As we come to the end of the year, I’ve been reflecting back on my favourite things from 2017. I record my favourite moments in my bullet journal every month, but I thought it might be interesting to share some of my favourites from the year.
This year I’ve absolutely loved two TV shows – both of which have been interesting to watch and have also given me things to think about in terms of how the key messages can help me in my own life. The first is The Affair (Amazon)*, which shows scenarios from different perspectives and taught me a lot about how our own versions of the truth might be very different from someone else’s, and that every person in a situation is likely to pick up and remember elements differently. This fascinates me and has really helped me appreciate that although my recollection of something might be different from someone else, that doesn’t mean either of us are wrong. The second is The Crown (Netflix) which I just love so much, and really wasn’t expecting to. So many of the themes covered in The Crown are applicable to other situations; I may not be in a similar situation to the Queen yet some of the struggles I have are similar to hers (or the ones presented in the show anyway). This has helped to normalise the struggles and empowered me to deal with things. The acting and soundtrack are also fantastic, but it’s the depth of the stories I love.
In terms of films my highlight was Manchester by the Sea (Amazon)* which we saw at the cinema early in the year The emotion portrayed in the film was incredible and I loved the focus on this from a male perspective. Tragic story but incredible acting and so thought-provoking.
I haven’t read many books this year but really enjoyed a couple I read. The first is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult*; I love her writing and the focus of this one (subtle and not-so-subtle racism) really got me thinking and has questioned some of my behaviour, which is always a good thing! The second is The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing The Secrets of The Happiest Country by Helen Russell* which was fascinating and caused me to consider what is important to me and how I can live my life in a way that aligns more with that.
I’ve listened to quite a bit of music this year and have been listening to my ‘Emotional’ playlist (Spotify) a lot. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and have completely fallen in love with Flintoff, Savage, and The Ping Pong Guy. I studied Sports Science for my undergraduate degree and focused on Sports Psychology which is one of the main topics on the podcast. I also love the honesty and the different perspectives they each bring to the show, as well as the banter. It thoroughly deserves the awards it has recently won and I highly recommend it (even if you’re not interested in sport – it covers all sorts of topics).
This year I’ve been reducing my meat intake and have been really enjoying exploring alternative options. I’ve enjoyed vegetable curries (particularly madras lentils from our favourite store, Heavenly Free From), tofu, and halloumi. Some of my favourite meals this year have been things like brown rice, halloumi, vegetables, and a spicy sauce (Green Griddle in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Skinny’s in Chester have been highlights for this sort of food). I’ve also loved snacking too, and have discovered baked pea snacks and Prewett’s Rich Triple Chocolate Cookies*. Oh, and Cadbury’s Caramel Nibbles*!
This year has been a great year of discovery for me. I’ve tried quite a few new experiences and rediscovered other experiences. There have been significant experiences like getting married, visiting Las Vegas, and staying in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge but the highlights have been things that have supported my development or helped me connect with family and friends. These include:
- Joining the local gym and swimming pool (who knew I’d be setting my alarm most Sundays so I can go to two hours of exercise classes in the morning?!)
- Going to the cinema
- Going out for coffee/hot chocolate and a chat
- Going on guided tours
- Walking (and talking) with family and friends
- Exploring the local area
- Making videos
- Pub quizzes
- Playing board games
Just writing this list is making me happy – I’m so grateful for all these things and more from 2017 and am really looking forward to 2018.
What have been your favourite things this year?