A lot of things had happened in the last quarter of 2018 when I thought life would just be plain and normal. At the point of writing this post, I have drafted my 2019 goals which I will share briefly when New Year approaches. This time, I will not be making a list of what had happened in Q4 2018, but more of an overview and what I have learned throughout the year.
In September, I started creating my own version of Life Masterplan. As what it sound like, it is basically a compilation of things that I wanted to do or achieve in life. I took the whole month writing and updating it up to 17 pages (although it will be constantly updated/extended in the long run). It is not an easy task, but having so many stuff cluttered in your mind for months does not make life easier either. Most days, I felt overwhelmed and I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about all the things that I wanted to do (or needed to do) in life. By October, I printed the first copy and I felt so much relief. Everything is now at one place, and I can see them clearly and no longer clouded in my head. I finally be able to identify where my life is heading to, and most importantly I have a set of target and focus. I have a Masterplan. (p/s: I listened to Oasis track ‘The Masterplan’ a lot that time).
During the 3 months period, I went to several short getaways (or more like staycations) and it was great. I haven’t traveled outside of Malaysia for 3-4 years already, which is something odd knowing that I love travelling a lot. But due to certain limitations, my wanderlusting dream had to be postponed. Since my partner and I are not going anywhere, we decided to allocate the funds for our home instead and did a little house makeover (the contractors are done, but there are still some work in progress).
November onwards, life decided to switch its lane to a not-so-happy path. After my Birthday celebration, 2018 just decided to be rebellious in its own brutal way. In November, I decided to quit writing my manuscript (more on that in separate post) and deactivated my Facebook account, and then things lead to one another: my phone broke, my family’s health condition weren’t good, I was down with chicken pox for weeks and bad flu after that, and I lost my source of income. Those are few bad stuff among other things, and they all happened at the same time.
Some of the conditions are getting better now at least. In mid December, I returned to my journal and planner. I avoided it since October because I did not want to write all the bad stuff in it, but I ended up writing them and did an overall reflection. Because life is just like that. There’s no way that everything is going to be smooth always and I have to learn to accept that. I avoided this blog as well, because I wanted it to be a positive space of sharing, but real lives aren’t just cupcakes or rainbows or unicorns. So I came back to this space, flipped through my journal from the beginning of 2018 and wrote this post.
Throughout this year, these are the things that I learned (aside from the one mentioned above):
- Self persistent and discipline is really challenging (especially when you work on your own and had to decide on all matters by yourself). It requires hell lots of practice and patience.
- When I made myself busy or occupied, I tend to ignore petty things and did not let negativity took over my feelings for too long. I am aware of my surroundings and situation, so I keep my focus straight ahead.
- I realized that I over-planned some of my goals and being unrealistic. But good thing is, I acknowledged that I screwed up. I learned to let go and not beat myself up when I did not accomplish certain things and move on.
- Grateful and happy to be around my family and loved ones. I keep my circle small and learned that it’s okay not to have hundreds of friends like when I was younger.
- I journaled A LOT this year compared to a half-empty notebook last year (my Passion Planner helped in a way).
- Staycations help to feed my travel cravings. I also get to spend some time away with my partner and take a quick break from routines.
- Help others as what you can afford to help. Be it charity, or just lending an ear to someone. Doing good deeds heals me.
- Terrible things don’t last because storm doesn’t stay. It passes. And I feel much better after I took some time off to have a good rest and recovery period. It also helps to clear my mental space.
- Do your own thing. Ignore the noise.
- There’s a season where I overspent and bought too many stuff at one go. I have my own financial tracker, and the sooner I realized that I was out of control, I stopped.
- My time management is still at poor stage. This goes hand-in-hand with point number (1). I still need to work on both.
- People love to read what you wrote. I have had few silent readers came to me and told me they enjoyed my writings, together with some wonderful comments in this blog. This is where I learned that I need to enjoy the process of writing and creating.
- Find a tribe that motivates you to go further. I found my positive space through Instagram writers and bookish folks.
- Do therapeutic things once in a while. For me, it’s through art, writing and growing plants.
- Spiritually, I am still learning to be closer to God. To fulfill my prayers. To seek help from Him and be thankful to what He had given me. To be patience and to have faith.
- Eliminate stuff that drains your energy. Overly concern, over thinking and having high expectations will end up making you feel disappointed. I always needed to remind myself of this. Also, don’t waste energy on people who hurt you.
- I learned that it’s okay to make mistakes. I have to forgive myself, after all, I’ve tried.
- One step at a time. It’s okay to go slower because every little progress is still a progress.
So, that’s about it for this time around. I will be sharing some of the things that I plan for 2019 in next post. Tell me, how was your 2018? If you have made some reflection or added new goals, share with me the links in the comments below, I am more than happy to read.