At the end of each year, I write a reflective essay looking back at the previous 12 months and ahead to the coming year.
Okay, I’m going to try not to focus entirely on the fact I got married this year.
But, did I mention that I GOT MARRIED THIS YEAR?!
Before I move on to talk about other stuff, I just want to say: I was completely floored by how much our family and friends did for us to make our wedding happen. If I learned anything this year, it’s that our people are the best people. From helping with the crafty jobs like bouquets and boutonnieres (Ella) to hand-decorating 150 placemats (Marie), making flower and ribbon chandeliers (bridesmaids), feeding the crew (mum), making the ceremony space look amazing (Ben, Sophie, Arielle, our nieces, just about everyone), taking care of the music (Alex, Rod), making food, even on the day of the wedding (especially Jennie, who made our cake at the last minute and is an absolute fucking ROCKSTAR in my book), and countless other things I didn’t even see.
Everyone in our wedding party, their partners, our families and close friends all went above and beyond, and we’re going to spend the rest of our lives giving back to you. We have never felt so profoundly loved as we did during the week of our wedding. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
But in all seriousness, the wedding really did take over my life this year, so it’s hard to reflect on the previous 12 months without seeing flashes of fairy lights, favours, bouquets, boutonnieres and bamboo cutlery. It was a blast, but I am SO GLAD it’s over. Now I can go back to just being with Jake – which was, y’know, kinda the whole reason we did this in the first place!
Other great things that happened this year too:
- I went to Faversham with Marie for her birthday, where we wandered around the largest collection of flowering fruit trees in the world at the beautiful Bogdale collections;
- I completed the MoonWalk, a nighttime marathon raising funds for breast cancer charities, with an incredible group of women;
- I got to see Sheryl Crow and the Cranberries in the same amazing weekend, fulfilling the dreams of my younger self;
- Marie and I went to Tonefest with another good friend of mine and her daughter, and we had a wonderful time being wild and free;
- Friends got married, others had babies or announced pregnancies – exciting times!
- Jake and I took dance classes to learn Bachata, just for fun – and it was so much fun!
Other, not-so-great stuff happened too. My nannying job ended, which was a positive transition for the family and coincided with an increase in hours for me at my other job, but I miss the kids, and my charity sector job has been increasingly challenging (not in a good way). I was grateful for the distractions that the wedding brought me, but now, without something else to focus on, heading into the office has felt more like a chore.
My health also took an almost entertaining nosedive after the wedding – over the past four months I’ve battle two respitory infections, liver inflammation and a persistent skin rash on my arms, apparently caused by stress – what do you mean, doc? Was I stressed at all this year?
This was a very stressful year, no doubt about it, but the last four months have felt particularly gruelling as I’d spent the year really looking forward to relaxing in the festive months after the wedding. As a result, this year has felt a bit relentless in the ways it’s tested my resilience, both emotionally and physically.
But, as always, the beat goes on.
2018 looks like it will be a busy one for us as well. We’ve got weddings to look forward to (in part because they are other people’s weddings), friends’ babies to meet, camping trips to go on, work to do, money to save, gym memberships to renew (gosh, I am feeling ambitious today!)
My point is: 2018 is here, laid out before us, waiting to be shaped into something brilliant. No matter how hard it’s been, we have the tools within and around us to build a bright future.
I’m ready to do the work.
Who’s with me?
2017 photo reel: