“The days are long but the years fly by” was something my sister-in-law said to me when we were bringing up our toddlers. A day felt like an eternity at times as we struggled to navigate through those early days of minimal sleep and endless demands. Fast forward to 2017, in which my son turned ten and my daughter, eight. This year is the first year that both my kids said to me “This year has gone really fast”.
So what to do when the year flies by?
You grab it by the tail and take a good hard look at everything that needs to be re-examined and you let go of anything not worth saving. There were plenty of moments in 2017 that filled us with awe and wonder. There were also terrible and excruciatingly senseless acts and impossibly sad moments. Life is weird and wonderful. Sometimes events make you want to curl into a ball and stay hidden from everything and everyone.
Give your mind some space
It is ok to give yourself the time you need to regroup; however, sometimes no matter how long you turn an issue over in your mind it will still not make sense. So you can choose to try to solve an impossible riddle or you can choose to focus on what does make sense. Meditation can help. Mindfulness can focus you on what is happening right in front of you rather than you being overwhelmed by everything happening in the world.
The best thing about life is that it goes on. So if you are struggling and can’t face the thought of another awful year, re-focus on what is going right. Start with one small thing that is good. There may be more than one…
Celebrate your achievements – big and small
I am so delighted to have almost sold out of Grace and my first book This Present Moment – a great result for any self-published first-time authors!
Following this was the launch of our Creative Mindfulness e-course – which saw over 30 people sign up for the 10-day mindfulness intensive. We learned a lot – like how much and how little time we all have to focus every day. As a result, we altered the format of the e-course, and it is now offered on demand, at any time of the year, at your own pace.
2017 was also an incredible year for music! Both Grace and I perform in the bands Nice Biscuit and The Double Happiness. My group is a fantastic creative outlet and gives me so much happiness (double!) and fun. We gigged all around Brisbane at some of our favourite bars and venues, and even entered a Battle of the Bands! While we didn’t win, we were thrilled to see a young band of four brothers (aged 13- 20) take the prize!
Another personal highlight was performing at the Icon Cancer Foundation Gala to raise money for cancer medication trials and research. Watching a room full of oncologists (including my former oncologist who retired last year) dance to our songs was priceless!
The This Present Moment 2018 calendar was the final Purple Cords Press offering for 2017. It features my photography and twelve quotes centred around kindness, courage, creativity and compassion – themes familiar to those who have read This Present Moment. 50 of our calendars were donated to Choices to help support its services to all people with cancer.
Yes, 2017 has been a wonderfully creative year, filled with excitement and energy. Sadly, it has also been a year of tragic losses of many dear friends, both new and long-term. There was more surgery that thankfully went very well. I continue to have chemotherapy – every third Thursday – for life. This means chemo is both a lifesaver and a long-term medicine, as I am intending to be around for a very, very, very long time!
Set a new path for 2018
As you look ahead at a whole new set of 365 days, know that while we cannot predict how the year will be, we can choose to focus on kindness, compassion, community and creativity. A new year is the unknown, and whilst the unknown may be scary, it can also be exciting in its possibility.
Yes, the days are long but the years fly by. I hope you can find something you are both curious and passionate about to fill your days with.
Happy New Year!