For many 2016 has been an extremely rough year. The world  (as it does every year) has lost some very special people both famous and not famous. Some big changes have been made, many it seems not for the better, and around the world people have suffered some terrible traumas. However every ear has good and bad and this year is no exception if you choose to look for them. 
So this post is me choosing to look back on the highs of 2016 and the achievements however small they seem to everyone else.

1) Firstly, travel. I've been to both New York and Dublin this year, two places I've never visited before. Two goals crossed off my bucket list. I also visited Columbia Rd market so technically 3 down 😉

2) I had my first home health and safety check from our local council with regards to my business, and received 5star rating which is the best you can get! 

3) I've been so proud of the cakes I've made this year, especially a beautiful wedding cake. They are all cakes I would never have thought would turn out so well.

4) one of my aims this year was to read more books and to see more (and varied) theatre. This year I finished 21 books and saw 12 productions which were mostly different to the usual I would see and included some absolutely great theatre and reads. It's been so nice to get so much into reading again and to explore things I've never seen before, been fantastic to make some lovely memories along the way too. Definitely a resolution I'll be continuing with again in 2017. 

5)I reached the transplant milestone of 5 years post transplant, a goal only 50% of lung transplantees reach. I'm so grateful and lucky to have been able to enjoy 5 extra years. 

6) I've had some really lovely times with friends and family. My niece and nephews, my parents and sister, old friends and new friends, I have new memories to look back on from 2016.

7) I decided to go cruelty free, so I no longer buy make up or cosmetics tested on animals.

8) I have learnt a very valuable lesson and been able to put it into practise in 2016. The ability to be able to step back from a situation and see when things are getting overwhelming for me, or just not working. By stepping back from it I can more clearly see what needs to be done to fix or improve things without getting so bogged down by it all. It needs a lot of practise but I'm very happy with my progress.

9) I've pushed myself to do things that are scary to me. To experience new things. Not every time successfully but not every time a failure either. It's again helped me to know myself better and be more able to push for things I want to do or achieve and recognise things I don't want to do and say no to them.

10) my singing has improved a lot this year and I've pushed myself to perform more which has helped my nerves. I've achieved grade 4 theory of music and grades 3&4 of singing. Plus the actual songs I choose for these grades have improved most so that's brilliant! I've gone to auditions and started to believe in myself a bit more. Definitely another one I want to push further in 2017.

11) I think I've stood up for myself more this year. People have drifted out of my life but I've recognised the relationships that mean most to me and tried to work on them more. I've met new people and old friendships are much stronger too. I've recognised situations like the pain management i dealt with this year and was able to assess that it was causing more harm than good and to step away. 

12) I visited ICU for the first time since my transplant which was very scary for me but has definitely helped to close some issues for me and help me move on. I'm proud of this because I went in not knowing if I would churn up bad memories and make life worse but I tried anyway. Anxiety is still a big problem but again, I feel I've learnt a lot about it and how to cope with it a little better. 

There are probably lots more that I've forgotten for the time being but as well as very sad times and losses 2016 has also been very positive. New year resolutions coming soon! 

Wishing you all a 2017 filled with happiness xxx


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