Happy New Year, friends!
Let’s not get into the “I can’t believe it’s 2017s!” – I want to concentrate on the year ahead, and consider how I can use 2016 as a springboard for even more awesomeness. Here goes…
My resolutions for 2016 were pretty average ones. In a simplistic sense I wanted to:
- Work hard at university – tick!
- Live with Jack – tick!
- Get better at communication – partial tick (I’m communicating so much and so well with some folks, but others not-so-much. I’ve been paying attention, though, and it’s definitely one of those “it’s a two way street” situations.)
- Cook and bake more – big ol’ tick!
- Create reviews about our favourite places – partial tick (I’ve made a bunch but not finished them/posted them, ha!)
- Take more photos – tick! (Moving into the flat has been good for my documentary photography!)
- Go on more adventures – partial tick (I would have liked to have gone on a few more)
- Grow some plants successfully – tick!
- Get healthier – tick!
- Be more creative – tick!
(If you want the full low-down on my resolutions, the post from January 2016 is here!)
In one way or another I have succeeded at all of these goals… But there’s a couple that I would have liked to have done better at. Unfortunately, the time constraints that my degree puts on day-to-day life make it difficult to get things done, and a lot of prioritising ends up happening. As a result, I’ve decided I’m going to look at 2017 a little differently.
Gala Darling recently posted 10 questions to ask yourself to end 2016 feeling positive and powerful. It felt like a better way of tackling the year, so here’s my spin on that!
My top moments of 2016:
Buying our first home together Delivering a baby for the first time Spending as much time as possible with my favourite person in the world Passing the first year of my midwifery degree with flying colours Increasing photographic sales and work Being near to/visiting the sea Playing lots of board games and having fun at LAN parties
Things I forgot to celebrate:
Getting 97% on an exam (!) Doing some swift and awesome DIY in our home Plain ol’ becoming more confident in myself Doing an awesome job of learning Swedish Getting sweet feedback from lovely women in my care Getting through some crazy-ass bullshit in the beginning of January Delivering six babies!! Being asked to be Caroline & Nori’s wedding photographer in 2017 The fact that Jack loves me and I love him and everybody always tells us that we’re sickeningly sweet, and I try not to go on about it too much but GODAMN we’re awesome Getting through a ridiculous amount of intense, negative and sad shifts Feeling the happiest and most content I’ve ever felt Making a positive impact on women and their families’ birth experiences How much I’ve actually learnt this year, and how much midwifery knowledge I have gained
How this year changed my perspective:
Reg, one of the most kind and amazing men that I’ve been blessed to have in my life passed away earlier this year. As well as being Caroline’s sweet and often hilarious father, he was a constant presence in my life as a teenager, and throughout my early 20s (Caroline’s family and mine used to spend many hours morris dancing and playing folk music together, something I started doing when I was 18 years old). He taught me to play so, so many tunes and was always a voice of reason and humour. I miss him a lot, but I’ll be eternally grateful that I got to drink many a pint with him and I’ll remember his cheeky smile whenever I hear a tune that reminds me of him (believe me, there are a lot!).
Losing such a wonderful person makes me strive to say more “I love yous” and strive to spend time with the people I adore. It isn’t always the easiest, but I know that the more I practice it, the easier it will be. We never know how long we’ll get to spend time with people, and it’s best to tell them how much a positive impact they have on your and your life as much as possible!
On the opposite spectrum of that, of course, is that I will no longer choose to spend time with people who I don’t think of fondly in my heart – we have precious enough time with those we love, without wasting it on those less deserving. 2015 and 2016 were fairly well punctuated by me spending a lot of time considering how best to please other people, and being preoccupied with anxious thoughts about how people I barely know perceive me – and that’s not how it should be. So, no longer!
The people that really came through for me this year:
Jack, obviously. Buying our first home together is my happiest moment/achievement of the year, because it means I get to be with him every day. I wouldn’t have been able to do this degree without him, as he has been ridiculously supportive as well as telling me to get the hell on with it/has administered some kicks up the butt when I needed them. Also, he makes every single day wonderful and amazing just by existing. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be with him, and I’m so, so, SO happy.
My mum. She’s been the best – she always is – but this year has been really difficult and whenever I’m having a miniature meltdown she’s been there for me.
Emily, my university chum. Whenever I struggle with placements, essays or just need to vent about anything else, she has been the perfect sounding board.
If I could go back in time, what would I tell myself this time last year:
Always tell the people you love that you love them. Don’t spend time with people you don’t want to spend time with – there’s not enough time to spend with all of the amazing people while they have time on this earth, let alone all the rest.
You can’t help people that don’t want to help themselves. Give them the tools they need when you’re able and let them get on with it. You can’t help everyone – sometimes the best thing you can do to help someone is not to try and help them.
Use wire-y scrubbers the first time you clean the bathroom, a normal sponge won’t help cut it until it’s under control. You know more than you think you know. Spend more time relaxing and less time stressing about the things that you can’t control. Take better care of your car. Other people’s opinions don’t matter anywhere near as much as you think they do. Drinking more than one gin-ecco will have the same result every morning after. Don’t worry about how Barnabee and Ginger will get on when they meet – they’ll form a bromance pretty darned swiftly. Look up more frequently. Just because most of the staff in the hospital don’t smile back at you, doesn’t mean that you should smile any less. Be braver sooner. Be braver now.
Plans for 2017
Celebrate one year in our home Say I love you more Deliver more babies Act more confidently Use our KitchenAid as much as possible Be more patient Go abroad Continue taking all of the photos Start the third and final year of my degree Invite people round for board games more Visit the sea as much as possible Be less apologetic Take joy in the small things Daydream more Make people smile
I hope you have a 2017 full of joy, success, peace and love. May this year bring us all happiness and good cheer. Take care lovelies – Happy New Year!