Let us all take a deep breathe in…. count to ten… out. 2016 was quite a year, n’est-ce pas? Now, I am not even going to go into the political, economic and global insanity that this year provided…except right now – shout out to you, Brexit – to say nothing of the American horror story that continues to plague our Facebook feeds, television screens and well, just about every aspect of daily life. Ok, rant over… promise.
Every year, I like to take time to reflect on the past year and set some goals for the new year (novel, right? *eye roll*). You may remember last year’s post – entitled “This year is going to be better“. And despite the worldwide views on the horror show that 2016 was, my 2016 was pretty spectacular. While everyone is all “2016 can go die” and “it can’t get any worse than 2016”, I am feeling pretty great about 2016. It was not all unicorns and rainbows (see above – Brexit et al) but the media already does a pretty good job of bringing us down – instead I spent some time making a list of all the amazing things that happened in 2016 – in no particular order:
- I kicked off 2016 at a fabulous prohibition party with a chickadee I barely knew but who definitely falls into the category of People Who Make My Life Better On a Daily Basis – she has been in there since the first day of 2016
- I attended the weddings of three amazing couples over the course of the year – it makes me so happy to share in the happiness of my close friends (it also makes for an excellent excuse to travel…)
- I turned 30 and spent the whole year celebrating (because why not) – which included a spa weekend away with some of my besties and a serious night out in a sparkly dress with fireworks in champagne so, really it doesn’t get any better
- I traveled… extensively. My goal in 2016 was to travel to four new countries. I, shockingly enough, achieved that goal – Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Germany and Croatia. And those were just the new ones – in addition to those five new places, I also managed to travel to Bath, Edinburgh, Monaco, Rome, Venice, Paris, Sitges, Minneapolis, Austin, Boston, DC, Playa del Carmen – oh, and I moved to New York. In total, in 2016 (not including layovers, obvi), I spent time in 14 different countries – the last of which was Mexico and yes, I flew there on December 31st. #sorrynotsorry
- I went skydiving in Byron Bay, Australia – one of the scariest, most outrageous things I have ever done all by myself – also, travelling by myself is something worth noting – spent a week by myself in Australia on the Gold Coast and spent a couple days travelling solo in Berlin in September
- I got divorced – told you it wasn’t all lollipops and sunshine, but hey ho (look I’m British), onwards and upwards
- I dated (this deserves so much more than a sentence but I won’t even go there)
- I fell in love (sorry, barf…. also won’t go there)
- I moved twice -once from Wimbledon to Oval in London and once from London to New York (goal for 2017 – not move)
- I hosted an epic 4th of July Party, which unknowingly was the last American in London party I hosted as I was already in New York by Thanksgiving
- I saw both Beyoncé AND Taylor Swift in concert…. mic drop
- I took advantage of being back in America – spending some quality time with my family and friends in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Austin, DC and New York
- I met the most amazing little girl and celebrated one of my besties becoming a new mom
- I left a job that was slowly killing me and took a huge leap of faith – moved to another country without a job and with the sneaking suspicion that I would not be taking a similar job to the one that was draining the life from me
- I read 3x more books in 2016 than 2015 – thank you unemployment, soul searching and contemplating career changes
- I faced some hard financial truths and made serious changes to my financial planning. As a result, I paid off two student loans and got rid of 70% of my debt – overachieving at my 2016 goal of making sound financial decisions. I have made huge strides on the financial front and I am pretty proud of it (an understatement if there ever was one)
- I took better care of myself – this was one of my 2016 goals. I made fitness a priority throughout the year and finished the year out strong… making it to the gym or yoga almost every day (if not twice a day) between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I still have to make myself drink water and lather on the sunscreen and eat all my veggies… it’s a work in progress but I am moving in the right direction.
- I managed to stay the same weight (within a few pounds) and the same size all year long – while this might not seem like a big deal to most, this is probably the first time in my life that this has happened – which makes me very happy
See! What an incredible year it was – even at the lowest of the lows, I was on my way to being a happier and healthier version of myself. It is so so so easy to get stuck into the alarmist, all-consuming blackhole of negativity right now but I encourage you to step back and look at all the fantastic things that happened over the last twelve months. You may surprise yourself.
And as for 2017, well I am just so excited to see where this year takes me. If 2015 and 2016 taught me anything, everything can change in a year…who knows what will happen in the coming months. I am therefore not changing anything from my 2016 goals (take better care of myself, make sound financial decisions, quality over quantity and globetrotting) – these are just the underlining drives for my day to day life so no change to be made there. I have lots of exciting ideas and plans in the works, including ones that will directly affect this space, so stay tuned… 2017 is going to be a wild ride.
Happy, happy new year my little kumquats!