Jan 1, 2018

Life This Week 1/1/2018: Goodbye, 2017. XXX

2017 in one sentence?


A gift of a year to have been given to live.




More good than bad for all my nearest and dearest, lots of memorable moments and people.  There were definitely bad and challenging times but as I sit down with a large plate of Christmas leftovers to put this post together, nothing especially traumatizing comes to mind.  I do, however, have lots of fun and happy memories of the year.

Interestingly, though, my #2017best nine on Instagram is made up of photos and memories that are quite different to what I thought my highlights were.  Come to think if it, I'm not really sure how 'Best Likes' was compiled. Are they a person's most liked photos or are they photos judged to be 'the best' of photos that everyone liked?


There's no denying that the above montage does cover a lot of the territory that defined this year- same-sex sex marriage postal vote, going to the Australian snow for the first time in my life and finally getting a sustainable photobook system set up for all the photos I take of Preschooler SSG but I also have so many questions.  What is with the inclusion of my toasted sandwich and the photo of 'my' jacaranda tree in the rain.  I had to laugh at my footwear highlights of 2017 - at one end of the spectrum we have my red Hunter wellies and at the other, a pair of statement Louboutins I have worn a total of four times.



As I look back on my camera roll (which does double duty as my working memory of key life events), one theme seems to predominate.  It's that sense of 2017 being a year of continuation and of progression.  It's been a year of feeling (but not necessarily being) wiser, more confident in who I am and also of being more comfortable in my own skin.  Of even loving that skin I'm in.

I'm not even halfway through my roaring forties but they're my most favourite decade of life so far.  They've been both more fun and more forgiving than any of the decades that have preceded them.  I think losing the denial this decade has been a key factor in their success.  I wasn't as honest with myself as I should have been about the people and situations in front of me, especially in my thirties.  I was foolish to ignore the red flags furiously waving right in front of my face.  My forty-somethings have seen me work through all of that and have left me with clarity, resilience but also more optimism than ever before.

Today's post is long but it's also light-hearted.  To reflect how I feel about 2017.



In 2017 I ate and did things that brought me joy.  In moderation and without guilt.  And I did them with the people I love most.  There were many (shared) bottles of champagne and cheese, there were many lovingly prepared and shared meals.


Personally, I think this year's wardrobe needs a section of its own in my ode to 2017.  I stuck with my tried and tested combinations of statement necklaces against bold prints.


But I also ventured back to the buttoned down, pin stripes of my pre mum life.



I possibly (heck, I know) I also dressed decades younger than my stated age.  


But you know what I think I thought they say, you're only as young as the clothes you wear.


But if that's what my mid-life crisis is going to manifest itself as without doing anyone any harm or embarrassment then that can't be a bad thing.  2018 may well be the year that I discover the line I shouldn't ever cross in the dressing half your age stakes.  I'm relying on the school mums to sort me out here.




While some may lament the first steps into the 'age of invisibility' that being fortysomething seems to mean in our youth-obsessed culture, I've really come to appreciate it this year.  There's freedom in going out for a night out with the girls safe in the knowledge that the only attention that matters will be that of your girlfriends.  Dress for comfort, dress with whimsy, dress for drama or perhaps dress with all of the above in mind.  But above all, dress for yourself.


It will surprise none of you to be informed that my credit card statements confirm that the clothing store I visited most frequently this year was Lulu Lemon.  


My best new discovery was Carolina.


I saw a bit more of the world in San Antonio, Texas.


Where there was a certain familiarity to my in-room breakfasts.


As well as some unlikely food obsessions.


Platefuls of juicy, peeled grapfruit segments at the hotel and the iHop's onion rings.


The year's beauty finds were Hourglass' primer in Dim Light and their Illusion tinted moisturizer.


The year's beauty game changer would have to be Maybelline's Tattoo Brow semi-permanent tint.


I found my forever fragrance this year....


which I've taken to wearing as often as I now carry my forever handbags.  


Whether you're using them as props for thought-provoking Instagram posts about what you're drinking and thinking on the way into work or whether you're using them for their intended purpose,  life is too changeable and short to keep your best things wrapped in tissue paper and dust bags.




The time to wear your treasures is now.  Share your world with them, let molecules of your adventures make their way into the very stitches of your clothes, shoes, and bags.  It's what will make these things truly yours and yours alone.


Apologies for the tangents I've already taken you on in this post.  I think it's time to steer things in a different direction.  How about the sights of 2017?


My beloved local 'beaches' that aren't beaches in the strict geographical sense of the word.


Beautiful and restorative through all four seasons of the year.


Splashes of colour at the MCA.


The hazy spring summer sun shining over The Rocks.


Rabbits doing taichi under the bridge.


Getting up close to the penguins at the Sydney Aquarium.



Looking down from the top of the world, Sydney Eye style.


On a personal level, 2017 gave me the rare chance to catch up with many of my girlfriends in person. I hope 2018 brings more of the same. I really am so very lucky to have all these wonderful women in my life.


