Welcome To 2016: Some Helpful Insights


Post by Portia


Hey Hey Crew,

This is the other side! You’ve made it through the western festive season and new year. OK, you now have had a little time to reflect on 2015 and what it taught you. I learned some valuable things in 2015 and I’d like to share some of them with you. Yes, most of you have already learned these but maybe having them reiterated will give you a great 2016.

Welcome To 2016: Some Helpful Insights

Jin & I often talk about how lucky we are. Not just in the Health, Wealth and Happiness sectors but in our friends. You may know I sometimes suffer black dog days, they are rare but intense. Jin is pretty good most of the time only experiencing anything nearing depression when his work life is toxic or unsteady. We do have friends though that battle depression on a daily basis and though we can’t help them with their demons we do provide a good distraction and try and give people new focus. Sometimes after a completely random day a friend will thank us for lifting their blues, even though we were completely unaware they were in a hole….


One of the pieces of advice we live by, and offer our friends as an antidote, is to step outside of our comfort zone. Even just for a short time and with a get out of jail plan if things turn out less fabulous than expected. Often depression is fed by fear, knowing you have the ability not only to make a decision but that you have the where-with-all to note drama or disaster and deal with it is an effective way of lifting depression or habitual poor choices. Also, knowing beforehand that not everything will work out perfectly and that it will be alright can be helpful.


Next we have something that took me 47 years to learn. I can’t believe that I am so freaking dense sometimes and am thinking about many instances in my life where I have behaved poorly because someone did not share my headspace. An opinion or a lifestyle is not an attack. GAWD! So simple. You don’t have to bring someone around to your point of view, it’s not a challenge or a threat. Conversation is full of disagreements, it’s good to know people who will challenge your thought processes, you may not change your minds but it’s excellent to hear and understand the other side of a point of view. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean the people you are interacting with are less of an anything than you, be nice to them. They are doing their best to live in this crazy, fucked up world too.


And lastly for today. Cut yourself some slack. The world will not end if your bathroom isn’t spotless for guests, in 100 years nobody will care that you were outrageous at the Christmas party and life will go on if you didn’t get your list finished and finalised today. Not everything we do in 2016 will be successful, you may not get the new set of information into your brain on the first go, any change takes time so be prepared to help yourself along. We are all a work in progress, no one was born the dream they have for themselves.


YOU are special to us at APJ. Thank you for being here, reading, commenting and being a part of the APJ family.

WE LOVE YOU and wish you a wonderful 2016.
Portia xxx

36 thoughts on “Welcome To 2016: Some Helpful Insights

  1. True. Just remember to practice what you preach. It’s always easier said than done isn’t it? As I’m typing this I’m thinking about that thin layer of dust I can see on the TV stand that I missed yesterday and totally thinking how my mother would be horrified if she saw that. Not to mention, what would actual company think! Yeah, I’m one of those crazies who think the world will end if my bathroom isn’t spotless for guests. Old habits die hard.


    • HA! It’s been a long ride to Good Enough for me Poodle. It wasn’t always this way. Yes, I still beat myself up about stuff too, it’s knowing to stop and redirect the energy. Doesn’t ALWAYS work for me, just trying as well.
      Portia xx


  2. Great inspiring post, Portia. Loved every word of it. It can be difficult for me to get out of my comfort zone (I am getting out of mine now by admittting this:-)

    Have a great weekend! Esperanza


  3. Ah yes, Ye Olde Comforte Zone. Got kicked out of mine via divorce, built a brand new one where I am now hiding out. I’ve been promoted to a job I don’t know how to do so I guess Life is pushing me out of the Zone. But what about the fun stuff? To make that happen I’ll have to get out there myself (not right this minute, it’s pouring rain…)

    Thanks Portia, these are all relevant, great reminders. The comfort zone one just was especially sharp. Ouch. Apply scent and breathe deeply…


  4. It is so hard to get out of my comfort zone, but I do try! I am sure it would have been easier with a larger and more varied group of friends in my own city.”We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another”, so true, but ever so easy to forget.


    • Hi Ingeborg,
      Friends make everything easier. Have you tried Meet-Up groups? Maybe you should start one for fragrance?
      Portia xxx


      • I guess it is rather a question of finding the right balance between work and time off with friends and their friends again. Meeting some of the people from our national perfume forum is something I hope to do this year, it shouldn’t be too difficult either. So far I only looked for informal groups for language exchange,but found none where I live, so the net will have to do for now.


  5. This really touched me, Portia. That cartoon sums up my journey since last year and I’ve shared it with my retreat sisters.

    I can attest to the affect your positive energy has on people. I was so down until our Skype chat. Just talking to you changed my focus and lifted my spirits – not just temporarily either. I’m so grateful for you.


    • Tara,
      I love you so much.
      I thought of you when I saw that cartoon, it was the premise of the whole post. You are living it every day.
      That skype chat had me smiling for days afterwards, you are great company and all the amazing stuff you’re doing blows me away. So much courage.
      Grateful right back buddy,
      LONDON and VENICE! So close I can taste them.
      Portia xxx


  6. Portia this is absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this. I really needed some soothing words of wisdom and serenity today! Being busy busy busy it is so easy to forget what really matters. Love you!!


    • Hey Erica,
      Lovely to see you mate.
      I hope the New Year treats you and the babe well. He’s so freaking cute, just like you.
      Portia xx


  7. How wonderful, Portia! I’m saving the comfort zone drawing and showing it to everyone! It’s all so true. And yes we all do have those black dog days. Mine usually last about 24 hours, after which I always think “are you DONE yet?” And that’s usually it and I spring into action…but during those 24 hours, I find that staying in bed, with a SUPER trashy novel or tv series/movie, and a bag of pretzels that I can dip into a jar of peanut butter always does the trick!

    Here’s to a brighter, better, and richer 2016! And by richer I’m talking about rich with life, health and possibilities! Much love to you my friend! xoxo


    • Great Robert,
      It’s always good to know your remedy. Ha! I can’t even imagine you reading a trashy novel, who authors such things? Are we talking Jacqueline Susan and Jackie Collins here?
      Yes, wishing you and your dude only good in 2016.
      Portia xx


  8. Thank you for your wise words. I battle with depression and the last few weeks have been a real trial mainly because I got lost in my own headspace. You’ve reminded me to give myself a chance, to stop wallowing and just get up and “do it”, whatever “it” may be! Wishing you and yours the best. Carolyn


  9. Wow Portia, your insights are great! I think you’ve said it all and you’ve said it well. Sooner or later I hope everybody learns the lessons and can relate to what you’ve said. The crazy thing is, we tend to forget it as soon as things go smooth and the routine kicks in. Thank you for reminding us because NOW is the right time to make a move!
    The “10 Things That Will Happen…”-chart is wonderful 🙂


    • Hey Neva,
      Yes, easiest and hardest to make change when things are going well.
      Totally agree.
      Happy 2016 to you.
      Portia xx


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