Goodbye 2016

So New Year’s Eve has arrived, and I feel duty bound to do some reflection and a little look forward to 2017. I know it’s just another day, but it feels impossible to ignore the significance entirely. I won’t be sad to say goodbye to this year, it has felt like a tough old slog for sure.

Good bits though, there have been lots. In February I started writing this blog, and I have loved it. It has meant I have neglected my old school pen and paper journal a little, but it has felt good to try and express myself and the non-events in my little family, and to share that with other people, to help myself feel like it’s not just us going through these experiences. Every single day I question the choices I make as a parent (I have just confiscated all Lego and Duplo until tomorrow and not sure if that was the right decision at all!) and feel like everybody but me knows what they’re doing. Every day I worry about what sort of people I am helping to bring into the world. Constantly feel like I am totally messing it up, messing them up. And everywhere I look it seems there is somebody with The Answer. Someone who knows exactly what they’re doing and what everybody else should do too. So I find myself second-guessing everything, being more strict, more compassionate, more shouty, more cuddly based on whatever Answer somebody is spouting that day, and none of it really seems to change things. I don’t know, it just feels really hard. Above everything else I would just like 2017 to feel a little less hard. But it has been nice to hear others of you saying that you are finding it hard too, so thanks for all those comments. I have really appreciated them.

The other highlight has obviously been my garden. I have absolutely adored every moment out there and it has brought me untold levels of joy. This time last year I had no idea that I would spend so much time and effort on it this year, or that it would have given me so much back. I have tried all kinds of meditation and mindfulness this year, which I have enjoyed, but the absolute best way I have found for inner peace, connecting with my body and switching my brain to calm, has been in digging and weeding and planting, then sitting on our bench, drinking tea, and watching the bees as they hover from flower to flower. Utter bliss.

I loved the Konmari experience and we did declutter hugely. I found that a massively rewarding project and have noticed a difference in our surroundings and my mindset. Do I live in a tidy house now? Not a chance. I don’t know how people with small children manage it, it’s just impossible. And we still have so much stuff, more than anyone could possibly need. I will return to Konmari in the future, but maybe wait till the kids have their own rooms, if that ever happens!! I think our house is loved and reflects our many interests and passions and I think that that is a wonderful thing, so there will be no beautifully stage-managed photos on this blog anytime soon, because our lives and minds and emotions are messy, and most of the time, so is our house.

So onwards to 2017. We’ll who knows. Considering the two big highlights of this year were total surprises, I hope I will say the same next year. If work could get a little easier that would be nice. If their could be a little more calm, a little less rage for my daughter, that would be nice. My son is due to be starting preschool two days a week in September, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to more childfree time with my husband, all those interruption free conversations, projects we can actually finish, going for lunch together, walking around a shop holding hands, going out without anybody saying they’re bored and want to come home immediately. We only had two months of our daughter being in preschool before our son was born, and I really appreciated those tiny childfree moments. In the two and a half years since he was born we have had family babysit twice, for a few hours, and that is the total of our time alone together. For that reason, amongst many others, I do not think 2017 will be the year ofLittle Grace the Third!

So here’s to 2017. Who knows what it has in store for me, for my family, but as with all the years before, I will try to make the best of it…

…Probably whilst worrying an inordinate amount that I’m doing it all wrong!

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