Some highlights from my 2012 include:
I holidayed in:
The Barossa Valley (SA)
Byron Bay (NSW)
- Women of Letters
- New foods – amongst them: coconut water, chai and chia (the 3 Cs!)
I took some small leaps:
- I started proper French lessons (something I’d been nervous about)
- I presented some of my doctoral research at an academic conference for the first time
I moved to the suburbs. This is only a temporary move, but it has taught me a lot about the small virtues of living in the inner city, which I will not take for granted when we move back! Important conveniences like buses that run more than once an hour…
- Healthy living (including kicking my terrible sugar habit)
- Online communities cultivated through blogging and joint activities like the monthly cooking club
When I looked for common themes that ran through my 2012, I realised there were two -
(1) Learning to understand myself – my thoughts, my moods, my reactions, my anxieties – and to look after myself, inside and out, with gentleness. This is a journey I want to continue in 2013.
This didn’t really hit me until I stopped and thought about it, but 2012 was a mammoth year in friendships for me.
Online, I found like-minded souls. We met by chance, but our souls recognised each other instantly and our friendships forged fast and strong. I stumbled upon a thriving community of women who celebrate each other, hold each other up, and hold magnifying glasses to each other’s beauty, strengths and triumphs. It is how women should treat each other and I feel honoured to know the women I do online. It is a strange but wonderful feeling to have people in your life whom you are still getting to know – whom you still don’t really know in many respects – but who you can be confident would support you and champion you to others, as you would them.
Old friendships, too, changed. Friendships that have been present in my life for 10, 15 years or more, and still they continue to evolve. One friend drifted out and away for a while and I nursed some sadness and, I’m ashamed to say, a little anger in my heart, for a little while. Ye of little faith. Recent reconnections have revealed some struggles in her life. Sometimes, I think, when people are sad they cocoon themselves away; they fail to respond to messages or to return phone calls or to keep appointments. Behaviour that can be misinterpreted as disregard, as uncaring. Sometimes these are the signs of a friendship falling away, but other times they are a mere pothole along the road, and patience, space and compassion can set things right again.
In the ebb of one friendship, though, a blessing: – more time spent with another old friend, and our relationship has deepened greatly as a result. Turns out we are more similar than we ever knew! I am so grateful and joyful to have her in my life.
These were my lessons and themes of 2012. What were yours?