Hello there my friends,
How are you this fine new year’s eve? The weather here in Melbourne is somewhat overcast and moody. Perhaps an indication of what my year was like.
I was doing some bloghopping recently and came across this lovely post by Maxabella Loves. She asks us to answer 10 questions to say farewell to 2014 and to ring in the new year. I thought it would be fun, and possibly helpful, to play along. I hope you will too.
1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?
I would have to say Challenging, especially since Mr C and I ended up in hospital no less than three times each! I also had to come to grips with being bald, and a new wig, which whilst an amazing gift, did present its challenges.
2. What did you do for the first time this year?
Two things: (a) I blogged about being bald, and took a photograph of myself bald for the entire world to see. (b) In response to Edenland’s call for lip-syncing entrants to honour the memory of her brother who had committed suicide, I decided to enter. At the last minute I decided to remove my wig. I then posted said entry onto you tube. I faced my vulnerability well and truly that day and is something of which I am quite proud. You can see the entry here.
3. What is the one thing that happened that will have a lasting consequence?
Undoubtedly it was the fact that I decided to do the Blog With Pip course. Through this course I learned to start and run my own blog, but more important than that was the connections that I made to some incredible women who continue to inspire me every day.
Before I started the course, I didn’t really follow blogs as such but now I read a number each day which has opened up my eyes to a whole new world.
I also learned to listen to my inner intuition more and to trust the process of living. As a recovering alcoholic this has been quite an amazing revelation, although still very much a work in progress.
4. Was there anything you wish you had done differently?
The one thing that truly stands out for me is that I did not take control of my health this year. Despite my body shutting down and needing two operations, I still didn’t heed the signs. The result is that I am still obese, am tired, am tired of being tired, feel very sluggish and am struggling to get out of my depressive spiral.
Losing weight isn’t just about the aesthetics for me, it is about my body not having to lug around 35 extra kilograms, it is about feeling vital, and not waking up every day feeling like I am wading through mud.
5. Do you have a favourite moment from this year? What made it special?
Hands down my favourite moment is when Master J came second in his Maths exam. The sheer sense of achievement he had brought an expansion to my heart that I have never felt before. For the first time in his life, he did not feel behind the 8-ball, he felt ahead of the game. It was a marvel to watch and a privilege to witness.
Autism has many deficits, but so many strengths do exist. Unfortunately, in our society, we have a habit of focussing on a person’s deficits instead of their strengths. We somehow have to make people feel diminutive. That day, my son stood tall, not diminutive at all, head held high knowing that his incredible hard-fought hard work had paid off. There is no greater joy.
6. What lesson has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?
Such tricky questions! 2014 has taught me that no-one can tread my journey but me. For too long have I stood in the shadow of my own life watching it pass me by. By writing here in this little space I have learned to confront a lot of demons, let them go and to move forward. This has been a challenging experience, but also a gift. It has blown out a lot of cobwebs in the recess of my mind.
I have also learned that the same applies to others. I cannot tread their path for them. This has involved doing a lot of letting go – of control, of doing too much, of always saying yes, of not feeling good enough. It isn’t my responsibility to make my adult children’s life as easy as possible. It isn’t my responsibility to always do for others at the expense of my own peace of mind and health. They have their own journeys and they need to find their own way to live it. Just like I have had to learn to do with my own life.
2014 was a massive learning curve in this area of my life. It is still very much a work in progress, but I do believe that 2015 will provide more opportunities to practice and I will rise to the challenge well.
7. How will the lessons from this past year change the way you approach the new year?
For a start, I am taking more control of my health. It is my intention to focus on my health and my wellbeing at the cost of all else, if necessary. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, not for me. I am prone to being reclusive, to be mindless in what goes into my mouth. I have an addictive nature – I replaced alcohol with sugar – so I have another addiction to conquer this year. But I am determined I am going to do it.
I fear death. Not actually dying, for that is foolish – we all die, but the fear of dying before knowing what it feels like to live a fulfilled life, a life of purpose and meaning, a life of vitality and joy, a life with more peace of mind than not.
I have a plan to achieve this sense of wellbeing and over the coming weeks of 2015, I will reveal it.
8. What do you most want to do in 2015?
I want to regain my health which in turn will feed my sense of well being and peace of mind (and there is some really good science behind this too).
9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?
Kindness. I want to be more kind to myself by feeding my body nourishing food, by moving it more, by developing my mind. I want to be kinder to others and to the world, reducing my footprint on it. And I would love the world to become kinder to itself. If I could witness that in my lifetime, that would be incredible.
10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?
For me, it has to be HEALTH. Without it I have nothing – no vitality, no peace of mind, no quality of life. This year has taught me that I need to take control of my health on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Health has to be all encompassing, or it isn’t health at all.
I cannot give to the world in the way that I want to if I do not have my health. I will be working very hard this year to achieve this.
So, there you have it. My 10 questions answered. It’s been a weird old year for sure, but one that continues to lay foundations for a better, more healthier me. Thank you Bron for the lovely questions which gave me some real food for thought and have helped me to clarify my journey for next year. No doubt there will be bumps along the way, but having this blue print will help.
Happy New Year everyone. May 2015 bring you health and peace.