2016 was a bit of a weird one for me, I can’t chose one word to describe it. Beautiful, heartbreaking, loving, challenging, inspiring and so many more. I entered this year full of hopes and dreams an optimist painting a rosy picture, determined to make it the best year yet. I set myself challenges and goals which fell by the wayside as life took over but I haven’t failed!
I’ve had amazing days, you know the moments when you feel like crying just because you are so happy? Then I’ve had days where I’ve woken up and not known how I’m going to make it through the day, crumpled on the bedroom floor trying to stop the sobs racking through my body.
I’ve felt the gut wrenching pain of not being able to protect and look after my baby, the choice of death or death, being confronted with one of my worst fears of leaving my children without a mother. It’s helped me learn to appreciate the little moments, to try and slow down, to look at their eyelashes, the dimples, the curls and sparkly eyes full of excitement. I find myself desperately trying to take a mental snapshot of them, they are growing and changing so quickly and I know just how lucky I am to be able to be a part of that. I don’t want to miss it!
It’s so easy to forget how lucky we truly are. I’m grateful to my children, my family, friends, James, the people in my life make me want to better myself, to continue to push myself to achieve a better life for them and for myself! I don’t tell him enough but I’m grateful to James for so much, he picks me up when I’m down, knows when to wrap his arms around me and make me feel safe, when to make me smile or laugh, bust most of all for helping me believe that I deserve to be loved.
I’ve felt proud so many times last year, watching them play in basketball tournaments, rugby matches, sports days and swimming lessons. Watching them learn to read and walk happily into school, letting go of my hand with the confidence to go in on their own. Seeing them try again at something when they don’t first succeed, the look of a sense of achievement in their eyes when they manage to do it. Witnessing them being kind and helpful to their little sister, thinking of others feeling as well as their own. Watching Ava learn to run, clap, sing, count, so many firsts I know I’ve been blessed to be able to experience again.
I’ve learnt more acceptance, to maybe be a little kinder to myself. my body has been through a lot this year and although I may not always like it I need to be kinder to it and this last month we have come to a bit of a mutual love and respect for each other and I feel like this will continue. I’m not perfect, well my version of perfection anyway. I never have been and never will be and that’s ok (sometimes). I know my children love me just the way I am and I’m beginning to feel more secure that James does too. I’m also in my slightly older and definitely wiser self becoming more confident in saying no, doing things for my own happiness rather than to please others.
Most of all I’ve enjoyed laughter, hearing my children laugh will help raise me from the darkest of moods. I often stop whatever I’m doing and watch, join in with whatever it is that’s making the beautiful sound, to try and hear more. Their giggles so innocent, it’s got to be one of the most precious noises you hear.
The lessons I learnt last year I’m grateful for.
So as I head into 2017 I’m approaching it differently. Instead of setting it up to fail I’m waiting, wondering, hoping, excited to see what the year will bring. I approach it with hopes and dreams still in place but an open mind on how to reach them.
The feeling of sun on my face, sea salt in my hair, the sand bewtween my toes, that’s when I feel the most alive, the ocean stretching out infront of me, helping Ava jump over the waves for the first time or Kyle on his bodyboard. I want more moments like this. I want to swim in the sea, eat melting ice cream and sandy chips, feel the wind on my face, blowing through my hair as I ride a bike, trying to catch up with the boys, so fast now. Toast marshmallows on a campfire, pulling their sticky, squishy bodies carefully from a stick, gaze at the stars on a clear night, wrapped in a soft blanket, collapse into bed after a long day of being outside cheeks aching from smiling and laughing. These are the moments I remember the most, I want to make more memories like these!
May your year be filled with laughter and happy tears. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this year, life is for living, don’t take it for granted!