I’m pretty sure that 2017 has been trying it’s best to kill me. I’ve had three bike accidents – one involving a car; two involving visits to A & E, and all three involving an awful lot of pain and dented pride. Having now recovered from these accidents, and other health problems this year, I managed to fall in the snow two days ago (which happened to be my birthday), and dislocated my elbow. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either – I had a very serious injury on the same arm nine and a half years ago. It’s not all bad, though – I’ve always wanted to ride in an ambulance! Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to get a selfie with the paramedics; I was too busy being in excruciating pain.
Other than my health, lots of brilliant things have happened this year. I got my dream job, as a Digital Manager for a children’s charity. The role is the most challenging I’ve ever had, and I’m reminded every day that as I progress in my career, I’ve still got a lot to learn: about our wonderful sector; about myself; and about my area of expertise. And that’s OK! That’s my biggest takeaway from 2017: that it’s OK to not be absolutely perfect; that it’s OK to make occasional mistakes, as long as you learn from them; and most importantly of all, that you can’t be everything, to everyone. Because of my mild Asperger’s Syndrome, I tend to be a very black and white thinker: either I’m perfect 24/7, or I’m terrible at my job. Often, people with autism can struggle to see the middle ground, which can be challenging at times! Luckily, I was introduced to an absolutely brilliant charity earlier this year called Number 6, who help to keep my ‘all or nothing’ thinking in check. This charity has been an absolute godsend, and I’m hugely grateful for all of the support they’ve given me.
Another thing I’ll be carrying into 2018 is my newfound ability to drive. Given that I previously tried to learn at seventeen, and crashed the car so badly that my instructor refused to let me back behind the wheel, I honestly never thought I’d hold a license! I’d been putting it off for years, so I’m really pleased that I’ve finally done it! It just goes to show that with a lot of persistence and hard work (and a very brave instructor), anything is possible.
Which leads me onto my second key takeaway for 2017: don’t procrastinate! In the last twelve months, I’ve gotten a second dog, after years of toying with the idea. And it was the best decision I ever made! I learned how to cook more than one dish, badly. I rode a segway. I conquered my fear of whales (just about, and yes, really). I ran a half marathon (despite my asthma), and I’ve never been prouder of myself! The point is, whether professional or personal, if there’s something you want to do, then DO IT. Don’t be like our lego friend.
What are your key takeaways for 2017? Share them in the comments below!