At the end of last year, I thought that my theme for 2013 was going to be a year of new starts. A couple of weeks later, events took an unexpected turn and I had to reassess.
With no longer any guarantees towards the life I had envisioned for us, I revised my theme for 2013 and decided that I was going to make it the year that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone instead.
I had been so caught up in a cycle of being pregnant/not being pregnant, looking after a 3-year old boy, while also working full-time on the other side of London, that life seemed to have simply passed me by.
I was about to turn 40 and I wanted to take back control. I did not want to be afraid to really live my life. I wanted to stop letting fear of the unknown make decisions for me. I wanted to say Yes to more opportunities than No.
I wanted to have fun again, laugh, be impulsive.
In the months that followed, 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. I changed my twitter handle from @smudgerella to @grenglishblog. I asked for further investigations into my two miscarriages and discovered I have an auto immune condition called Hashimoto’s disease. I stopped eating gluten. I agreed to be filmed for 4-weeks as part of a TV show that will be aired next year. I went to Paris… for lunch. I threw a big party for my 40th birthday. I entered a competition to win a ticket to Blogfest and I won! I turned my hobby as a blogger into a paid profession. I bought an iPhone. I walked my son to and from school every day. I cut my long hair short, grew out my fringe and added highlights. May seem trivial, but for the first time in years I like my hair.
I formed new bonds and made new friendships. I walked nervously into big rooms full of strangers, wearing a big smile. I took my boys to Devon for the first time, a place where I spent many summer holidays growing up. I made my own pizza dough. I played croquet and made my own Christmas gift tags with the WI.
I did learn a lot this year and I laughed even more. I may not be good at everything and certainly not the best at anything, but I feel like myself again.
I want to continue to do all of these things next year, but to do them all better. So, my theme for 2014 is to raise my game.
I want to focus even more on my son. Play more, get outside more, learn more.
I want to be a better wife. Listen more, talk more, spend more time together.
I want to be a better cook. Make more meals from scratch, be more adventurous, take more time.
I want to a better blogger. Write more, read more, comment more.
I want to work more; and spend less of my down time on Netflix.
I want to be a better friend. Make more time. See more people. Make more effort.
I want to make my time on the committee of the East Dulwich WI count, not just pop along for the wine.
I want to feel more organised, more on top of it all, more in control.
I want to raise my game and see where life takes me.