2022 is almost over! A year where our beloved Queen passed away, a lettuce outlived a prime minister's reign and the England women's football team won the Euros. Amongst many other highlights and lowlights. I can safely say from my own perspective it has been a mixed bag. One I am somewhat glad to see the back of, but one where I have learned a lot about myself.

A selection of polaroid photos.

2022 is a year I will and won't forget in a hurry. There have been some good memories made, but some bad moments I want to forget. From a personal point of view, my health has been like riding on a rollercoaster - constant ups, downs and loops in between. My physical health hasn't been too bad this year, CF hasn't challenged me too much physically thankfully. However, my mental health has been a continual issue these last twelve months. I won't go into too much detail on how I have been feeling, as it wouldn't make for pretty reading. The last thing I would want to do is to make this post a trigger for someone. So, rather than focus on that, I want to talk about some of the happiest moments I have experienced this year!

There have been a few happy memories made this year, most of these were experienced in the space of a month or two. Some moments have been where I have learned lessons about myself and others. 

A selection of polaroid photos from 2022.

So, what are my positives from the year 2022? Here they are (in no particular order) -

1) One of my closest friends got married - May 12th

Who doesn't love a nice wedding? Especially when it's a friend's wedding! The first time I attended a wedding on my own, and it was such a beautiful day! Going to a wedding as a single guest was very nerve-wracking, but it's a real confidence booster!

2) Ed Sheeran concert - May 26th

I remember booking these tickets back in September 2021 when I had Covid. I was shocked that I even managed to get tickets as they were selling like hotcakes! I took my best friend Tasha with me and we had the most amazing time. Ed was insanely good and sang all his classics and sang all the way through it (probably annoying the other concert-goers around me). 

A selection of polaroids from 2022.

3) A spontaneous trip to Liverpool - May 29th

When there is a victory parade involving the Liverpool players and Calvin Harris dj'ing on an open-top bus, that is something I couldn't miss. One desperate booking of a Premier Inn hotel at 8:30am on a Sunday morning and me and close friend Saffron headed off to Liverpool to get a front-row seat (or should I say, standing place) in Liverpool City Centre. Nearly four hours later, the open-top bus drove by and we got to see our lads and celebrate their achievements with them from the season. Oh, I do love a spontaneous trip, especially when the city of Liverpool is involved.

4) Appeared on TV again (twice) - March & May

No autographs, please. But seriously, to be asked by BBC Wales News to appear on TV to talk about all things Covid, restrictions etc is massive for me. Funnily enough, when I got asked to be interviewed for BBC Wales in May, it was about all Covid restrictions being lifted in Wales. The day before I got interviewed I had been to see Ed Sheeran with 40-odd thousand people around me. Yep, I didn't seem to be bothered by the restrictions being lifted!

5) My Mam's big birthday - February 14th

My Mam had a big birthday back in February and it was lovely to celebrate with my family. My Mam is my rock and I would be lost without her, she's got me through so much and she is like the constant in my life. It was lovely to make her big birthday a big celebration for her as she deserved it so much!

A selection of polaroids from 2022.

6) Learning I'm stronger than I thought I was.

I have no exact date for this but I would say it is one of my biggest positives to come out of 2022. As I said before, it's not been my best year. There have been so many lovely positives which I have listed here, but it's not been my favourite year on record. I am hoping for a better 2023. 

I'd love to know how your 2022 has been! What are you hoping for in 2023? 

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Memories. We make them every day, whether they're good, bad or mediocre. We live our lives to make them. Who doesn't love making memories? Obviously making good memories is a better option than making bad ones, but it's such a heartwarming feeling to make memories that will last a lifetime.

A memory journal on a bedside table.

How we record our memories however differs between all of us. Nowadays, we use our phones to take tonnes of photos and take up memory on our Icloud (or Android). We may want to scrapbook memories with little mementoes and keepsakes. We might want to print off photos we've taken and organise them into photo albums in Monica Gellar style (Friends reference, FYI). But there could be some who may want to document our memories in a different way - a journal.

A few months ago, I was strolling through the magazine/book aisle in Morrison's (other supermarkets are available to visit) and this book caught my eye. I picked it up, had a quick skim of the pages, and thought it was a fun and creative idea for a journal. A memory journal. This memory journal asks you about so many different memories you have experienced in your life. Your first word, first kiss, first car, first best friend, first concert...I could go on and on. It's taken me a little while, but I've managed to make my way through the book - and there are still some empty spaces for more memories to be fulfilled and documented. 

So, what are the benefits of owning a memory journal? Here they are -

A memory journal on a bedside table.

1) It makes you see how far you've come

Filling out this memory journal has definitely made me see how far I've come. From being the shy kid in the classroom to being the feisty and headstrong woman I have become today. It's nice to see how much progression has been made and I know I can do more to make it better.  Remembering my 'firsts' as it were has also made me realise how many memories I do have!

2) Brings back childhood memories

My first best friend, my first teacher, my first pet...those childhood memories came flooding back when I filled out this section of the memory journal. With CF, I wasn't blessed with such a perfect childhood, but when I look back on my younger years, I always like to look at happier times. You know. the ones when I wasn't in the hospital having needles jabbed in me left, right and centre. It also made me think of how innocent times were back then. No social media, barely functioning dial-up Internet and as children the outdoors was our favourite kind of play. 

3) Allows you to revisit past events (good or bad)

Like I said, before, we all have good and bad memories. This memory journal made me revisit past life events, even the ones I had forgotten about. I also think that revisiting past memories makes you see what you have learned. We all have a few bad memories, the bad memories are the ones that we draw lessons from. They could be the biggest lessons or the smallest, but you always learn.

A memory journal on a bedside table.

I'd definitely recommend using a memory journal if you fancy reminiscing on the best aspects of your life!

Have you ever used a memory journal before? Let me know!

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