It may be 4 days into 2018, but I’m hoping I’m still in the window to reflect on the year that was…before I launch too far into 2018. Last year I did an original ‘16 in 2016‘ and because I’m super lazy again, and this is largely for my own benefit, I’m going to do, wait for it, 17 reflections on 2017 – in no specific order.
1. Exploring Australia + New Zealand
If there was any doubt where my cash went this year, the 26 flights might have something to do with it. I managed, 22 within Australia + 4 to/from New Zealand. Scrolling through Insta was fun to relive the adventures and I am constantly amazed at the diversity of the land bestowed to us. Despite having a country the size of all of Europe, Australians do a terrible job of exploring our own backyard. And that I did in 2017. (…and because my sister moved across the ditch, it got a couple of visits too.)
Quick calculation of nights away = 52
January: Surfers Paradise (3), Melbourne (2)
February: Sydney (3)
March: Sydney (2)
April: Sydney (5)
May: Noosa (2)
June: Rockhampton/Yeppoon (1), Mackay (2)
July: Forster (4), Sydney (1), Queenstown (5)
August: Sydney (5)
October: Outback Queensland (3), Auckland (3), Sydney (1)
December: Sydney (10)
2. Half Marathon
A 2017 goal, I ticked this bad boy off in May up in Noosa. A minute shy of my sub-2 goal, alas. Never a runner, I would never thought running 21km would be achievable, let alone enjoyable.
Unfortunately much of this year was juggling shin splints that progressed to stress fractures and continue to haunt me. It wasn’t until I couldn’t run that I realised how much I enjoyed it…and needed it to run out + process life. I accrued a nice physio bill…but, Mr Turnbull, still remain cost neutral without private health insurance.
4. Swimming + Cycling
I swam laps of a pool for the first time in a decade, and the only time outside of my largely participatory efforts at school swimming carnivals. I’ve got a long way to go, but it’s strangely relaxing…amongst the overwhelming feeling of drowning from exhaustion mid-lap.
I bought Laura’s bike and learnt to ride a road bike. After running, you can get so far on a bike over the same time!
5. Loss + loneliness
I said goodbye to my last grandparent in April – my grandpa who was weeks shy of his 90th.
I said goodbye to friends + family who moved away.
I had a number of periods of sheer loneliness that took me by surprise.
6. New home
After a few months of anxiety, I moved out and made a place of my own – possibly the best decision I made last year. I love my little apartment – it’ll be sad to say goodbye!
Big girl pants were necessary on a number of occasions as I negotiated contract extensions and overcome a significant moment of job insecurity.
Despite popular opinion, I can report the tear ducts are still functioning. The stone-hearted girl broke out in tears a number of times fare-welling Grandpa and, a first, late one night reading ‘Still Alice’.
9. Reading fail
Aiming to read 17 books was an epic fail. I shamefully managed to complete very few…
Big little lies, Liane Morriety
Still Alice, Lisa Genova
Dreams of my father, Barack Obama
The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simpson
The Girl from Aleppo, Nujeen Mustafa
Mere Christianity, CS Lewis
Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis
Option B, Sheryl Sandberg
Prayer, Tim Keller
1984, George Orwell
Buyology, Martin Lindstrom
Nudge, Richard Thaler + Cass Sunsteen
Thrive, Ariana Huffington
10. Netflix + Movies
This list is way too long to list and directly contributed to the above reading failure…although I’m glad 3 Australian movies made it on my list this year.
11. Buying local and less
Although challenging to track, I aspired to shop from local stores and markets wear possible. There were pockets were i slipped back to my online ways, particularly in the lead to Christmas. But by the very nature of avoiding chain stores, I bought much less…particularly clothing (except Marcs)
12. Leaving church
“I’m thinking about leaving church.” I had way too many of conversations that started with this line last year, from the valid to the hurtful. Leaving church isn’t easy for anyone – the person leaving nor the people left behind. Unfortunately I found myself exhausted for various periods challenging and/or encouraging friends I’m at church with and others at various others through the process. (Don’t get me wrong, there are very valid reasons to leave churches, but also some lazy reasons too).
Yes, this anti-gym evangelist i-hate-commercialised-exercise joined a gym. It was was time to build strength after completing my half marathon in hope of a ripped back and toned arms… yet to be seen. (As are any pull-ups.)
14. Mel + animals. A gallery.
Cute animals, it’ll win every time…or just a photo of someone so completely terrified that it’s hilarious. Instagram was proof.
15. Answered prayer
Ask me and I’ll happily share. From healing to housemates, jobs to joy.
17. New adventures
Although a mic-drop was contemplated back in September when the paperwork came through, I’m looking forward to new adventures in 2018.
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