This marks the third year I am answering Into Mind’s list of questions to reflect upon in the currently year, as we move into the new year.  I like it and I think I will keep the tradition.  If you are a stalker, here’s 2014 and 2015.

2016 Review

What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

Last year ended with a big decision that I needed to make.  I needed to decide whether I was going to stay in my marriage or get out of it.  I am not proud to say my marriage ended, but much more than that, I am happy to say we are doing really well.

If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be?

Perseverance.  Submission.  Gratitude

What new things did you discover about yourself?

Life is too short to settle for less than I deserve (work. love. life) and that it isn’t selfish to look after myself.

What single achievement are you most proud of?

I am really proud that I had the courage to take things slowly exiting the relationship with my ex.  It gave the kids space and time to adjust to what was happening in our lives.  Especially when all I wanted to do was run far and fast while making irrational and impulsive decisions.

Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

Probably my stubbornness along with the fact that I knew when to stand down instead of fight.   (Last year’s answer was exactly the same and I wasn’t comparing!  Now that is impressive…)

Which new skills did you learn?

I learned a lot about human trafficking, not that that is really is a skill.  But I am planning on getting involved in raising awareness and fighting the fight again modern day slavery, so that is a start.

Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?


What, or who, are you most thankful for?

This year I am most grateful for my mom.  I’m always grateful for my mom, but this year, she has literally taken every unknown step with me.  She’s checked on me way more than what is considered to be healthy, closer to stalking or overbearing parenting if you ask me.  I probably needed it a lot more than I realise.  She has been a rock and an enormous blessing.

What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?

Logan.  Oliver.  Tracey.  My mom.  Al..  (Perhaps not quite in that order)

If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?

Possibly a really cheesy Romantic Comedy…

Which mental block(s) did you overcome?

I rediscover me, who I am.  I’ve always been independent, but this year I was confident in my independence.

What was the most important lesson you learned in 2016?

I deserve more because I am worth it.

What was your biggest breakthrough moment career-wise?

There were no massive breakthroughs, although there have been many mini-breakthroughs.  2016 presented was filled with opportunities that were seized and maximized.  Here’s to hoping 2017 will open the doors I have been working- and hoping for.

How did your relationship with your family evolve?

My relationship with my kids matured immensely.  We deepened our understanding of each other.

The boys and I #theswartbrothers

A photo posted by Alet Swart (@alet202) on

  • I have learned that Logan needs his own space and opens up to me when he is ready.  He is smart and intelligent, he knows the difference between right and wrong, even if he deliberately chooses wrong some times.
  • I have learned that Oliver feels safest when he is in close proximity even when we are not engaging in activity or conversation.  He is a sensitive soul that is satisfied when he feels loved and cared for.  
  • I have learned how pleased they both are when they can help me.
  • It has made a huge impact in my life to understand that quality time with each of them individually and collectively trumps anything else.
  • I have come to realize the importance of keeping them both involved in healthy, uplifting relationships.  Community has become more important that it has ever been.
  • More than anything, I have learned that they appreciate and values honesty, even when the truth is a bit scarier than what we want.  Especially when reminded that I am trying to do what is best for us.
What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

The Blacklist.  People are unpredictable but deep down, there is always a reason why they are who they are.  Finding out why, gives us a whole heap of insight and empathy.

What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?

It was nice to hear that I have returned to the core of who I really am after things settled with my ex.  I was told I am bubbly and confident again.

What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?

Watching series with the boys on my bed.

What cool things did you create this year?

My Triangle wall and the bear and the lion project

What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?

Anxious about having to remain patience?

Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?

Does drinking Caipirinhas count?  Capoeira show at the Brazillian Embassy.  A21 Walk for Freedom.

A21 Walk for freedom Pretoria

What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?

Looking up at the stars while laying on the grass.

How did your overall outlook on life evolve?

Here’s what I wrote in a recent post.  I may get caught up in the day to day things of life, but my overall outlook has definitely evolved:

We cannot keep ourselves busy with the minor problems we face in life any longer.  It is time to let go of insecurities and it’s time to resolve recurring issues (I’m guilty). We need to stand up and be who we were created to be in Christ.  It is time to rise to our full potential and set out on the mission for which we were created.

Do I know what that is?  No, not really, sometimes I think I know bits and pieces but logistics – not at all!  Am I scared?  Petrified!  But that isn’t going to stop me!  It is time to rise and shine!

What was the biggest problem you solved?

Dealing with the guilt of divorce.  Feeling like I failed at something I wasn’t meant to give up on.  Finding a workable solution for the kids and I.

What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?

Shenanigans with Oliver

shenanigans #latergram #olimac

A photo posted by Alet Swart (@alet202) on

What activities made you lose track of time?

Conversations on the stoep/porch, the kind of conversations that makes you ponder life and feel completely understood, all at the same time.

What did you think about more than anything else?

Whether my kids were okay.  And probably if I am being 100% honest, finances and losing weight.

What new habits did you cultivate?

The good ones or the bad ones?  I rediscovered one bad habit, one I managed to kick nearly 7 years ago.

Did any parts of yourself or your life do a complete 180 this year?

Mindset and confidence wise, I made an 180-degree turn.  This is evident in the relationships I have started cultivating again.

Have you reflected on 2016?  Was it a kind year?

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