Its the second week of 2016, and I’m still wondering where 2015 went. Actually, where did 2014 go as well?!
This time of the year, a lot of us get a bit reflective. I thought I would return to the blog after a hiatus (oh hey exams, full time work, travel, moving house and jobs, thanks for the struggletown) with a two parter – reflecting on my 2015 and its lessons, and then next time thinking about 2015 for women generally. Sound good? Great!
So what did 2015 look like for me? What did it teach me?
Two thousand and fifteen started off to a rocky start – breaking my foot at the 2014 Christmas party threw a spanner in my plans. For a few short weeks a round the world trip was seemingly getting cancelled and there may have been a bit of light melodrama. I’m incredibly grateful that the injury wasn’t as bad as first thought, and that the doctors gave me the all clear to travel.
From this experience I learnt that I am pretty inflexible once I have made a plan and worked towards it. Planning is awesome in achieving goals, but they need to be able to take shocks better.
Today is the anniversary of my departure to Chile. I would not recommend travelling in economy for 14+ hours in a moon boot. I went to Chile on a study tour to study power and politics in Latin America in Santiago. It was my first time to South America, and I was able to go to one of my bucket list items – Easter Island. Due to the late-ish notice of the program, I was *forced* to buy round the world rather than direct tickets allowing me to re-visit Sweden.
From this experience I learnt that I could achieve personal and academic goals by taking risks and asking for support.
Getting home and settling back into work was hard. My foot was weak, I wasn’t able to go to the gym or dance, removing two of my favourite activities. The physio was amazed at just how much I had walked on my trip, which helped keep muscle tone but probably wasn’t best practice.
From this experience, I relearned about patience and about not being in control of progress.
Things had changed and stayed much the same in my work. I was challenged by a female boss to be better, do better and push myself harder. Although we didn’t see eye to eye at first I’m pleased that I did take on her advice. From this relationship I was able to be mentored by two amazing women who both have different strengths.
From this experience, I learnt how important mentors who are similar and are different are.
I was hitting road blocks professionally. Reflecting about what I could control of this, was finding opportunities for development for myself. I’m so proud of the things I could do. Raising money for Nepal, RSPCA and setting up a clothing donation for Communities at Work gave lots of feel goods.
From this experience, I took the advice of a fabulous mentor about reframing situations and drawing from my strengths.
After two years of running a book club with fabulous women (oh hey!) I had well and truly experienced what it is to have a sounding board for personal and professional issues. This inspired me to think hard about how I could facilitate this for others in my organisation. The development of a network program was one of the hardest things – to get support and build it in such a way that was organisationally appropriate.
From this experience, I learnt about how important resilience is in organisational change, but also about finding lots of messengers for the cause (and that my style doesn’t convince everyone).
I started a Diploma of Leadership with the local YWCA in September. This is ongoing. I am challenged by the different women in this group.
From this experience, I have already learned that I needed to make changes to make my activities align better with my values and that I needed to articulate these values better.
Travelling back to the Island Kingdom of Tonga, after almost five years of absence was emotional. Spending time with not only my husband, but two of my favourite people was so important at that point in my year.
From this experience I was able to relive the amazing time I had in Tonga, but also reflect on how lucky I am to have lots of friends who have so many different perspectives. That adage that you should have friends of different ages, backgrounds and experiences is so totally true.
After coming back from Tonga, I was refreshed. I shook things up – leaving my gym, moving house and then recently taking on a temporary transfer position in a completely new area and department. All of this in December, with 2016 all ahead of me.
The Highlights Reel
I was again amazed at the generosity of my friends in supporting Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.
I was grateful for the support I had in planning charity events
I wish I could laugh as hard every birthday as I did on my 29th birthday
Completing five units of my masters with HDs this year – made it to the half way mark
Spending time exploring more parts of North Queensland with my parents
Revisiting Malmo and reliving my student exchange with my favourite Swede
Decluttering our old place and a new start in our new home, including setting up a reading corner (totally going to take more time out in 2016)
Almost growing out a pixie cut (seriously this is hard work)
Meeting new friends, and keeping old ones
All about women festival
Ruby our new car
High tea at Raffles
Riding funiculars in Santiago, Zurich and Valparaiso
Seeing flamingos and baby hippos in Zurich
Speaking at Melbourne University
cuddling a koala
my bird cardigan
whales in tonga
Joining Obsidian bellydance and performing with them
Celebrating the arrival of Elijah
Preparing for my besties marriage in March
Volunteering at lifeline bookfair
spending time with favourites
celebrating our second year of marriage, which has been yet again filled with love and laughter