I never thought I would be so happy to see the back of 2017. A particularly bad year for me, with changes in my career, health and of course with the loss of my Grandad, 2017 isn’t a year that I will look back on fondly. The amount of situations that have been thrown my way have been extensive and I’m pretty amazed that I have dealt with them so well. Life going forward will never be the same as what it was, however I do feel that I have been shaped somewhat as a person. I’ve set myself some realistic goals for what I want to achieve – not resolutions, not things that I will beat myself up about if I don’t succeed and certainly not unattainable targets that will make me unhappy trying to reach them.
The beginning of 2017 started my journey of change, and what a change it has been. At the end of February, my back finally gave way. I had always had underlying issues with back pain and sciatica but it was never anything as bad at the afternoon where it left me floored, and where I had to call the paramedics and police to break into my house to rescue me. From there on, I’ve been on a path of finding the right dosage of medication, and making sure I take it. I’ve gone from taking no medication at all, to up to 16 tablets a day. I think I’ve found an even keel now where I’m on around 10 to 12 tablets which suits me a lot better. Until they operate, my back issues will always be there, and although highly medicated each day, it still does go back into spasm and leaves me immobilised for a few days. Although managed, I am struggling a lot with the amount of medication I’m on and how drowsy it makes me, especially when trying to work but I have no alternative right now.
The change of career has been a blessing in disguise. I never realised just how much that this decision should have been made well over 12 months before but I just couldn’t admit it to myself. Having some much needed routine, a set pattern of shifts and a solid working environment has been a real game changer. Knowing that I won’t ever get called from work at 3am to come in makes a massive difference on my mental state. I’m sleeping better, I’m enjoying life more, and I’m not as on edge as I once was because I couldn’t plan my life. It’s also amazing to not have to pack a suitcase to go to work. Sure, I miss the trips and I miss the people, but I don’t miss the job in the slightest. Having a new office based career is also giving me the time to continue with my blog, and this year I want to reach higher heights and taking more control of my working life. Whatever that will be, I do not know yet, but I’m sure I will figure it out.
Losing my Grandad in September has been one of the most difficult situations that I’ve ever been placed in. Having never lost a close family member, I am struggling with the grieving process and how to logically deal with it. Maybe one of my issues is that dealing with it doesn’t need to be logical, and I should let it all out and let it go. I think that I do put a lot of pressure on myself to try and make everything normal, when in fact it’s far from it. I don’t know if this is due to having a bereavement or it’s just the state of my mental health right now, but I feel like I want to isolate myself away from everyone, I feel anxious after spending too much time with people yet I want people to ask how I am and feel paranoid when they don’t. It’s the strangest of feelings and I know that I worry my close family, and that they ask if it’s anything else that’s bothering me but it’s not. I just don’t know what it is. I don’t know if I ever will. I’m trying my best, but again I feel like I should be doing what my body is telling me to do, and not trying for other people.
For the new year, I am not going to pin all my hopes on it being ‘my’ year, but instead I am going to use the next twelve months to achieve my personal goals. I won’t be jotting them down here because they are personal. That being said, there are two things that I really do want to share. The first may sound exceptionally selfish but I need to stop caring so much. Stop caring about what people think of me, stop worrying about letting people down and stop caring about the small stuff that shouldn’t have an effect on my life. In short, I will be taking Sarah Knight’s advice and reading her book ‘The Life Changing Art of Not Giving A F*ck’.
My second goal is to write. Write about the things I do care about, the things that make me happy. The things that I want to change and the things that I love. Write about me, what I’ve done that’s great, what I have succeeded in. Write things to look back on, to make me smile and to make me laugh. Write proper notes whilst completing my Diploma, write in my diary, write in my Happiness Planner. Write positive quotes on post notes and write about how I feel.
My diary of choice this year comes from Lulu Guiness. Ticking all the boxes with the glossy coloured paper, week to view pages and a page for notes, it is ideal for my daily and blogging life. I am spending time making sure that everything I need to do is jotted down so that I don’t forget things, I know where I am up to and that life may become slightly easier. With my matching pen, notebook and even a gift wrap folder, I’m feeling decidedly extra this year. I’ve even got the matching Vaseline x Lulu Guiness beauty products.
So, to a New Year. May this one be pretty good to you.
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