The Year Behind, The Year Ahead

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.


Just about everything is better with a flute(s) of bubbles

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?


Time out to smell the roses (King Edward Park, Hawera, New Zealand)

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.


Taranaki two-scoop ice creams – one of our favourite things

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.


Mt Taranaki, our mountain in New Zealand, under which we will return to live in 2018

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.

Christmass Bleeding Heart

Christmas colours in our garden

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?

6 thoughts on “The Year Behind, The Year Ahead

  1. I love this post. It is so optimistic yet realistic and filled with hope and the willingness to change and move on. What a year you had. I’ll be following you as you move back to New Zealand if you’ll have the time to keep us informed.


    • Aw, aren’t you lovely. Thank you. In recent times I’ve felt it cheeky to say I have a blog when it gets so few posts written. Nevermind, things can always improve and if that coincides with a returning mojo we’ll be “dangerous”.


  2. You have accomplished a lot in 2017! I’ve sort of been at a standstill. Like the post above, too many dear ones died, politics here in the USA, and family doings have helped make it a difficult year. I do look forward to 2018. Maybe things will be different or we’ll just be able to handle it better. I hope your move back to New Zealand brings you happiness, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2017 has been a tough one for many and I hope next year is kinder to those who did it hard this year. It can seem relentless yet the human spirit tenaciously finds the will to push through and make the world a better place for others, like beautiful photography, encouraging blogs and the wonderful companionship of other bloggers. Take care, Anne.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful summary of your year, Linda, and what lovely hope you have for the future. I know you have the will and the tenacity to make it all happen.
    I am sad, however, that you will no longer be around for our (too infrequent) coffee & chat sessions. I will certainly miss those, and you.
    My year has been a difficult one. As you know, we have lost too many family members – my granddaughter, my sister, hubby’s brother, my former beloved partner, and far too many friends. It seems that the year can time-lined with the funerals we attended.
    But we have also had some wonderful times with family and friends, and at a school reunion that Hubby organised. That brought back lots of great memories, and has reunited us with people we thought to have lost, but who are now our friends – 52 years after we had seen them last.
    The year has ended on a positive note, with a lovely family get-together at Christmas, where we stayed with some of my sons and their families up in Queensland. It has also brought me a renewed enthusiasm for my writing. My second novel, ‘Thursday’s Child’, has passed its final edit and I will be getting the copies for sale in the new year. I have also started making notes on what I hope will be my third novel, and that will be a major focus this year.
    I hope I see you before you move back to NZ, but I want to say now that I wish you and your MOTH all the very best for the new direction you will be taking. I will keep in touch – through email and blogging at least. You have been a great friend. Moving on to a new stage in life can be a challenging process. I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. I know you will be great!


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