Rollercoaster 2017

on Life  

We made it!

2017 sounded like a rollercoaster year for everyone, and it certainly was for me too. Towards the end of the year when people asked me how I felt it went, I wasn’t quite sure – but now taking a closer look, I actually achieved quite a lot. Here’s a little look at the highlights of my year, mostly in photos.

Exploring

After a few years of big holidays, we’re staying a bit closer to home for a while, with short trips to Manjimup and Dwellingup being our only getaways. These are enjoyable in a different way – more quiet, more walks in nature, more down-time spent reading and painting. On big holidays where I’ve flown a day to arrive at the destination, it’s hard to stop myself over-scheduling in an effort to not waste a single second. It always takes me a day or two to adjust to the calm on our short road trips in Western Australia, but I’m sure that I’m better for it.

Camping was a challenge for me, as I haven’t camped in a tent for over 15 years! But since I’d like to someday be able to do multi-day hikes, this felt like a good start. I didn’t do as much local bush-walking as I’d have liked in 2017 – hoping to do more exploring closer to home this year.

Eating

I indulged a little too much in 2017 – which I’m paying for now, but oh it felt so worth it at the time! Besides the usual special occasion dinners, I found myself doing a lot of brunches. I can see why haters would say brunch is an overrated meal, but I think brunch is an expression of leisure (and therefore, privilege) – it says I have time to linger over a long meal in the middle of the morning, to have someone poach eggs for me and make me coffee better than I can at home. Yes it’s indulgent, but you could say it’s less indulgent than an expensive dinner or a night out drinking. Also I can bring my dog and not look out of place in activewear, which are major plusses in my opinion.

Besides dining out, there was a lot of cooking and eating with friends in our homes, with an ever-increasing standard that, in my humble opinion, could compete with fancy restaurants (and the booze is much cheaper).

Making

The first half of the year I was trying to build a profitable side quest* out of my lettering work, which led to some pretty awesome projects for clients and more workshops than I’ve ever done in a year. Although I ended up taking a break from paying work in favour of more experimentation, I’m pretty proud of all the things I ended up making, for myself as well as for clients. My favourite thing is still my first ever mural, which is the biggest and scariest thing I’ve ever painted!

I also completed 12 months of monthly newsletters and free calendars, revamped my workshop booklets and worksheets, tried out etching and foiling, made a simple font and generally had a great time playing around with things.

* “side quest” is what I’ve decided to call my non-day-job activities, because I’m over the term “side hustle”.

Working

In my review of 2016, I wrote about falling out of love with web design and growing frustrated with the trends and constantly shifting expectations. A big part of this was trying to be everything – UX, UI, front end development, project management, content creation etc etc… being a unicorn is just not sustainable! So towards the end of the year I moved on from agency life to corporate life, to work as a UX/UI designer at Bankwest. It’s very very different, and I’m still getting used to it, but it’s nice to not have to be everything at once.

I’ve also done some volunteering, working as a gallery attendant at Paper Mountain on weekends, and mentoring via AGDA and WebGirls. Hoping to do more speaking and sharing in the coming year!

 

 

 

The year wasn’t all wins and art of course – I’ve had periods of frustration and anxiety, uncertainty and low self-confidence. There were a lot of times where I went through actions without a whole lot of mindfulness, and made poor choices as a result. I made big goals and then changed course; I’m not sure if that’s a good thing yet or not. But it’s a fresh year, and although you shouldn’t wait for a near year to have a fresh beginning, it feels as good a time as any.

How was your year? Wishing you an excellent 2018!

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