What I learned in 2016

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This year, I have discovered that roses reward even a small amount of care with great beauty.  Which, come to think of it, is a good metaphor for the self-care I talk about below.

If I had to boil down 2016 into a single lesson, for the world at large, as well as for me, it would be that you shouldn’t take anything for granted.  Life can knock you down, knock you sideways or just end, when you are least expecting it.  So cling to the things you care about and fight for them!

But it also taught me, personally, a bunch of other things.  These are the ones that come to mind this hot January afternoon…

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What I learned in 2015


The majestic Uluru, in central Australia, which I saw in person for the first time this year. Squee! I’ll post more on that later.

It’s February, which means that the year has started – the working/writing year, that is.

I know that for many people, the year starts on the first of January, but in Australia, January is the long summer holidays.  My girl is growing up too fast, so I like to spend as much time hanging out with her as possible .  Also, January is my month for cleaning house (literally), taking stock (of house and self) and making plans for the rest of the year.

This year the taking stock has been both wonderful and painful (and has led to a long post – fair warning!).

Wonderful because, for the first time in two years, I feel normal.  Optimistic, energetic and fired up for the year ahead, instead of sad, exhausted, fearful and overwhelmed.

Painful because I now realise that I could have been feeling like this much sooner if I had just asked for help sooner.

Painful because, in all that time, while I managed to do some things, I could only manage those things by neglecting others, including my friends and family.  I have some making up to do, but at least now, the thought of that is not so crushingly guilt-producing as it was just a few months ago.

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