It’s safe to say that 2017 has been a bit of a strange one, both in personal events and also with things happening around the world. It’s all too easy to focus on the bad things that have happened, and honestly when I first started writing this I had two major things that happened to us this year in mind. I couldn’t think of anything positive.
Yet of course, plenty of positive things happened in 2017. Though it might have taken me going through past blog posts (one of the great things about being a blogger I suppose!), checking on facebook and even scrolling down my instagram to remember all that happened…
I set myself some goals at the beginning of the year – as always – and I think I’m probably half and half on those completed and missed. I don’t think there’s any point in listing all those failed, but some of the goals I hit entwine with some of the best things that happened to me this year. And you’ll see those below. This will be a long one so grab a cuppa and a blanket and settle down!
Completed My First, and Second, Half Marathon
When I set out to do my first half marathon in March, it honestly didn’t hit me just how much of an achievement it would be until I got to that finish line. I trained pretty well compared to my usual race training, but my furthest run was still only 10 miles. Those last 3 couldn’t be too much harder right?
Well they were.
That first half was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It wasn’t just the distance or all those hills, but it was a mental challenge too. And I’m proud to have managed to give my head a bit of a kick after the mini wobble I had at around 11 miles in.
My first half marathon took me 02:18:24. My 2017 goal was to complete the distance in under 2h30, so that was one ticked off! My second half marathon took place in September, and whilst it felt a little easier, it was still tough. I had done less training for this one compared to in March, but of course still had that bit of a base there from the rest of the year’s running. I finished in 02:11:41.
I also managed to get my 10k just under 60 minutes in April, and even got right down to 58:11 in September. Another goal ticked off there.
I didn’t hit my travel goal of visiting more than two countries, but I did hit the two. First up was the beautiful place that is Split, Croatia, and this was such a great experience. I wasn’t expecting to fall so in love with a country, but it was absolutely gorgeous over there and I’m desperate to visit again.
A weekend in Marbella was also on the list, and my blog post seemed to surprise a few people who just associated it with a party place. In all honestly, I hadn’t put two and two together with ‘Life on Marbs’ being Marbella – never watched it. It was great to be somewhere new and to spend some good one on one time with my mum too!
I also managed to spend a weekend in London to watch Cursed Child and had a relaxing week in Gisburn with family.
Next year I hope to get to a few more places with more weekend breaks.
Finding A Yoga Class
At the start of 2017 I set myself up with high hopes of doing yoga every week. Well that didn’t happen, did it? Of course not.
I did however join a new gym, and with that found a yoga class and teacher that I really enjoyed. Looking at the app, it seems I’ve been to 18 classes since June, which is pretty good for a 28 weeks time frame with some class breaks in between. This I will keep up for 2018, and I hope to find the motivation to practice more on my own…
The Dreaded C
So here’s one of the negatives. Around about April we had the dreaded C word enter our family – yep, cancer. I mean all four of my Grandparents actually had cancer before they passed, so it isn’t a new thing to our family – but this time it was close, close. I didn’t really speak about it at the time as I just didn’t know what to say. We were just all in shock. My mum is someone who very much knows what her body is doing and when things are not right. Thankfully she got herself to the doctors pretty quickly.
She was told she had stage 1 cancer, and from there on it was a bit of a whirlwind. You just never think that it’s actually going to happen do you? Anyway we were lucky. Very lucky. It was caught super early and within a week of getting her scan results my mum was having an operation to get rid of the cancer. Being stage 1 it was one of the easier processes and we didn’t have to think about the possibilities of chemo and all the horrible medicine that many do have to go through.
But it was enough to really make us think about family and each other and what is going on with our own bodies. If anything, just please make sure you check for lumps, bumps and any new (and unnatural) things happening with your body. If unsure, get to the doctor!
I never realised how hard losing Charlie would be until it actually happened, and honestly it was one of the worst things ever. She hadn’t been fully herself for a few weeks and then suddenly she just really declined. It was heartbreaking to see, and I just knew that as soon as we took her to the vets that would be it. Unfortunately it was the case, and she had a big tumour.
It has been over two months now, and honestly I still don’t feel like I’m over it. I got an amazing secret santa gift that made me cry upon opening it, and I also got a gorgeous necklace containing her ashes for Christmas. It still makes me sad. In fact, I’m getting emotional just even writing this. I just never thought it would hit me this hard.
When we brought Charlie home, it was my first day of High School. We were told she was a boy, hence the name Charlie. Lucky because we were considering Harry at one point… She was born on the 4th July. Loved dreamies. Went wild for catnip. Would always come running at the sound of a tin of tuna being opened. Basically just loved food.
At thirteen years old, she had a good life. And I think that photo above will forever be one of my favourite because just look at her expression! I was trying to recreate this photo but she wasn’t really having any of it.
This year has been a good one. I felt SO lonely upon getting home from university once I’d graduated. I’d lost touch will any close friends from school, didn’t have a job and all my university friends live on the other side of the country. It was difficult.
But then I got a new job. I made friends. And this year I’ve just felt so much happier having good people around me again. I’m not the best at keeping in contact I admit, but I’m just glad I have the people around me that I do. We’ve done some good things together this year, and here’s hoping for even more next year.
This year I’ve really grown with my blog I think. Like I’ve been able to write about things that I enjoy, and I haven’t put too much pressure on myself. I’ve also thought a lot about where I want to be heading, and what’s next to come. Starting with a name change. It’s going to happen by the end of January, and I can’t wait. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and I’m finally happy with the direction I want to go in. More to come from me!
I’ve also read a lot of good content this year and whilst twitter has of course had it’s dramas, I’ve enjoyed seeing what everyone else has got up to this year. It seems like more and more people are appearing in the blogging world, and I hope to really find my community of people this next year.