And so ends another year. A year that was way to slow and somehow too fast at the same time. Its funny isn’t it, how as time goes by it seems like its at a snails pace but then you blink and you realise that time has flown by while you weren’t looking. As two thousand and seventeen comes to an end I find myself thinking about the things I did and learned this year. I do this every year – a reflection of sorts. I like to sit down and think about what the last twelve months has taught me – the good, the bad, the ugly. So here are some of the lessons that 2017 taught me.
YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.
Sometimes its okay to be a mess. It makes us human. Having the occasional moment of WTF AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE is perfectly normal and you are not the only one who does it – even if you think you are. Sometimes I have these moments, especially when my friends do something especially grownup like having babies, buying houses and getting married, and here I am still renting with two cats and no social life to speak of.
Then I think if I had all those things I wouldn’t be able to stay up all night reading books or make spontaneous trips whenever I want and I’m thankful that I’m a little slow to the grown up party.
I think people put a lot of pressure on themselves to have hit certain milestones by a certain age. I think Social Media is a big contributor to this, especially when you see twenty three year old Instagram stars buying houses and driving cars that cost more than my annual salary. But I’m a go with the flow kind of person. I’ll get there, in my own pace and I’ll enjoy the journey.
FAMILY IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.
I’ve pretty much always known this one. Having come from a strange and eclectic family (1 full sibling and 3 half siblings and all of us together with all our other siblings equal a total of 22 people) My mother died when I was 17 and my father pretty much walked away from us not long after that. I don’t see two of my siblings often and I spend more time with my best friend and her children then I do with my own nieces and nephews. I have learned that you don’t have to be related to someone to call them family.
One of my closest friends is someone myself and all my siblings consider family. She’s like a sister to me even though we’re not related. We spend all major holidays together. I take days off work to take care of her kids – all the stuff family does. I have a fourteen year old in my care that I consider family even though were not related. Family is what you make it whether your related by blood or not. And you don’t have to feel guilty because you’re not close to your family members. There is no rule saying you have to be BFF’s with everyone your related to by blood. I don’t even know half the people I’m related too. (Yay for Maori families being ridiculously large)
REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN.
Sometimes you just have to make time for fun. Fuck your plans and your lists and all that bullshit and just say, you know what, today I’m going to do something fun. Switch off Adult Mode for a moment and do something for you, for no other reason than you just want too. Because it makes you smile. Because if you spend your life doing all the things you think you should and not enjoying yourself when you can, then whats the point?
Go see a movie. Go to a theme park for the day. Sit in front of the TV with your best friend, some pizza and don’t move for ten hours. (I do this with my best friend a bit) Get pampered. Lay in bed in your pyjamas for the day. Do what makes you happy and do it often or life gets a little too serious.
ADULTING IS HARD.
Okay, so I kind of already knew this one too, but I feel as though this year I have done more adult type things than I have ever done. I bought a car – a brand freaking new one so I’m basically in debt for the next seven freaking years. But hey, my cars pretty. I moved away from my siblings and into my own place. Granted I do live with my Grandma but thats because she’s been sick a lot and I don’t want her living by herself. It still counts though, right? I got my first loan. I got my P’s – provisional license for those not from Australia. I adopted another cat, bringing my cat lady score to 2. And probably the most adult thing I have done this year is taking in a fourteen year old girl. She is now totally my responsibility. (OHGODIDON’TKNOWWHATI’MDOING)
Public Service Announcement: Having kids is expensive. Especially teenagers. (I still love your A, even if you do eat all the food)
THE WORLD CAN BE A SHITTY PLACE.
I think this has become more and more clear in the headlines this year. So many tragedies took place this year that its really hard to keep track of them in my head. Sometimes I feel like this year was one string of horrible events and it makes me question a lot of things about the world we live in. They say the number one most destructive force on the planet are human beings and this year really highlighted to me how true that is. So try and make people feel good about themselves. Compliment a stranger. Smile at someone you walk past. Simple, silly, seemingly insignificant things but they make people feel good and sometimes people need a reason to feel good to get them through the day.
YOU NEED TO MAKE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER.
I released a few weeks ago that it had been almost six months since I had seen one of my closest friends. When I sat down and thought about it and I had only seen one of my good friends in a six month period because I was so busy with work, the gym and just life in general that I let my social life get away from me. So you need to make the time. Even if its just an hour at a coffee shop on a Sunday afternoon or a phone call while you’re cleaning the house. Adulting can get in the way of friendships and then you find yourself slowly drifting apart. Making time for those who matter is important and I plan on definitely stepping up and doing more of it this new year.
DON’T LET THE HATERS GET YOU DOWN.
I think this has become more relevant of late since taking in a fourteen year old girl. I now hear a lot about school bullying, confidence and it makes me think back to being that age and remembering what it was like to care what everyone thought all the damn time. People suck. People like to make other people feel bad about themselves because it makes them feel better to put people down – and it blows. But what do their opinions matter? What relevance does their opinion have on your life?
A little while ago when I was going through some shit and I had like an epiphany that is literally so obvious and it is something that people tell one another all the time – other people’s opinions don’t matter. And I heard it a lot and I tried to have that mentality but it never really clicked and then one day it just did. And whenever I hear someone said this or someone made this comment I just shrug it off because it literally holds no baring on what I think about myself.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, No one can make you feel inferior without your consent and truer words have never been spoken. I think having a fourteen year old around who is going through that teenage phase of insecurity and uncertainty has made me think about this more. I really try to come up with ways to show her and teach her how to be confident in herself and no derive self worth from the opinions of others but I also think its a lesson that a lot of adults need to learn. You do you and as long as you are happy within yourself thats all that matters. Everyone else is just background noise.
YOUR HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.
I have the unfortunate luck of having scoliosis. My spine is shaped like an S, it’s twisted and my neck is straight when it should have a curve. This means that not only do I suffer from a lot of back pain, I don’t sleep well even if I get a full 8 hours sleep and I suffer from a lot of joint and tendon pain. Basically it sucks. I feel like I’m seventeen two and not twenty seven. And because I am the busy, procrastinating fool that I am I put off getting treatment. Actually I put off doing a lot of things when it comes to my health and because of that this year has not been good for me health wise. A sprained tendon in my knee at the beginning of the year, a bulging disc in my spine, chronic wrist pain and a severe lack of a goodnights sleep means that my overall health was in decline also. Basically this year has sucked for me health wise and I’m finally wising up to the fact that I have got to do better.
So 2018 is all about being healthy for me. I’m going on the strictest eating plan I’ve ever done, cutting out sugar and dairy and taking vitamins like I should have been a long time ago. I’m going to do a monthly juice cleanse and I’m back at the gym five days a week. I’m also going to book in to do regular physiotherapy and acupuncture treatments for my back.
My grandmother said to me awhile ago that she found it funny that people are willing to spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on frivolous things like clothes and cars but they won’t spend that on their body. And I had a total Duh Moment because it makes so much sense and yet somethings I had never thought of that way. And yes, there are some aspects of my life I do take that mentality into: I never scrimp on healthy food, I make every dentist and skin clinic appointment – but I could definitely do better. I just want to feel good and be healthy because it is what is most important. If you’re body doesn’t work properly you can’t live your life well and thats what its all about.
So wht did this year teach you? Did you reach your goals, did you learn anything new? What truths about yourself did you discover that you didn’t already know? let me know in the comments!