Reflections on 2017

I sit here, trying to reflect on what was the year of 2017.

My personality type dictates that there needs to be some order to this process. That it needs to be a logical, methodical process; not some random collection of sunshine, glitter, lollipops and unicorns. I noticed a post from a Tim Ferris somewhere (I think it was his 5 bullet Friday’s newsletter) where he talked about his process for reflection. As a big fan of Tim’s work, I thought if it was good enough for him that if was definitely good enough for me.

So, with my Google Calendar open beside my OneNote notebook, I went through and collated the highs and lows of 2017 in chronological order into my very orderly two column table.

The most glaring observation was that things I remembered most or really enjoyed about the year gone by involved people.

  • Musicals and performances with friends
  • Dinners with friends
  • Spending time away in Daylesford and the Yarra Valley
  • Catching up with close family in Ballarat or Gelong
  • Going swimming then heading out for coffee or breakfast afterwards
  • Seeing extended family for birthdays or BBQs
  • Spending time with my niece at Collingwood Children’s Farm
  • #beerpedagogy and celebrations with friends
  • My brother, Michael, staying over mid week if he is working in the city
  • Catch ups with past colleagues for drinks or birthday.

Whilst continuing with our cleaner and outsourcing our ironing come at financial cost, they buy me the time of being able to rest, to read or to spend it with others.

Professionally, a huge highlight was getting a substantive Assistant Principal position. This has been a long term goal but has also been a gigantic learning curve. Again the highlights of 2017 have been the work that has been achieved with people. Working with my principal, our leadership team, my coach, staff, students and their families to be their best bring me the greatest reward.

I continue to love volunteering with VicSRC for the ‘greater good’ of our education system and the wonderful team of people I get to work with why doing this.

2017 also brought with it some negative experience and definitely some lessons learned.

I’m glad to put the experience of renovating our kitchen behind us as we finished the project in March; many months overdue.

During the course of 2017, I heard many stories of others life experiences and situations; making me appreciate the simplicity of my own life and value more the simple things I can able to do that others can not.

Whilst I absolutely love my job, my biggest learning this year has been that I am not my job. This was evident most at the end of the year when I literally dragged myself over the finish line. (I was incredibly sick and forced myself to school on the last day of the year). What followed was a week in bed, a very subdued Christmas and the inability to interact with others or complete the most basic of tasks.

My personality type wants me to be the best. But at what cost? What good is a life if you don’t make time to live it?

So, as I prepare to jump into 2018, here’s to a year of saying no – unless it’s a ‘hell yes’. A year where I will be at the top of my list and take responsibility to be more than just my profession. A year focused on taking time to rest; to recharge; to smell the roses; to be in the company of family and friends who remind me of my essential purpose, who raise my standards and who challenge me to be the best version of myself.

PS: A shout out to Steve Brophy who so eloquently puts into words what my brain so often is processing and to Amy Green who’s work I have only recently been introduced to but look forward to exploring more.

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