Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, December 07, 2017

2017, a year in review

December is that time of year when we look back and reflect on all that's gone before and as I've been lying awake in the wee small hours (sleep and bipolar during December are always a challenge but one I've grown to accept and deal with) I've been thinking about all of the wonderful things that have happened this year.  

This glorious year, full of travel and friendship, a year when I've shot over 350 portrait sessions and around 15 weddings, a year when at times, it's been a challenge just to go on but thanks to a little stubbornness and my steely resolve I've not only managed but in most cases I've beaten all of the challenges I've faced, and I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's required friends to help me through the difficult times but a life with good friends is a life worth living.  Possibly one of the most trying things and something I'm still dealing with was the exit of 2 friends of more than 10 years, in the blink of an eye they cut out not only me but also Harriet from their lives completely, no explanation or argument or discussion or reasoning, we were all of a sudden just dead to them, I still don't understand but thankfully in therapy I'm working on it.

I don't want to dwell on the negative though as it's only one small part of what was otherwise my favourite year.

In 2017 I've visited Madrid,  Palma de Mallorca, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Ventimiglia, Soller, the southwest coast of Scotland, Northumberland, Bluestone in Wales, and my favourite, Antibes, take me back to Antibes tomorrow, a jewel in the crown of the Cote d'Azur, so much sunshine and easy living.  Most of my overseas adventures were with Abigail this year with the exception of Madrid to where I flew with Harriet, my best friend, and soul-sister, with Harriet and her family I have found family and that's' something I'll be forever grateful for.

2017 will forever be the year I decided with Looby that we would home educate and what an adventure that's been, we've flown by the seat of our pants, and every day is different, some of our learning is so relaxed it's actually happening by osmosis but I don't regret it for a single moment, even on the hard days when I'm faced with a teen who refuses to speak and will only grunt in the way that monosyllabic teens do.

Work this year has been crazy and there were times when it completely enveloped and overwhelmed me but I continue to thrive in business and as we go into 2018 I want to keep building on that, I launched Photography for Life a couple of weeks ago and as yet, people are still scared of this brand new shiny way to look at the way we do photography, by this time next year I will have at least 100 subscribers, It's going to take a lot of hard work but to that I am not adverse.

Christmas this year is a marvellous thing, I've finally got our whole house looking magical, even the bathroom has festive rubber ducks and we must have at least 20 different sets of lights in our rooms.  I also think from a health point of view that 2017 will be remembered as the year I finally conquered Seasonally Affective Disorder, I'm taking 10,000iu of Vitamin D a week, 2 magnesium tablets a day and when I get up in the mornings I spend a couple of hours sitting in front of my SAD lamp, in the last couple of weeks I've seen my energy levels soar and I've accomplished so much, I actually feel like a new woman and along with the CBT therapy I'm having for anxiety and to deal with old wounds I think I might be a whole new woman in 2018.

In 2017, I went on 1 date, had no relationships and I think it might be a sign from the universe that I am pretty undateable but I don't think I mind anymore, I am happy to be single, I am happy not to have to make the compromises that relationships take.  It is of course because I only go out if it's for work or home ed things so my own fault because I'm not putting myself out there but one of my things I'm learning to deal with in therapy is the fact that I am terrified of men, once I've had CBT to retrain my brain I may feel differently, I may want to try dating again and if I do, I'll know it won't make me crazy.  I've also come to terms with the fact that I judge every man against Paul and whilst that happens there's no chance I'm ever likely to meet anyone, I thought I would stop loving him one day but I've dealt with the fact that no, I'll love him to my dying day and again, that's why it's best that I remain single and that's not a bad thing, at least I've had movie love, all-encompassing and at times  fullfilling to my very soul, some people aren't lucky enough to find that at all so I'm glad I did, even if it wasn't forever.

Looking ahead I've no idea what 2018 is going to give me, I know I'm going to Norway in the summer on a cruise when Abigail finishes her GCSE's and I'm sure there'll be an adventure or two with Looby as we continue our home ed journey and I think Harriet and I cherish best friends holiday every year to somewhere we've never both explored.  

It's my Christmas party tomorrow and I only have 4 days outdoors photographing small people and their families before a couple of weeks off, I've just about met my writing commitments for the year and so we are really relaxing now and doing fun things, baking, festooning, partying, reflecting and celebrating.

2017, you were a good year, a great year, 2018, I am coming to you get you.

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