2017 - My Year In Review

Friday, 12 January 2018

year review, mindfulness, happiness, mhbloggers, nicki kinickie, mental health, depression, anxiety,
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I had intended to write this blog post as soon as the new year arrived but it got put on the back-burner. This past week I have felt so crap thanks to a rotten headcold and sore throat that I didn't feel I had the mental power to properly think about what I wanted to say. Yep, sounds a tad (OK a LOT) over dramatic I know but I also know there are plenty of you out there right now who are nodding their heads knowing exactly what I'm talking about and feeling the same way.

I still feel unwell but also like I needed to give myself a kick up the arse and get back into the swing of things, namely life.

It feels a bit late to talk about my thoughts on 2017 despite us only being 12 days into the new year. Modern life and media move by so quickly that reviewing 2017 is already so last week and now people are looking to Spring and even Summer. Not me though, soz. Well not in this post anyway.

I wanted to do a quick review on last year and how I felt it went; the highs, the lows and what I learnt as well as what I want to improve on. Kind of like one of those self assessments you have to do at work but for your personal life. I think it is a really good idea to do this as it keeps you in check and also reminds you what you have achieved in the last 12 months (which can sometimes be easy to forget).

Firstly I will start with the lows because if I were to briefly summarise the events of last year then sadly it would be kinda negative. The last 16 months living in our house have been quite up and down. I don't do personal updates on here so much and I probably should to give anyone reading this a bit more a of clearer picture into my mindset and day to day life. It may make things easier to picture or understand when I mention certain scenarios or mood updates.

It is easier to relate to someone you feel you know after all....

Last year was pretty tough because after having lost his long term job at the end of 2016 after nearly 7 years employment there, my husband pretty much spent 2017 in and out of work. Sadly, he would find a new job which had great prospects and all would seem to be going well and then something would happen (out of his control I would like to add, he wasn't sacked) and they would have to let him go.

It was heartbreaking. Patrick was purely a victim of horrid bad luck when it came to work last year. Cut backs and loss of contracts meant the companies he was working for needed to let people go quick sharp and we all know how it goes when that happens; last in, first out. One job he didn't even start because a big contract was lost over the weekend before his first day and while waiting to be picked up all showered, dressed and eager he received a soul destroying phone call. It had happened again.

Anyone who has been laid off just once will know how worrying it is and how much it knocks your confidence. By the end of last year I was at a loss as to what to say to him when it happened again in November (although we kind of could seeing with this company but still). I was just really grateful I had been super organised with Christmas and everything - namely Savannahs presents - was bought and ready to go!

So what about the positives? Well, one thing the crappiness of 2017 has done is make me more grateful. I am always aware of how lucky I am to have wonderful, supportive family on both sides however we wouldn't have got through 2017 without them and I am forever grateful for that. It also made me appreciate the little things in life even more. Money is a huge stress and headache whether you have lots of it or none of it so the best thing is to not let it dominate you. If your life goals are all monitary then maybe you need to review them because while there is nothing wrong with wanting to earn a good wage or be comfortable in life, money is not the be all and end all. Family and friends are. One of the other lows of last year was Patrick having to work away from home for 10 months and while we are both obviously grateful that he had work it was tough sometimes. He hated being away from us and his home and we hated him being away. This year he works locally again and comes home every night and that truly beats anything that money can buy.

What else? Ummm, well even though a lot of jobs didn't work out last year he always found a new job very quickly. Like within a couple of days maximum so that was bloody AMAZING.

Savannah just continues to amaze me, she is such a kind hearted and funny little girl. She has a curiosity for learning and knowledge that I just love to feed and I can't wait to watch her develop further over 2018. She loves books and drawing and making things (usually a mess!) and is currently enjoying learning to write letters and numbers.

Having such a worrying year financially last year has also taught me where to reign in spending and that both of us can be a bit frivolous and not really pay attention to where our pennies go. That will change in 2018. Anything we need or want will be saved up for and always be bought after the bills are paid. Any purchases will also be slept on first rather than being impulsively bought like we always do. I want us to both get into the mindset of thinking 'Do we need this?' or 'Will I really use this?'

I want us to put money away for general stuff and then a rainy day fund so if we want to go out for dinner or anything like that we can and I am also going to start saving for Christmas. I don't want another year worrying about finances like we did last year.

Another positive is I got my first regular influx of freelance writing work and have been steadily working for myself since April last year and am really proud of that! It is so exciting to be working as a freelance writer and on a regular basis too rather than just now and then as I have always done previously. I really plan on working hard to obtain more work in 2018 and push myself out there.

Our beloved bunny Bentley passed away in April which was horrible and still makes me sad even now but it taught Savannah a bit more about life and death (not that she really gets it still she is only 3!) and we re-homed his wifey bun Peaches a couple of months later. While that was just as sad we know she is SO much happier now with her new family and receive regular updates as to how she is getting on which is lovely.

We also became an auntie and uncle for the first time in August which is amazing and celebrated my mother in laws 60th birthday in March which was great fun. Mix into that a year full of visits from family and friends, nights out, days out and a lovely weeks holiday in Lanzarote thanks to amazing friends generosity and you realise actually it wasn't such a bad year last year.

Yes the main events had a big impact but there were lots of little lovely things that happened in between.

And I intend to make 2018 even better!

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