The period between Christmas and New Year is notorious for being a bit of a nothing time unless you are shopping in the sales. Perfect opportunity then for me to get writing. This is 3 blogs in one; a brief look back, a look ahead to the new year and a bit about my birthday. I turned 48 this week, 2 days after Christmas. Let’s start with that.
Its not a great time to have a birthday. I am usually worn out after the festivities and reluctant to do much and as I get older, I struggle to think of anything that I could possibly want for Christmas, let alone a birthday. Historically I would spend this day having negative chatter with myself about my lack of accomplishments over the past 12 months. Despite seeing family, receiving cards, gifts and well wishes, I was always determined not to enjoy myself for a full 24 hours. I share my birthday with my Mother, who is the Mistress of Misery and she has taught me well.
But, that was before I started a blog.
This year was totally different. I was totally different.
If you have read my post The ugly box, about where I keep my family photos, you will appreciate what my birthday gift meant to me.
Two beautiful wooden chests for all my photos. Inside there were hundreds of new photos for me to add to my collection.
This was a direct result of writing this blog.
My family had no idea how I felt before. I cried. (I feel as if I am always talking about crying), but these were tears of complete joy and happiness. I finally felt understood. I finally felt like I could be me.
I have begun to notice a subtle and gradual shift in my day-to-day outlook. The tight knot of anxiety that awoke with me every morning has been a much less frequent visitor. Judgement and bitterness are being kicked out by contentment and gratitude. Life is calmer and happier and it is thoroughly infectious. My mind is now so full of good stuff, I have little time to focus on negativity.
Learning to let go of hurt is the best birthday present I could have given myself.
With only a handful of posts over 3 months, my review of this year is going to be brief. In a nutshell, I realise that, in some way, shape or form, I need to write. It makes me feel complete and I get a huge sense of satisfaction from it. I barely recognise the person that started out in October. Of course, this all began out of fear. Fear of becoming a Grandma.
But that was before I started a blog.
Just writing that now sounds ridiculous. I have had the most wonderful year. My daughter has matured into an amazing Mum and our family has grown and become closer. Having a baby is a game changer and Christmas this year was magical. Watching my son with his niece who he has only met once, made my heart want to burst. Seeing her surrounded by toys as she sat in a box and played with the wrapping paper took me back to Christmases years ago. Playing daft games to win a tin of beef burgers, (yes, really), was a particular highlight and, as ever, witnessing the bond between my husband and my Granddaughter. What on earth was I frightened of?
Many of us make new years resolutions – I have never managed to stick to any of mine. My half-hearted changes involve the usual; lose weight, be more organised, eat a healthier diet etc. I’ve never, truly, believed in a single one of them, so no surprise that they all failed.
But that was before I started a blog.
My plans for the next 12 months are simple.
JUST. KEEP. WRITING.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to lose a few pounds and if I could find a way to avoid all of the last minute rushing around before I go anywhere, that would be good. I don’t think I ever felt like I could make any changes in my life, so, I don’t think I ever really tried. I realise that I have my limitations and I need to be a lot more realistic and just give myself a break. I am choosing not to get too wrapped up in expectations and put unnecessary pressure upon myself. I am going to trust in the process and just enjoy it. Increasing my followers and improving my presence online can all wait. There are some fantastic, established blogs out there and just a few short months ago, I would have definitely, absolutely, 100% have spent way too much time comparing myself to all of them. Now, I read them, learn from them and go back to writing. I am excited to see what the next 12 months will bring and have made the conscious decision not to set myself up to fail.
Wishing you all a happy and fulfilled 2018 xxx