So the preoccupation with lists or very specific goals with the only possible outcome being 'pass' or 'fail' are no longer appealing for me. But there are of course things I want to start doing, develop further or change this year and every year, I just prefer to think about these things in a broader, more reflective sense.
2016 was the year I went to therapy. Regularly. Like actually turned up every week. And it was amazing. I wish I'd done it years ago and I can't wait to carry on this year. It is also the year I suddenly understood why people love yoga so much. I definitely want to write a longer post about this because it's changed my life for the better. As long as I'm still loving it in 2017, then that's going to stay in my weekly schedule. Diet wise, I watched Cowspiracy and basically hated humanity for a week and wanted to go vegan. The problem with deciding to go vegan or vegetarian overnight was that even though morally I had a reason to do it, I still really loved meat and most of my favourite dishes revolved around it. I decided to start eating a little less meat and experimenting with vegetarian recipes and gradually I've found I want to eat meat less and less. The upside to this has been cheaper grocery bills and loads more plant based foods in my life which has undoubtedly made my skin glow and my PMS symptoms reduce to almost nothing. Seriously. (Separate post on this also coming!). Whilst I don't cook meat anymore but I still eat it whenever I feel like it (mostly when I have a craving for Jamaican food and obviously on Christmas day) and I don't have a date by when I'll become officially vegetarian or vegan, it may never happen. I'm happy that I'm well and nourished and limiting my impact on the environment a bit more than before so that's the mentality I will take into 2017.
2016 was the year I freelanced for the first time. I loved it about 80% of the time and I've now realised that the times when I hated it were more related to the work I was doing and less related to freelancing itself. Looking back, maybe I gave it up too soon, but I really needed space at the time to work out what I wanted to do next. More recently I've really enjoyed learning new things - weaving and candle making - and the idea of turning that into a business is becoming more and more appealing. I NEVER in the last 35 years have ever seen myself as the 'type of person' who starts their own business so realising I that I enjoy being my own boss and working on my own schedule was a massive realisation for me. Real talk though, I have bills to pay so I am putting equal vigour into all my options for generating income whether it's permanent work, temping, freelancing or starting something on my own and seeing what sticks.
Here's my thoughts on men: If I meet someone in 6 months time in the aisle in Sainsbury's and we fall in love and get married it really doesn't matter whether I went on one date a week leading up to that day or whether I went on zero dates for the whole 6 months, the outcome is the same. I no longer believe in 'putting myself out there'. I believe in leaving the house (obviously) to do things I love (or just go to Sainsbury's) but I believe that engineering myself into situations where I might (or might not) meet a man is just a pointless waste of precious time I could spend doing something I really want to do!
I had time in 2016 to generally slow down, appreciate what I have and spend more time with the people I really value in my life, so that is the most important thing I want to keep on doing. Learning, reading, being more grateful and less hungover have made the last few months immeasurably more satisfying as has getting back on the internet, blogging and connecting with people who I can learn from. Politically the world is not in the best shape, but personally I'm genuinely excited about what this year will bring.