A year's tale, things gone by and things to come.

by - Friday, January 05, 2018

Reflecting on the year gone by, what 2017 has meant to me, has been a kind of bittersweet experience. I'm never one for New Year's Resolutions, I feel that instigating a process of change should come after pondering for a while, and consciously coming to a decision that you want to adjust something in your life. Probably not the best idea to do that as an impulse or some kind of obligation to yourself that might fail and make you feel inadequate.

Reading back over previous blog posts, I realised that it has been quite some time since I wrote anything.  There are many reasons for this; lack of time, lack of energy and most of all, lack of enthusiasm. I think, for me, that 2017 slowly sapped and eroded my enthusiasm over the weeks and months. It wasn't even something that I was aware of until Christmas, when I just couldn't muster an iota of positivity. I'm pretty much the biggest Christmas fan ever, so for me not to feel the happy buzz was a bit of an eye-opener. I think it has all been a confluence of events and responsibilites that worked together to wear me down.
I read recently about the concept of the 'Mental Load', the idea being, that by nature of our female gender, women tend to take charge of all things household related, not just the physical work, but the organising of appointments, the deciding what to eat, the arranging of life in general. Broken down into small parts, all the tasks can seem inconsequential but add it all up over years and years and it can become an unbearable burden. 
I think that this, in tandem with all the usual things our family deals with - like Ulcerative Colitis, Food Allergy and the residual effects of my Carotid Artery Dissection, has worn away at my resilience. That's not to say that there haven't been some wonderful moments in 2017 - I will share those with you shortly but I've realised that I need to change some things and try to make 2018 a more positive experience than this year has been, particularly as it will be the year of my 50th birthday :)

So, some highlights of this year:

First up, our Barge Trip - this was such a lovely day out and rare these days to have all the family together! Being on the barge was so soothing.

Another wonderful time was on our holiday in West Cork. I think I was really feeling tired at that stage too and was longing for somewhere peaceful and remote and this place was exactly what I needed, stunning scenery with peace and quiet.

There were other times and moments of contentment but the biggest event of the year happened at the end of October when our new grandchild arrived into our lives. And whilst we worried throughout the pregnancy about Síomha's Ulcerative Colitis flaring up, it all went well despite a bit of a dramatic arrival! Síomha's waters broke on a Thursday but she was told not to go to the Coombe initially. We thought it was a false alarm but it turned out that the waters had definitely broken so I had to drive to Kilkenny to pick her up on the Saturday and bring her up to the Coombe. (Thankfully accompanied by my friend Sue who was visiting at the time, as I was feeling a bit panicky). Mara arrived safe and sound despite the risk of infection because of the waters breaking.
To say she has changed our lives would be an understatement. I honestly hadn't thought of being a grandparent  so soon and whilst on the one hand, it's like an extra responsibility, on the other hand it's the most amazing feeling. Having a little being added to the family, and at one step removed from the first time parent anxieties, is such a joyous thing. She's beginning to smile and become her own little person and we couldn't love her more.

Baby Mara

So what do I want from the year to come? Not much honestly, just maybe an emergency free year with minimal hospital visits! Cos I'm really so, so tired of hospitals at this point.
Perhaps if that comes to pass I can regain my energy and work on my contentment levels. Who knows, I may be looking back next year from a whole new perspective!

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  1. I would love to go on a barge trip! Looks like a lot of fun. Also congratulations on becoming a grandparent! Your granddaughter looks so beautiful. Wishing for a much more positive 2018 for you! x

    Victoria | www.spokenreveries.co.uk

  2. Congratulations on your granddaughter - she looks absolutely precious! I have to admit that 2017 was a bit of a slog for me, and it dragged me down quite a bit, but I love that the start of a new year has given me a big push towards being more positive. It sounds like it's doing the same for you - I do hope it's a good year for you.

  3. It's lovely reflecting back, your photos are stunning! Really nice. Your granddaughter is so beautiful, congratulations!

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  4. I had a serious case of Mental Load early Decemeber so I know exactly what you mean. I was actually a bit concerned I was losing the plot! Luckily Christmas seemed to re-set me.

  5. The turn of the year is a great time to reflect. Your photos are gorgeous! Hope you get your hospital free year x

  6. I love end of year reflecting! I'm happy you had a fantastic year, and best wishes for this year!

  7. Such a lovely time to reflect. Your barge trip looks so lovely and little Mara, what a gorgeous name!!!! x

  8. I would absolutely love to go on a barge trip! that looks like fun. I hope 2018 will be good for you and with no visit to the hospital!

  9. Congrats on little Mara! She looks like a wee dote and I absolutely love the name! What a wonderful year you've had :)