I renewed my commitment to home yoga practice which probably explains the Lulu obsession this year.  


I've taken my exercise beyond the gym and back to the great outdoors for my runs.


Map My Run and Spring Moves are my favourite apps.  My running buddies and I are keeping each other motivated despite living across the country and the globe from each other thanks to Map My Run.  I credit Spring and its eclectic beats for helping my distances and pace.


No matter what I do, everything in this post eventually returns to activewear, doesn't it?


Yeah, pretty sure it's all part of my fashion driven mid-life crisis.


As parenting becomes less hands-on (but more of a mental feat of endurance), I've found more time this year to get more involved with continuing education at work.  I'm enjoying the first, cautious steps I've taken this year with e-learning, writing and reading.



A year in my life is also a year in Preschooler SSG's and what a year it's been for him.



He's fearless on his scooter.


It was very important to me that I was able to bring him to the ANZAC Day parade this year and that he was able to take part and begin to understand what it was that his fellow Australian men and women did and continue to do for his freedom and his country.


Sledding was such a success I'm bracing myself for skiing and snowboarding in the years to come.


It's been the year where his attention span caught up to his curiosity about the world.  All the new experiences he's been given this year have been grabbed with both hands.


I've been trying to help him use his kind and sharing nature in practical ways this year.


Selecting hamper items for the Christmas Appeals at church and at preschool was something he took to with enthusiasm.


Preschooler SSG becomes Master SSG next year and while we are both excited, I know there will be tears on my part come January 30, 2018.


He's grown up so fast and so fearlessly this past year.  There are times when I'm several paces behind him and I swear he looks at least ten years old.


2018 promises to be a year of change, adventure and independence for my five-year-old and I'm so very lucky to be right there for him on all the levels that matter.



Still reading?  Good on you and I salute you.


2017 you've been incredible.  You've sped by and left me with nothing but these thoughts and memories.

2018, I know you're going to fly by as well.  All I ask is that pause every once in a while to give me a chance to reflect and remember.  Whatever may happen and whomever I may meet along the way, may you show me the positive and also the way forward.

Be well.


14 comments:

  1. What a beautiful, gracious post. I hope 2018 reinforces your strength and fabulousness. All the best to you and your wee man.xxx

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  2. All the best in 2018!

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

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  3. I read every word of your post SSG and enjoyed it all. You've had a fabulous year! I agree that we dress for ourselves ... whatever makes us feel fabulous! Can't believe your little boy will be starting school this year. Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is a fabulous year for you and I look forwsrd to reading about it in your blog posts! :-) xo

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  4. That toasted sandwich definitely belongs in your 2017 highlight reel. I mean, look at it! Perfection! To someone who hasn't had a toastie in AGES it's a sight to behold. Also, I'm all for the gumboots over the Loboutan's (I tried spell checking that and it came up with 'bloodstains') - they're much more comfy, plus they're red so they go fast.

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  5. Thank you for taking the time (and having the heart & persistence) to share your life with us over the past year(s). I've loved checking in on your blog and discovering new bits of Sydney and reflecting on my own life through your experiences. All the best for this year, the first year of BIG school and all of the excitement and challenges it will inevitably bring x

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  6. Much love to you and master SSG - I wish many happy moments for you both in 2018! :)

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  7. what a fabulous year of adventure... I, too, am sending my last cherub off to school in just a few short weeks... who knows what 2018 holds, but I forsee tears on that day!

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  8. Sounds like a lovely year for you. The activewear made me smile as it's so easy to keep buying them! I always buy mine on special and have been buying some from Abi and Joseph this past year. Your little boy has grown and you must be excited and nervous about him starting school. Hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you!

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  9. Great photos!I'm glad your year was so eventful and memorable. Wishing you the same for 2018 x

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  10. Lovely post! Would you believe my first meal on New Year's Day was a toasted sandwich? It was perfection! *chef kisses fingers*

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  11. What a wonderful way to wrap up your year SSG! It's good to look back and take stock of all the good things that happened over the year - we have many blessings, when we sit down to count them. I like your point about using the special things too. Every day is special really, when we spend it with the people we love, so it makes sense to enjoy what we own and enjoy what we do each day. I hope 2018 and the new changes it brings is an exciting year for you - school is such a big leap!

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  12. Oh wow. I just loved reading and viewing this post! How handy is it that photos come with date groups on the computer. I sure found that it helped me with my post. I felt an "ease of living life right now" reading this and that is beautiful. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 1/52 and next week's optional prompt is Word or Intention for 2018.

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  13. I always love the optimism in your posts - and can't believe I don't already follow you on instagram! Bring on 2018.

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  14. "A gift of a year to have been given to live" and "you're only as young as the clothes you wear". I think both those statements are words to live by! I'm going to remember them and write them in bold in my notebook. Thanks for another great SSG bloggy year! xoxo

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