2013..... what a year. I have faced challenges I never imagined I would and yet I am still standing.
Will I remember 2013 fondly... yes and no. I have some good memories which are mostly centred around the wonderful friendships I have either newly formed over the last year or the long term friendships which have strengthened in the face of some really tough times. I'm truly blessed to have loved ones (and I consider my friends as part of my loved ones) who have stood by me and supported me... especially at times when I could hardly support myself. This has been the year I have fallen apart and needed to rely on the strength of others to piece me back together.
2013 has been a challenging year for me as a parent. I'm still making mistakes and I will still continue to make them. But I'm ending the year stronger and more positive and with firm boundaries in place. The difference is now I respect myself and find worth in myself so I'm less likely to allow anybody, including my kids, take that away from me. I've realised you can't protect your kids from life no matter how good your intentions. To repair the damage it does mean tough love from me and adjustment for the boys... lets hope we are all ready to meet these challenges in 2014.
For me on a personal note the year started off with Alice down the rabbit hole. Sometimes she wishes she had stayed down there... it was dark and quiet and peaceful.... but the determination of others saw that she was unceremoniously hauled out to face the light. Yes I will concede it was a good move but still a very tough and challenging time. I've already written about a lot of my woes so won't rehash them here.
I can safely say I've learnt a lot this year :
- Don't over plan... doesn't work. Have goals but be realistic in the face of reality and when it doesn't go according to plan let it go. You simply cannot control it all.
- Slow down... life is not here to be rushed. I have to breathe... Yes I've missed out on things in the past but rushing means I will still keep missing out.. I need to slow down and smell the roses ( or in my case the tulips)
- Disconnect.... still hard for me but hey I managed THREE days in the wilderness with no internet so give me some credit
- Set boundaries or watch the world use me as their doormat
- Don't be afraid to ask for help... nothing comes of the determination to do it all yourself.. you just spin in circles and get into a worse state of mind.
- Speak up.. use your voice.
- Don't be afraid to make new connections - some of the most meaningful connections I have made this year have been with the most unlikely people - yet I have come to treasure each of them for what they have brought into my life.
- Listen to music and step out your comfort zone... find what you ordinarily wouldn't listen to and put it up full blast
- Read more - long novels, trashy books, political essays, tearjerkers, autobiographies, the newspaper
- Let go of everything that no longer serves a purpose in your life - bad relationships, failed friendships, hobbies no longer bringing you joy. Why waste your time and energy. Life is simply too short. Enjoy what you do.
- Tell those close to you that you love them. Often. More importantly show them.
- Rest when your body tells you that it is needed... don't keep pushing through. Sleep deprivation is not your friend
- Write.. get it out onto paper and refer back to it often - I promise it helps you to marshall your thoughts and you learn to weed out the non-important and focus on the issues.
- Learn to say NO and not feel guilty
- You need to fill yourself up with things which bring you joy - nobody is going to do it for you
- Re-connect with your younger self... remember your passions, hopes and dreams. Yes they have certainly changed over the years but it's a reminder of how far you have come
- Try and find happiness even in the worst moments... we all have something to be grateful for. Hold on to that. It helps
I am grateful for the challenging year I’ve had, the friends who supported me through it and for the discovery that I truly have balls of steel. I look forward to next year being one of new experiences, opportunities and people that I am now only open to because of the things I have learned this year. - Em Rusicano
A bad habit I am going to break : My fear of abandonment
A new skill I would like to learn : Play the piano
A person I hope to be more like : I simply want to be myself
A good deed I am going to do : I want to be involved in charity work - giving back
A place I would like to visit : Anywhere that I can see an elephant
A book I would like to read : Dune by Frank Herbert
A letter I am going to write : To my younger self forgiving her for the mistakes
A new food I would like to try : Anything I put here is likely to come back and bite me.....
I am going to do better at : Moving forward and being positive
(there have been lowlights but I'm looking to the positive)
Best friendship memory : Seeing the joy on Denise's face when she realised what had been planned for her birthday
Favourite song : Beneath your Beautiful
Where was I moment : Breaking news of Nelson Mandela's death
My best photo of the year : Moses Mabida Stadium on the night of the Afcon Quarter Finals
Best Laugh : Jenny's pacemaker story (followed closely by the Tripod Debacle!)
Wise words : You reach a point of accepting that you made mistakes, they cost you dearly and that you can't change the past. At that point you stop raging against your history, accept it and move forward into a calmer, less self destructive frame of mind.
Best Read : A Rumour of Spring - Max du Preez
Favourite photography moment : Puddle Jumping with Vanessa
Ah moment : Standing on the top of the cliff looking over the Umflozi river and feeling insignificant in the face of such vast beauty
Scariest moment : Looking through my viewfinder to see the male lion had spotted us
These are just some of the 525,600 moments I have had in 2013.... some of the good ones, mixed in with the bad ones. Over all though I'm grateful for each moment. They have made me who I am now. Stronger, wiser, happier. Ready to face challenges safe in the knowledge that I can overcome hardships. Blessed with the people I have in my life that are there with me each moment supporting me and loving me.
And it's still YVONNE 1 - SPIDERS 0