2017 was quite a good year for me personally and professionally. I have done a roundup of the year right here and my 2018 resolutions and plans posts will be going up very soon. This post is a little different though. I have toyed with the idea of writing it and whether anyone would find it useful but I realised that this is the platform I use to vent, to share and to create. So here are the two big life lessons I have learnt in 2017…
- Live life like there isn’t a tomorrow …
So in November, a really close friend of mine lost her mum. It was very sudden – she was diagnosed with a terminal illness hours before she passed away and it was shocking for everyone. I think for me it really hit home. My friendship group is aged between 27-29 and until then, quite luckily, we all have both parents and most of us have grandparents on both sides. Don’t get me wrong, I lost my nanna on my dad’s side when I was eight and a year or so later, my uncle passed away. A few years after that a great nanna passed and other than them and the odd family pet, death hasn’t really come to me or mine.
I’m definitely not stupid. I know it comes knocking eventually. However, a naive part of me just didn’t have the death of any of our parents on our radar at the moment. I reckon the average age of our parents is about 54 – which isn’t any age to go. Now, my friend’s mum was a social sort, she loved her holidays, even volunteered her time for conflicted families in our town so she definitely had a full life. She has left a massive whole in her family and friend’s lives and learning to live without her mum is something that our friendship group is going to have to help our friend with. We were ill prepared to deal with something of this magnitude.
Nothing has made me understand the term YOLO (you only live once) more than this. For the past couple of years, hubby and I decided to “YOLO”. If we were thinking about going on hols, we booked it, we bought a bigger house etc etc. But YOLO is also about living your best life, trying to be the best version of your self and prioritising those you need to. Keep the people in your life that add value to it, do the things that make you happy. You actually do not know what is round the corner. I am hoping that it has made me a better friend too.
2. Family is a fickle thing …
I have a HUGE family. I mean huge. The majority of us all live in the same town so more often than not, wandering through the shopping centre or supermarket, you can bet you bump into one of them. Anyhoo.. I suppose I always took it for granted that families were one unit. A lot of the family have been married, divorced or remarried, but still, I just assumed that the family unit are also friends. Earlier this year, a family member of mine chose to delete quite a large number of our family off Facebook. While this may seem quite trivial to some people – it just didn’t make sense how some people made the cut and others didn’t. Worse still, after sending this family member and his wife a message just to enquire and basically see if something happened, he failed to reply and then blocked me and his wife fobbed me off with a story. Now these are close members of the family – not distant cousins from Torquay that are sick of seeing your holiday snaps. I think a big part of the whole issue is that there wasn’t any warning. Had this person maybe said beforehand that he was getting rid of a number of people, it wouldn’t have been such a big drama. However, I am now over it. The way I look at it now – if he doesn’t want to stay in contact with me, then I don’t need to make any effort in response.
A big part of this life lesson I suppose is again all to do with relationships – so like I have said in my 2018 goals post – I plan on concentrating on the relationships that add value to my life but those people who want to spend time and effort on me. Don’t dwell on these things & move on. Cut ties & I promise you will feel better.