After New Years I saw more people choosing a particular word that they wanted to focus on for 2017 instead of coming up with a long list of resolutions that they would most likely not even stick to. I quite liked the idea of choosing a word and I considered a few for myself – “invest”, “build”, and “grow”. In the end I settled with “me”.
Choosing this particular word does not make me a narcissist nor does it make me self-involved. It actually means the complete opposite. The girl in the picture above is someone I forgot completely over the last year. This girl was happy, motivated, creative, super dedicated with clean eating and spending time in the gym, and most importantly she had fun. Over the last year I forgot her.
2016 was a particularly hard year for me and in no way am I saying it was harder than everyone else’s because it wasn’t. It was hard for me. The year started off with a promotion at work which was an unexpected change and an amazing blessing – but it also came with many challenges that I don’t want to go through any time soon again. However, if I really had to go through them again, I am confident that I would be able to and I would panic less than the first time round. I have grown and matured so much that even I am able to see those changes and I am proud of them. The year also started off by bringing about the end to a relationship I was in which hurt, but I know it happened for a reason because I always knew we were never meant to be together for the long haul. I learnt a lot, grew a lot, and now have a much clearer idea of what I want and whom I want to share my life with. It’s never fun when a relationship ends, but in my experience it means something new is on the way. Everything happens at the right time.
I had to move again in less than 12 months and if you know a cancerian you will know that we don’t like change at all! We are home bodies and like to be settled. Moving is incredibly stressful for me and leaving the flat I had grown to love upset me a lot. I luckily found another one with a garden which I have always wanted. The irony is that I didn’t want to move, but my new place has been much better than the last one!
With all of these challenges came stress, anxiety, and increased depression. I stopped caring for myself and threw everything I had into work. I stopped going out, I pretty much stopped blogging, my eating plan went down the drain and I went back to all my bad habits of drinking coke to get through the day when I was running around, and having chocolate for dinner instead of a good meal – oh, and let’s not forget the part where I didn’t go to gym to destress at all or stay fit.
As the months wore on my body gave in and I had flu four times! F-O-U-R! I can’t remember the last time I was on that much antibiotics. Funny how after the second time of getting it I didn’t think to look after myself better?!?
Things weren’t all doom and gloom. Jack came into my life and man I couldn’t be more grateful for that! This little boy makes me laugh so much! He loves me so much too and that is one of the best feelings in the whole world. If you could see us having a full conversation together you would probably think we were nuts, but we actually do understand each other. I am now fluent in meouw. I still can’t believe how synchronous it was that he came into my life exactly when I needed him to. I had never had a cat before because I grew up with dogs, so having him live with me had a few learning curves, but I know I’ve done okay with him (apart from overfeeding him a bit). I had to put both Sam and Max down in 2016 and that broke me. I miss them so much, especially hearing them run down the passage on the wooden floors at my folks place as they bark to greet me, but i know they are both no longer in pain and probably having a wonderful time in doggy heaven together.
I bumped into a friend of mine from varsity who I had lost contact with for years. We had had a silly fight a few years back and stopped talking to each other. For a few weeks I kept dreaming about her and one night while walking around Woolies in Nicolway I walked into her. I am so glad I did! I missed her terribly! She was my best friend through varsity and we shared so many memories together. Having her back in my life feels like a missing piece of the puzzle has been found after it was “lost” for a short while.
My creativity also took a backseat last year. I stopped making arts and crafts with my mom for our little business and didn’t realise how much I missed sitting and faffing with glue and washitape, and beads until last December when I pottered around again. I started drawing a bit after finding an old file with my drawings in from when I was a kid and I used to do art classes, but that didn’t last and everything got packed away again, to never be unpacked again.
I stopped blogging. I am a writer at heart so this was a piece of creativity that just got completely blocked and I couldn’t get past that block. I would write a post in my head a hundred times while driving, waiting in a queue or hanging up washing, but that’s as far as it went. I would plan some posts in my book, but they would never move from my head to my keyboard. That was one of the things that has bugged me the most about last year. I loved my blog – and still do – but with all the other changes and stressors it’s like I had to take a break to “find myself”.
I stopped doing my make-up, dressing up, and styling my hair. When I am super tired I reach for my jeans and pumps, tie my hair up wet in a top knot, and barely put make-up on – or wear the same style for a number of days before I switch it up completely.
I had flu for two weeks in December which was all the leave I had taken from work. Literally three days after the office closed my body said GAME OVER. I believe the universe does that sometimes when you don’t listen or slow down in order to make you slow down. I was in bed for two solid weeks and decided to get better with bed rest because there was no way I would go back on to antibiotics again. I read 2.5 books in those two weeks which was massive for me! I binge watched a ton of series and cuddled Jack loads. We really did the sloth thing for the holidays.
In those two weeks I had plenty of time to lie in bed and think about what next. I had the usual resolutions of gym more, eat better, sleep more, but I eventually settled on investing in me. Making sure I am happy, rested, creative and blogging, healthy, and choosing the best path for myself – relating to relationships, and the environments I find myself in. I want to be more positive about me and I want to find the old Tanya that I miss.
It’s a work in progress and two weeks into the New Year I have to regularly have talks with myself about not going back to my old habits. It will take time to achieve all the targets I have set myself, but I am looking forward to them. I had to have a serious conversation with myself about whether I was going to blog anymore. I hate doing half a job so the minuscule amount of posts I did last year made me feel like a failure. If I am going to carry on I need to put everything in to it. I decided to carry on this year. I am consciously making changes to my life and one of them is to reignite things that make me happy. And my blog does. One change thought is that my content is going to get a revamp. I am going to share more about my preoccupations which is how it started out and I somehow I lost that plan too last year.
I am back in gym, trying my best to stick to clean eating, and making sure I rest and switch my brain off a bit too. A little less candy crush and a little more reading books is also in the plan. I need to be less hard on myself too and that is something I need to work on personally. I can’t get to everything all the time which is a big challenge for me because I was brought up with the ideal that you never do half a job. I need to accept that I am not a superhero, so sometimes something will have to wait and I will keep moving forward at a reasonable pace.
Going into 2017 with a positive mindset has already shown me great changes. Meeting up with old friends, exploring new places with new ones, traveling to places outside of my comfort zone, handling tough situations differently, laughing until my stomach hurts, learning to let go sometimes, being more focussed on my targets, and sitting quietly with my laptop and writing are things that make me happy. I want to do more of them this year and keep going forward with my positive mindset.
I’m not saying this year won’t be challenging sometimes, but it will be a lot more positive than the past, full of excitement, and I will be a much better version of the “me” that I miss.