We all reflect on our lives on this first day of a new year.
And traditionally make resolutions that 99% of us won’t keep.
Which is why I was enthralled to read the Reverse Resolutions over on the Little Lilypad Co blog this week.
It’s a fabulous idea of looking back over the previous 12 months and congratulating yourself on what you have achieved, rather than setting impossible goals which make you feel a failure when you don’t live up to them.
So I’m starting 2014 on a positive note, with my list of good things I have made happen in 2013.
And the hope that more good things are to come in the next 12 months.
My achievements in 2013 include:
Delivering a (second) bright and well-adjusted child to school
Blake strode through the doors for his first day at school without a backward glance. And a huge part of that is down to the secure home me and Mr G have provided for him. He is confident and sociable at school, and despite my worries that he was a bit of a Mummy’s boy he enjoys his time with his classmates and seems eager to learn. Despite being a very different character to Brodie, my little one seems to enjoy school just as much as his brother. Blake is my baby and I miss him like hell, so we’ve both had to adjust to being apart. But I think we’ve entered this new phase in our lives pretty much unscathed.
Becoming a part of our church community
We’ve always wanted to raise the boys in the Christian faith. It’s not for everyone, and I suppose I’ve held off out of fear that we wouldn’t fit in. But with the encouragement of a friend, we joined our local church at the beginning of 2013 and put the boys into Sunday school. My father-in-law Keith, who died of cancer in 2011, was an elder in his church and we also felt we were doing something special in his memory. Everyone has been so welcoming and the boys have loved it. Over the Summer I volunteered as an adult helper for the kids’ holiday club and took them along – which was lots of fun. I rounded off the year by taking Brodie along to be part of the nativity/panto staged to raise money for the church lighting fund. My plan was to work behind the scenes while my boy performed – but we both ended up with roles. It was hard work, but at the beginning of December Brodie proudly starred as a sheep/angel while I was Herod’s advisor in a hilarious family production. Proving church is not the stuffy environment some people might think.
Saying farewell to my 30s
OK so I didn’t have any choice in this one. But reaching this milestone really made me reflect on what I came through in the last decade – which has been so much about sacrifice and making a family. I celebrated with a Summer party in the garden with friends and relatives. Turning 40 hasn’t been painful at all, but I suppose like a New Year it’s made me feel like I’m starting a new chapter – like the next decade is a fresh start and I shouldn’t shy away from any new challenges. Which leads me onto….
Facing my fear of getting back to work
When I got my first opportunity to go back into the workplace, I almost turned it down. What if I failed? What if I didn’t like my colleagues – or they didn’t take to me? It wasn’t my ideal role and it was only temporary, so it would have been easy to use that excuse to stay in my little bubble at home. But we needed the extra cash and I decided it might just give me a confidence boost. It has. Facing my fear has not only helped me meet some lovely people and prove that I still have a lot of talents and skills (other than wiping snot and refereeing tantrums) but it’s also brought me a new and exciting opportunity – which is making 2014 look very promising. (But I’ll reveal more about this in the very near future).
Learning to have a voice
Going through PND and having counselling to discover why I felt so invisible has taught me to be brave and have a voice. I’ve only been invisible because I’ve allowed myself to be. When something really mattered to me this year, I have spoken up. Despite the fear it might make me unpopular. Because staying silent, while my mind screams “What about me?” is no way to keep friends. Speaking up for myself on important issues and seeing who sticks by me is the only way to know true friends – and the rest weren’t really friends in the first place.
So happy 2014 everyone. Good luck if you’ve made resolutions.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t keep them. Try to focus on the things in life you have achieved.
Because if we all look hard enough, there’s plenty to congratulate ourselves for.