What a year 2016 has been.
How about you?
I keep seeing all these memes on FB & Instagram…. Pretty much reflecting my own personal experience in 2016 and I realize I’m certainly not on my own here.
As most of you know, we lived in Bali for the first 6 months of this year, arriving just prior to Christmas 2015 and what an experience that was!
I miss it some days. I miss the chaos, the smiles of the people, my local village, the rice fields, the fire flies at night, swarms of dragonflies, mangosteens, dragon fruit that actually tastes like something, decent tempeh, the vivid colours, the manic driving skills that you need to blend with, my land lord and Ubud in general.
We did however realize that home schooling was not our ‘gig’!
Far out! What a challenge that one was!
The idea was that the children stay within the Australian education system for 2016, not knowing how long we would be away as well as avoiding the high expense of International schools in Bali.
And before you mention or think ‘Green School’… have you looked at the fees?! And it’s USD! I mean, I love the concept but that’s way outside my budget let me tell you.
So, let’s just say that home schooling might suit kids that were self-motivated with an ability to structure their day, and/or a parent that is 100% committed and present to the school day.
Okay, just saying… none of that applies to us! I had work I needed to do, and quite frankly, a life (not saying you wouldn’t have a life if you home schooled… I’m sure it suits many families… just not mine) and my children, well, let’s just say we’re all looking forward to next year.
Not that they didn’t enjoy the experience of living in Bali and the adventures that 2016 brought, however, the dramas and tantrums (mostly mine) that were the result of lack of above said attributes… made us all grateful to see the back of home schooling.
As I write this, I’m thinking… what has 2016 taught me? What have I learnt? Where have I developed?
To be honest, the list is huge but I’ll try my best to pick out the key ones:
1. Never attempt to home school again! Not your forte Lisa!
That I have absolutely amazing friends that are there when I need them.
In fact I’ve discovered the true depth of some friendships/connections this year that to be honest, surprised me in the most wonderful way.
Some of them having not been in our lives all that long but that have treated us like family… (Loved family…. Not family that you want to pretend must have been dropped on their heads at birth and smile politely to at weddings and funerals).
I’m no longer a CITY CHICK! Yep! You heard right!
It’s only taken me 5 years to work that one out. I love a bit of denial now and then.
I left Melbourne 5 years ago to move to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, then after two and a half years decided Brisbane was where it was at. Finances and things like a job may have also influenced that decision.
I loved our time in West End, Brisbane to be honest. Let’s just pause here for a moment and think about that sentence. I do find myself saying, and writing, ‘to be honest’ rather frequently, which is a rather odd thing to write don’t you think? It somehow implies the rest of the stuff I’m saying or writing is complete and utter bollocks! I assure you it’s not. So, now that I’ve made that point, we’ll keep moving on shall we?
Back to West End: Living back in an eclectic ‘hipster’ inner city suburb where restaurants, cafes, cinemas, south bank swimming pool, city shopping, river parklands, were all in walking distance was awesome!
Especially the ‘local’ at the end of the street which was a mere 20 meter walk serving smiles, friendship, gin, Negroni’s, awesome boutique beers and Uno challenges. (BOSC).
However after eighteen months, Bali called.
Itchy feet or what?
Six months in Bali (which I’ve previously written much about) and back to Queensland where I contemplated a move back to Melbourne.
The longer I stayed in Queensland though, via house sitting gigs and the amazing generosity of our friends, the less I wanted to commit to it.
A big part of that lengthy decision making process was Declan, my 15 year old son who will be entering into his final three years of high school in 2017.
For me, this meant my decision and commitment had to hold for the next three years. After a rather adventurous (some might call it other adjectives, but I’m sticking to adventurous) few years he deserves and needs that.
That’s just the kind of kid he is. He’s not the rebellious risk taker his mother might be at times.
He’s the one that questions from the backseat of the car: “Was that legal?!”
As I maneuver the car in a split second decision, reassuring him I’ve done advanced driving training and it’s all fine!
So here we are back on the Sunshine Coast. Relishing it. It doesn’t just feel right, it feels magical.
It just took five years with a bit of resistance, testing, challenging, denial and finally surrender to make it stick!
I guess it didn’t give up on me nor I, on it.
I spent the last week in Melbourne and I couldn’t wait to get back ‘home’ where I feel I can breathe… deeply and peacefully.
You can’t do everything on your own!
One of the greatest things I did for myself and my business this year was to find beautiful like minded and like hearted souls to do this work with after years of trying to do it all on my own. Not only has the business blossomed but it’s also given me greater self -confidence in what I do.
The Universe (or whatever you want to call it) has your back!
Don’t get me wrong. It gets tested and sometimes you’re pretty much on your knees before it throws that bloody net out to catch you, but it does catch you!
Not always in ways we expect or in the timeframes that we’d like, but it does.
I actually think that it’s the unexpected way in which it delivers….that is the most beautiful part.
Sometimes that bloody net is a little (or a lot) bouncier than we’d like or it feels like its almost verging on flippin cement, yet… its there.
I came back with no home, little finances and had no idea how I would make anything work, yet here I am, six months later in a beautiful home in paradise, gifted with gorgeous clients, part time work etc. etc. It just takes some faith and some awesome friends!
So next time the anxiety hits, remember to breathe, let go and trust in the net.
Getting perspective on the EGO.
I don’t mean EGO in the traditional way we think of it. I’m referring to the way it has us taking ‘things’ personally, has us feeling hurt, or even angry, when we feel rejected, misunderstood or even betrayed.
It’s our ego that leads us to feeling those emotions.
To be able to recognize the egos role and step outside of it, to look at it objectively can lessen and hopefully eventually eliminate those feelings.
It’s not easy. It takes practice and vigilance and believe me, I’ve had heaps of practice with this one in 2016.
On both personal and professional levels. Actually, the more that I think about it, sitting here writing this…. it’s been a fricken constant!
I could rattle off at least half a dozen rather major ones that have occurred in 2016, split pretty evenly between personal and professional. Hmmmmm. Interesting. What’s that preparing me for I wonder?
Compassion and an open heart
Leading on from the above, it’s important to develop our compassion and keep an open heart to fully experience this existence in all its amazing beauty. Again, not always easy. I sometimes struggle here and move into my ‘pragmatic & German side’ as I refer to it.
Which isn’t all bad…. It’s useful where and when required, like salt on a dish. Too little and it can all be a little bland, too much and whoa! It has you recoiling from the attack on your senses… but just the right amount is perfect.
For me, there in lies the challenge sometimes. But I shall keep working on the recipe.
So, they’re the lessons…. Now what am I grateful for in 2016?
- Lessons listed above of course!
- My gorgeous partners in crime, Miss P & Master D
- Incredible & supportive friends near and far
- Living in paradise
- A healthy body (mostly) that allows me to explore and experience life… and give my kids a run for their money!
- My beautiful clients that I’ve met this year that have blessed me with their open hearts, tears and joy.
- Having experienced living in Bali and the beautiful people I met whilst there.
- My part time job that allows me to continue to grow my business and live the life I love.
And for 2017?
I thought I’d just come up with a few words that will embody my intent rather than ‘resolutions’ which I haven’t done for 20+ years now.
I’d love to hear from you now!
I’d love to hear what you might have learnt from 2016, good, joyful, painful or otherwise.
What are you grateful for?
What do you want 2017 to look like?
I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments as we say goodbye to the humongous year 2016 was and ring in 2017.
Much Love as always