2012 started BIG. Hubby and I put in an offer on a home that I’d fallen in love with – even though I’d been warned to never get too attached to a potential “new home” – and it was accepted! I remember my phone ringing just before boxing class started on a hot Monday afternoon. I answered expecting for our offer to have been declined…but when Hubby told me we got the house I danced, shouted, hooted, hollered and danced some more.
So, yeah, BIG is how the year started…and it’s also how the year is ending.
Looking back over the past twelve months I’m floored by how much we’ve achieved, by how many memories we’ve made…and by how many adventures (both big and small) we’ve lived. In March I set myself a personal fitness goal, one that promised to be as scary as it would be fun. I signed up for the Tough Mudder in Sydney, Australia.
For six months, along with a rag-tag crew of 11 other hearty souls, I trained for the event. During these months I learned a lot about myself, about people, about trust, and about what motivates individuals. The event itself was easy when it came…but the preparation and the journey leading up to it is where many cherished and bittersweet memories now reside.
Beyond training to become a card-carrying Mudder, the true depth and happiness from the past year has come from spending time with my family and close friends. My biggest highlights were when my Mom came out to visit in March as well as when Mom and Dad visited in October and we took a trip away to Queenstown.
Adventuring in the South Island with them was awesome! We went paragliding, ascended some of the highest peaks in New Zealand, went jetboating and enjoyed time together. Before heading to the South Island, Hubby and I spent three very relaxed and fun days in Sydney (after the Tough Mudder event). We reconnected as a couple, laughed, explored and spent an epic afternoon sitting in the sun on a balcony overlooking Manly Beach drinking jug after jug of tropical sangria. Priceless!
In July, Hubby took us (the little girl and I) skiing at Mt Ruapehu. We stayed at the Chateau Tongariro and had an unforgettable vacation away – stopping along the way in small towns for photos and on the trip home to visit Rainbow Springs, some hidden hot springs and the Huka Falls. Talk about a great way to spend a birthday/wedding anniversary.
Watching our 6 year old daughter take to skiing like a fish to water was very cool. Her eyes were wide with excitement and her heart was full with adventure. I imagine she and her daddy will have many skiing trips together in the future (I will stay somewhere with sun and warmth).
In between our adventures outside of Auckland, there were hundreds of days and nights spent enjoying time with our friends. To say we’re blessed with a group of great people is an understatement of huge proportions. From Saturdays after rugby with the crew to BBQs on weekends to random times in town and on empty beaches (surrounded by kids!) – we’ve spent a lot of time laughing. A lot!
Beyond the good times, there’ve also been some trials and tribulations along the way. I’ve been knocked down, have trusted too openly, and have sat reeling from deceptions. That said, I have stuck to my guns and gotten back up – stronger and happier than I was before. For me, I have come to realize that it’s the hard times that teach us the true depth of our own intestinal fortitude. Thanks to a strong group of close friends and family I remain true to myself, standing tall, looking at myself in the mirror and smiling back at the person in front of me. I reckon this is a pretty cool way to be…even cooler with a nice, crisp glass of wine in hand.
That said, what I’ve learned in the past 12 months can be summed up as the below list:
1) Trust your gut – if someone or something isn’t sitting right, move on
2) Enjoy silence – there’s something beautiful in quiet moments
3) Stick to your guns – be yourself, stand up for what’s right
4) Don’t allow others to change who you are & what you believe in – being someone else sucks
5) Take the punches, and get back up again – chalk the hard knocks up to life experience
6) Smile, laugh and enjoy every moment – just because life is too short not to
7) Determine your priorities – find out what’s most important to you, spend your time wisely
8) Keep an eye on your dreams – grab them with both hands
9) Just be happy – it’s easy to get caught up in the negative stuff, let it go
I will be carrying these lessons with me as 2013 starts. Another trip around the sun for my family and I promises to be a good one.
My goals this year are simple: to enjoy every moment I get with friends, family and colleagues.
Life is too short not to feel blessed by each new day that dawns. It’s cheesy, I know. But, it’s the simple pleasures in life, the unplanned travels, and the new memories that fill our days – and hearts – that matter most. Bygones are just that, and right here and now is what matters most.
So if you’re looking for smiles, a cold bottle of bubbles and a few random adventures…just drop on in.
The more the merrier.
Rock on, 2013!