“It has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. I learned everything is temporary. Moments. Feelings. People. Flowers. I learned love is about giving. Everything.
And letting it hurt. I learned that vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. I learned all things come in twos. Life and death. Pain and joy. Salt and sugar. Me and you. It is the balance of the universe. It has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good. Making friends out of strangers. Making strangers out of friends. Learning mint chocolate chip ice-cream will fix just about everything. And for the pains it can’t there will always be my mothers arm. We must learn to focus on warm energy. Always. Soak our limbs in it and become better lovers to the world. For if we can’t learn to be kinder to each other how will we ever learn to be kinder to the most desperate parts of ourselves.”
The moment I saw this from Rupi Kaur, it spoke to me, so, so, much. Well, everything but the mint chocolate chip bit because I’d never choose chocolate chip ice cream.
There is no doubting that 2017 has been one hell of a year. There have been challenges worse than I ever thought I’d have to face. There have been losses and there have been gains. There have been great friends lost, and new friends made. There have been moments that I’ve wanted to not get out of bed, but there have been days of such joy. And for now, as we go into 2018, I’ll be trying so hard to be kinder to myself whilst I learn what my new post-cancer normal is.
But amongst the tough moments, there have been some fantastic times too, I just need to make sure I remember those more than the bad times. So, here is a bit of a round up of my achievements over the last year;
So, let’s start with the big stuff. The first 5 months of the year were filled with my cancer treatment
. 2017 saw me finish off 3 or the 6 rounds of chemo I was having, and 23 lots of radiotherapy. I’m going to be totally honest, this treatment, and the fall out from it has left its imprint on the rest of the year for me, and not in a great way in a lot of occasions. But it has taught me so much about myself and about the people around me, and it’s going to shape the me I am from no on, so it’ll be forever part of my life now.
But I also started silversmithing. I started doing a silversmithing class
last February as a Christmas present and now I’ve found a new passion in my life. It’s lead me to open a little Etsy
store and start a bit of a portfolio on Instagram
under the Oh Gosh Silver
mantle – which has amazed me because people are actually buying the things I’ve made. There is no better feeling than people buying, and loving, something that you have made.
We made it out to Morzine
, in France, for a weekend of snowboarding between my 5th and 6th chemo treatments. It was interesting, but maybe the most needed trip to the mountains I’ve ever had in my life!
My friend Zoe and I created the #snowgosh pin, raising money for Coppafeel – And we’ve only got a handful left. I couldn’t be more proud of what we achieved. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has bought, shared or supported the pin. Thank you Thank you Thank you!
There was our epic holiday to the east coast of America. To start with, we flew first class
, but then we visited Washington
, Amish Country
, Long Island
and New York
. On one hand, it might not have been the best plan to go on holiday the day my treatment finished, but on the other hand, having a distraction from the end of it all was great!
And we visited Amsterdam and our friends who live there a couple of times. Once, just for a mini break before I went back to work, and once to go to Borefts
. One of the posts sitting in my drafts is all about our weekends in Amsterdam. At some point soon, I’ll sift through the photos and get the posts live!
We’ve been to quite a few beer festivals
this year and done some beer tourism
. Which has been a lot of fun! We’ve also probably spent half our wages on fancy beer!
I’ve also spent some perfect days with my dogs
. Right now, sitting on my sofa, with their furry bodies sleeping either side of me, I feel so calm and happy just looking at them. Taking them out into the countryside is one of my favourite things in the world to do.
And in the not so great stakes, I also went back to work. Which has, I’ll be honest, sapped everything out of me. I’m so tired when I get home, my brain is mush and it takes everything I have to get through the evening being social with Jim so things like blogging and friends and a life have gone out of the window.
Which means I’ve been super absent around here and I know the blogger thing is to apologise, but you don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to write that. So I’ll just be honest – I’ve had a hard time knowing what to write. I’ve got lists of posts to write, I’ve even got a bunch of draft posts sitting in the cms that I ought to finish, but I’ve just not had the motivation and the more I thought about them sitting there, needing photos or requiring more words, the more stressed I got, so I figured the best bet was to just walk away for a few weeks and give myself some headspace…….I’m hoping that it’s done the trick, becasue I am looking forwards to a better 2018!
How was your 2017? Tell me your achievements, leave me links to your round up posts, tell me your best bits.