December Reflections 2018

First Published - January 2019

What on earth happened? I’m pretty sure I was just celebrating New Year 2018 and in a flash the year has gone and I’m about to ring in 2019!

I started December with the best of intentions in doing a December Reflections 2018 and I did very well posting daily to my Instagram account and also our private FB group. As all things December kicked off, my idea of writing daily on here as well ran away with me. So instead, I am going to do a round up of the remaining days that I didn’t write individually about.

Day 7 :: Home

Being an expat for over 30 years, I learnt at a very young age that home was where my family and life was. Other expats would always ask if I’m going home (UK) for the summer or at Christmas, and I would always reply that I am home. This year we moved into our own house after renting for over 19 years and I am so in love with my home. Whilst I was born in the UK, my home is here in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Day 8 :: Biggest Surprise

My Bestie, Natalie, flying my son and I out to visit her and the family in the US. Biggest Surprise was seeing Ryan’s reaction when he found out. We all had such valuable times together and it was great to spend quality time with Ryan before he goes to College.

Day 9 :: Shadow

It took me a while to find a suitable photo to represent Shadow, and it was as the day was ending for me, that I remembered the total Lunar Eclipse we had a week after we moved into our new home in July. I had an amazing view from one of our windows upstairs and took loads of photos.

Day 10 :: Biggest Challenge of 2018

It’s been a challenging year all round for me. However, my two biggest challenges this year was getting my son through his exams and also coordinating renovation and moving into our new home. Thankfully both challenges came out on top and were successful on many fronts.

Day 11 :: Blue

One of my favourite colours!! Whether it’s a stereotypical influence of having boys I’m not too sure. ?? My home has touches of blue throughout and my wardrobe as well. I’ve always known it to be the colour of communication, peace and comfort. The photo below shows four of my favourite blue memories, from top left, the amazing art work that my mum made, top right is a beautiful navy blue silk bedspread I bought in Bali. Bottom left is the blue removal van we had to move from Kuala Lumpur to Johor and finally bottom right is my son Lucas and his best football friend wearing their blue training kit.

Day 12 :: Best Meal of 2018

I’ve had some pretty wonderful meals this year. Although for many of them it was more about the company than the actual food. This meal however was extra special as my whole family was present in our new home and we decided to do an early Xmas Dinner. Fond memories ?

Day 13 :: Comfort

Comfort is…being curled up! Love that my two dachshund pups love this beanbag!

Day 14 :: 2018 Taught Me…

I went into 2018 knowing that it was going to be a challenging year, my eldest had his final exams and with his learning difficulties it was even harder for him, we were relocating which meant new home, leaving friends and a new school for my youngest son as well as also having my mum come back and live with us. Throughout the year I went through a variety of challenges, issues and managed to overcome them all. Of course not without some stresses here and there but I think that 2018 has taught me that no matter what is put in front of you, you can overcome it, with a little faith, love and perseverance. It taught me not to stress and worry over things that were out of my control and that sometimes just stopping to breathe can provide the best answers I needed to any question. 2018 Taught Me to trust the process and believe that it will all work out in the end.

Day 15 :: Yellow

Apart from being the colour of all the emojis ??? yellow is also the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. For me yellow and gold seem to belong together and in Asia gold is the colour of prosperity and good fortune. These are a few of my favourite yellow and gold images of 2018.

Day 16 :: Best Day of 2018

Well so many wonderful days throughout the year. These four were top, moving into our own home, my eldest son graduating high school, visiting my best friend in the US and having the whole family together for a November Xmas!

Day 17 :: Sparkle

Living in a new city when my sister visited we decided to be a tourist for the day. We found this amazing Hindu Temple made completely out of mirrored glass. A truly spectacular sparkle!!

Day 18 :: I Said Hello To…

So many new things in 2018. Moving to our new home, new friends, new places to discover and the decision to say hello to a creative me with my new blog.

Day 19 :: Tasty

To me tasty reflects on a good meal with friends or family. I’m very fortunate to live in a country with a myriad of food from all over the world. Be it in a formal dining room, local coffee shop or homemade dishes made with love.

