Facebook sent me a memory yesterday. A jokey post I'd put up in December 2016 saying that 2017 should be the year of NO.
I like to have a word for the year. I like a theme; in 2014 the word was Focus, in 2015 Vulnerability, in 2016 it was Keep Swimming, and funnily enough, 2017 did turn out to be the year of NO.
- I said no to a bully of a boss and a toxic workplace, twice.
- I said no to a huge mortgage.
- I said no to a four hour commute (both ways).
- I said no to following a path that I knew was damaging my health (both physical and mental).
- I said no to the unrealistic expectations of the people around me.
- I said no to being treated badly by people close to me.
- I said no to living my life influenced by past events, and
- I said no to staying silent when I was harassed, threatened and abused.
They were the best, most positive NOs I've ever said.
So now, in the end days of 2017 I'm sitting here looking at the result of all this NOing; A gorgeous semi-renovated house (mostly decorating left to do). A huge garden that has been 'rescued,' from every weed in the Illawarra weed guide (except Privet). A year off paid work. Ten minutes to the beach. Two happy kids. Two happy dogs. A new career. New friends. One much happier, more confident, me.
Was it easy? Hell no. Was I overwhelmed? All the time. Did I lose my shit? Regularly. Were there low points? God yes. Did I want to give up? At least once a week.
I don't want to live through another year of NO. One in a lifetime is enough. But as these things go, it was a good one and I'm thankful for the trials, challenges and rampant wtf-ery that has gone on. I have learned so much.