• 2017

    When I think back on 2017, I don’t really have a general feeling for the year. By that I mean that I don’t feel a general sense of disappointment or extreme happiness with how the year went. At first I was rather taken aback by this but I think it is because I have mostly been content with myself, what I have achieved and lucky for me - I have been mostly happy.
    There were tough times, I was especially unlucky in my health department in 2017 – migraines, flu, tummy bugs, bronchitis and also tearing tendons in my right ankle. It just felt as if I couldn’t catch a break. On top of that my Mom had a knee replacement and JP had an emergency operation to remove his appendix so I am hoping to spend far less time in hospitals in 2018. But on the plus side, they are both doing very well and for that I will always be grateful for.

    Overall 2017 was a good year for me and I thought I would do a quick highlights summary:
    1. I spent a lot of time with my family. Spending a long weekend with my whole family and dogs in Great Brak River was definitely the standout memory. It was one of the happiest weekends of the year for me (click here to read that post).
    2. I lectured at UCT twice – it is always so much fun sharing my experiences and giving students a real-world view on the theory they cover. It’s always so surreal for me to be back on campus and realizing just how far I have come. While at UCT, I really didn’t know where I would end up in life and I was quite scared of the future. Walking those streets between the lecture halls knowing what I know now, I wish I could tell my younger self to relax and enjoy student life more.
    3. I got a new car – although it broke my heart selling my first car. That car was the first adult thing I ever did. I used my own savings, organised the finance and insurance on my own (with some emotional support from my family). It was something that was completely mine.
    4. In 2017 I decided that I wouldn’t take on too many things that ate into my personal time. I chose to rather focus my energy on things that I really enjoyed and grew me in aspects that I wanted to grow in. Leadership was one of my key focus areas – I listened to podcasts like crazy, read a lot of articles and some short online courses. It was fun! I really enjoy learning and I think this type of learning is great because it fits so easily into my schedule. In the past I was chasing certifications – for the wrong reasons. I still think that I will do more formal studies but it will be when I am ready.
    5. Celebrating 3 years of marriage with JP in Reunion (Click here to read my Reunion post). The trip really challenged me in so many ways because I was completely outside of my comfort zone. Very few people spoke English, I was very sick, the surroundings were difficult to navigate and I found myself being incredibly reliant on JP.  In the past that would have made me really scared and anxious because I like being in control and knowing what to do. It made me realize just how much I have changed (in a good way). Letting someone help and support you is not a sign of weakness – one of the best lessons I learned last year. I really chose well – JP, you are an incredible partner in life.
    6. I exercised more and became a lot fitter. I really wanted to try hard to be consistent with my exercise and my health derailed that goal a bit but I still worked out whenever I could. There were weeks where I just couldn’t do anything and it meant any progress I made was quite quickly lost. But I am still so happy with the progress I have made. In my teenage years and early twenties, exercise was important to me – it helped me cope with stress by clearing my mind. I’ve rediscovered that.
    7. JP and I renovated our lounge and kitchen almost entirely on our own (click here to read the post I wrote about it). It wasn’t easy and I went through quite a bit of anxiety (I don’t deal too well with change in my personal life even though I am 100% okay with it at work – it’s a difficult thing to explain). We are not quite 100% done, but the change to our house has really been significant. It feels more like us and it has become our home. We still have a lot of work to do around our home (inside and outside) so I’ll share more of those transformations on my blog. The short post I did on the DIY cork wall was really well received and I really enjoyed creating that post, so I’ll do more of them.

    In general 2017 wasn’t really filled with many profound moments that immediately jump to mind but rather smaller things. Things that really helped me lead a more balanced life. I devoted more of my time to things I wanted to do and spent it with the people that matter the most, my family.

    For 2018, I don’t really have any serious goals and I never make resolutions. Here are a few things I can think of at the moment:
    1. Maintain the balance I achieved, it made me happy last year.
    2. Convert an outside area into a courtyard.
    3. Continue exercising – I really want to spend more time outdoors doing hikes. Reunion made me realise how much I enjoy just escaping into nature.

    I constantly reflect on things throughout the year, so my list is always changing or adapting. To me it is far easier to start off with a few things and then let that list grow naturally throughout the year.

    I sincerely hope that 2018 is a bright and happy one for everyone. It most definitely will have its challenges, but I am hopeful that we will have the strength to get through them, learn from them and be happy.

    Big Hugs,

    Charlene XXX


    1. Lovely reading. Hoping that 2018 is better for your health

      1. Thank you so much Romona! Really appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful year ahead of you.


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