Moving Forward in 2018

2017 felt like a pretty big year, in hindsight. It started with an epic 800km bike ride in Thailand, and time in Singapore with the boys, staying with my sister and her family.

On the school front, Charlie started Year 1 and Sam went into Year 3. Sam had his portacath removed, as the final sign that his treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia was finished. Sam prepared for and celebrated his Confirmation.

We had many firsts in our life without Nicholas – his fifth birthday was celebrated without him, and we made it through the first anniversary since the day he died. The kindy he went to designed, built and officially opened the most beautiful play space in his honour.

There were many beautiful trips away – to Melbourne, Spicers Peak, Caloundra, Fiji, Kingscliff, Palmwoods, Byron Bay, Sydney, Scotts Head, Fingal and Noosa. As well as completing the bike ride together, later in the year Ben returned to Thailand for a renovation taskforce at one of the homes run by the Hands Group.

I launched an online business, selling my LoveInk handlettered creations.

We held some new events and made some big decisions in our IT business, including embarking on a big project implementing a marketing automation system.

My Mum and Ben’s stepdad were both diagnosed with Cancer within three weeks of each other, and started treatment around Christmas time.

We were just a little exhausted by the end of the year.

The word for my year was FLOW, but if I could put a word on 2017 in hindsight, it would probably be GROWTH. There were moments of beauty, joy, courage, heartache, elation and peace.

I think I arrived into 2018 hopeful, but tentatively, slowly. I had a sense of wanting to achieve things this year, but not setting myself an epic agenda. I wanted to make plans, but was conscious of the fact that two parents facing health challenges may need us to be more flexible this year.

So I embraced a ‘small steps’ approach as I tiptoed into 2018. I didn’t want to set massive goals, I just knew that I wanted to keep moving forward, using daily habits to achieve incremental progress. I set myself a few mini-experiments.

I decided to start making my bed every morning (I’m just picturing my best friend’s face right now, contemplating how she could even be friends with someone who doesn’t already consistently make her bed everyday ;))

I decided to move my body every day, whether that be through pilates, walking the dog, playing netball or riding a bike.

I decided to make better food choices for myself.

I decided to start writing in my journal more regularly.

I decided that I want to be more empowered and knowledgeable about our finances.

I’m investigating areas of my life where I find resistance and working out what I can do to make things easier. For example, I was getting frustrated with being the only one who thinks about what to eat for dinner and cooking it, so I instigated a “boys night dinner” and it’s working a treat. Now, on a Wednesday night, Ben and the boys are in charge of making dinner. Granted, it’s generally a barbecue based on meat that I have bought, but at least I get one night off from thinking.

I’m looking at situations where I can make a small action now and just get it done, rather than procrastinating and feeling rushed or behind later. Like writing a meal plan for the week, cutting up some vegetables at lunchtime so I have less dinner preparation to do in the evening, or making lunchboxes for the following day before I go to bed.

I have been trying to think about what big picture goals I want to achieve and what one step I can make today towards that goal. Maybe it’s decluttering a drawer in an effort to clean out a whole room. Maybe it’s getting up early and writing 300 words which may one day become a book. Maybe it’s calling an architect with the dream of having a renovated home.

I decided to aim for progress, not perfection.

I decided my word for 2018 would be MOMENTUM.

To be honest, I have struggled to find my mojo this year. I’m not feeling particularly motivated or energised, but I’m rolling with that. I trust that the energy will find me again at some stage.

So I keep taking steps, slowly but surely. I am working on small, incremental, imperfect action in the hope that it will keep me moving forward, keep driving momentum, until I find my mojo again.

Have you chosen a word for 2018?