2014 redux

I wish I could tell you that this had been a smooth year; but the truth is, it has been anything but. I started off the year choosing two words that I hoped would be my guiding stars when things got difficult, Strong and Fit.

I’ve had a never ending stream (pun intended) of colds all year. I’ve just started a course of antibiotics as I’ve got sinusitis again, I think for the third time this year, my last cold was only four short weeks ago. Friends tell me I need to take better care of myself, but the thing is – I do take care of myself. I do eat healthily (cherry coke and Reese’s pieces I had today aside). I’ve barely drunk alcohol in two weeks, and for the next ten days in any case can’t because of the antibiotics. We cook most meals from scratch at home, I eat heaps of fruit and vegetables, am reducing my coffee intake (despite it killing me and me nearly killing others). I’ve spent all damn year investing in myself, taking up running, completing two 10km runs, being overjoyed at finding a Bikram studio ten minutes away from home.

I weigh the same as I did at the beginning of the year. While I’ve felt fit and strong at odd points I fell down the stairs bruising my coccyx, I damaged my shoulder at a boxing class and then a month ago popped a Baker’s cyst behind my knee. I can hardly call this year a success on either Fit or Strong. I wanted to be heading towards Christmas 2014 with my skin glowing, daily exercise as part of my routine, just something I did now, not something I had to struggle to fit in like it was at the beginning of the year. I wanted to be building up KMs aiming to complete the half marathon with my girlfriend.

Hubs had a horrible year too. He spent over three months off work, suspended on full pay against charges that were fabricated by a colleague. Charges that were eventually dropped, an apology issued and he was exonerated. I’m not going to lie to you all, he had a break down, after two and a bit years of working himself into the ground, 60 – sometimes 80 hour weeks, taking on everything he was asked to, he was running on empty. When he arrived home that afternoon, broken and sad, I’d never seen him look so hollow is the only word I can think of. He had counselling, not only by our wonderful GP, but a psychologist and a psychiatrist too. The beginning of this year was not a good time for our little family.

When the charges were being dropper, Hubs applied for and was successful getting a job that he loves. But the best thing is that as he’s contracted, he only works 38 hours a week. If he has to work over that, then the next week, he can’t. No more expectations of being at his desk before 7:30am and him fighting to leave ‘early’ just twice a week; but still after an 8 hour day, so I didn’t have to do all the drop-offs and collections of Peanut from nursery.

Our wee man is so much fun, but oh such a boy! He asked for a light-saber this week, while wearing a Batman t-shirt and a Darth Vader mask. He runs around the house in his Buzz Lightyear costume with his finger on the printed laser button shouting ‘Pew! Pew!’ When I ask him not to shoot, he says “I’m not playing guns” knowing that we don’t play guns at home and I’d really rather he didn’t play guns at nursery either.

Fiercely independent, Peanut is determined to do things on his own. Rolling out play-doh with his Granny before she went home on this last visit, he said gravely said “I need to help you” as she evidently wasn’t doing it to properly. He asks to paint or read books more than ‘Want to watch’, plays with Legos for hours, calls the cat’s his friends and tries to squash them with love. He helps with the washing up, loves dusting, vacuuming and helping hang the washing out or loading it into the washing machine. He puts his boots on to help Hubs in the garden, loves pushing the shopping trolley (cart) around and smelling the fresh fruit and veggies with me as we wander round the green grocer. He can swim on his own, floats on his back and runs around in and out the pool, giggling with joy.

I can’t say this year has been all bad, because it truly hasn’t. As we draw to a close, my sister-in-law is getting ready to bring new life into the world. Our nephew is head-down, bum up, fully engaged. When he chooses to get here is up to him, but I for one am very pleased to be having a new baby on the horizon, rounding the year off nicely.

No matter how broken, bent out of shape or twisted your head or heart finds you, there’s something about the smell of a baby, the softness of their skin and the promise of a lifetime of love in your heart that makes everything better. Babies remind us that every day is precious. Every day is a do-over. Every day can be made new.

My word for 2015? ‘Be’ I want to concentrate on being here now. That’ll do.

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