No - that's not the first typo of the year! Instead of a review of 2011 - which as so often had some great bits and some less great bits - and/ or making New Year's Resolutions most of which fall by the wayside if I actually call them that - I liked the idea I read somewhere of writing myself a letter. Yes, talking to myself, it must be my age, but doing it from future me in a year's time, capturing my hopes, dreams and aims for this year...
Although you don’t make New Year’s Resolutions as such, at the beginning this year you knew there were three things you'd been saying for ages that you want to do, you enjoy when you get round to doing them, and they have positive effects in all kinds of way.
You wanted to incorporate them into every day life, make them daily habits that you looked forward to and felt deprived if you didn't do. Well you did this, and didn't just keep this up for a day or week or month but for the whole year. These things have become as normal and as frequent as washing your hair and similarly if you don't do it you feel a bit grubby. And they've all had wider benefits than just enjoying them-
- Writing - now you don't have to force yourself to write, wondering if it's any good full of doubts and distractions, you dive in because you want to, and it is just what you do. That book you've been promising yourself you'd write? Well you have – you now have a full draft. Good on you. And as you wanted to be, you call yourself a writer - you've had articles published and people PAY you to write things (imagine!) now. It's not just a job although you are earning money from it - you are doing something you are passionate about.
- Running - yes you did achieve completing the Great North Run under two hours, thanks to starting training early and - most importantly learning from past experiences - keeping it up and having a proper recorded training plan rather than a last minute panic in August. Running is now something you need to do, not just for the fitness or to run in a race but it helps clear your head, give you space and it just feels GOOD!
- Meditation - like anything you have to put the practice in to get the benefits - and this year you have. Making this another regular daily habit has helped with all that was promised it would – it helps you be in the present, feel connected, more content, and more able to deal whatever life throws up. Feeling more centred and calm means being more kind and being on the receiving end (karma some would say!) – and basically a nicer, happier person!
You have also had some fantastic experiences - the trip to Machu Picchu you were slightly worried about, sharing a tent with strangers when you have a hatred of camping and being cold - well it really was the experience of a lifetime, you did it and are so glad you did. And have forged some lifelong friendships with some amazing people in the process.
Workwise, you wanted to diversify and you have. Your writing now brings in an income and the training courses you wanted to start delivering 12 months ago have been a success and you now easily fill several each month. That ESOL teaching certificate you were a bit unsure of doing? Well you did it, passed and now also teach English as another strand in your ‘portfolio’ career! (and of course it'll come in handy when achieve your long term aim of travelling and spending time abroad).
Throughout this year you've had lots of fun times with friends old and new. You know how post BC you were struggling a bit with confidence and identity - well you've got plenty of both back now! You have got a good balance between work and play, time for other people and for yourself, you are passionate about what you do, have fun and wake up looking forward to each day. You are, as they say, in a Good Place!
Most importantly you are healthy and well - so is your son and family. And you're surrounded by life, love and laughter.
Oh – one last thing, after a major spring clean your cupboards and house have remained remarkably tidy and organised, a place for everything and everything in its place as Aunty Nan used to say. Yes, even THAT cupboard under the stairs, formerly known as the Black Hole.
Happy New Year!