May your road in 2017 be filled with surprising twists, interesting turns, exciting discoveries and a world of adventures. Do you, make each moment count, take naps and GO (slow).
Just as much as I like the reflective nature one finds at the end of each year, I also have a soft spot for the beginning of a new year. And even though the 1st of January is no different than the 23rd of June or the 17th of September, there is something tangible in the air that’s filled with hopes, dreams and clean slates.
I don’t know why we often wait for the 1st of January to get things done; it’s like the first day of the new year has a magical restart button one can only press once a year. More than often in 2016 I’ve had my eye on that restart button and said, “if I can just get through this year, I know 2017 will be better” while I knew in the back of my head that I could press restart at any time.
But I powered through and said, “I just want to get to the end of the year and then next year…”.
According to my mother I said the same in 2015; I told her that I’ll work less in 2016. That didn’t happen. In fact, work-wise, 2015 was a joke compared to 2016. And looking back at the year that was, I really don’t want to say, “2016 was a joke compared to 2017”.
Don’t get me wrong; 2016 was one incredible, amazing, wonderous, epic year filled with growth, opportunities and challenges. But I really didn’t sleep a lot. And sleeping and weekend afternoon naps are beautiful.
I’m restarting this year with a few promises to myself and I truly hope that the words, “if I can just get through this year, I know 2018 will be better” won’t cross my lips. And if it does, I better press – or rather sit on – that restart button.
So here goes, my 2017 list for living slowly.
2017 will be a year where I’ll attempt to…
Find more balance
In 2017 I will find a healthy balance between the hours that I am working, relaxing and sleeping. I’m done with waking up at 4 am morning after morning, I’m done with eating in front of my laptop, I’m done with working from the moment I open my eyes until the moment I close my eyes. I’m also done with working from moving vehicles with my laptop on my lap.
Feel less guilty
This may sound ridiculous but I will not feel guilty if I’m not working on weekends. Most of 2016’s weekends were spent working, and the weekends (or days) that I didn’t work I felt guilty for not working. I know I will work a few weekends in 2017, but I will not feel guilty when I do absolutely nothing.
Say no more often
2017 will be the year when I say no more often to the things that do not interest me or the things that won’t benefit my blog or readers.
Make more videos
I’ve really enjoyed making videos in 2016 – the videos I made of Nepal, Samara Private Game Reserve, SAMREC and Club Mykonos in Langebaan were a few of my favourites and I hope to build on that, learn more, edit more and make more.
Take bigger chances
If things seem impossible – or too big to attempt – but I know I want to try with all my heart, I will do it.
I used to read a lot but during the last two years social media and online articles occupied my time and brain. I will reread my golden oldies and also start reading the books I’ve bought pre-2017 out of the hope that I’ll make time for reading again.
Have deeper connections
In 2017 I want to have deeper connections with strangers; I want to look deeper into their eyes, listen to their stories and hear their hearts.
Focus on my own backyard
Last year I spent a quarter of the year in Cape Town and even though Table Mountain is all flat, majestic and great, I really want to focus a lot more on my own backyard this year: the Eastern Cape (and especially the northeastern part of the Eastern Cape).
Spend quality time
To all the friends I’ve told, “sorry, I can’t join you because I have a deadline”, I hope to make it up to them this year by having quality time visits.
Have regular social media detoxes
I’m glued to my phone and glued to social media; at the end of 2015 I’ve said that I want to dedicate one day to a mini (extremely mini) social media detox where I will, for a start, not look at my phone for the first three hours after waking up on a Sunday. I will also attempt to go on at least three weekend detoxes to places where cellphone reception and internet won’t be present.
Get back to my roots
My blog started out with me a on a bicycle with panniers on the back of the bicycle but during the last year and a bit I haven’t done one overnight trip. It’s time; now, more than ever, it’s time.
Start at page one
I will start with writing my book (I think I’ve said the exact same thing for the last decade). And even if the book stays somewhere on a hard drive for the next decade, I will continue to attempt to make my way to that last full stop.
Get to that one dream
I have been toying with an idea of doing something for a while now… and while I can’t say any more now, I hope that I’ll do a bit more than “toying with the idea” in 2017.
So, 2017, take that.
I’m ready for you. I know where is your restart button. Let’s do this.
2017 will also be a year where I’ll remind myself to #LiveLikeAndy every single day, to the fullest, with passion and with a purpose.