As 2018 fast approaches, I take a look back on 2017 and the resolutions I made for the year and am so very thankful to God.
There were 6 things I wanted to do more of or strive to seek in 2017 and without even realising I have managed to or am about to start achieving every single one of them.
Veganuary – I begun 2017 with a new ethical, environmental and health goal of becoming vegan. I signed up to veganuary along with *52,000 other fledgling pre-vegans and vowed to eat vegan for 1 whole month. It wasn’t without its trials and tribulations. Who could forget #piggate? Despite that, overall I succeeded and the great thing was at the end of it, I didn’t need to remain vegan, there was no pressure on myself or from others to do so, as many who did the month chose not to, but the health benefits physically and the ethical and environmental mentality I gained far outweighed the need to go back. Tomorrow marks 1 year vegan and I couldn’t be happier.
More Minimalism & Zero Waste – This lifestyle choice I put very little emphasis on this year. Things just happened naturally and although I am very far from being completely zero waste or minimalist I can say that I am slowly changing for the better. My mental state really does benefit from these small changes. I have never been someone that can sleep in a room full of mess, I was that kid that always put away one toy before playing with another, who unpacked their suitcase the minute they arrive home from holiday, so I guess minimalism was always going to be something I gravitated towards and I feel more calm and at peace in my life for it.
Me Time – 2017 was my year to not say sorry for being who God created me to be. To be the me I wanted to be, to not feel guilty for not always being the first one to pick up the phone, to suggest hanging out with friends or feel bad for not seeing my God-kids. I’m glad I took time out this year for me. This was a tough year for myself and my family. I lost my beloved grandfather, who I cared for with Alzheimer’s for the majority of my adult life, I had to watch my boyfriend go through a second major surgery and not be able to care for him myself, we had to survive a long distance relationship whilst he recovered and all of this whilst working full-time, planning a funeral, grieving and studying towards a teaching qualification. So, am I sorry I didn’t see my friends as much, or call or Skype? No. I’m not. I needed those rare moments of quiet to reflect, to heal and grow and ultimately lean on God to get me through it without completely crumbling. Me time was important and putting myself above anyone else for the first time in years was exactly what I needed to do.
Knowledge – How I completed my English language teaching qualification with the year I had I still don’t know. But, I can honestly say that I am proud of myself. Wow. That felt good to say. We often don’t give ourselves enough words of affirmation. As humans we tend to belittle and beat ourselves down. We need to stop! God created us all to be amazing individuals. We are His amazing children and we need to sometime shout from the roof tops that we are important, we are loved, we mean something to the world. Without having belief in myself that I could see the course through to the end, I’d never be about to embark on my next big adventure, which brings me on to my last resolution of 2017.
Travel – Yes. I’m finally doing it. Everything is falling into place. God doesn’t give us anything before our time. I had always wanted to travel in my 20s, but the hand I was dealt meant I couldn’t do it before and maybe it was God’s way of saying I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t strong enough then. The caring and the sacrifices made and the longing means that now, in 2018, I’m ready. I’m stronger and I can figuratively stand alone with God by my side and my grandfather watching over me and go see this wonderful world God created. On January 2nd, I begin a new journey. Teaching English in Italy for 6 months and I cannot wait to see what new adventures awaits me.
Aims for 2018
So as I leap head first into 2018 what dreams, hopes ambitions do I look towards? To be honest, I haven’t though about it too much. I will be in a new country, with new people and a whole new culture. My partner will be embarking on a new career in Holland, which means more long distance, but equally, more new worldly adventures as we seek to follows God’s next plan for our lives as his individual children and as a couple. It also means new places to see and explore some alone and some hand in hand as we walk together on the journey called life. Next year, I reach my 3rd decade on earth and I’m looking forward to doing all the things I’d hoped and dreamed of doing in my 20s. Albeit later than I’d planned to do them, but at the exact right time in God’s plan. I guess a part of me has never really let go and lived for a number of reasons, circumstances, fear or something else that maybe I cannot fathom. All I do know is that I now have the rest of my life ahead of me (God willing) and I intend to spend 2018 living as much of it to the full, no set plan necessary.
*Number not exact