2016: Revisited

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It’s been a funny old year, a difficult one in many ways for myself and for the world in general, but it has also been a great and exciting one for me as well. There have been moments of joy, happiness and celebration alongside moments of frustration, deep sadness and annoyance. 2016 has been a funny old year indeed and in many ways, I can’t wait to see the back of this one to see exactly what 2017 holds.

Instead of doing my usual yearly round up I’m going to try and make it more concise, focus on the good stuff and look towards the future and all the positive things that will bring. I’ve not blogged half as much as I normally would this year for many reasons including being too busy and living more in the present instead of online as well as just generally not feeling like it and having so many days where I just didn’t want to do anything at all. I’ve struggled a lot with motivation and my thoughts and feelings this year and that shows itself the most in areas such as my writing, exercise and socialising. However, as we move into a new year, I plan to change this and take some time out for me over the next 12 months.

But as I mentioned earlier, I’m here to focus on the positive so here are some of my highlights of 2016:

  • Getting myself a great job in a great company. I’ve been there over 6 months now and it’s been brilliant, I love my job and that is most definitely the best anyone can ever hope for.
  • Copenhagen. In the summer, me and my boyfriend headed to Copenhagen for what was an amazing and well needed break, I love the city and I definitely plan on seeing as much of Scandanavia as possible.
  • North Norfolk. In October, me and my boyfriend took a holiday down south to Wells Next The Sea for a wonderful, relaxing few days that I enjoyed so much. Wells is such a lovely place and I can’t wait to return as much as possible to my boyfriend’s favourite place.
  • Weddings. I’ve been to so many weddings this year and each one has been lovely in its own way. What was even more special was seeing two of my oldest and best friends marrying their partners this year in days that were truly wonderful and beautiful.
  • Buying a house. The best and most exciting part of 2016 was buying a house with my boyfriend. We officially complete on the house and move in on 6th January and I cannot wait to be in there. Over the past couple of months, we’ve been accumulating all the gaps in our household goods and we’ve been packing our lives into boxes. I’m excited to spend 2017 making that beautiful house into our lovely home.

There have been other great moments from this year, such as gigs, days trips etc, but these are by far the stand out moments that have shaped my year and should see 2017 being one of the most settled ones for me yet, hopefully.

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Looking forward to the year to come, I think it is only right that I revisit a list I made a couple of months ago.

  1. Blog more, about anything and everything. One night a week should be my night to blog but if I don’t feel like writing I need to stop feeling guilty for that too. Totally not managed this one so far, but once I’m in the house I’ll have space and time to spend solely on the things I love and enjoy, including blogging.
  2. Find a cause, support it, get involved, do something about how angry and disenfranchised you feel. Help in the community, help vulnerable people, protect the environment or make positive changes in society. I’ve not gotten fully involved yet but there is some exciting stuff going on in January that could put me on the road to doing something very positive with my time and giving back to this wonderful community that Sheffield is.
  3. Find a sport and play it. Get back into exercise, do what makes you truly happy, join a club or go it alone; just pick a sport and do it. I found a sport, netball! I’ve been wanting to get back into playing netball for years but always made excuses but when I saw a ‘back to netball’ class advertised at my local sports club, I went for it and I’m so glad I did. I also plan on joining the gym again next year to really get myself physically fit again in 2017 after slacking massively in 2016.
  4. Plan the things that need planning and stop worrying about everything else. You can’t plan for everything, you just have to come to terms with that. I’m getting better at this which is surprising considering the amount of stress and planning involved in buying a house and moving all your worldly possessions from one property to another. I think I’m being calm and level headed about this house move and as a result, I feel more prepared than if I’d been micro-managing the flip out of it.
  5. Ignore that stupid, niggling voice in your head and learn how to control your anxieties through apps, therapy, joining a club, exercise, writing, reading, breathing exercises, meditation, sleep, whatever it is; find what helps and practice it. I’ve not done well with this one at all, netball gives me a good release to deal with this but it is only one hour a week. I have big plans to tackle this and make so much more time for myself in the new year. Owning my own house, having my own space and earning a decent enough wage all put me in the very lucky position of being able to do the things listed above. Fingers crossed it goes well.
  6. Appreciate the friends and family I do have because they are the people I care about most in the world. I try to do this all the time anyway and I think Christmas is a good time to be able to do this as you always manage to see the friends and family that are important to you. It’s an ongoing thing that hopefully I’ll never forget or take for granted.
  7. Hug, laugh and smile more. Having a silly boyfriend who spends 90% of his time trying to make you laugh makes this one a little bit easier. One to work on, as always.
  8. Be silly! Just because you are an adult, it doesn’t mean you can’t act like a five year old occasionally. Again see above!
  9. Write thinkpieces again and get in contact with that website you’d love to write for, you never know they may actually want to publish some of your work. I’ve not done this, but as mentioned above, I’ve not written a lot during the second half of the year. Something to work on and hopefully build up the confidence to have contacted that website by the end of next year!
  10. Discover music again like you did when you were a teenager; find new acts, obsess over songs and go to shitty looking clubs hosting local gigs more. I’ve not had much time to do this either this year and I have fallen into a rut of listening to the same albums over and over again. Maybe more free time and a slightly longer commute next year will give me the opportunity to explore what great music is out there.

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While we are here, let’s look at the targets I made for 2016 at the end of last year.

  • Now that I have a job I want to spend the year working hard and really building my role into something even better than it already is. This was regarding my last job and though that ended abruptly, it applies to my current role now. The last six months have been good and rewarding and I plan on really showing my worth and determination to succeed and do well in my career this year.
  • Make sure I do things that make me happy all through 2016 and put myself first as much as possible when it comes to making decisions. I didn’t really do this much at all this year but it is something to work on for 2017.
  • Learn new skills and build on the ones I already have, old or new. I wouldn’t really say I did much of this either due to lack of time but there is always this new year.
  • Maintain my healthy eating and exercise regime and lose a little bit of weight over the year. I failed spectacularly on this one, fell off the wagon and I have put some weight back on. With no space or time for myself I’ve found it difficult to exercise or have the time to make healthy meals. Relying on sugar and carbs to fill me up and a lack of exercise has not only affected my weight but my skin, my mood and everything else. I’m a happier person when I eat well and when I exercise regularly whether it is full on cardio or a yoga routine. 2017, I’m getting back on the wagon. Good, wholesome food cooked from scratch, join the gym, carry on going to netball and take time out for yoga and meditation.
  • Treasure the good moments and good people in my life, always. I think I have managed to do this throughout this year. There has been some great moments I’ve spent with wonderful people this year and I know I will treasure these moments forever.
  • Maintain this blog as much as possible around my job and improve/grow it even further if possible. Ok, so I didn’t grow or really maintain this blog at all (in the latter half of the year anyway). However, all the ideas I’ve had to work on over the last year, I can now finally work on so hopefully 2017 will be the year this blog will get well and truly back on track.

So looking back, it seems that 2016 was a bit of a write off year for me in many respects but I’m so determined to make 2017 better. In my own house with time, space and freedom, to be as creative, determined, lazy, happy, healthy, lazy etc as I want to be.

From exercise to spending time on this blog and everything in between, I have plenty to work on over the coming year and I really can’t wait to get started. Thank you for sticking with me through this quiet 12 months for the blog and here’s to more and better to come in 2017!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2017 is happy, healthy and successful for you!

Image courtesy of Charlotte | Mixtape Couture

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