2011 Review

I have really left this year’s review, in which I reflect on what happened over the past 12 months, to the last minute. It is almost 8 pm and there is only 4 hours left in the year.

I stated in my last post that it had been a roller coaster of a year. In my head and my heart, I knew that, but until I started looking back through my posts (I need to do this in order to remember what happened any time before last week), I remembered WHY it was such a roller coaster year.

In January we moved house and I had a “minor” procedure which saw me be put under general anaesthetic for the first time in my 33 years of life! No procedure is “minor” if you have to be knocked out for it. And boy, don’t we put a lot of trust into the hands of complete strangers to knock us out! In February I decided to start training for the Bridge To Brisbane. That lasted all of 6 weeks, when I had some kind of suspected “stress injury” to my ankle bone. The Mr and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary by taking a child-free weekend up to the Sunshine Coast and it was awesome. Too many couples don’t get to do that enough I think, us included. I think there’d be a lot happier marriages if we all could do more of this! In March, the grief and stress of losing dad the previous September became all too much and I finally started seeing a counsellor. This was a great decision, and she helped me a lot. There are often times I think I should go back. Maybe in 2012 I will. For my mental state’s sake.

Moving to the 2nd quarter of the year, and who could forget The Royal Wedding. Dashing William and Princess Kate, it was perfect. I wish we had been invited in to the reception as well. In May we lost my uncle to Dementia, an awful, painful, anguishing disease that ruins lives every day. I hate this disease, and any form of it. My uncle, who had been such a brilliant man, would never have wanted to live the way he was living, and so it was a tragic blessing, that he was finally at peace. The next month my boss was given 8 weeks to live, her skin cancer had spread to all her organs including her brain. Finally, a bright spot for 2012, my son turned 3 and continues to grow into such a charming and cheeky little man. He is the sunshine through all the rain.

In July I got to wrangle a cow off the property at work and back onto the farm that borders out property. Really, nothing else in July could live up to that excitement. But then in August my sister-in-law and her family visited us from the US. Nick absolutely LOVED having them, especially his cousins, living with us. It broke my heart when they had to leave, and Nick kept asking for them. I’d love it so much if they lived closer to us and he had them to play with more often. We went to Sydney with them, where we saw friends of ours that we hadn’t seen in years, who had moved to Auckland and come to Australia for a visit. We also got to stay at a gorgeous beach-front home for 3 nights to celebrate my birthday. It was such an amazing time!

September, October and November saw the 1st anniversary of my dad’s death, my middle sister get married and Nicklas change daycare centres and a 5 hour stay in A&E because Nick fell out of bed and split his head open and it needed to be glued back together! And because those things must not have caused enough stress and anxiety, I then had Christmas Dinner with 12 adults and Nick at my place.

Roller coaster suddenly doesn’t seem to even touch the sides of what kind of year this has been. Throw in there some fertility issues, even though all tests for both me and The Mr are “good”, some marriage issues (probably caused in large part to the former fertility issues), some work issues… It has been a year of grief, mourning, questioning, fearing, soul-searching, forgiving, laughing, crying… and I have never been more ready in my whole life to say goodbye to one year and hello to another.

I welcome 2012 with open arms, and filled with HOPE. Hope for a healthy year in which the GOOD things outweigh the bad, even if it is simply because my attitude makes it so.

Shows/concerts I saw in 2011: STOMP, Mary Poppins, Dusty, Elton John
Movies seen at the cinema: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I, Cars 2 (Nick’s first movie!), Horrible Bosses, The Smurfs (Nick’s second movie!), ¬†Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, The Adjustment Bureau, The King’s Speech
Books Read: Andre Agassi’s Biography, One Day, Sing You Home, Eat Pray Love (at least 2/3rds of it)

A few of the literally thousands of pictures I took in 2011…the year of the iPhone camera & instagram!

Thankful Thursday : The Last One for 2011

Its the last Thankful Thursday of the year, head on over to Kate Says Stuff and join in, won’t you?

There have been Thursdays that I have sat and stared at the computer, stared at the keyboard, and wondered what on earth I could possibly find to be grateful for. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, some weeks I’ve thought there was nothing I had to be happy or thankful about, it all just seemed too hard.

But then I’ve gone back to basics. Before I started participating in Thankful Thursday, I couldn’t have done that. I got so caught up in my own misery I was blind to the things I have been so blessed with.

A beautiful, happy, healthy little boy. I joke, when people ask when we are having anther child, that we got it right the first time, we don’t need another. But there’s a big part of that that is not a joke. He is kind, smart, cheeky, and just fantastic (the 98% of the time when he’s not driving us crazy). We would love another child, but if that doesn’t happen we are still the luckiest parents in the world.

A husband, who for as much as he makes my head want to explode at times, does so much for me and Nick. I feel sorry for wives and kids who have husbands and fathers who aren’t helpful, who don’t help around the house, who don’t spend one-on-one time with their kids and wouldn’t know what to do with them for an afternoon or a wholel day if they had to. My husband is one of the most hands-on dads I know.

My mum, who is our most reliable baby sitter, and who, even though I am in my 30s, still thinks I need looking after because my husband is out of town.

Family and friends who are there when I need them and even when I don’t, no matter how far across the world they are or how long it has been since I’ve seen them.

I’m thankful for this “me time” I’m getting while the husband is away, visiting his family. I think in 2012 I need to do more for me. It is nice to just sit, do what I want, after Nick is asleep and not feel guilty because I should be paying attention to M. Parenting is hard, but I know that I have it fairly easy, having only one child who is already 3.5 years old and a very easy kid. While I would love another bub, I am also very aware and very thankful for the benefits of only having one. Including all the “me time” I get.

For my job, which drives me crazy most days, but allows us to afford our little luxuries, like alcohol, the occasional movie or dinner night out, and our new car. There was a time not so long ago that $10 for a bottle of wine could not be found.

Finally, I am grateful that the calendar is about to tick over to a new year. A year that holds so much hope, possibility, and the chance to start over. I want to be happy, and healthy. I want to be self-aware and self-loving. I want to be proud of who I am and what I do. And I want to continue to watch my little boy grow in leaps and bounds as we get him ready to go to big school! Where has the time gone?

What have you been thankful for?