Friday, 22 December 2017

2017 Recap

Looking back...

If I could use one word to describe 2017 it would be re-calibration. Halfway through the year, I finally - FINALLY - switched jobs, much to my relief. My energy was no longer focused on one thing (aka getting the heck out of there) and I was able to take a step back and reassess my life. I no longer dread Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A former colleague had mentioned that changing jobs was similar to a breakup and I completely agree! It definitely took some time to adjust to my new 'normal'. As a result of this change, I became aware of proximity friendships / friendships of convenience which resulted in disappointment - this is still something that plays on my mind a lot. Oh well, such is life.
Suffering is asking from life what it cannot give you.

My favourite song of 2017

I also became more mindful of how I spent my time at home. It was something I had been aware of, but it was actually horrifying to realise how much time I spent on my phone doing nothing of value. Around June, I took control of my (online) life; I deleted the Instagram app and deactivated Facebook again. At the same time, I created my Twitter account and rediscovered my love for it. Apart from my blog, it had always been the platform where I felt I was able to connect with people the most. An incident happened in November where I questioned my purpose for being on the internet and all my various socials which triggered a mass online clean up; I deleted Livejournal communities, old Twitter account, deactivated Instagram and deactivated FB Messenger. I still have accounts on a few social media platforms as they serve a purpose at this point in my life.

I tried to improve my photography in 2017. First time shooting lightning. 

Cutting down on the time I spent online meant that I had a lot of extra time to read. Reading has always been a big part of my life and I embraced it with vigour this year. 2017 was also the year of audiobooks. To utilise my time more effectively on my commute, I listened to numerous book series that I had previously struggled to find time for. These series included: Harry Potter, The Heroes of Olympus and His Dark Materials. My attempt to broaden my scope of reading was admirable but not very successful. I simply gravitate towards mysteries and thrillers!
Figure out what really makes you happy and cut everything else loose.
When I read the Marie Kondo books a few years ago, I was incredibly sceptical. Actually, I found it slightly ridiculous at times- I need to fold my clothes a certain way to bring me joy?!?! But if I was to reflect on the year, I unconsciously applied her methodology to my life. If something didn't bring me joy or contribute to my purpose, I decided to remove it from my life. 'Friends', social media, unhealthy habits and even my own thoughts. It has been incredibly helpful and has helped me live a life with more purpose.

Things I've Achieved

I am guilty of glossing over my achievements and there are moments where I lament that my life is amounting to nothing. Melodramatics aside, here is a list of achievements:

  • Got a new job
  • Explored more of Sydney, especially the far western suburbs
  • Increased my savings percentage by 10% (from each paycheck)
  • Put down my phone and picked up a book instead
  • Went for a nightly walk 
  • Kept my plant alive
  • Curbed my spending on clothes and snacks

My somewhat ugly semla. Baking is not my forte.

Looking to the future...

Although I feel that there isn't anything wrong with sticking to my preferred genres, I do see value in broadening my reading material. In particular, I want to read more authors outside of the UK and US. In 2018, I will attempt to read "my way around the world" and will actively seek to read books written by authors from different countries.

In the first half of the year, I am going to Vietnam and Thailand which I am super excited about. It has been a while since I went on a "big" trip. Although I am a little worried about how I will feel when travelling in hot / humid weather (I get fairly crabby when I'm hot).

A long time ago someone told me, "change your words and your mind will follow". There is an aspect of me that I am not happy with; it is something that I've always known about myself. In 2018, I want to overcome this bad habit of mine.

This will be my last post for the year and I plan to be absent from the internet for the next few weeks, aligning with my office shutdown period. Thank you all for your support this year. See you on the flip side.

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