Yes, it is officially December and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Usually I’d wait until New Years’ to write such a status, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently and I’m already reflecting on the year just past. It may be cliché, but 2017 has had it’s peaks and troughs – I’ve experienced some stunning highs, but I’ve also braced some rougher times.
12 months ago, I hadn’t long begun my Masters’ degree and had launched myself into both a new job and my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Never one to sit around, (I get itchy feet easy) I tried my best to juggle said commitments and remained optimistic for the year ahead. Admittedly, this might have been a bit much, especially saying I also took up a second part-time job and began to grow this very blog! Do I regret it though? Do I heck!
Looking back, I am very proud of many achievements gained throughout this last year, however, I continue to struggle with the work/life balance. Needless to say, writing doesn’t often pay well, at least not when you’re writing what you want, but then the beauty’s in the creation. At least that’s what I tell myself, because in truth writing what I want means long hours, late into the night and working weekends as well. This routine leaves very little downtime to simply be, around the usual 9-5 and often I’m left with little energy and sluggish motivation. Though I’m not setting myself resolutions as such, I do feel I need to be careful in order to keep both my health and sanity in check!
I’ve also gone through a major transition in over the last 12 months, growing steadily more into the shoes of an young adult. There have been countless days when I’ve wanted to kick said shoes off, but the truth is I can’t shake them. Despite studying, I struggled to feel much like a student, a very different experience from being an undergrad. The fact is, I can’t ever go back to those days, but I was lucky to have them and can look back with fondness and try not to dwell too much. It has to be about making the most of the present, with care not to work too hard that you don’t really have a life at all. This seems the impossible task and the bills need paying, but there has to be room for improvement, there has to be some time dedicated to all those things you love, so that’s exactly what I’m aiming towards.
It’s all too easy to become bogged down by work and especially on these dark nights, so I’ve decided to jot down 17 things that made me smile this year. It is by no means a comprehensive list, or in any particular order and there are hundreds of smaller moments that have meant equally as much, but just as a reminder, here’s a snapshot of my year…
- I was awarded my Certificate in Global Citizenship
- Reached the finals of the Creative Bath Awards 2017
- Travelled to the idyllic Valencian region of Spain
- Finally took my place aboard the Tardis in Cardiff
- Passed the turbulent journey that was my Masters degree
- Published my enduring memoirs of ‘A Balinese Bazaar’
- Had the time of my life on DofE Expedition in Dartmoor
- Signed along the dotted line for my first publishing deal
- Experienced my first taste of real outdoor camping
- Dared to attempt surfing the waves in Cornwall
- Escaped to the great British seaside in Lyme Regis
- Presented at a regional DofE Wales award evening
- Sat through a show in the Gods at the Bristol Hippodrome
- Spent another year with my favourite Welshman
- Attempted a handful of driving lessons after a long hiatus
- Cinema date to see Bridget Jones with the boyfriend
- Embracing new beginnings as a DofE Young Leader