2017 – It’s been Bittersweet¬†

This time last year I felt a total sense of impending doom. I wasn’t really in the mood for Christmas and New Year festivities. I was coasting, just about getting through all the challenges I had in my day to day life, not really feeling that I had anything to look forward too. 

I knew 2017 was going to be a difficult one, you see my Mum was very very sick…..She was in fact dying. At this point though we still had hope. The Doctors hadn’t yet completely pulled the plug on her chemo. 

As far as we knew 2017 was going to be about looking after mum and making her comfortable for as long as she was with us. Little did we know at the time though mum would pass away just 3 weeks into the year. Mum was just 58 years old. She never got the chance to retire and do all those things she talked about doing in the future. 

Death is very final, that is the hardest thing to get used to. It’s knowing that you will never see or speak to that person again, regardless of how much you want to. I still have this dream where my Mum is not in fact dead, but just in hiding. What from I haven’t got a clue but that is my current recurring dream. 

So much has changed and happened in my life this year. I’m constantly wishing I could tell Mum just how well I’m doing. Alas I can’t. 

The irony is though had my Mum not passed away when she did, I probably would never have taken those chances that helped me to succeed. Mums death taught me that life is short, you only live once, you have to take risks to get what you want. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail and have to try again? Perhaps that is Mums lasting legacy? She left me with the confidence to go out and grab hold of what I’m wanting from life.

This new mentality has seen me promoted at work and opened exciting new doors. I’ve been challenged into facing my fears. Hello Motorway driving! I’m working more hours and harder than ever, but I’m happy. 

I used to bear a grudge towards my Husband because he was doing what he wanted with life. I think I saw myself as a bit of a maitre always putting the family first before my own happiness. In being brave enough to be a bit selfish towards my family we are all actually happier. Family time is less, it is however considered more valued. This year we have made the conscious effort to do more together. Even if it is just sitting down with the youngest and playing a board game. I’m focused on creating good memories with my family because that is what you have to cling onto when you lose a loved one. 

This importance of family has extended beyond my immediate household and we are now doing more things with our cousins, aunts and uncles. This years has seen a hilarious weekend trip to Ireland, Christmas dinner in a power cut and plans made for a girly weekend abroad. I’m currently looking forward to our annual New Years meal out, minus my little brother, who is seizing life by the balls,  and has just left to work in America for a month. 

Who knows what 2018 will bring? Life can be very unpredictable. It can be that little bit better if you can accept life for what it is, embrace challenge, and realise that just because one day is a little bit sucky the next isn’t necessarily going to be. 

2014 – Life lesson’s – A better, happier me

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So, this post may not be to everyone’s taste. It could even be considered a bit self indulgent. Maybe consider it as me drawing a line under certain parts of my life, and moving on.
You see, for me, 2014 brought with it big challenges. I’m not saying it was a bad year, but one of those years that the powers that be decided to throw several curve balls my way, just to see if I’d cope or not. I can honestly say the words “Well it can’t get any worse” were uttered from my lips several times, and then it did. Fortunately, for me I’m stronger than I thought and I m still here with my head held high and a smile on my face.

With help from those close to me I have been able to reflect on certain challenges and treat them as a series life’s important lessons. I’m bringing these forward with me into 2015 and compared with this time last year I am a far happier and balanced person.

So, if your still with me on this, you might be thinking were is she going with this? Let’s just say I thought it would be nice to share with you the positives lessons I have learnt.

1. I am responsible for my own happiness.

I have been guilty of blaming others in my life for my own discontentment, to the point of pushing them away. It was only when I pushed them to far and was faced with losing those people dear to me, that I realised, what me blaming them everything was doing to them.
Not only that, it doesn’t change my own discontentment. Instead of blaming others for things in my life I’m not happy with I have learnt that it is up to me do something about it. The only person holding me back is myself. It is so easy to go through life making excuses for not doing things, or to sit back and wait for that invitation, job offer etc . I have learnt to be more proactive and in doing this have achieved far more of the things that I have wanted to. Consequently I’m a happier person.

2. Positivity is catching.

I made a decision to try to only portray positive thoughts to those around me. This may be in person or in my Facebook page, twitter feed etc.

What I have notice is that if I put out positive thoughts, I get back a positive reaction. No one wants to be around a cranky little madam. I’d be lying if I said I managed this all the time. My husband bless him puts up with my PMT like a saint, most of the time. Also If I’m feeling negative I have learnt to stay away from social media. It’s so easy to get drawn into someone else’s negativeness if your feeling cranky yourself. It works both ways.

3. There’s always someone out there who has it worse than myself.

It’s very easy to take certain things in our lives for granted. I’m not talking materialistically but having people around us that care. I’m lucky there is always someone there to turn to if I need a hug, a kind word or even to tell me to snap out of wallowing in self pity. (Harsh maybe, but necassery sometimes)
Some people are not as lucky as I am, they do not have a large family like I do, or are yet to meet their life partner. If I’m having a crap day, I can guarantee I have some one to come home to, even if it his to just cuddle up on the sofa and watch a film.

4. I have a unhealthy relationship with shopping.

Now this is something I’m currently working on. I have realised that I’m an emotional shopper. If I’m feeling down then my first response is to turn to some retail therapy. Trouble is that initial buzz doesn’t last long and I haven’t dealt with the situation that is bothering me. So I will look to the next purchase to give me that buzz again.

This has left me with a disturbing amount of stuff. (Mostly make-up and skin care). It’s starting to stress me out a bit as clutter does not make for a clear mind. I also had a bit of a lightbulb moment and realised that it’s not stuff that makes me happy but experiences. Trouble is if your buying all that stuff it doesn’t leave a lot of money left for those experiences that cost money.

This is something I’m working on, I have the opportunity to go on a holiday of a lifetime this year and I’m determined to come away with lots of happy memories. No more spending willy nilly or that holiday will not happen.

I have decided to write myself a bucket list of the things I want to achieve next year. I may share that at a later date, I’m still deciding.

If you have reached the end of my rambles then thank you for sticking with me. I would love to hear if anyone else feels that they have achieved a happier state of being and how they did that.

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happy new year guys!!