Wow, what a year.

Is it just me or did 2016 fly by? Yes, I know I sound like a grandma when I say stuff like this but I’m serious.

For about six months of the year I was chained to my desk – head down, giving myself eye strain from pulling 12 hour days. The rest of the year I was travelling, sneaking a peek at my emails just in case something *urgent came in, and writing a lot of emails organising work and having meetings about work.

The moments when I wasn’t working, I’m pretty sure were still spent thinking about working. I’m guessing this is pretty normal when you’re running a business. But to be honest, it’s not really that healthy. That’s why I’m going to try and find a new creative outlet in 2017 – one that doesn’t have the pressure of $$$ attached to it, and I may even find a hobby.

The looming silly season is a time to relax but also one for reflection. Come December it’s easy to forget the challenges we overcame, our successes and even what our goals were. That’s why I was surprised when I saw what my most loved posts of 2016 were.

The list didn’t include my practical posts like how to write an About Page or behind the scenes look at my life as a writer. The posts that were read the most were the ones where I was the most vulnerable. Shared at a time when I felt lost and like I was stumbling through my life. My honest attempts at being a better person.

My goal for the year was to be me. To free myself from the expectations of what I should be doing to run a profitable business and what my life should look like if I am to be seen as successful. It’s funny how that idea seemed to resonate with you too.

Have a safe and happy holidays!

See you mid-January.

So in case you missed a post or joined the gang half way through the year, here are the most loved posts of 2016 as voted by your eyeballs.

Neither villain nor victim

“It wasn’t until last year – after I had a chance conversation with a homeless teenage girl in a public bathroom and saw myself in her – that I researched ‘homeless’ on the internet. Like her, I became homeless for all the usual reasons but I didn’t conform to the stereotypes. This is why it took me so long to begin using the term to tie my story together.”

What you thought:

Rachel, thank you. For being you, for your courage and insight. My own hell-ride robbed me, heart and soul, but finally someone listened…gave a damn…and helped me forgive me. Victim you are not, or not any longer. You are awesome! Safe travels comrade! – Mark Towler

Keep reading.

Patience: your strength or weakness?

“When I started out in the freelancing business I read widely on helpful tips, tricks, and qualities I’d need to be successful and really make a go of it. Three qualities came up every time: leadership, persistence and flexible. But no one ever said patience.”

What you thought:

I have found that having some faith that you’ll complete a task when things are going wrong, or if something is supposed to happen, it’ll happen, or something along those lines. Having faith, in general, has seen me through some difficult times. Whether it was having faith in myself or in the very idea of “if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.  – Paul

Keep reading.

How to be the Boundary Queen (head wear optional)

“Like most young people I wanted to fit in and please my parents. But the more I tried the more I had this tight, queasy feeling in my gut, which I knew wasn’t meant to be there but I ignored it. I was so used to walking on eggshells and saying “whatever you want to do is fine by me” I pretty much said yes to everything.”

What you thought:

This is a little bit of brilliance from my clever and supportive friend (and super smart writer). Professional and personal boundaries can be a lifeline! – Bridie Walsh

Keep reading.

You need to value yourself

“If you respect yourself you’ll attract people that also respect themselves and value others. You’ll find clients that want to pay you for your services, managers that schedule in quarterly meetings to take about opportunities and remuneration, and friends and partners that give as much as they take from the relationship.”

What you thought:

I used to think there was some secret scale that everybody knew about except me that determined what my work was worth. I constantly felt that other people had this secret knowledge of my value and I would just hope that I was matching it and not asking for anything beyond it. Finally, it sunk in that you set it yourself. And when you’re firm about it, and you work to your own high standards, you provide that value and feel confident in what you’re offering. From that point on, it’s very easy to let go of anyone that doesn’t place the same value on your work (and time) as you do. – Nicole Merlin

Keep reading.

Listen to your inner voice

“Recently, I struggled to hear my inner voice. It’s like she up and left me. Every time I tried to find her I got my inner critic instead. The two are very different. My inner critic is pretty mean because all she does is tell me I’m doing things wrong and I’m inadequate. My inner voice is the opposite, she speaks without judgement. She tells me ‘my truth.’”

What you thought:

It’s kind of sad that we ourselves don’t trust what we’re telling ourselves at the most crucial points in our lives. Though it’s a lot to do with self-belief as well. Believing that the choices your inner voice are telling you are the best ones for us at the time. I was going to say “right choice”, but don’t believe there’s ever a wrong or right one at any point in our lives! Wonderful words as always, Rachel. – Jaina

Keep reading.

 

Featured image from Pexels.

*99.99% of the time it’s not really urgent. No one will die if an email doesn’t get read for a few days. Yet, we still feel like we need to be available 24/7. A habit I plan on breaking in 2017.