Well 2016 you've been my toughest year yet and whilst I appreciate that you could have been a whole lot worse, you sure did test me. But with my mind on the mend and so much to look forward to this new year, it's time to reflect, learn and most importantly look forward.
This past year has been full of changes. I spent the first part of the year wrapped up in our bubble before I went back to work in May which stressfully coincided with us selling our first home and moving in with my parents whilst we renovate a house. A project that we hadn't quite anticipated would be so involved, so expensive and so blooming stressful. These are the bits that are somewhat overlooked when you're sitting comfortably on your sofa watching re-runs of Grand Designs. The bits where your head hits the ceiling when you realise how much a toilet costs and that every single part of it is sold separately. The bit where you actually weigh up what you could realistically live without for about a year- a bathroom or a kitchen. The bit where you're up until 11pm debating and discussing pipes. Who knew pipes could be talked about so much? And yep you're right, they were the most boring conversations I've had to date.
But things are progressing and whatever our builder says, I'm moving in before the new baby arrives. Bathroom or no bathroom. See I'm already being positive.
So whilst we practically took over my parents house, living more comfortably than any little family could ever hope to, we plodded on making the most of our limbo life. In the midst of juggling a new home life, work and house renovations, we focused one very exciting milestone- celebrating our little girl's first birthday. This will always be a time that I'll look back on with such pride and love, but also sadness. On the surface I was consumed with pretty pink themes and commemorating the day with as much attention and precision that goes into planning a Royal event. Behind the scenes I was struggling to breathe.
My sadness was explained when I became the main focus of Elsie's twelve month check up when the health visitor picked up on something, opening up the flood gates and diagnosing me with post-natal depression. I felt as if someone had removed a heavy rock from my chest and I could finally breathe more steadily than I had done in almost a year.
My fog hasn't completely gone. I still feel it sometimes. It comes back in little washes, rather than huge waves, but I see things clearer now and I feel as if this new vision has a lot to do with a little surprise we received. All the while my fog was being acknowledged, I was cooking our happy accident. A little light that helped me to find my way out of the dark tunnel and yet another curve ball which has well and truly made us realise that whatever your plans, science and nature both have their very own plans in mind.
For the first time in a few years I won't be setting myself any specific New Years resolutions. My usual ones ('lose weight' and 'save money') will be even less achievable now that I'm up the duff and have a house to finish building before baby arrives. So instead, this year I've made a different kind of promise to myself...
To take each day as it comes. To think of the positives before I let the negatives take over. To remind myself of all the great things I've achieved so far and what I'm yet to do. To notice the little things and appreciate them as big things. To remember to do things that used to make me happy and feel inspired.
To laugh everyday. To smile everyday. To say I Love You everyday. To be grateful and thankful. To say Thank You everyday. To ask for help when I need it. To ask for a hug when I've had one of those days. To tell someone when I'm finding it hard to breathe. To remember to breathe. To take some time for myself and with the man I love. To remember how we got here and where we're going to go.
To embrace the mess and chaos as it surely won't last forever. To enjoy the good moments and brush off the bad. To appreciate our time together and remember that it will be gone before too long.
To thank my lucky stars that I became a mother. To remember that I'm doing a good job even on the shite balls days. To realise that none of this was meant to be easy. To realise that everything can make you stronger, not weaker. To continue being honest and to help other parents out there who are struggling to find their voices.
And lastly, to remember who I was and introduce her to the new me. I hope that some day they will be good friends.
Happy New Year to you all. May it be filled with adventures, love and lots of positive stuff.