I most definitely do not like New Years resolutions, mainly because I suck at sticking to them so I always shy away from making any. Last year I decided that I wouldn't make any resolutions. Giving myself nothing to work towards or look forward to seemed like a pretty depressing thought, but it actually worked out pretty fantastically.
For a start, that job that Ross got at the beginning of 2012 fell through. And do you know what? I'm glad that it did, because if it hadn't, the likelihood is we wouldn't have gotten very far. After the discovery that the job was commission based only, it didn't seem like a good risk to take, especially when there was a family depending on a monthly wage. Ross decided to stay in his current job, which I knew he hated. If you read the blog then you will know that by September 2012, Ross took ill with work related stress and eventually made the decision to hand in his notice.
It was difficult at first and we struggled, a lot. But now we have come out the other side (nearly!) and we're better off for it. Ross is happier and because of that, so am I.
In March, we finally made the move to be closer to Ross's family. Moving house was a stressful time and not one I wish to go through again any time soon. Although, if a similar house popped up on the market and was cheaper, I might consider it.
Would you look at that.. we achieved something without a resolution.
After settling into our new home, unpacking and making ourselves comfortable, I made another decision. I quit smoking.
I achieved something massive without guilting myself into it.
After 8 long years of smoking I finally kicked it in the ass and quit. If I'm being honest, I don't feel any better for it and we most definitely don't feel any richer, but I'm happy that I achieved this for myself. Admittedly, I had a bit of help, but I still did it. This was something for me to be proud of, and 6 months later, I still am.
Come October, my Princess turned 2. She has come amazingly far and I pinch myself every day because I can't believe how lucky I am. She's beautiful and smart and an absolute pleasure. I couldn't be prouder of my girl, I just hope that in the future she's just as proud of me.
Finally, the thing that I am the most proud of: I got a job.
I have been toying with the idea of returning to work for a while, mainly because I felt like I was losing sight of who I really was. I adore my daughter, but only speaking to a 2 year old every day, albeit a very clever 2 year old, can make you feel somewhat unfulfilled. I felt like the only thing I was good for was being a Mum and it upset me a bit. I used to be good at lots of different things and I seemed to have lost myself by dedicating everything I was to Princess.
In all fairness, I didn't actively make the decision to find work, it just sort of happened. I had to sign on to Job Seekers so we could afford to live, and in the process I found myself a job.
I start next week.
I'm beginning to feel very nervous and self conscious, but I know that's normal. It's normal to be scared of the unknown. Despite this, I am proud of myself.
I have also realised that I have grown the confidence to become a 'Working Mum'. I don't particularly like the title, you don't see people referring to the men as 'Working Dads', but hey-ho. Anyway, I feel confident enough in myself that I can have a job and still be a good Mum. I suppose it's all about compromise. And as hard as I know it's going to be leaving her on that very first day, my new job is a 2 minute walk away (if that) so I know she's always close by.
Plus Ross has promised to walk by regularly so she can wave to me. This makes me happy. Small steps and all that.
2012 turned out to be a pretty amazing year. There have definitely been some ups and downs, but when you look closely, you realise that without your low points you could never have risen to your highest.
As much as I enjoyed not feeling the pressure of New Years resolutions, I have decided to not take my own advice and actually make some this year. They're not anything out of this world, but like every other woman I know, I love lists. I love making them and there is no bigger satisfaction than crossing something off. The sense of achievement is like no other.
So here is my list:
- Lose some weight. I'm not going to set myself a specific target weight, I just want to lose some. I'm not happy with my body at the moment and I have definitely let myself go. This year calls for a bit of healthy eating and exercise. I don't think I'll ever lose my 'mummy tummy' (at least that's what I tell people it is, I've had it for years!) but just to be a bit slimmer and more toned would make me very happy.
- Read at least one book a month. One of my biggest pleasures is reading and I need to immerse myself in it again. I won't be joining a book club because once again, the pressure to read a book by a certain date just so you can have something to say on it isn't really my thing. Plus, I like to choose my own books. The library is one of my favourite places, I wouldn't take that joy away from myself.
- Save up for a holiday. This one also includes getting all of the family a passport. The only place we've ever been together, all 3 of us, is Skegness, and I don't really think that counts. I want to go abroad, somewhere where I can lay on a beach and get a tan. Not worry about whether the sea really brown because it's poo.
- Get help for my anxiety. I wouldn't say it's necessarily gotten worse, but it hasn't gotten better either and I don't like that. I know I need help to get better, I just need to take those steps.
- Finish editing my book. This one is probably the one I want to achieve the most. After receiving excelling feed back on the first three chapters, I need to get a move on with the rest. Even if I never pursue doing anything with it, it's something I can always be proud of. Maybe even make a start on the sequel I've been planning..
- Blog more. I have gone weeks without blogging and some changes need to be made. I love my blog and I need to spend more time on it. I am immensely proud of how far it has come over the past year - we will be ONE on Sunday! I need to take the time out to get posts written and published - maybe even clear out my draft folder?
So there we are. Like I said, they're not massive life changers, and all of them are achievable. I know that by achieving all of them, I will feel happier in myself.
I'm not going to give myself a time limit. So long as by 2014 I can look back and say, 2013 was a GREAT year, then I'll be happy.
Happy New Year everyone!