Back in December I read this post by Suzanne from Inside, Outside and Beyond and I loved the idea – something about it just piqued my curiosity and I started wondering about what my year would look like in numbers.
I sat down to write and quickly realised that I was really going to have to think about this. I don’t really measure anything in numbers. I don’t pay too much attention to how many followers I have on social media, I don’t count calories, I don’t stress about money as long as we have enough to get by, and I don’t add up how many hours I’ve worked each week.
So what AM I going to use to measure my year? What’s actually important to me? What do I want to record as being a feature of my year? The same words kept coming back to me: it’s not the numbers that matter. The things that matter above everything else are the experiences we’ve had and the things we’ve done together that have guided how much I’ve laughed, how proud I’ve felt, how kind I’ve been to others, how much I’ve grown as a person and how fiercely and wholeheartedly I’ve loved.
It’s the first time I’ve documented my year like this and it’s been an interesting thing to do. The things I’ve chosen to measure are a representation of the values that are inherent within them – family time, love and connection, creativity, helping others and personal challenges/growth.
# Of Trips Taken: 4
We were fortunate enough to be able to take three trips together as a family this year: one to our home-from-home in Cornwall, which we visit every year; one to stay with friends in the New Forest; and our holiday-of-a-lifetime to Walt Disney World in Florida. I was also lucky enough to be able to take a solo trip to Colorado. Each of these trips was wonderful, all in completely different ways and, whilst not without their challenges, I loved every single one. Travel is something I’m so passionate about – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of my urge to explore the world and show my girls what an incredible, diverse and beautiful planet we live on. It’s an itch that will probably never be fully scratched and that’s part of the joy of it – there’s always more to learn, always more to see.
# Of Photos Taken: 6,508
And that’s just the ones I kept! It was interesting looking at the monthly pattern too: I averaged roughly 400-500 per month. The exceptions were more in April and October (when we went on holiday), more in September (when I went to Colorado on a photography retreat), and significantly less in November – only 177 in total (the black cloud of depression had enveloped me for a significant portion of the month and I simply couldn’t bring myself to pick up my camera). I have too many favourites to be able to pick out just a couple to share here – most of them can be found in my Moments In Between monthly project.
# Of Client Therapy And Supervision Sessions: 325
I work full time as a therapist in my day job, as well as supervising other therapists in their work with clients. Up until now I’ve never added up how many sessions I’ve had with clients and supervisees over the course of a year so I literally had no idea what to expect. I’m pretty pleased with this figure. If the work I’ve done in even one of those sessions has made a difference to someone, then I’m happy.
# Of New Additions To Our Family: 2
We sadly lost two members of our family in 2017 – our beloved cat Pumpkin and also Neil’s aunt, both very unexpectedly and in traumatic circumstances. Losing someone always puts things into perspective in a way that can’t really be matched, making you realise how short life can be and reminding you just how vital it is to live your life on your terms, doing things that you love to do and seeking out joy at every opportunity. Losing Pumpkin devastated us and we quickly realised that we needed to bring another cat into our home, not to replace Pumpkin but to give us somewhere to direct our love. So at the end of November Luna and Felix joined our family and they couldn’t be a better fit with our crazy lot.
# Of Date Nights With The Husband: 2
I feel quite sad about this – only two date nights in twelve months! They say it takes a village to raise a family and I firmly believe that a strong marriage/relationship is also key to raising a connected and loving family. A strong marriage requires time to just be husband and wife as well as Mummy and Daddy, which means date nights and time without the girls being around. But our village is scattered across the country and so whilst we’re immensely grateful for the occasional evening of babysitting from Grandad, we rarely get any help with childcare. As a result date nights are few and far between for us but we normally do better than this.
We saw Olly Murs in concert in Birmingham back in March, which was a brilliant night out – he’s fantastic live! And then in December we went out for dinner and watched the new Star Wars movie for the husband’s birthday. That’s it. No other trips to the cinema, no other meals out just the two of us, no coffee dates or walks hand-in-hand. This needs to change in 2018 for sure.
# Of Books Read: 11
This one surprised me – I honestly didn’t think I’d read that many. And as I looked through my bookcase I have a feeling there may have been a couple more as well but I can’t remember if they were 2017 or the year before – the days, weeks, months and years are all blurring into one.
‘The Horse Whisperer’ is my all time favourite book and I could genuinely read it over and over without a break and still love it just as much. The Harry Potter books are part of my ’40 Things Before I’m 40′ challenge (see below) and I’m loving revisiting the magical world of Hogwarts. ‘The Honest Truth’ was recommended to me by my eldest daughter (it’s not in the photo because it was a library book that has since been returned) and it was heart-wrenching and wonderful all at once. ‘Grow’ and ‘Braving the Wilderness’ are both personal development books by authors that I love – I try and read a couple of books like this each year to help me think in new ways and to get me out of my comfort zone. ‘The Time Keeper’ is, quite simply, a beautifully thought-provoking story that I really enjoyed and which gave me a new perspective in things – I love Mitch Albom’s way with words. And of course the Lonely Planet books reflect my travel destinations for the year.
I already have a stack of books ready for 2018 and I’m determined to get through them all by choosing to read in the evenings instead of spending so much time on the computer.
# Of Times I’ve Said “I Love You”: 27,234,569,877,654 (approx.)
And I meant every single one of them.
# Of Sunrises And Sunsets Watched: 72
I LOVE sunrises and sunsets. One of my favourite sayings is “May every sunrise hold more promise and may every sunset bring more peace”. There is something so magical about seeing the world wake up, especially if you’re the only one awake. And equally, witnessing it sink into the horizon at the end of a long day brings (for me anyway) some kind of sense of comfort. I’m quite impressed with my 72 for the year – that’s just about one every five days.
# Of ‘Likes’ On Instagram Photos: 29,948…
…on a total of 489 posts throughout the year. Truthfully? I don’t care how many followers I have on social media. I don’t measure my worth as a person or judge my artistic ability based on how many people ‘like’ my work or leave me a comment. I post my photographs on Instagram (my favourite platform) as a visual diary with the aim of documenting our lives. I post the images I love to look at, the images that immediately transport me back to a particular moment or feeling, the images that tell our story. However, there is something rather lovely in knowing that other people enjoy seeing my photos too. It gives me a sense of community, a connection to the people behind the screen names, and I like that. So to everyone who has double-tapped or clicked the little heart on one of my photos – thank you.
# Of Items Ticked Off My ’40 Before I’m 40′ List: 1 (plus 1 in progress)
I may have only ticked one more item off my ’40 Things Before I’m 40′ list since my last update, but, in my defence, it was a biggie. We went to Walt Disney World in Florida! I’m also halfway through another item on the list – re-reading all of the Harry Potter books.
And that’s it! My 2017 in numbers. We have so much to look forward to in 2018 and when we reach the end of it and I write another post like this I want to be able to record that the husband and I have been on significantly more date nights, that I’ve read far more books, that we’ve taken more trips together as a family and that I’ve ticked more things off of my ’40 Before I’m 40′ list. I think it’s going to be a good year 🙂