Towards the end of every year, I like to set myself a theme for the year to come. It’s a good opportunity to look back, feel proud of the things I achieved and accept the things I did not. The theme then acts as a guide for making decisions throughout the year ahead.
In my year of saying YES, I accepted offers to be interviewed by Red magazine and contributed a blog post to Red online. I quit my job to spend more time at home with my son, and I agreed to appear on the telly in Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew for Sky 1.
As 2013 drew to a close, I wanted to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone but do it all so much better. So, my theme for 2014 was to raise my game.
I wanted to be a better friend, a better wife and a better mum. I wanted to spend more time with my family and friends, cook more, write more and work more.
When my friend in New York was having a really hard time, I booked a flight over to see her. When Team Honk were looking for volunteers to organise the London leg of their relay for Sport Relief, I threw my top-hat into the ring. And, when my son’s school asked for a parent to chaperone on school trips, I raised my hand.
I wrote about my personal experience of miscarriage and then stood on a stage and read it to 700 people. On that stage, I realised I was no longer afraid of public speaking and went on to give a Koumbara speech at my sister-in-law’s wedding. Not before spending the most incredible summer with my son – dipping our toes into the seas of North Devon and Crete, visiting a dinosaur park, the zoo, and taking in movies, long lunches and a show at the Royal Observatory planetarium.
Amazingly, I was chosen to be part of a new team of columnists for Tots 100; and I finished the introductions to a recipe book I am co-writing with my sister-in-law.
I feel I got through a huge amount this year and certainly raised my game. Not in every way of course, I still spent too much of my downtime on Netflix and not enough of it returning emails to old friends. Sometimes, I am too tired to get down on my knees and play Star Wars on the floor. Again. I should probably tell the Greek God(zilla) more often just how loved he is. I am not perfect, but nor would I want to be.
One other thing I realised this year, is that you cannot be everything to everyone. That is not what life is for. I would perhaps like to spread myself a little less thinly next year.
So, I have decided to be more mindful of the moment I am in. To really try to live it, breathe it and embrace it.
And, let the pieces just fall where they fall.