I was originally going to talk about the things I learned in 2016, but I realised that would mean delving into some bad stuff and possibly offering advice on things I probably haven’t finished learning yet. So instead I decided to go with all the good things that happened in 2016! With it being “blue Monday” I thought it would be apt! I hope everyone is having an okay day today – personally I don’t believe in this “most depressing day of the year” crap as I guarantee you I will have more during the year!
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this month and it’s mainly because you of YOU app (I think I discovered this gem early 2016 but it's faaabulous), two of the tasks were to talk about the good things that happened in 2016 and thank 2016 – I did both and I’ve decided to share ten of them with the world wide web. Before I move on the list, I wanted to touch on gratitude lists and how great they are. It’s a wonderful exercise and you’ll be surprised at how much you’re grateful for once you start to write – all the good things just start to multiply. It’s just one of few things I’m going to do this year to be more at peace with myself and I encourage you to do it too – reading back on them is great you’ll immediately smile and it’s an exercise that only strengthens your resolve.
Here are my top 10 moments in 2016:
- I visited New York! - I remember being in primary school and secondary school and watching everyone go on amazing holidays to America or other destinations and I never did because my family just didn’t have the money for any holidays. Most people I know have visited America loads and last year I was finally about to tick a state off and I loved it, not just because I can say I’ve been but because New York was an amazing city and I have so many wonderful and random memories there. My birthday night was particularly crazy but it’s what made the whole experience so great. It’s also great because so many TV shows are set there and I’ve been to Times Square guys and it was frikkin awesome. For me going there was also like yay little old me who couldn’t ever afford to do any of this can do this now
- Quitting a I job, I hated & landing a job with lovely people - There’s not much to say to this but wow, so much relief. I hated my last job and now I’m in a job (granted it’s a contract role, so it’s due to end soon – sob) that I enjoy, I have great people around me and it has introduced me to the life of contracting. Yes I took a step down for it, but it looks great on my CV and the pay is amazing and I work with really supportive people, it has been such a boost to my confidence! I was unemployed for a month whilst I quit my other job and was waiting for my checks and stuff to go through for my current role – man it was a long (and poor) month
- I came off my anti-depressants! - I’m still deciding whether this is actually a great thing but the fact that I did it is a win. I’m not anti-medication but I have been on them for about 3 years and things were going pretty well for me when I decided to come off them, and I wanted to see what life was like without them. I wasn’t on a particularly high dosage or anything but the side effects were super annoying, but I’ve been off them for about 4/5 months and I don’t feel that different so yay!
- My third nephew was born. Thanks to my sister I am now an auntie to 3 boys – in July the youngest was born and he’s a frikkin joy. Having been around all 3 of them when they were born I can safely say number 3 is the easiest and quietest bubba ever and his smiles melt my heart. I think I’m more smitten with him because I know my sister won’t be having anymore! All my nephews mean SO much to me – just the other day the oldest said I was his best friend!
- I saved money! I’m aware that I’m going overboard with the exclamation marks in this post, but this year I managed to save loads and spend loads. Before I always saved and then spent it like two months later, but last year (well the second half of it anyway) I saved and didn’t fritter it away. I even opened up an ISA for the savings – hello adulthood! I even loaned money to members of my family and it felt bloody good to be able to do so and not struggle because I’d bloody saved, and my family could totally tell I’d done a 360 with money. It feels great to know that I have something stashed away in case of any emergencies
- Yoga – I really got into yoga this year, before that my relationship with it had been off and on. Last year I took two classes at Triyoga (one around February, the other in October). The one in October despite me not actually enjoying the teacher that much, really ignited something in me. She taught us a sequence and had us repeat it 5 times at home and with that I was off. My favourite teach is Sarah Beth on YouTube I’ve been following her for about 3 years and did her videos on and off but since October I’ve been doing her videos nearly every day. Although I do take time off when it’s that time of the month because I PMS so bad beforehand and have zero motivation for life, let alone any type of warrior. This month I’ve been doing her 30-day yoga challenge – fab but I’ve had to push myself to do it even when I haven’t wanted too
- I visited 5 new cities in Europe. I went on a 13-day trip in September and visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Florence and Budapest. Amsterdam, Rome and Florence were my favourites. I have a soft spot for Italy (I moved to Milan for 3 months) and Amsterdam was just so beautiful! I feel so lucky to have been able to see so many beautiful places, it was a busy but lovely break
- Realising I’d had enough – this one is a bit personal but at some point, in 2016 I realised I’d had enough with someone who just made me feel uneasy around them, I found I was being an edited version of myself because they put me on edge. Manging my depression and anxiety is not an easy day to day task and I didn’t need someone constantly trying to drag me into a series of negative thinking, so I had to stop being friends with that person, sadly some friendships can just be harmful
- I lost some weight! Oh the struggle with weight loss, it’s forever a struggle and I’m still here eating all the veg in order to shift those pounds. But last year I managed to lose some and this year I’m putting in the work to make sure the rest of it goes!
- I finished my CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions – the finishing part isn’t so much the top moment it’s more the things my CBT made me realise. I had the best therapist and he really helped me to sift through all the thoughts I had of myself and make sense of them all and change the negative ones. The beginning of the year was exhausting for me because I was doing all these experiments we’d set out for me and dealing with what I knew would be the end of my job, but my therapist really helped me transform negatives into positives. I won’t pretend it was all so rosy, as it was fucking hard and I did just break down in tears in his office one day when I realised just how badly I’d been treating myself. But it was also hard in the sense that I was putting myself into situations that I would typically shy away from, but it helped me to grow as a person. The exercises we did together are now recorded in what I call my therapy diary and I have the skills and exercises to use in the future and I do use them, not as often as I should but I do. This by far, was one of the most important periods of 2016 for me – self-awareness is important