A Look Back At 2017
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nd with that, another year is over - I've blinked and somehow 2017 has been and gone. Please tell me I'm not the only one confused as to how this has happened? I swear as I get older the years pass by a billion times quicker than before. This year was a big one for our family: it will always be known as the one where we bought our first house. It will forever be the home owner year, and yet there were so many other big things that happened that will be easily forgotten. It was the year where we experienced our first holiday as a family of three, the one with Harrisons' 1st Birthday, his first couple of shaky steps and his first (long awaited) tooth. It was the year where we had the joy of watching him grow from a tiny baby into a cheeky tot, and the year we discovered the real stress of grown up life. In the grand scheme of things this year was a great one. We came through 2017 unscathed, with our health and feeling extremely grateful for everything we have achieved.
It's not to say we didn't have our ups and downs, we had our fair share of lows, but the highs far outweighed. Our year started off well, as every year does. I am a big believer in 'New Year, New Me' and going into January feeling motivated and ready to turn my life around. I'm a dreamer, sue me, but I love the notion that we can reinvent ourselves: that I can go to bed in December, and wake up as a more productive, more considerate, healthier person in January. Alas, this motivation didn't last long, and I found myself off of the resolution bandwagon quicker than I had gotten on it. I was still struggling with postpartum life, with sadness, with my new found role and with my life changes in general. I was in a slump, and put all of my energy into our next big thing. The house. It had been on the cards for a while, and being impatient we started looking a few months earlier than originally planned, and sporadically put an offer in on the third house we saw. It felt right, we didn't need to see any more, we put all of our cards on the table and played the waiting game.
The next two months were exactly that, a waiting game. I questioned everything in those months - our financial situation, our life, where we were going and whether spending every penny we had was the right move. We needed the house, the space and the security, but we also needed to live and I hadn't gone back to work yet. Not keen to play it safe, in March our house sale was finalized, the savings went, and we lost the next two months to the renovation process. Patience may be a virtue, but it's not a trait I have ever claimed to have, and certainly one I didn't have last year. By a stroke of luck, we came in to a bit of money two weeks before we got the keys, just enough for us to get the house done the way we wanted to (and still be able to eat).
I always thought I would love the process, at one point - before I ever actually bought a property - I thought I would become a property developer. I can assure you, I will not. It's a long process and one that tested our relationship, Jordans' handyman abilities and cushioning in our new floor tiles (I fainted after cutting my finger on one of the only occasions I got stuck in to the building work, and by building work I mean opening an IKEA package). My bloody finger is now fully recovered, but our house is not yet quite finished. It does look like a completely different property than the one we first bought, and I will always be proud of our first home, whether the finishing touches are on it or not.
We didn't make it abroad last year, but we talked about it a lot and planned many a trip. Last year we had far too much to focus on to fly away somewhere warm, but there really is no rush. I entered the Mark Warner Holiday Ambassador competition (spoiler: I didn't win, nor did I deserve to) but it opened my eyes to the possibilities my side hobby blog could bring me, and saw me make the steps to start treating my blog more like a job rather than an after school activity. I very much blew hot and cold with it throughout the rest of the year, and it never quite materialized the way I imagined it in my head. Babies, work and life got in the way. In 2017 this blog gave me some amazing friendships, I've found my person in Georgina, and given myself a well organised memory book at my finger tips, and those alone made it worth it. On the flip side, the more I grew invested in the online world, the more I struggled with my career, or lack thereof one. I've always been ambitious, but this was the first year in which I felt truly stuck in a rut. I interviewed for a job (badly) and scarred myself from going through the process again anytime soon. Some may say learning curve, I say the without a doubt the most embarrassing forty minutes of 2017 BUT we live and we learn. There is no rush for me to be slotted comfortably into my career before I hit 25, I am young, I have plenty of time and realizing I don't have to have my life completely in order right now has been the biggest lesson of all.
I fell out of love with the gym, and even moreso with my body. I discovered every local chinese on Just Eat and a handful of binge-worthy programs on Netflix, and I think I needed that. Sometimes we need to fall into a lifestyle we don't want, just to realize the one that we do. I'm going into 2018 with a year of bad food and lazy nights under my belt, and I'm ready to get back to feeling and looking healthy (brownie points if I'm come out of it looking like a Victoria's Secret model, but failing that I'll take being able to walk up two flights of stairs without losing my breath). In the midst of our many failed health kicks last year we discovered meal planning, Aldi' and the true cost of healthy food when your living on a budget - but we also managed to fing extra cash here and there and I stopped wasting away (as much) money, and we'll do it again.
We ended the year just as it had started - feeling positive. I fell in love with Autumn all over again as made more effort to visit the places around us. We found our own little traditions in our Sunday' days out, our visit to the pumpkin patch and picking our own strawberries. Harrison managed his first dubious steps at the end of summer, and had mastered the art by his first birthday party October. The little baby we started the year with had turned into a wild toddler, full of personality and sheer brute force. We had an amazing Christmas, an even better boxing day and a lovely break away tucked up in a lodge in Preston to bring in the New Year. Not that we saw the bells, as all three of us were asleep by 11pm. Wild. Nothing special, nothing substantial but all of the cosy feels and surrounded by family.
2017 was the year everything really changed for us. It was a challenging year, but one full of life lessons' we needed to learn. I've learnt that buying your first house will never go as smoothly as you would like to believe, I've realized that nursery is ridiculously expensive and it makes loving your day job more important than ever. It was the year that I Iost myself completely, but then I also found my love for Salt and Chilli Chicken and Grey's Anatomy, so swings and roundabouts. I'm one of those people who find themselves with a new lease of life at the turn of the year. I'm ready to make my resolutions, to break my resolutions and to go into January with a clean slate and feeling positive.
2017' was good, 2018 will be better. Happy New Year all.