So this is the New Year
In my last post, I sort of concluded 2016 and the idea of enjoying the process that I wrote about in the beginning of last year. For the new year, I want to continue enjoying the process, of course, but there’s something else that I want to focus on too.
Last year was very much transitional for Marco and I, which we were well aware of and we tried to deal with each change as it came. By the end, I think we managed to settle down relatively well and we are at the point of even feeling grounded in our new life here.
This year, I want to appreciate what I’ve been given.
The concept of Stewardship has been on my mind recently. The idea that what I have has been given to me, as a gift to look after. So obviously, I need to be grateful for those things, but I also need to look after them. That’s what I want this year to be about for me. I want to look after every area of my life; in particular, my marriage, my friendships and family, my health and my education.
Of course, my relationship with Marco is something that I never want to take for granted, and I think that for any relationship to really work it takes a huge amount of effort from both sides. Marco has always been, and remains, my love, my best friend, my biggest fan and my anchor. He has helped me to nurture the best aspects of myself and to work on the areas that need working on and I want to be the same to him, every single day, no matter how I feel.
Family is another area that can be really easy to underestimate or take for granted. Last year presented our family with a huge amount of difficulty in a number of areas, but when we worked together and for each other, we came out ok. It’s easy to turn on the people closest to you during the hard times simply because of that proximity, but I’ve really come to realise that there are very few bonds like the ones you have the possibility to create within your family. The key is that you have the possibility, they shouldn’t be taken for granted, the same with any relationship.
Toward the end of my first semester at university I was struggling a bit, I think I mentioned this in one of my previous posts. Marco and I were both quite stressed and under pressure and we found that we simply wanted to be around family. Dimitra, my sister, and I were saying recently how it’s different with family, you don’t have to explain or justify yourself, it’s a safe place. But it’s a safe place that I want to look after. It’s mutual as with all relationships. You can’t expect to be loved and nurtured when you aren’t willing to do the same for others.
We’ve also been blessed with a number of new friendships, which has made a big difference for us. One of the biggest battles we faced in Berlin was isolation, and we had no idea how isolated we’d actually become until we started making new friends here. Friendships also take work and effort, though, and I want to look after the new friendships that I’ve been blessed with and treat them with the love and care that they deserve.
I also want to focus on my old friendships. Sometimes the oldest friendships are the ones you tend to neglect the most because they’re the most reliable. But that old reliability is what makes them so special and what makes them worth nurturing. People are too important to take for granted and I want to remember that this year. I know life can get busy, but I don’t want busy to be an excuse to become lazy or complacent in my friendships.
And then of course health, this one comes up always doesn’t it? I tend to have little patches where I let myself get really run down. Although some things can’t be helped, I think looking after my mind, body, and emotions is something that needs to be prioritised this year. I need to know my limitations and when I’m overdoing it, but I think this is probably something that will come up every year because it’s something that I struggle a lot with.
Lastly is my education. Getting back into University was the biggest deal for me and it really is my dream come true to be there. I want to make the most of every single day that I have there and not become either results oriented or complacent. For now, that’s the most important thing for me, and it’s something that I want to look after and protect.
It’s hard to set goals like this because I know I’m going to mess up a million times. But I also know that it really is about the process. Life is more than a neat to-do list with boxes to check. The beauty of it is in the mundane and in the everyday and I want to appreciate it more as time goes by and not less.
P.S. I hope you like the new design. I figured the new year was as good a time as any to give the blog a makeover! As always, my sisters did an amazing job with it and I couldn’t be happier! I’d love to hear what you think!!