Day 20 :: Secret

I think this was the hardest day for me. I don’t keep secrets, or well maybe I do; other people’s secrets. Friends secrets are many and I hold them dearly, knowing that a friend can confide in me with the deepest of trust is something I truly treasure in a friendship. One of the hardest, most recent secrets that I had to keep was from my best friends’ 3 gorgeous children. They went to pick up this little bundle of love and I had to keep the kids occupied while they went to get him!! One of the best secrets….but the reveal was so much more fun!

Day 21 :: Paper

With so many things being online and digitised nowadays, it’s nice to print of something special to reflect with. Fresh off the press and ready to be worked on! The Unravel Your Year workbook, alongside December Reflections and Word of The Year are just three of Susannah’s amazing publications to end the year on.

Day 22 :: I Said Goodbye to…

High expectations on myself. Knowing it was going to be a busy and challenging year, I’ve learnt to let go and go with the flow. Trying to make things perfect for myself was stressful and caused unnecessary anxiety. This great image came from the wonderful people at Power of Positivity on their FB page and sums up my thoughts exactly.

Day 23 :: Late

I personally hate to be late for anything and have always instilled promptness in my children too. So late for me means a number of different things; with these photos 1. How late in my marriage I’ve met my Mother In Law – we’ve been married 19 years before I met her properly 2. How late I stayed up to watch a full Lunar eclipse this year 3. How late we put up this small tree in our home in Singapore where we are spending Christmas – it went up yesterday!

Day 24 :: Traditions

I love traditions and try to keep as many old ones as possible. When the boys were younger, they used to open one gift on Christmas Eve, each birthday the birthday boy would buy the other one a gift so he didn’t feel left out. Over the years, our traditions have changed as the boys grow older. However, one that has remained steadfast so far is every year we make Gingerbread Cookies. The kids used to go through 8-10 packets of dough!! Traditions are a hard one and I wish we had more in the family but it hasn’t happened.

Day 25 :: Today is…

Christmas Day and a day to spend with loved ones. My family and I spent Christmas in Singapore as my husband was on duty. We had a delicious lunch at the hotel he works in accompanied by copious amounts of champagne.

Day 26 :: Remembering

As the year draws to a close I am scrolling through all my photos and remembering what an adventure of a year it’s been. From my eldest son graduating, to us renovating and then moving home and city, to saying “See you soon” to many of our friends and then getting through the past few months and weeks with so many challenges. I remember that I’ve made it through some tough times, happy times, fun times and sad times too.

Day 27 :: My Wish for 2019

I may be a little self-centered on this one, but my wish for 2019 is to gain control of the hours in my day and be more productive. To learn more, read more and hopefully be more creative by doing more colouring for relaxation and writing my personal blog with the help of Susannah’s course. This is also with the addition of eating better and exercising too. All important things that I wish to achieve over the coming year.

Day 28 :: New Book

I love colouring and enjoy the peace and relaxation of brings me. Whilst none of these books are new, each time I colour it’s a new piece. I have about 8 books in total, these three are my current favourites. You can find my colour creations on my FB page Inspired Colouring By Paula. Definitely needs an update and hope to do more colouring in the coming year.

Day 29 :: My Smile

This photo was taken by my sister as we sat at the top of Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck in Singapore. It’s one of my current favourite shots of me.

Day 30 :: Thank You For…

A challenging year full of growth, strength, love and support from all my family and friends. I started 2018 knowing it was going to be a busy and challenging year with lots of big milestones to cover. Throughout the year I’ve come to depend a lot on my two amazing sons who have supported and helped so much along with my wonderful Mum as well. Grateful for these special people in my life.

Day 31 :: My Word for 2019 is…

This is the second year I am choosing a word for the year. This year my word is Persevere. I have written another blog post on this, click over here to have a read.

2018 Done & Dusted!

Well that’s December Reflections wrapped up. As I write this, my eldest son is on a plane heading home for the New Year. It’s his first time away from home and he called this morning and wanted to come back…who am I to refuse?

So I wish you all a wonderful 2019 and may the year be filled with lots of love, laughter, joy, happiness and success. May your mind, body and soul be fed in all the best ways possible. A huge THANK YOU to Susannah Conway for her amazing December Reflections 2018 and giving me a chance to reflect on what I thought was going to be a challenging and hard year.