Waving goodbye to 2011…

2011 comprises some great memories and some sad moments for me. It’s been a year full of surprises, the proverbial ‘ups’ and ‘downs’, many great realisations and some truly delightful discoveries…

I definitely wont be forgetting this year in a hurry, but I’m quite glad to wave it along, bid it farewell and wipe the cliched slate clean – I look forward to the excitement and challenges that 2012 has in store for me.

For now though, on this last day of 2011 – a few of my experiences and observations from the year gone by…

MY HUSBAND, MY PARTNER, MY FRIEND. One word to describe how I feel: BLESSED! I am truly lucky to have such a special man as my best friend and husband. We have made many beautiful memories this year and I know there are many more to come in the near future…

Hubby as a youngster – how cute – found this pic when we were last in SA…

OUR FAMILY: My husband lost his mother in April this year – it was obviously devastating for the family – but for me, the worst part is that I have missed out on getting to know her better. Having met hubby and having lived in the UK since we got married, I didn’t get to spend much time with the wonderful woman who bravely fought her illness for over two years. She did a great job in raising the amazing, kind, loving and protective man that is my husband and a quote I recently read (somewhat cheesy, but also really sweet and lovely) comes to mind: A man who treats a woman as a princess, is proof that he has been raised in the arms of a queen (- unknown) In the New Year, we look forward to welcoming new family members ;) and sharing new experiences, with a very special person always in our thoughts…Rest in peace.

A big ‘welcome to the world’ to little man Josh – our first nephew and the cause of much excitement after a sad start to the year. Love him to bits and sad that we are not home to see him grow (and grow he does, apparently!)

Such a gorgeous smile x

WORK SCHMIRK! I think this year that I have realised one thing – if you choose to define yourself within a specific career/role, your opportunities are limited. I don’t consider myself just a graphic designer – I have many ‘titles’, many talents, many ambitions – I am always open to opportunities that I feel fit my circumstances / my goals in life at the time that they are presented to me. One thing is certain, this approach definitely makes life for more interesting!

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY… Somehow you always get by! No matter how poor I feel, or how many outgoing expenses I have, life has a way of working itself out and even though I can’t go on all the fancy holidays I’d like to, or buy all the fancy gadgets I have my eye on (oh iPad, how I would love and cherish thee!), I have exactly what I need and somehow, it’s always enough. Here’s to making it work!

ON FRIENDS: I’ve learned this year, that some people are just not who you think they were, while others surprise you with amazing displays of friendship and loyalty. Life is too short to waste time on those people who don’t deserve a place in your life – backstabbing, lying, people who don’t make an effort – letting it all go. I only want to be surrounded by people who bring positivity into my life – fortunately, there are many and I’m thankful for all the love that surrounds me.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA & NETWORKINGlove/hate – argghhh! Starting to get ‘over’ Facebook and the like, and have thought on numerous occasions about how I would love to ditch it altogether, but when it comes down to it, I’m just too damn addicted! I LOVE how it helps you to keep in touch with / keep track of old friends and family, and up to date with news in general, how it allows you to share and promote ideas, access inspiration etc BUT, on the other hand I HATE how it’s become a substitute for making an effort with people, and how polluted it has become with braggers, annoying status updates, Farmville crapplications and ‘weather reports’ (“aaahhhh, it’s soooo HOT today” or “ooooh, it’s snowing” x 50 million updates! Kill me now…) And for the love of all things good and holy, PLEASE STOP ‘CHECKING ME IN’ at certain locations – cant stand that other people can tag where you are!
Twitter
is a completely different beast to Facebook – it can give me instant FOMO (fear of missing out) if I have not clocked in every hour or so and don’t know whats happening with all the people I follow, and god forbid I can’t think of something clever or interesting to say in 140 characters or less! BUT, it is great for keeping up to date with world news in general (well, what the Twitterati deems important, or ‘trendy’) and I find it an amazing source of inspiration and ideas… (Heard somewhere along the line and think it’s an amusing and definitely plausible statement: Facebook makes you hate the friends you have and Twitter makes you like people you don’t know – Unknown) Um,
LinkedIn
– WTF? Has anything great ever happened to anyone from having a LinkedIn profile? Didn’t think so…
Latest obsession, Pinterest – anyone who knows what that is will know how it sucks minutes, hours, days even our or your life, but DAMN! it’s a great way of cataloging all the ideas and inspiration you find for projects and plans that will probably never take root ;)

So yes, this Bird has not thrown in the towel on social networking just yet, but I definitely resolve to live more in the real world than in the digital world in 2012!

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BLOGGING – MY HAPPY PLACE Blogging is a relatively new form of expression for me and a great creative outlet – definitely one of the things I will take with me from 2011 and continue to develop in 2012. Sometimes I think ‘who is going to care about what I think, like, make, cook, find, watch or read?!’ and then I think, who cares who cares! I enjoy it and that’s all that counts. I don’t blog to get followers. I don’t blog to impress people. I blog because I enjoy it. I blog because I like to share amazing ideas, products and experiences. If people find my posts of interest, that’s a bonus :)

And with that, I will bid anyone who was bored enough to read this whole essay of a post a fond farewell!

HAPPY NEW YEAR – BRING ON 2012 – IT’S GOING TO BE GREAT! 

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