1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
This year is a fork in the road kind of year. Hopefully I will be able to tell my grandchildren I made a tough decision and it paid off, in a really good way.
2.If you had to describe your 2015 in 3 words, what would they be?
fear. hope. faith.
3.What new things did you discover about yourself?
I love torturing myself.
4.What single achievement are you most proud of?
Still standing after everything that has happened this year. And finishing my degree
5.What was the best news you received?
6.What was your favourite place that you visited in 2015?
7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
Probably my stubbornness
8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
My bestie. We’ve been distant the past couple of years and somehow she is still so in sync with what is going on in my heart. And she is always close when I need her.
9.Which new skills did you learn?
10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?
My colleague – her ears must be falling off by now. In between the moans and whines, she listened to my fears. She encouraged me and talked me through the tough parts.
11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2015, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
Sci-fi horror with lots of drama
12.What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2015?
Last year I said, I am stronger and more capable than I thought I am — this year I would say exactly the same, while touching wood and declaring that it isn’t a test or a hypothesis that should be proven next year.
13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
Perhaps overcoming is the right word – at the moment I feel like I am being taught to say my say, speak my mind and give the recipient a fair chance to (1) prove me wrong (or right) (2) allow them to rise to the occasion and for us to find a happy medium.
It feels like I am writing a riddle. Really I had a couple of courageous conversation and instead of continuing to judge or deal with the situation in a way I normally would – I have had to let go and allow the person the room to come to the party.
14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
Me. Oliver. Logan. My previous boss. friends
15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
I don’t feel like I’ve had a big break-through moment career-wise. I realised that my loyalty was more towards my line manager than it is to the organisation and that if I am presented with an opportunity I will take it. Which is something I wouldn’t really have considered in the past
16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?
I learned that during tough times your family will stand by you. They will hold you up when you feel like you are falling. They will go our of their way to meet your needs. And some times they will be the root cause of your troubles even when they don’t mean to be.
17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
18.What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?
I received plenty of compliments, none that I can remember the exact wording or intricacies of, but one friend says something so special that it’s touched my heart and made me appreciate how much she understands me. She mentioned where she thought I would be in life if I hadn’t fallen pregnant with Logan when I was 20. She was pretty accurate.
19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
Podcasts on my way to work
20.What cool things did you create this year?
A black and white vision board. Some motivate me printables and some pretty watercolour handwritten quotes in my diary.
21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
Capoeira! Undercut haircut
23.What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?
Drinking funny tasting tea and giggling like girls at the spa at the Taj Cape Town while waiting for our treatments.
24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
I’ve mature a bit this year. I feel like I’m more prepared for certain major goals, that I’m no longer working blindly to achieve them but I am being smarter about it. I am facing uncomfortable realities better.
25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
I guess at the time you feel like worrying will help. But it doesn’t, things fall into place whether it happens the way we want it to or not. We need to adapt, accept and move on. And maybe one day we will understand.
26.What experience would you love to do all over again?
27.What was the best gift you received?
My previous boss’s going away present
28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
Living a life of gratitude was harder and more rewarding that I thought and praising God during the tough times is the only way I know how to stay positive and hopeful.
I have started looking at things holistically instead of in isolation.
29.What was the biggest problem you solved?
Many problems were solved by asking and receiving help. Receiving help has never been easy or comfortable, but pushing through the discomfort has been liberating.
30.What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
Giggles with a cortisone filled Oliver – pure, delightful, medicine induced giggles. Giggles that made up for the terrors of the unknown and the horrible emotional tear-struck moments called the downside of cortisone.
A photo posted by Alet Swart (@alet202) on
Notice the swollen cheeks and tummy – that is cortisone for you!
31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
Colouring in pencils, books, notebooks, paints… embracing my desire to create.
32.What one thing would you do differently and why?
Trust me / my gut more. Leaning into the discomfort of situations more rather than trying to numb the pain / run away from it.
33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
Completing my degree. Reading a self help book.
34.What activities made you lose track of time?
Spending quality time with my kids one on one.
35.What did you think about more than anything else?
Staying hopeful and positive by remembering everything I have and being thankful for it.
36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
Vulnerability and somatic experience.
37.What new habits did you cultivate?
I started writing again
38.What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?
To follow my gut and to be patient
39.Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
Spending time with me and my thoughts are good and necessary and not selfish. I would like to say, I made some mental 180’s this year.
40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
Friends and family that came around me and my family and really supported us.