Farewell 2017, you’ve been a pretty good year.
I was feeling pretty overwhelmed between work and life in the early-to-middle part of the year. But I took some steps to regain control and I’m ending the year feeling much more positive and lighter. I feel like I’m ending the year having achieved some goals this year and well placed for a great 2018.
I kicked some goals in my career. As well as editing the Money section for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and writing regular columns, I worked on two podcasts and gave a major speech at a conference. The first podcast was the Herald’s everyday economics podcast, It All Adds Up, with Jessica Irvine, Matt Wade, Ross Gittins and Anna Patty. The second was Kinderling Radio’s family finance podcast, Your Family, Your Money, which I co-hosted with Georgina Dent. The public speaking was an hour-long keynote speech on the future of work for the AIS Skills Forum, which quite a few people described as “brilliant” and nominated as their favourite session.
My biggest personal achievement was finally becoming an ocean swimmer. I have wanted to take up ocean swimming for a while, but never felt confident enough. But this year, I started by doing a clinic by a small business called OceanFit in Bondi. I then had the nerve to join my friend Sally to do the 1.5km race at Bilgola on the Northern Beaches in early December. I caught a few dumpers as I entered the water and nearly gave up but I went back out. I came last but I was so proud of myself for getting out there and finishing the race. Since then we’ve done the Bold and the Beautiful squad, which goes daily from Manly to Shelly Beach, once and we hope to do a few more races in January. I need to invest in some prescription goggles though!
The other landmark, the week after the Bilgola swim, was singing in the end-of-year showcase for my music teacher’s students. She teaches piano, guitar and singing to children and adults and most of us sang or played piece of music individually in front of each other and our friends and families at a small, local venue. I’ve always loved singing but I don’t have a natural talent for it – put it this way, I have to work hard on pitch, modulation and rhythm. I’m happy to sing karaoke with friends or in a choir with many other voices, but it was a big deal to sing solo in front of strangers. I chose Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden to honour Chris Cornell, who died this year. It’s a difficult song but I practised a lot and I think I was passable.
I’ve enjoyed some great bushwalks and a holiday up the coast with my family, quite a few music concerts, a ton of theatre with my husband, and a yoga retreat.