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The Lifestyle & Fashion magazine is a community blog that allows passionate bloggers (and readers alike) to talk about their latest beauty tips, the newest fashion trends, and how everyone can live their best life.

My 2017 In Reflection

Each year, I like to look back on everything and reflect. The good, the bad and the ugly. It all comes to light. I like to see how far I’ve come and with whom. This year definitely has been challenging. Massively challenging. I like to think that it’s shaped me for the future and that I’ve learnt a lot.

This was the year that I got brown feet in the summer and white legs. I wasn’t brave enough to get my legs out at first, but the second it was remotely warm and sunny, I embraced the slip on shoes without socks. When I finally had the courage to whip my legs out, I resembled the sweet Squashems. Next year, I will be getting my pasty legs out sharpish so I’m not to reenact the idiocy of this year.

Where did our summer go? I swear I only got to enjoy the sunshine or garden a small handful of times. As always it was an early start to the summer, so I rushed out in May/ June and brought some garden toys. Unfortunately, come the summer holidays it was a bit of a wash out and so we didn’t get to enjoy the garden or the toys as much as we could have. I think this is one of the wettest summers I have ever experienced.

Back in the summer, we had the first lot of family news. My sister is expecting her first baby. And it’s a first for me too, I will become an Aunty. This is so exciting for our family, soon we will be taken over by an army of little people. I can’t wait to see my boys playing with their cousin when he arrives.

Shortly after the baby news, we got some more amazing news that there will be a wedding next year. I am so happy for my brother and his future wife on their engagement. I can’t wait to see my family expanding in the new year.

Little man shortly after Easter became that bit more grown up and started Pre school. I’m not sure I was ready, not sure I ever can be but he loves it and sees it as such an adventure. And for one whole day a week, I am now kid free. And it is so so odd.

I learnt not to air things in public. I think I have been too open before on social media. This year a few social challenges were thrown my way. For the most part I kept it private. But after reflection I see now how much better it is to keep my laundry private, so to speak. And just trust a select few with my woes instead of my Facebook friends list.

In fact this year, I learnt a lot of lessons in friendship. I am still learning. Which goes with the saying; “Friends for a reason, a season or a life time.” Plus they can be a blessing or a lesson. I have definitely seen all come and go through my life. I am thankful for the friends this year that have taught me life lessons, ones that have given me light in any darkness, laughter, memories and just shared life as a whole with me. There will always be friends coming and going through life. I admit to finding the going hard, and try my best to grasp hold of a friendship before it naturally fades.. but that is one of the hardest lessons I am learning. To let go. To allow the friendships to come and go whilst I work on my own journey in life.

I also learnt another lesson with social media; I don't need to post everything for it to be worthwhile. Beforehand if I did anything I thought was amazing, or any sweet photo of the boys I took I would have to post onto Facebook. I now post a lot less. Although I have to say at times Facebook can be handy as an external memory drive. I realise that the things I do are still awesome to me, the photos of the boys are cute to me. But I don’t need social validation in the form of likes for anything I do to be worthwhile.

I realise that sometimes too much of something can be a bad thing. Less is more when this applies. Sometimes going full pelt into something and getting absorbed it can be great, but it can also be horrible when things go wrong. Wether that’s love, friendships or a project. I find balance to be key now.

Time helps. A lot. I haven’t had the best year. And in the past I’ve also had things that have hurt and upset me. But when I look back, even if there is the odd trifle of sadness, time has mainly healed the wounds. What upset me a year ago, or even back in the summer, no longer upsets me in the same way. Now, if only I can get my mind to remember this and find a way to throw myself into something else other than what is bothering me!

I need to keep to myself more. This partly means I need to not over share so much but also I realised this year that I like to be social. And when I am not being, at times I feel lost. I need to find myself more; I need to find enjoyment in being alone and I know that it will make me a stronger person. In the new year both boys will be at school in September and I will be seeking work from home. That means socialness will take a back seat and even more so- that my company will be the only one I have most days. So it’s time to embrace it and love it.

I'm a sensitive soul. This has been both a blessing and a hard thing to deal with during my life. I feel everything deeply. Which means friendships and love can be the most amazing things to me and also the worst. It makes the happy times more exciting, but the sad times more challenging. I want to be stronger. I need to get a tougher skin and not let as much bother me. I have come such a long way over the last year in personal development and the year has shown me the areas in which I need to work on and improve.

What lessons have you learnt this year? What have been your highs and lows?

I can’t wait to see what 2018 will have in store. I just hope that the lessons I’ve learnt, I will remember and be strong with them.

This article was originally published on @gayleenhodson