Here is my usual reflective end of the year blog post. I’m going to start by sharing some of the things I learned this year:

  • How to spot a narcissist and to trust in your gut feelings about them more than the spin they, well spin!
  • That misery and happiness are both all-encompassing when they are happening but are also both quite fleeting
  • Other people’s view of me is often vastly different to my own view of me. It is fun discovering their views – unless they hate me, then less so!
  • If you are scared every time you see a message from somebody then chances are that person is not a friend and is probably a toxic person in your life.
  • As long as they don’t tell me about it, I honestly don’t care what negative things people think about me. I dislike some people so it makes sense that other people should have the right to dislike me.
  • I can manage my mental health so that serious illness symptoms don’t destroy me like they used to. In fact the best strategy is not to think about the implications of the symptoms. I used to think ‘oh no! I have auditory hallucinations and I think I’m dead and in purgatory. This means I am really unwell and I don’t know what to do.’ Now I think ‘Interesting, hallucinations. Hello there ghosts. So what do I need to prioritise at work right now?’
  • I think I may be the most awarded ex-prisoner in the world. If I had ay time to look into this it would be an interesting project but ‘meh! meaningful stuff to do instead!’
  • And I finally I learned I am driven almost exclusively by positive things, which makes me very happy.

2017 has been the year of me becoming very well-known in the autism and Canberra communities and actually realising it. I’m not very comfortable with having a profile and up until this year have ignored it in the vain hope it would go away. I won some nice awards this year….and nominated a bunch of people for awards, some of which they won so yay to that.

My confidence has grown this year, I still doubt myself but that doubting voice is quieter.


I have bought a load of quirky things to wear and a lot of my friends now give me black cat-themed items for my home, the awesome Whimsy Manor.

Of course Mr Kitty is still in charge here. Love the little fella. We found each other almost five year ago and we just get closer and closer. Friends tell me they are coming to visit Jeanette and Mr Kitty because he is as much an inhabitant of the house as I am. One friend said even if she lives to ninety years old she will remember Mr Kitty. He is one popular furry person. This year he got his own Facebook page so he is very famous! Of everything I have in my life at the moment he is by far and away the most important thing of them all.

My various careers have all done their thing quite impressively this year. I moved to the HR area at my workplace on March this year and still really enjoy working there. This year was my tenth year as a public servant so I got very lovely kong service leave and I feel like I must be a grown-up  to have gone over ten years in the corporate world. My autism world work has been incredible.

As my profile has grown so has the range of things I get asked to do. I think – if my spreadsheet is right – I gave 42 presentations this year. I kept finding myself in airports and wondering where I was!! I visited Sydney, Perth, Bendigo, Ballarat, Adelaide and went to Melbourne about 15 times I think!  I joined the community council of a major project on autism and health outcomes in the USA, participated in the Autism CRC Research Academy with some amazing people, wrote two books – one already published and the other in production and both with the very awesome Dr Emma Goodall. I wrote countless blogs, several articles for Spectrum Women and other websites, created and posted around 350 memes, was on radio and TV and became a guest presenter on the Talking Disability program on local Canberra talkback station 2CC! Wow!!  I also made artworks and recorded and aired several episodes of my internet radio show, I mentored a number of autistic young women, facilitated the Canberra Autism Women’s Group and held a large number of movie nights at Whimsy Manor. I gave support and advice where requested and kept up some amazing friendships and met some new friends.


Basically quite an amazing year. I’m looking forward to 2018 and whatever it may bring.

Parting thoughts?’

Be your wonderful unique you. Thank you for reading my blog posts and let’s do this thing: let’s make a difference, change the world and leave things better than when we found them.

Mr Kitty says purr and where is the tuna?’

Look forward to catching up wiht you in the new year.

🙂 JP


2 thoughts on “2017

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