My year of mercy (and the best posts from 2016)

Good times jar 2016.jpg

This time last year I was relieved for having got through Christmas and nervous about getting through the remainding weeks of the school holidays. I was tired, physically and existentially fragile, and wrote about how for me, the Year of Mercy which Pope Francis had opened might just be about showing myself some mercy. I wasn’t wrong.

I limped along, fell sick with bronchitis, and then crashed in torrents of tears one day in February. In March I dropped everything including work but the absolute essentials of life, establishing daily prayer, eating, and exercise routines. I probably caught up on years of lost sleep. I booked myself in for a retreat in June, and got referred for some sessions with a psychologist for anxiety. All of which worked really well, and I feel much better for it.

Why this happened this year and not in other, possibly more stressful years, I don’t know. It was humiliating and scary, and probably the best thing that could have happened. This has been the year of asking for help, and receiving lots of it.

Upon recovering I returned to work and blogging and have really enjoyed writing more in the later part of the year. Here are the most-read posts of 2016, including a couple that I re-posted from my Catholic Weekly column.

6 ways to walk more steps every day, and how to pray while doing it

Walking the streets around my neighbourhood each day gave me time to process things and  I could pray a little too. This post of tips and inspiration was one of the National Catholic Register’s ‘Best in Catholic Blogging’ posts.

Doubts and growth in prayer and life

What if feels like, and what do to at times when doubts about our faith, our marriage, or other anchors in our lives overwhelm us. This also made the Best in Catholic Blogging.

21 Days to a Happier Family

This is a book review of parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson’s book, originally published in The Catholic Weekly.

Feeling better after burnout

No special knowledge to share here, maybe it’s just that the headline attracts search traffic. This was just a little update on a few ways I was starting to feel like myself again.

I didn’t realise I was so rich until I thought about time

On being grateful for the gift of time, with a little help from Chesterton.

A blog post about nothing

Again, I have no idea why this one ranks highly. It literally is about nothing. There’s a photo of my dinner that night. I write that I took a nap. Maybe have a look and help me out here? Is this potential-series-of-blog-posts material? 🙂

A week’s worth of (interrupted) hours

Inspired by the time management writer Laura Vanderkam, I spent three weeks tracking my time to see where it was going. It was great exercise to do and I can highly recommend it! This was the first of three posts reporting how it went.

Thank you if you have stuck with me this year, especially if you have commented on posts, written to me, met me or are ‘real life’ friends and family who come to see what I’m writing about now. I remember you all and am very grateful!

Pic: Proof that it was a good year, despite a few novel challenges.The good times jar we started on January 1 is crammed, ready to be opened for New Year’s Eve reminiscing.

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