My blog may have moved, a lot may have changed and I may not have been regularly posting for the last few months, but I sure will regret if I don’t reflect on the year gone by – after all, I’ve done it for the last couple of years and I’ve become quite fond of the end-of-year reflection session.
2016 is widely regarded as a terrible year, but I’m here, at the end of another year, sitting cross-legged in my tiny room in my safe little corner of the world and I am so very blessed to be in that position, so who am I to despair at the state of the world when I feel so little of its sting? So instead of complaining about a year that did nothing more than show us more of the disastrous world we live in, I’ll live up to my tagline and find those seeds of joy.
This year has been a year of marriages, with 4 of my close friends tying the knot and another 3 getting engaged. Only two weeks ago, I sat on a lounge in my best friend’s house, sipping a cup of tea and remarking on how quickly time had gone and how grown up we had become. Somehow, we’d gone from being 11 and lying on those lounges as we watched stupid movies, to being in our 20s, getting ready to go to church so that she could get married. How on earth did that happen? WHEN did that happen? I can get pretty reflective and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t worried about how much things were going to change, but that night on the dancefloor, when ‘Come on Eileen’ started playing she sought me out and it was like nothing had changed at all – that one tiny little act meant more to me than I could ever truly explain and I’ve probably delved too deep even mentioning it. Quick, Louise, talk about something less emotional!
The past year has also been one of huge change, career wise. I’ve gone from having three jobs and 12 babysitting families to having one job and specifically, quitting the job I had been at for 5 years. Now, I get paid to write and I’ve learnt quite a lot about writing in different styles and for different situations. I’ve still got so much to learn but I am enjoying every little step along the way and can’t wait to see what next year brings.
When it comes to reading and writing for myself, I’ve been a little disappointed in my efforts and I’m hoping to set more realistic goals for 2017. I’ve found, between reading and writing all day at work and then going to another job where I run after children for a few hours, I get home and have very little brain power or energy left to read for leisure or write for my own gain. Next year, I’m lowering my reading goals and raising my writing goals – it’s time to actually start making some of my long-term goals happen!
Scattered amongst my personal trials for the year, particularly with my mental health, there have been tiny little triumphs poking through too. I’ve done things I was terrified of doing, I’ve gone to doctors I should have seen years ago, I’ve become more vulnerable with people and I’ve made firm decisions about my future and about the person I want to be.
At the beginning of the year, I was very lost. I’d just had a great year full of travelling and fun but I knew that time was up and I had no idea what I was going to do in my second year out of uni, since I was seemingly unemployable in my field. I wish I could go back in time and whisper in my own little ear and tell myself that everything worked out in the end, even though it wasn’t how I thought it would play out – a common thing when you put your trust in God I feel, His plan is often very different from ours (and always much better). So instead of waiting until next year to wish you could tell past you that everything will work out, close your eyes and say it now, you’ll thank yourself later.