2017: My Year In ReviewPosted by Catherine Elms on December 29, 2017 Blog posts | | 2 comments
Every year I like to reflect on the previous 12 months, and review my annual goals (read my 2016 post here, and my goals for 2017 here) – I like the opportunity to celebrate how far I’ve come, what I’ve achieved, and what I need to work on to make the next year even better.
Overall, 2017 has been an OK year- not bad but not great. I got to experience some new exciting things, such as the holidays to cities I’d never seen before, new tattoos, and meeting new people, and I continued to push myself out of my comfort zone (especially in relation to my job). But I also struggled with finding energy and enthusiasm to do anything productive/creative, and my job really took over my life. Even though I work part-time, I took a lot of work home with me, and was stressed and tired every evening. I value a healthy work-life balance with plenty of time for fun and creative things, but I was totally imbalanced all year. I’ve been spending a lot of time and mental energy working on improving the situation, at work and outside of work, including making time for regular stress-busting activities like exercise and relaxation. But that’s a less exciting thing to blog about at the end of a year than a long list of achievements and completed projects.
I wish I had written more (music, blogs, articles, zines, everything) and sat around watching less TV – although watching TV is a lovely post-stressful day activity, so I’m trying not to beat myself up about doing it. I wish I’d been more structured with my free time, and I wish I’d done things more deliberately and thoughtfully. These are all things I’ll work on during 2018.
Word of the Year – Depth
Every year I set myself a guiding word for the year, which describes what I’d like to experience, feel, focus on and embody for the next 12 months. This year’s was Depth, which was the perfect word for me this year. I did a lot of introspective activities to strengthen and nourish me, like CBT homework, yoga, some meditation (even though I’m shit at it), active listening and exploration of new music, reading, writing, and regular exercise. I discovered a lot of new music, wrote new music, and tried to focus my energy on music and social justice, and devoting more time to them rather than lots of disparate activities/interests/projects. This didn’t 100% work all the time, but it’s a slow process and that’s ok.
- Repaint and refurnish house – not completed
I re-painted all the rooms and bought some new furniture which is a good start but I didn’t completely refurnish the house as I’d wanted to.
- Read 24 books – completed!
- Visit 2 different countries – completed!
I visited Germany and Turkey – read my travel diary blogs for more!
- Join a gym and attend an induction – completed!
- Attend 2 yoga courses – not completed
The yoga class at my gym doesn’t start until 3 hours after my shift ends, which makes it awkward to get to, but after researching other local yoga classes, the one at my gym best suited my needs in every other way – so in November I finally started attending after procrastinating for basically 11 months.
- Write music at least every fortnight – not completed
I’m very disappointed that I didn’t manage this one – I did write regularly and consistently, but not in any sort of routine, and not always as often as fortnightly. Next year I need to establish a better system for keeping me on track with recurring goals.
- Get 2 tattoos – completed!
I got a deathly hallows symbol on my ankle, and a dinosaur on my arm.
- Finish my Orphan Black cosplay project – sort of completed
This dragged on for longer than expected as all the items took a while to acquire. I’ve got all the stuff now, just need to do a photo shoot which was the only part of the project that I didn’t complete.
- Save £1000 for my album recording – completed!
- Create an album release project plan – not completed
I didn’t prioritise this alongside everything else that was going on – but I do have a draft ready that I can work on in 2018.
- Come off Fluoxetine completely – completed!
I’m so pleased – I came off my anti-anxiety medication permanently, for the first time in 7 years! Despite weaning myself off over a 6-month period, I still experienced severe withdrawal symptoms including anxiety and very low mood which sucked, but that seems to have settled down now. I’ll be writing a separate blog post soon about the reasons why I wanted to come off Fluoxetine and why this was the right choice for me.
- Performed live on Swansea Bay TV
- Won Swansea University a place in the Stonewall Top 50 UK Employers for the second time, and won the Stonewall Cymru LGBT Staff Network of the Year Award
- Repainted the house
- Tried a floatation tank for the first time
- Saw RENT live in Cardiff (and other city exploring)
- Published a Buffy fanzine called ‘Never Kill a Boy on a First Date’
- Performed at BiFest Wales
- Built a pond in my garden
- Cosplayed as Rick Sanchez at SCGC (Swansea Comic and Gaming Convention)
- Campaigned for the Labour Party during the general election
- Sat on an Athena SWAN judging panel for the first time and went on a solo mini adventure in London
- Annual beach trip to the Gower for fish & chips, sunbathing, and sea-swimming
- Went on a work-exchange / mini-break to Mannheim, Germany
- Tabled at Pride Cymru in Coopers Field, Cardiff
- Published the 18th issue of my perzine
- Celebrated my 28th birthday (where does the time go?) and was treated to a surprise spa weekend getaway, and a lovely birthday party
- Performed twice at the Swansea Fringe festival, on the BBC Horizons stage and at Volcano Theatre
- Saw Tori Amos live for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall
- Was interviewed on the Songs of Tori Amos podcast
- Went on holiday to Turkey for the first time.
Fave Books Read in 2017:
- Piece by Piece – Tori Amos and Ann Powers
- Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
- The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
- Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
- The Desire Map – Danielle LaPorte
Fave new-to-me albums of 2017:
Fave Films of 2017:
Fave TV shows of 2017:
A song to close out 2017: