I have read a few different blog posts lately about reflecting on the previous year at the start of a new one. Often with the idea that it helps you to not only appreciate life more, but also to set your goals and intentions for the year ahead with a bit more meaning. It has taken me a while to get around to this, as in many ways 2016 has been a tough year for me. Looking back though, there were definitely many positives (alongside the negatives) that I want to remember and document, if only to bring more of these experiences into this new year. These are my stand out events from twenty sixteen:
Getting Old Friends Together
We went through a phase of playing poker late 2015/early 2016 and had a few (very tame) poker nights with friends. We got everyone together (the ones who hadn’t all moved away yet) and caught up over whisky and a game. Towards the end of the year, these morphed into video game nights where we pretty much just substituted the poker for multiplayer gaming – but kept the whisky. This is something I would love to do again, getting everyone in the same place at once gets more and more challenging though!
One of my best friends popped up to Leeds in September and true to form we managed to have both a brunch at Hotel Chocolat, shortly followed by a full cream tea at Patisserie Valerie, followed again by cocktails at the Botanist! I have no idea how I manage to eat so much food when I’m with her. Maybe it’s because we burn so many calories talking. Either way, it was lovely to see her as it feels so rare since she moved to a different city!
I also got the chance to visit her and her partner at their flat, they have lived there for so long and I still hadn’t seen it! They have since decided to move so it’s a good job I went when I did. It was lovely to be able to visit after so long and see where they live and work. Plus we had a cheeky night out clubbing which I must admit was pretty damn fun – though surrounded by students, I felt about 100 years old.
New Job and saying Goodbyes
February was when I started my current job in York. It was all a very quick turnaround after finding out I had got the job and before I knew it I was travelling every day to a brand new place, to work with a brand new team! I was actually very lucky that I was welcomed so warmly into an already close-knit bunch of people.
As is normally the case when you start a new job, you have to leave an old one behind and unfortunately, that includes the people who work there. Some of my best friends from my old job threw a surprise Tea Party for me. I literally had no idea it was happening and I normally hate surprises. I don’t think I have ever actually had anyone surprise me in that way before. It just made it all the more special. I felt so loved and appreciated, with so much effort put in. It makes me miss them all the more!
I had a week off in May that was jam-packed. It started with a long bike ride along the canal to Salt Aire, followed by a trip to London with my other half where we bought way too much stuff. Though I did find some nice new clothes.
The latter half of the holiday was a trip in the opposite direction, all the way up to Keswick. My mum and I went for a mini girls weekend away with lots of good food, long talks and even longer walks. We also managed to get caught out by the bridges that had been destroyed in the floods, meaning we ended up getting semi-lost in a wood on our way back – I have never felt so grateful to see a pub in my life…
July was my birthday month! This year I had a brilliant time with a holiday to Barcelona with my Stanley. Five days filled with the sun, good food and exploring one of my favourite cities, I then went to two of his shows before we headed home. The first was in Belgium for Tomorrowland festival and I have never seen such an incredible festival set up, it was amazing. Everything from the atmosphere to the stages, to the people, were just brilliant. I was also meant to head to Liquicity festival in Amsterdam but unfortunately, I got sick and had to wave him off from our hotel, while I nursed myself back to health and watched the live stream instead!
Making Time for Family
Another great thing about July was getting to meet up with my cousin Jo. She doesn’t live far away but time and distance always mean these things take forever to organise. It was great to catch up with family and I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to see them in 2017. Starting with a family girls weekend in March!
Spontaneous Day Trips
One of my August highlights has to be heading to Leeds Fest on a free day ticket with one of my closest friends. We hadn’t been since we were teenagers. She had recently passed her driving test so we tootled up to Bramham park trying not to get stressed out – she did a great job as I was probably a nightmare. By the time we got there and had made our way to the nearest tea stand and had a go on the Ferris wheel, we took a look around at the surrounding half-naked teenagers, noise and mud and came to the same conclusion. Let’s go to the pub! Now I don’t like to think I’m that old, but given the circumstances, at the time it was one of the better decisions we made. We left after about an hour, tootled off to the local pub and sat and had a long catch up over fish and chips and a lot of tea. Actually, one of the best days I have had in a long while.
Stan and I discovered Stranger Things on Netflix (along with the rest of the world) and pretty much binge watched the whole thing. It is probably the best series we have come across that we both love since breaking bad (and possibly GoT, but that is just a waiting game at this point). I love it when you discover a new show and someone else is just as excited.
Not so good…
In October I managed to fall down the stairs in the train station rushing to catch a train to work. I shan’t be doing that again anytime soon. I was pretty lucky not to break my shins and the bruises are still healing in some areas. I think this may have been what kick started my ‘get fit and mentally healthy’ goal. Even though it could have been much worse, it sometimes seems to take a little knock like that to make you realise how lucky it is to have a body that is fully mobile and supports you. Hopefully, nothing like that happens again, but if it does, I want to be able to either control it or at least bounce back a lot more quickly than I have.
Donald Trump became president of the US – there are no words really are there?
December get’s a category to itself because it was my ‘hit the ground running and get shit done month’.
I committed to the 31 day Yoga Revolution challenge on Adriene’s channel and set myself up ready to start on the 1st January (update on this coming soon) I am pretty proud to say as I write this I am on day 28.
I committed to moving my body more and finding ways to enjoy exercise. I started climbing/bouldering again and have met new friends and have a new hobby to enjoy with old friends.
As part of the whole commitment to health, I also started my bullet journal in December as well as working on getting this blog together, that you are reading right now!
I’m so pleased that what I began at the end of 2016, I have managed to continue into January. I think a huge key to this was starting before the New Year so I already had a foundation to build on – but more on that later!
So there you have it – writing this has really made me smile and value all of the lovely things I experienced.
This was a pretty hefty post and I promise they won’t all be this mad. Thank you for reading this far and if you have I would love to repay the favour. If you have written a similar post or have anything to share, send me a link or leave it in the comments below!