As the clock slowly ticks towards a New Year and I look back at the last 12 months, & the last 21 years of my family memories – of bringing up my two wonderful children, fondly reminiscing about wrapping presents in front of the electric fire and putting talcum powder down as snow from Father Christmas’s boots to surprise them, nurturing my elderly parents who passed away within a year of each other 7 years ago, and making sense of finding out that my husband had been having an inappropriate relationship with a 35 year old, Romanian woman who lived in Sweden whom he “ fell in love with” on text messages through his work as a Chartered Accountant – I am reflective, grateful and optimistic.
I have been reflecting, pondering, grieving, and planning the next steps in my life as my children fly the nest and I sell my home.
But I’ve also realised I built memories worth remembering and celebrating – we laughed over Sunday lunches, we battled homework, we nursed bruised knees and bruised self esteem and we travelled to Australia to hug a koala and see the fireworks, we survived life’s tough challenges and life’s joys – we were a happy family.
The story isn’t over – just this phase.
It’s amazing how art imitates life as I also bought myself “The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year” by Sue Townsend about a mother who climbs into her bed and stays there for a year after her twins have left home. It’s hilarious, poignant and glorious as I also hibernated for a few days as my teenage kids went to parties, spent time in angst over boyfriends/girlfriends and worried about what outfits to wear!
I always find the Christmas Week between Christmas and New Year to be a rather special time to catch up on sleep, old movies and to ponder and plan so I’m not depressed but fascinated about my new opportunities in my life, in my business and in my mission to make family life, enjoyable, important, positive, fun and relaxed.
I’m grateful for the life I had, the life I have now and I’m learning to accept what has happened to me without so much anger, and I’m excited about what new adventures life has in store for me and the things I can make happen for myself.
I’m proud when I do my own car maintenance, pump up my own tyres, make a log fire, sort out the mouse in the bin and do my Tax Return.
I don’t want what has happened to me to define me – to make myself a victim or even a heroine as it takes two to build or damage a relationship through apathy, neglect or financial incompetence and one really can’t plan for a partner’s mid life crisis – can they?
So as a writer I’m never one to miss the opportunity to share what life teaches me, as perhaps it might just help you in some small way on all our journeys towards happiness and making sense of our lives.
Hindsight is a wonderfully exact science but there is absolutely no point driving forward looking in the rear view mirror!
It’s down to each one of us to make 2013 magical – it’s not about the cards you are dealt but how you decide to handle them.
Hug your kids, talk to your partner, wear your party pants and build memories that are worth remembering !
New Year ~ New You ? My tips to being the parent you want to be in 2013