So, yesterday saw the return to school of child number two, so, peace restored, I can get back to my normal routine of laying in bed, drinking gin and watching Jeremy Kyle during the day *
So, Christmas came and went. The festive spirit never really visited for me, but the day was made special by the kindness of friends, and, more importantly, my kids seemed happy, relaxed and quite fine with the slightly fragmented family affair it ended up being. It was more than I could have hoped for, and, given my fears, I will take it and file it away as a positive.
So, as one year finishes, and another one starts, I can't help but reflect and look forward. All in all 2014 was an awfully bad year personally. The end of a long marriage is painful, no matter how you look at it, and the fall outs and ramifications have plenty more miles to run yet.
It was also a year where it became clear that I'm not the invincible superwoman I always believed in. Nothing major, but the tiredness, creeping of years and stresses and strains of life have meant health issues. Mostly run of the mill, but the inability to get on top of a chronic condition, and a short and most unwelcome more serious scare, have taken it's toll, and I realise that a bit if self TLC is in order.
The insecurity of the foundations of my life, my home, my relationships, my finances, these nuts and bolts remain. Mostly I let them find their own pace and course on their way to whatever conclusion they are heading, but sometimes they sit, steadfastly refusing to move, at the front if my mind, dropping my mood and preventing my sleep.
But, on reflection, the adversities of last year, have brought about a whole raft of positives. Never have I been more aware and grateful for the fantastic people in my life. Friends and family, who have been the most amazing support, fun, distraction, love and laughter. From distant work colleagues, whose virtual hugs and messages of support have brightened up a tough day, to those closest to me who have listened to endless moaning, wiped away tears, got me drunk, given me a cuddle, kept in touch and been there with the right words and gestures.
Then there is the personal stuff. Who would have known this time last year that I could have cycled to Paris in 40 degree heat, managed to fix not only my washing machine, but my radiators, managed to not only survive but got by rather well living on a food budget of £30 a week in some tough times? I surprise myself sometimes, and this independence and freedom has brought about a real sense of calm and contentment, despite the challenges.
Then there is my real positives in life. My two boys. My lively, lovely youngest son, Harry. A nearly six year old who, due to his circumstances, has had to grow up very quickly and deal with some harsh realities of life.
Proud beyond word of him,he is a smart, happy, caring and seemingly well adjusted boy. Aware and guilty as I am about the impact of his parents separation, he still asks some brutally honest questions, to which, I hope, I provide answers along similar lines.
Great company, good fun, funny and sweet, he has been my constant companion and best buddy.
And then my Ollie. The last year has probably passed him by, in all it's dramatic glory, with little impact. He remains a mostly happy, content, if tricky little customer. He is also growing up, the tiny things, the ability to understand and predict routine, the way he will tolerate new things maybe a tiny bit more, the attention span that occasionally makes it into double figures second wise, all these things are starting to emerge.
The last year has been a real milestone for Ollie . For the first time in his life, we have gone all year without any non planned hospital admissions. A few trips for some minor illnesses, and plenty of planned and routine stuff, but no dramas or shocks health wise. For Ollie this a huge thing. If you had told me a couple of years ago that we would have got to this place, I would have laughed at you.
I know I can't take this for granted, as there is so much unknown, and so many factors that go against Ollie, but for now I will celebrate the fact and be hugely thankful.
So, as to 2014. No plans, no resolutions. Taking it a step at a time, enjoying the now and making the most of what I've got, not looking at what I haven't .
I'm a bit late in saying it, but whoever you are and wherever you maybe. Hope it's a good year.
* for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know me/my social worker, this was said in jest