Happy New Year!
I hope the onset of 2016 finds you happy, healthy and relaxed ready for all this new year has to give! Now I don’t know about you, but 2015 for me was
insane intense, delivering almost everything. There were highs and lows, laughs and tears, success and failures, and a lot of wedding planning to boot. I’m happy to say that I dealt with most of it with a big smile and guttural laugh, even if on the inside I was a nervous wreck (at times).
2015 in review
My Biggest Achievements
I co-authored a book
I always dreamed of being a published author, and 2015 saw this dream partially achieved when my story was included as a chapter in this beautiful, inspirational book. In fact, I think I’m still pinching myself in disbelief.
The only problem now is that I need to get serious about writing my book in its entirety!
I quit my part-time job to work for myself full-time
This was both a blessing and a curse, as for a time I was working almost 7 days a week, days and nights, juggling a part-time project management gig for the government and multiple clients. Talk about exhausted from juggling way too many balls! And as things went slightly pear-shaped in the project management gig, I finally decided the time was right and jumped ship on to my very own jet boat. I’m really glad I made this decision when I did because business only got busier from September through to December (thus the jet boat reference) whereby it looked like I would need to hire someone or sub-contract! Luckily and unfortunately a few of my contracts have now ended with the close of the year, so I start the new year with a clean slate and a state of wonder over which direction 2016 will whisk me in and what opportunities it will deliver. This is both exciting and terrifying.
What was your biggest achievement for 2015 (and it doesn’t matter if it’s small, as often the smallest thing can be a big achievement!)?
My most challenging moments
I almost lost my companion of 13 1/2 years
When I whisked my dog Kahlua to the vet in November as she hadn’t eaten for days and was continuously vomiting, I suspected it would be bad but I didn’t expect her decline to be so rapid. Within the space of a few hours she was jaundiced, suffering from liver and kidney failure and given days to live if that.
I’m not naive. I know that at the age of 13 1/2 the time will soon come, but it was still a major shock to the system being faced with that decision. But I couldn’t do it and I had to believe she could pull through, that she would fight, and that she would live. And so I hit Dr Google hard, researched as much as I could, started playing around with recipes, buying baby food to syringe feed her, and just lying next to her with my hand on her body to show her I was there. I’m not religious, but I also prayed. As she started eating bits and pieces I found myself on certain days cooking 6 different meals just to see if I could get her to eat anything. It didn’t look good, and as I’d catch D looking at me, I knew he was pleading with me for mine and Kahluas sake to give up, to let her go peacefully, but I refused to as I saw signs of improvement here and there.
And here we have it, 2 January and Kailua and I just got back from our regular 25 minute walk through the neighbourhood (not in this photo – this photo was taken during visiting time at the vet’s in November). She’s also about to heartily plough into a big bowl of chicken mince, veggies and rice noodles.
Strangely enough, she seems healthier than before the liver and kidney failure, with a new spring in her step, hardly any signs of arthritis, a curiosity to explore, and an appetite for life, long walks, play-time and food. Her blood work is also a lot better. Of course, the vet still gives her a few months but we’ll see how we go as you really never know! And that’s why I call her our Christmas miracle in more than one way. To really have to fight for something you love, to be all encompassed with emotion, to feel raw and lost, and then to realise you have another chance, my heart has been taught a very big lesson and it has also opened up…
My cousin, one year my junior, passed away suddenly
Due to get married late October, Vanessa passed away suddenly in August after a tumultuous life which finally looked like it was turning around. I wrote about it here, a post where I bared my sadness but also shared my memories of the beauty in having reconnected with her again in the last two years.
What was your hardest moment of 2015? Guess what, you got through it and made it to 2016! Keep fighting – you can do it!
Biggest Lesson Learn’t
Ugh. That’s how I feel about lessons. When do we stop learning them! But then again, that’s the purpose of life right. To live and learn and to fight another day.
Book publishing is not for the faint hearted
For me, the biggest lesson learned in 2015 followed the book publishing deal. You see, being published is one thing but trying to sell your book, dealing with book distribution companies, facing the fact that not all of your friends and family will be interested, WOAH, eye opener! Fortunately I now feel like the blinkers are off and I (sort of) know what to look out for next time, have more of an idea about what I will do next time, and know what I hate (the
flogging a dead horse marketing merry-go-round SUCKS. If you need some honest, no holes barred tips feel free to contact me!
This is going to sound terrible but I can’t name one BUT that’s because generally, even with some really sad or shitty experiences, I was generally happy for most of the year AND because there’s been a lot of happy moments. Wedding planning has generally made me happy, receiving the dress – happy, booking the venue – stoked, celebrating Christmas with family – fun times, hanging with old friends I hadn’t seen it what felt like forever – awesome, changing my first shitty nappy (my god-daughter) – surprisingly joyful / traumatic, getting my first tattoo which is very symbolic – not as painful as expected and very satisfying (also possibly addictive…).
I summed up my attitude in Chasing Happiness, where I recommend living life embracing moments of idiocy, laughing loudly, and smiling.
What was your happiest moment?
How about you? How was 2015 for you and what do you have in store for 2016?
I have no idea what 2016 will bring, aside from finally getting hitched to D on the 15th of January, quickly followed by my sisters wedding in February (us Ripper girls!). The rest, well, I’ll be tackling it all as it comes (okay…there’s a few more things planned but you will just need to watch this space for that!).