Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: the year that was!

2015 was a great year, the best I have had in a long time.
Of course with greatness, there is always darkness, my theory is the darkness helps you connect better with greatness!
So the darkness first, cause as much as I like to write about happy, it is equally important to write about the opposite. You gotta keep it real. So most of the darkness this year is pretty much everyone else’s darkness...boy the world got very intense and rather fukt! From Syria to Paris, the embarrassment of Tony Abutt, the state of politics and the rise of the far right (or reich, am I right!?!), the poor treatment of women, racism, sexism, misogyny, and war and hate and killing. Makes you want to make your own little republic and be very selective in who you let join you! With all of those atrocities came greatness, you see the beautiful, kind, and considerate people rise above the hatred, it felt like a minority (which is actually worse than the list itself) but at least these people were there, you and me - regular people hoping for a better world.

The other half of my darkness came from within, I started the year with a deep depression, but also incredible love, knowing people had my back and they loved and cared for me, it didn’t take long to break the chains of the black dog. So by the second half of the year I felt pretty much back to regular me. Yes this horrid disease lurks beneath the surface and rears it’s ugly head from time to time, but the bounce back is brief, which is all you can ask for. Within this depression, my old fiend, anxiety, also returned...bigger and better than ever. You gotta love that! A mix of depression and anxiety is pretty freaking awful I tell you, you feel like the push me, pull me creature from Doctor Doolittle, you just don’t know what the fuck is going on and it takes all your worth to put one foot in front of the other and get everyday things done. And I did, I got everyday things done, and I slept a lot and I cried a lot – and this may sound awful, and it is, but it is also important, life changing, and totally appropriate and necessary to move through such a period and reclaim greatness.
I am – surprising as it may seem – a very private person, believe me there is a lot about me I do not share. But I think it is important to talk about the bad, the dark, the horrid...because it is an equaliser. This I know, as the more I write and converse about such things, the more I have others engage with me about their own issues. And this is so very important and weirdly comforting. So I shall continue to share the realities of my life (to a certain extent) to assist whoever needs it and to make others uncomfortable, because talking about reality should not be an uncomfortable thing.
And you know, in the grand scheme of things, life wasn’t so bad, it could have been a hell of a lot worse.
And so onto the greatness.
2015 – I started the year with the following: focusing on positives and the ground work I laid for this year, live in the moment and do what I was meant to do, let fate and adventure take it’s course, and hope to meet someone...and I did all of that and more, ok I have not met ‘the one’ but I did meet a lot of new people!
I also planned to do my Project 42 for life and I have been following those little guides I set up a few years back and find they really keep my life on track, and I figure if I can be organised at work, why not at home too! Project Read – this I definitely did, I read so many great books this year, and finally Project Declutter, YES! I finished this too, although I look at both of these as ongoing projects. The key to all of this is set acceptable goals and projects that have meaning, you know you can achieve, but still push you without causing stress!
Work was great this year, if I may say so myself. My terrific team worked hard and we had a lot of fun doing our regular work on top of special projects and event. Proud of these guys and it’s my pleasure to work alongside of each and every one of them all year round. On a personal note I worked on a lot of special projects, was guest speaker for a few local groups, attended the IAML conference at APRA headquarters, helped establish the wonderful Share the Story with Carol Duncan, and ended the year on a high recruiting two new staff members for Swansea and receiving my 25 years of service.
Dating – yep I embraced online dating in the last quarter of the year. And that has been very interesting, challenging, heart breaking, and fun. But that’s life hey? And when you are looking for a life partner, I expect no less. I am in no hurry, geez I just turned 45, I have no internal clock (hurrah!!!) and I am after the right match for me. I’m happy to wade through toads to find him...wherever he may be!
Personal Stuff – I got glasses, a new car, and a new laptop. I decluttered my study and turned it into a room of tranquillity and inspiration. I holidayed in Melbourne. I turned 45 without too much drama!
Art – as always I soaked up a lot of Art. The Pop into Popism exhibit at NSW Gallery, Chuck Close at MCA, Archibald prize at Maitland Art Gallery, Midnight Oil exhibit at Newcastle Museum, David Bowie exhibit at ACMI, Catherine the Great exhibit at NGV, Hellenic Museum Melbourne, Orry Kelly exhibit ACMI, Frank Gehry building at UTS Sydney, and the Mambo Exhibit at Newcastle Art Gallery.
Culture including Books, Film, DVDs, Music  - I experienced a lot of great culture this year, stay tuned for my Top 10 lists! I loved this years Oscars. I had Ukulele lessons.
Festivals and Shows – Newcastle Writers Festival, Carriage Shed Film Festival, Absinthe, Go Elsewhere, APRA concert, French Film Festival, TRavelling Sydney Film Festival, Australian Ballet, Many great local theatre productions, The Lion King, Bell Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Fleetwood Mac, This is Not Art Festival, The Doubleclicks, Hunter Valley Gardens Lights, and Star Wars!
Interesting people I saw – Neil Gaiman, Peter Lewis, Lisa Heidke, Megan Washinton, Daniel Johns, Steve Smyth (three times), Jon Ronson, John Safran, Magda Szubanski, and Barry Morgan.
I also got out and about, ate out a lot, and walked and explored my neighbourhoods including the lake, beach, and inner suburbs. All the while documenting and diarising my life through my blog, photography, and other SM applications. I love sharing what I am up, but mostly it’s just a record for me, so that fact that others interact and enjoy my musings makes me happy.
And finally the most important aspect of my life are the people I share it with. Family and friends – you all know who you are. Without you, there would be no me. That’s the honest truth. You have my back, keep my head above water, keep me smiling, and let me know it’s ok to have bad days and are always around to share whatever life throughs at me. I love you all.
I will be posting my Top Tens and hopes for 2016 over the next day or so.



Bill said...

It was great to meet you Cathy.

I'm always surprised at how many fellow travellers (when it comes to D&A) I know through twitter without even realising it. I wonder if it's more widespread than anyone realises, or something about the medium, or fate drawing people together.

Solidarity, mate!

Cathy said...

Bill, it was great to meet you too!
I used to be surprised but after this year I am no longer.
I think it is a mix of all, far more widespread, but this medium helps us intros and D&A's have a voice when maybe leaving the house is all too much. And I definitely believe in fate. The more I have been talking about D&A, the more people come out of the woodworks, mostly people I already know. Solidarity indeed!!!
Happy New Year to you and your beloved!