Well 2017 has been and gone.
In some ways it seems to have flown in and then when I look back it seems like a lot has happened.
At the start of the year I was still dealing with my diagnosis of ME. I wasn’t able to work full time, so between myself and work, we made the decision to gradually increase my hours back up over time to see how well I coped. This was kind of my life for a few months, working part time and sleeping the rest, very much struggling to maintain a balance. My blog seemed to be put on the back burner at this time which I hated, but without the energy to physically shoot and mentally put a sentence together there wasn’t much I could do.
In March, Matt and I took a little trip back to Belfast to visit my family and had a lovely few days of food and love – very much needed! It was nice to explore somewhere I had been so often but never really experienced if that makes sense, and really makes me want to do more city breaks around the UK.
In April, my Mum and I took our first trip out of Europe to our dream destination – New York – and completely fell in love with it. We gave ourselves a week to allow me time to rest when I needed but still enough time to do everything we wanted. And what an incredible city it was, I felt weirdly at home and would definitely love to live there one day! It gave me such wanderlust and is 100% somewhere I will be returning to. Also the pretzels were the most heavenly thing I’d ever eaten.
WHAT I’M WEARING
The summer went by in a relative blur. We very sadly lost our family dog Harvey in June which was totally devastating. He was very poorly and it was the right time for him but it was a real blow for us all and he is still very missed. The sun was a blessing though and something I do love about living in the South is getting a proper bit of summer!
In July me and Matt had a night away for my birthday in a beautiful hotel in the outskirts of Norfolk. I enjoyed the best ever bath whilst the rain battered against the open windows (classic summer weather) and meant our evening came to early end when we had to run back early from the pub to stop our room from flooding!
By the end of the summer my health had taken a turn for the worse and I was signed off work for 6 weeks, something that I really struggled with both physically and mentally. I felt I had been improving and had built my hours back up to almost full time and this was a real blow, I felt generally very lost. Matt was working in Edinburgh for a few weeks at this time and I was very lonely, so with a little persuasion from him I took a few days to go back to the homeland and visit him. I think the change of scenery did me the world of good.
At the end of September my sister, mum and I headed to Lisbon for a few days of sun. It was a lot hotter than we expected which made city exploring a sweaty job, but it was a lovely city, very different to others in Europe I’d visited and one I’d love more time in.
Then Autumn was upon us. My hours were permanently reduced which although hard to swallow has been beneficial in that I’m starting to have more of a work/life balance and able to enjoy life a bit more. A massive highlight for this year was getting baby Wilbur. He has had such a huge impact on my mental health and is the most amazing little pup. You can’t help but smile when you’re with him and his cuddles can cure pretty much anything!
Then fast forward a few months and it’s Christmas! A time of year I used to really love but find a bit more difficult now. It is so lovely to get the family together though and this year we had my brothers girlfriend over from California who is such a bubble of fun and energy and it was so good to spend more time with her.
I feel like this round-up has been a little downhearted but I do feel grateful for this year and am looking forward to 2018 and making it a positive and fulfilling year. I am more accepting of having ME and in the New Year I want it be about me not my illness; enjoy when I’m well, not dwell when I’m not and be as positive about things as possible. I have been bad at keeping in touch this year, I’ve isolated myself because in my mind “who wants to be friends with the ‘ill’ girl” if the catch ups consist of “so what have you been upto?’ and my reply is “em, well sleeping and em, that’s it,” and that is definitely something I want to improve on because 1. Im pretty sure that’s not true and 2. I’m the one missing out.
I am also very grateful for my wonderful boyfriend and family for being so supportive this year and my fabulous best friend and soul sista Kitti for always making me smile and offering constant support from afar. I have treasured her friendship more than ever this year and I hope I can be as good to her in the year to come – she has shown me what it means to be a best friend and a good person and am so lucky to have her. Oh, and my lovely colleagues and friends too for being generally great. But now we’re getting into weird Oscar speech territory so I’ll finish up with this – I have a lot of hopes for this year with a few trips lined up and some exciting plans so let’s make it a memorable one. And I hope it’s a bloody good one for you all too!