New Year’s eve is my absolute favourite day of the year. I love having the chance to reflect on another year gone by. I love the prospect of a fresh start, a chance to set new intentions and the opportunity to make a real go of them. Most of all I love the new chance to achieve personal goals. Each year I try to do something to log the year’s reflection, usually this is in the form of a short (private) journal entry but for the last two years I didn’t actually write anything down, which is annoying.
This year has once again been very good to me. It’s been a lot calmer than last year in terms of things going on (last year I was completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume!) but still, it’s not quite been as calm as I’d like. I’ve been very lucky to spend another year with my family, friends and in laws. I have a job, a home, a gorgeous (albeit incredibly annoying at times) pup and a big year ahead in 2019. I’ve spent birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and celebrations with loved ones, as well as quiet weekends and quality time too. I’m grateful for all I have, and know how lucky I am to have it and do not take these things for granted.
This year’s been a great one for learning curves. I’ve learnt more about behaviours, attitudes, friendships, relationships and people in general than ever before. I’ve also learnt a lot this year in terms of personal growth. When James was made redundant in March with no prior warning, I went straight into panic mode. We had many things to pay out aside from our usual household bills and expenses – we were attending weddings (in the UK and abroad) and we are getting married next year ourselves. We have a dog who costs us a fortune, spending her life in and out of the vets with various ailments, and to top it all off the week that he lost his job, the car and boiler broke down and have continued to be problematic since. It was quite frightening to be in a position with so much to pay for and realising that suddenly my income was the sole one. Considering how much I love to plan, I certainly hadn’t planned for this! I realised that my attitude of ‘let’s live life to the full’ doing everything we want, rather than ‘let’s be sensible and save some money’ actually hadn’t really done me any favours here. It also made me realise that my job, which I moan about daily (don’t we all?!) was now providing the income to keep us afloat, so it was time to stop complaining and start appreciating! We had to shift our mindset, prioritise, say no to things we really wanted to do (which for me was the biggest challenge!), and remember that it could always be worse. Yes, he had lost his job and we were unprepared, but we were healthy and had each other and support from loved ones. James got another job and I vowed never to complain about going to work again (lasted about a week!). It was a lesson for us and an eye opener in many ways. It made us completely reassess our lives, from the way we spend money and live, to where we do our shopping. We learnt a lot during that period, and whilst we may still be skint and saving for the wedding next year, we are fortunate to still be going ahead with the wedding! In this case, it could always have been a lot worse, and we were grateful that it wasn’t.
Amidst my enthusiasm and optimism for the new year, I always find myself thinking about people struggling through this period, it can be such an awful time for some. Everybody is going through something, and New Year can really make things even harder. It can be a time of disappointment for people, knowing that this time last year they set out for it to be ‘their year’ and are ending it more deflated than before. 2018 has been the worst year of some peoples’ lives. It can be troubling knowing that we are going into 2019 and don’t know what’s in store for us. I hope that people are able to find strength and that 2019 brings a wealth of health and happiness and the opportunity for change if it’s needed, with no expectation or pressure that it will be ‘your year’ or the best year of your life so far, etc. etc.
Every year Jen and I do our ‘list’ which is a collection of things we wish to do or accomplish in the following year. My list usually consists of things to do (climb Snowdon has been on there for the last 4 years – still not done it!) but this year I’ve found that it consists of personal things, mainly surrounding self-care and development. It’s a big year next year with lots going on already (in the shape of hen dos, minimoons, festivals abroad – oh and our wedding!) so I was reluctant to overpressure myself like I have done in previous years with even more things to do and more to worry about. I want to slow things down. My intentions are personal, but important. I’m optimistic for the year ahead and rather than giving myself more things to do, I just want to make sure I make the most of everything I’m already doing, just as I try to do now.
So whether youre in or out tonight, whether you love or hate New Year, and whatever you’re doing wherever you are in the world, Happy New Year and may 2019 bring you everything you need and more! Start as you mean to go on and remember to be present!