2015 It was great

Chereen from For The Beauty Of It shared a post on 2015 where she shared her highlights, life lessons and all that good stuff. This is a great way to end off the year so I thought I would share some things from 2015 which will stay with me for many years.
A photo posted by Claire (@claire.howse) on

I entered the year engaged, a new home owner and I had a yearning to learn new things. I exit the year married, a slightly more experienced home owner and a few new hobbies and skills under my belt. It's because of these things that I would describe 2015 as my first year being a proper "grown up". However being all grown up also teaches you that life isn't always sunshine and roses. 2015 taught me about loss and how being grateful for what you have right now is the only way to truly live because it can disappear in the blink if an eye.

I had high expectations of myself this year and some of these expectations weren't met. This makes me feel bad but I don't like to dwell on it for too long and I'd rather take something away from it. Rethink what you would like to give and get out of the new year and adjust your expectations accordingly. This would be a good time to insert one of my favourite quotes.

"Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You are a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no triumphs and tribulations can ever change that. Unconditional self-acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind" - Saint Francis de Sales

I am excited for 2016. It will be a big year for my family and I am excited to share my own joy as well as share in their joy. I will continue to expand my gratefulness for the things, people and opportunities in my life. I also want to focus on giving more. Making myself more available to family, charities and learning that the world owes you nothing, you need to earn what you want by hard work and putting yourself out there.

My final thoughts on 2015? It was a great year! I ended the year in a better place than when I started and this is all I can really ask for. Have a safe and happy new year. Everything in moderation, nothing in excess and here's to a healthy and prosperous 2016!


Qualities I have recently learnt about myself

I received tremendous feedback on my last "What I have recently learnt about myself" post so I though I would share another. This is what I have learn't about myself over the past month or so.

1. I am a fast learner, which I discovered this year when doing crochet crafts and most recently, learning to play the guitar. It is still a challenge but I like to think that I pick things up quickly and after only 5 short days, I could play a simple melody. It's rewarding when you can surprise yourself like that and I can definitely say that trying new things and succeeding is one of my favourite things about this year and I am excited to try many new things in 2016.

2. I could be a bookworm. This past Friday I tagged along when Malcolm embarked on a last minute work trip to KZN. I will be here for just over a week and seeing as I am away from home, this frees up a lot of time where I would be doing dishes, re-organising cupboards or cleaning hedgehog cages. I got to read a book over the weekend. Which is really unlike me. I enjoyed getting caught up in a story and it was refreshing to let my mind wonder, imagine and picture things through the writers words. The book was not that great but it was the actual task of reading that I enjoyed. I might get a few more books to ready whilst I have the time. If you are interested or are already and avid bookworm I suggest visiting Bella-Mi who is an SA Blogger who shares her recent reads and refers you to books which she enjoyed and you might too.

3. I procrastinate, which may be the worst discovery because I detest procrastinators. I can't pinpoint the exact moment I became like this but I see myself putting things on hold and I say "I'll do it later/tomorrow" far more than I'd like to admit (hence the lack of blog posts). This is possibly something I can look at improving in 2016. I wasn't always like this so it can be fixed.

4. I find social media tiring to keep track of. They say that it's 10% blogging and 90% social media networking and getting your content out here but sjoe, keeping track of who posts what where and when is a little much at times. For me Twitter is the platform that I neglect the most when I simply don't have time to read through or post. You really have to filter out the junk to get to the good posts. If you need me, I'll be on Instagram, my fave platform to share all that I love.

5. I rely on people more than I realise. I have always deemed myself independent and if I had to be on my own I would be ay-okay but I need to adjust my view and how I define independence because I rely on a lot of people around me and should give them credit for bringing me to where I am today. Like my parents, siblings and more recently my best friend and husband. I will try and focus this appreciation to where it needs to go in 2016.

These posts always take a lot of pondering but I always feel better for taking the time to write them. Take 5 minutes and think of a few things you have recently learnt about yourself. If you'd like, share them below so I can see :)