Sixteen weeks combined long service and annual leave added to many days’ time in lieu helped make this one of the best years yet. It was filled with happy times: travels and friends and a road trip and ocean swims and lazing-by-the-pool days. Work and studies featured in the mix making 2017 a year of achievement and continued passion for being part of a community solution to addiction.
There have been tougher years and this year’s challenges were overcome with less angst and emotional fall-out – cause for celebration in itself, a personal growth point perhaps. It could be true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks yet the more birthdays that pass the more surprised I am by my surroundings: people and the world.
Does one inherit naivety or is it borne of a desire to expect the best, see the positive and encourage the bejaysus from people with potential? I think the surprises of 2017 emanated from that part of me that refuses to believe others do no good on purpose. I guess I’m destined to a life of surprises – this dame ain’t about to surrender naivety for the alternative, which would be ? Cynicism?
With the help of a life-coach and mentor I achieved some long term goals: completing studies and becoming registered with three professional bodies that endorse my studies and acknowledge the skills gained during the ten-year span of addiction counselling and more recently family therapies. Was a time when experience was enough; now it is a piece of paper which brings opportunities. As i move out from under the umbrella of an organisation and into my own practice I am starting to feel a sense that the timing is perfect.
The week before the Christmas/New Year break we moved offices, albeit 200 meters down the road. We moved in 43C (109F) heat and some of us managed ourselves not at all. Another growth element for me was that I was able to pace myself in the heat, taking breaks and keeping up the fluids, and working with a colleague to share the load. I felt a shift in perspective as I unpacked boxes, found new homes for files and settled into my new office. It has been a long time since I had my own office but fortunately this one will be the hub of our service as client files and other records are stored there.
Looking to next year there is further excitement as we progress our timeline. The biggest shift will be leaving this work, selling our home in Australia of 15 years and moving back to our beloved New Zealand. It seems the letting go has already commenced as friendships have drifted away, social interactions have decreased and we become more focussed on leaving than reestablishing connection. One or two social ties remain, they are precious.
I have learned a lot this year:
- things don’t always turn out how you planned
- that some things will remain forever broken, and that’s okay
- sometimes when things go wrong they can’t be fixed
- that I can get through tough times without having to cushion everyone else’s fall
- that some things are better left to others to do
- good times are never far away
- to hold the present with care, the future with wonder and the past with humour
Has 2017 been a ride through paradise on a unicorn? or a slide into happy places with your flute of pink bubbles in one hand? How was your year?