31 December 2017

Lessons of 2017

Has anyone else spent the last week planning their 2018 bullet journal spreads/new year diary? This in between Christmas and New Year is a time for relaxation and reflection for me: sleeping in til whenever, doing yoga, taking naps, writing, reading, grazing on chocolate and crisps throughout the day... Nothing dissimilar to what most other people do, but it's the kind of self-care I live for – to not know what day it is, to be slow and self-indulgent. And while the anticipation for 2018 is building, I'm relishing in this week that has passed – reflecting and realising all the lessons I've learnt this year.

2017 has been a year of friendship and letting go. I drifted from some old friends and established and nurtured new ones. I let go of some things that had been holding me back, as well as smaller things like books and hobbies that just needed to go.

Adulthood really began for me when I moved to Bristol two years ago. Since then I have been blessed with so many rich friendships I can't even begin to tell you how much they make my life. I realised this year that when you grow up and move out of your parents' home your friends become your family. No one promises you a husband, wife or children, but wherever you go there will always be friends.

Through bad mental health days and breakups, new jobs and promotions, I learnt to focus on my friendships. I have laughed more, loved more, experienced more with my friends than I ever thought possible this year. A lesson learnt from 2017 and one I will carry into 2018 is to invest in my friendships and love them like my family. I never thought I would make some of my best friends after uni, after school, or that the best times of my life would occur beyond this safe period but this revelation makes it all the more enjoyable. 

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If something doesn't make you happy or helps others, why are you doing it? This is a question I ask myself to regain perspective (my word for the year) and refocus my priorities when I'm feeling dissatisifed. Letting go of things that weren't making me happy or serving any helpful purpose was another lesson I learnt this year. I let go of books I couldn't finish, TV shows I didn't like, running long distance, clothes I didn't wear, time I was wasting, all in favour of things that made me happy or helped others: reading cookery books and magazines, starting yoga, volunteering, visiting family. I started filling in my Happiness Planner (highly recommend getting one!), my bullet journal and dedicating more time to God. As a result, I feel much more content, grounded and confident in myself than I did a year ago, and for that I am so thankful.

Did you learn any lessons this year? I'd love to know what you've discovered or let go of, and what you hope for 2018!


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