Looking back on 2016

I had not blogged in a while and then this month I did some catching up and all of a sudden there were five new posts. Which means I have also been catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs that I follow. I have seen two exactly like this one – year in review, 2016 – and one with slightly different questions, another one I read had way too many questions, but I quite enjoyed reading them, some answers were funny. It was a nice way to get to know some of the people, so I took the idea and have made it mine with Looking back on 2016 – It’s very different to my gratitude jar it helps bring some perspective on life


What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

I took a dance lesson with my bear, best thing ever

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any, so didn’t have to keep any, yippy! But maybe for 2017 I will make one resolution…

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

In Sodwana Bay just the four of us

Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, a good friend

What countries did you visit?

None. But I went to Grahamstown for the first time ever this year

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

I want to do this fully, 100% –

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I don’t have a specific date, but I’d like to say that the weekend away at the end of April in the Drakensberg was magic, pure bliss….

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not really my achievement but my sons and so I claim it as mine – they both completed their university degrees this year

What was your biggest failure?

My failures were challenges that hopefully I have recovered from and hopefully I have learned something from them

Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, just my usual migraine headaches

What was the best thing you bought?

Eye repair cream and concealer and a pair of red shoes

Where did most of your money go?

Agh bills, I hate this question

What song will always remind you of 2016?

Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I had danced more and laughed a whole lot more

What do you wish you’d done less of?

I cried and worried too much this year

What were your favourite TV shows?

Can’t say, they don’t let me watch TV at home

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


What was the best book you read?

I read a few, but none that I can say were my absolute best, one I enjoyed was; Cullen by Tod Collins

What was your greatest musical discovery?

I discovered I’m a belieber.  Because of this song – Love Yourself, Justin Bieber

What was your favourite film of this year?

I watch way too many movies, but I think my favourite was “Best of me”

What did you do on your birthday

I can’t remember, is that such a terrible thing? I know we had family lunch that weekend right here at home and that was awesome. Spoilt

What kept you sane?

Chocolate and me time

Who did you miss?

My sister

Who was the best new person you met?

I met some really lovely people this year, made new friends but can’t name anyone as the best new person, sorry

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016

Breathe. Just breathe. Have a little faith

I filled a glass jar in 2016 !!

Last year I received a new jar from my friend, it was a Christmas gift.  She filled a large jar with homemade cookies and she wrote this on the card:

“This is your gratitude jar for 2016. Empty it this year and in 2016 you have to fill it with thoughts of gratitude…big or small.  So that by the end of 2016 you can reflect and appreciate the awesome year I know you will have!”


For the past two years I have filled a glass jar with little notes of the things or moments I am grateful for. And this year I was going to try to fill my gifted jar with gratitude but actually filled it with some home-baked cookies for the family. I had to find another jar very quickly, and I did, it’s a special one too and I started filling it with everything I am thankful for.

It’s a good feeling, because I tend to remember the negatives too but when I start to write down each special moment I realise just how blessed I am.

It’s also a great feeling when I’m feeling a little down to see so many happy good moments we had as a family.

This year was hard but when I started filling the glass jar I experienced the amazing power of gratitude. The feeling is small, at first, there was only one little piece of paper but then it then gets bigger as the jar gets fuller.

It’s a good way to start the holiday season and wrap up my year I have so much to be grateful for.

Thank you LORD for keeping us safe this year and for keeping me sane…thank you for everything….

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

My glass jar is bigger _ 2015

My glass jar _ 2014

What a year!

What a year this has been.

Possibly one of the worst years of my life, I don’t know if I have said this before about other years, have I?

I know for sure this was the worst one for me.  I remember sometime in October, I saw one journalist comment to his colleagues “what a week!”

That was after four weeks of violent university protests and the start of state capture news and there was something else big going on.  It was crazy hectic.  I know I kept thinking it must be great being a journalist here in SA they don’t know which way to turn, they are so busy, it’s exciting if you work in their industry.  It’s a merry-go-round-of-dizzy.  It was really one of those what a week moments.

I feel like that about this year.

I know that to be sort of balanced in life and healthy we all need to have some kind of balance: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. So if this is so common and so needed then I am not balanced at all not even in one of them, it’s all just a total mess this year.

I haven’t felt like talking to people.  I have locked myself in the bathroom or in my car countless times crying.

It’s small things but many times it’s the small things that make a BIG difference.
It’s the please wait and be patience feeling and the flower does not bloom in a day thought…but the seeds I thought I had sown are not just taking their time I think they were eaten by a bird.  So I feel quite messy.

Emotionally I’m done, mentally I’m drained, physically I smile. Just smile because I know I have many things to be grateful for even if I’ve been feeling so very blue lately


This art year was messy

This year was a really bad for me, in many ways, actually it was quite crap. And it certainly shows in my art. If I compare to past years I have painted the least this year. I also ended my art year with incomplete work which I’m not crazy about, but I guess at least I know what I’m starting with in 2017.


So this one ↑ …. this one was a real failure, it was abandoned. Incomplete and will never be finished. I don’t like it at all, I just hit a wall and it hasn’t been covered in white or black because I haven’t had time. I guess it was a bad choice, I don’t quite know.

And then this one …..


It feels a bit like an unrealistic high expectation. Is it? I don’t know, I hope not. It’s a challenge for sure, it’s going to take long, it’s huge, too many proteas…I don’t know what I was thinking. But I’m looking forward to finishing it.

A Single Protea

If you know me you will know how much I love proteas. They are everywhere in my house, on a table-cloth, on a vase, beaded into a flower, on a candle stick holder and etched on a large glass vase.

There are proteas everywhere, and so this year I put one up on the wall too.

It’s the first time I painted a protea. I loved every minute of this painting and every brush stroke.


This one was created with my heart ♥