The Instagram trend, #2017bestnine, surprised me. The image captures most of the ingredients of what life is all about. The images made me smile. My husband, my dog, gig rowing, wine… ❤️

Like any trend on a popularity vote, it misses out the pain of 2017, of which there has been a fair amount. It has been another tough year; we’ve been to too many funerals. The year didn’t work out as we had planned (we didn’t travel across Australia), but in that turmoil, I found my way back to studying. It is the best thing I’ve done in a long while… and I’m only a third way through it!

2017 to 2018

I’ve written before, I don’t really buy into the ‘new year, new you,’ thing, but I do think it’s a good time to reflect, and reset. I know that in 2017, I had a simple task. To find my way back to myself. 2016 was quite a year, and I’ve been rebuilding… no not quite… not redecorating. Hmm. I was just lost. Shut down. I’m in danger of mixing up too many metaphors, but I think that’s just a reflection of how tricky it’s been. Let’s just say, I’ve got my writing mojo back (part of the reason for embarking on the MA), and I feel joined up. At the level of self-belief, self-worth, I once again feel that I have something to say. None of that reckons in the Instagram bestnine, but that’s because it’s a skewed lens on life.

The sea as a metaphor

The header image shows the beach at Loe Bar earlier today, where I walked with a friend and the dog. I watched a succession of ten metre waves thump the beach, then drag back, wiping the footprints clean. The waves pounded the cliffs, spray from the waves leaping for tens of metres more. It was like the sea was saying, ‘Take that, you lot… No matter what happens, the sea will keep living, the tides turning…’ As the waves leapt up the cliffs, soaking the coast path, it reminded me how small we are, as individuals, in the grand scheme of things. It was exhilarating, and mildly terrifying, as we clung to the bank in the gale-force winds. It’s like the elements are beating 2017 away, and let’s face it, there is a lot of crap to wipe away.

2018 is coming, it’s hours away. In those coming hours, I am going to stare into the log fire, wonder, dream and play with possibilities. 2018 could be wonderful.