As 2014 comes to an end, it’s about the time we all get a little bit reflective about what has passed. The end of this year has certainly been a roller coaster for me and my family and I’ve been thinking about how to reflect that in what will be my final post for 2014. The traditional way to review the year is unusually a ‘Top Ten..’ type list so I think I’ll stick with tradition and do the same (except as a ‘Top Five’!).
My Year In Review
Top 5 reasons to be cheerful
- Our son starting school (and loving it!)
This is the year that our son, D, started school. Those of you who are parents and have been through it will understand what a big deal this is. The stress of looking at schools; the loooong wait to find out whether your child have been accepted into the school of your top choice; the anxiety of whether they will fit in and enjoy the new environment of ‘Big School’. Fortunately D has taken to school like a duck to water and the settle in period passed with very little hiccup. He was obviously ready for it and it is a joy to watch him run off in the mornings to play with his friends, to hear about the topics he’s learning and loving (space was hugely popular…) and to watch his progress as he reads books to us for his homework. I am beyond happy that this has been a positive experience for him.
- Taking my career to the next level
Last year, I took a year out to do some professional and personal development. This was an amazing opportunity (and here I have to thank my magnificent husband for supporting me, financially AND emotionally on the journey!) which opened me up to a whole new network of people, range of experiences and opportunities. This year has been about using that experience to create my ideal working life. This has led to me negotiating a 3 day a week role in an organisation that reflects my values leaving me space to explore other areas on a freelance basis as well as more flexibility for me and my family.
This feels like an important step in my career which I have spent the last 2 years working towards. Feeling very excited and just a little bit terrified!
- Letting go of the things (and people) that no longer serve me
During my year out, I had access to a coach. The ‘letting go of things that no longer serve you’ comes for a conversation I had with him very early into our coaching relationship. This sentence has stuck with me and it often plays itself in my head when I am struggling wiht something that feels familiar or repetitive. I have found it useful to challenge old, now defunct habits of mine as well as relationships that are no longer satisfactory or healthy. Moving forward in this new phase of my life means redefining the terms of engagement. A certain amount of acceptance is needed to really let go and, I can admit, this has not always come easily. It’s definitely a work in progress but I find myself with more courage to take those steps and make those decisions.
- Deepening bonds in new relationships
Over the past couple of days, so many of my conversations have included
“Can you imagine if we never met?!!”
I love these kind of conversations because they are usually an acknowledgement of new bonds and unexpected alliances. Some of that ‘letting go’ I just mentioned has also allowed me to nurture relationships with others that have been at the heart of how I have experienced 2014. It has been a year of true highs but also some personal lows (of which I am not sure I can share on such a public forum). These friends have laughed with me, shared in my joys and successes as well as holding me in pain and disappointments. Many lessons have been learnt in the process and I look forward to the adventures to come with these women.
- Starting and maintaining this blog!
I like to think of myself as a bit of frustrated writer. It took some courage and gentle nudging to start the blog. I was concerned about who would read it; who might be offended; how I might come across; the impact on my professional life. And actually, none of my original concerns have outweighed the sheer joy of having created a space for me to be creative, reactive, challenging, joyful, sad, angry; whatever. Here I am, claiming my space. It has been fun to nurture this blog, see its readership increase and move from having solely UK based readers to blog views from South Africa and Russia. I have particularity enjoyed hosting a guest blog from my fabulous Ghanaian Friend and we have many more collaborations to come, I’m sure. If you wanna see my blog in numbers, click here.
So, as I Say Hello to 2015 and Wave Goodbye to 2014, I have much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to. Wishing all my lovely readers, inspirations and conspirators a very happy, healthy and wise 2015. Catch up with me again in January 2015 for part 2 of this blog…..
See y’all on the other side.