reason for that. I want 2018 to be a peaceful year and a happy one. I want it to be a year of healing – I don’t really need it to be a year of growth. I want to slow down a little and take my focus off of ‘goals’. Some people live by them – myself included. But this year I want to shift away from that and focus on living gently. As I say, 2017 has been tough in parts and it has certainly been busy – I think this year is the perfect time to slow down a little and practice being kind to myself.
So that’s it, if you’ve made it to the end of this enormous post then thank you so much for taking the time! Please feel free to share your resolutions with me. I would love to hear them!