I have to start by saying that this has, without a doubt, felt like the quickest year on record. Don’t you think? It’s absolutely FLOWN by, and when I think back and reflect on what has gone down this year, I actually feel like I’m still in January 2018…. Whoosh.
When I looked back at my 2017 reflections, and the lessons I learnt that year, what I’ve realised is that some of the things I thought I knew – I perhaps didn’t fully. (You can see my previous wrap up posts here – 2017, 2016, (I didn’t do 2015!), 2014, 2013).
In my head, 2018 was the beginning of a new chapter for our family. Two kids going to school, a whole new beginning. And it was. Except I didn’t factor in how uncomfortable change is. How change has the ability to stretch us and almost hold us prisoner, as we get used to this “new normal”.
Stretch I did. And in so many moments it was just easier to stay comfortable in the little bubble of “safe”.
What I didn’t expect was that it would take me the majority of this year to feel comfortable with this new chapter. The grand plans I had for business growth, creative projects, and culinary wizardry (ha!) were thrown out the window.
As December 2017 drew to a close, I very much felt that we closed the door on the toddler/baby/pre-school phase of our lives. We were. But I hadn’t expected to feel a deep sense of grief as I said goodbye to that beautiful, exhausting and special time in our lives. We were done with that. We had two kids in full-time school. And I actually felt incredibly sad. The decision was of course the right one, but I had to come to terms with it.
With the space created from having two little ones (not-so-little anymore!) at school, I was able to really assess what I do and do want out of my life and out of our family life. This “void” really shone a light on where I am stuck in old habits, and where I am contently cruising through.
I also can’t underestimate the fact that we moved house just as 2017 drew to a close. “They” don’t say that moving is one of the biggest things a person can do for nothing (who are “they” anyway?! One of life’s greatest mysteries!). Physically, emotionally and energetically – moving house is BIG. And we don’t suddenly move into a new village, into a new home, and the new routine that comes with it all – and settle in straight away. It takes time.
Here I was thinking it was a year of new beginnings, when in actual fact I had to wrap up things properly first. I had to transition. I needed time to grieve a little, to feel into (and make peace with) the old, and to test the waters of the new, before I could consider jumping head first into a whole different energy. Again, that’s ok. Look at relationships. Rarely do we dive head first into a new one the day after finishing the old one! Of course new beginnings are no different.
I had to spend this year closing off the old, then transition to the new.
And throughout it all, being grateful for everything that was and is.
This was the year we also welcomed our beautiful little Banks into our family. My (our) fur baby. He healed so much of that unexpected grief I felt as we let go of the “baby years”. A new puppy also meant that we lived a very home-based life for several months over winter. It was actually perfect for where I was at the time. This gorgeous little bundle of fur and fun has been the perfect addition to our family.
There were fun and adventures this year too. Sydney again (twice!). Phillip Island. Nature exploration. City play time. Reigniting my love of food and cooking. Running. Yoga. Bootcamp. New friendships. New family members. Weddings. Date nights. An abundance of laughter. My love becoming an Australian citizen. Feeling home.
As for the lessons…
- I learnt that when I just be myself, the woman who stays in her own lane and trusts her own intuition, and just share my story – I feel connected and purpose-filled. When I try to sound like someone else, or try to intentionally teach something – I am stuck. When I be me, words flow… Ok this is a super obvious one, but it really hit home for me this year. I’ve spent a lot of time being inspired by other people, but didn’t give my own voice a chance to shine through.
- I was finally able to forgive myself and let go of something that had held me back for years.
- I let myself change (hello year of transition!). But more importantly, be ok with those changes. No more trying to fit into a box, and being ok with the fact that as humans we evolve, and that we are allowed to change our minds, our values, and our opinions.
- That I am a writer. Sure, I don’t have a book published (yet!), or have been consistent with blogging (watch out 2019!), but writing is part of me. When I sit at my desk and type away – I feel at home. It’s taken me a long time to fully own this, and be ok with not labelling my writing “good” or “bad”.
- I am by far a better mother/wife/human when I prioritise movement. It could be yoga, a long walk, or a sweaty bootcamp session – either way, without it – I’m rubbish, and with it – I thrive!
- I learnt that I didn’t actually have to live by any label. That I could take small pieces of a number of puzzles to make up my whole. That I could create new rules for living. It has felt like 6 years of self-discovery, and then a year to sift through and work out what stays and what goes…. before going through a new cycle of self-discovery once again.
If I think about what 2018 felt like for me, it was that I have come home to myself. I feel more like me in every way. My old body hang-ups really have left me. I feel wholeheartedly and completely content in my body. Consistently too. And it’s that consistency that has been the biggest (and most welcome) shift for me. Coming home to myself also included going back to my natural hair colour, which felt important and beautiful.
My word for the year was ALIGNMENT. And align I did.
It hasn’t been the best year, or the worst year. But then again, why the need to label it? Each year brings with it celebration and challenges.
2018, I am grateful for it all.
May 2019 allow us all to continue to be kind to ourselves and those around us.
Big love to you. xx