It seems a bit of a cliché writing a reflective post on New Years Eve but it also feels very fitting to round off the year with a look at what has been thrown at me…and what I’ve managed to throw back out. In my own classic way I had to write a list. My list habits are getting better – in that I make less of them but they are still there. The end of the year seems to have happened with alarming speed, with the last 4 months flying by in a blur – a happy, surprising and altogether amazing blur. So without further ado, my highs and lows from the last 12 months – warts and all (actually, there are no warts…promise).
- Running – This year I’ve really become a runner. A lycra running, Buff wearing, Garmin carrying, over-pronating, Park running (ok, only twice so far) runner. Point me in the direction of a Park Run now and I get flushed and excited. I have a fridge covered in race numbers and a wall with a good hunk of medals dangling precariously from a picture hook. 2013 will be the year I train properly and refine my technique…and compete in my very first triathlon.
- Runners World forum – Admittedly, this links in to the first item on the list but without my RW friends I have made, this year would have been a much lonelier place. So here is where I thank the following forumites for your shared love of cheese, bin days, Marmite and all things mundane : SuperCaz, frodo, small, Bookie, Cake, T Mouse, SOLB, Hash, Bear, by ‘eck, Tom (more about him later), kk, Mr P, Towner and oh goodness, heaps of other people. You are all lovely.
- Friends – Again, this leads on from the RW point but there is a reason. Friends come from all areas and in all guises. Sometimes they spring out the least likely places, the internet being one of them. They are there, quietly waiting and being there for me when I least expect them to be. I’ll never be able to thank them properly because there have been so many times they have been there for me…but I’ll take this moment to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to every single one of you.
- My parents – despite my seemingly unending stream of issues, they’ve not been tempted to move house and not tell me, change their name or disown me. I’m eternally grateful for their support during some pretty rubbish moments but also seeing how proud they are of me for meeting my challenges, losing the weight I’d dragged around and finding out who I really am. I can only hope that I can continue to make them as proud in 2013.
- Work – Despite work being a bit of a downer, it also proved to me how resilient I can be, when I have to be. And by that I mean when I’d finally stopped sobbing and muttering and cursing the redundancy and got on with being a grown up. After finding a job masquerading as hell with Satan at the helm, I hope (and pray, if I was the praying type) that the newest job is heading in a very different direction. Fingers crossed.
- Tom – Last but by no means least, Tom. I met Tom 4 months ago at the aforementioned SuperCaz’s housewarming and will admit to having a serious wobbles in the tummy region when I clapped eyes on him. Within 24 hours of meeting him, he was my boyfriend. The fog lifted, my ship found the harbour after being tossed around on an angry sea. I’ve never known how it felt to be completely and totally content with another person until 23rd September. Since then, life has been made better by having him in my life. I never expected to find him but I am so glad I have found the man I love and the man I am eventually going to marry. So, for the first time, may I proudly introduce my boyfriend, Tom:
- Work – The year of the great redundancy. Other than saying I survived without being evicted from my flat and I never starved, redundancy sucked. Sucked in a big way, much like an industrial vacuum cleaner sucks up huge quantities of crap from the factory floor. What sucked even more was having a job after the redundancy with a boss who made most bullies look like Care Bears. Thankfully, I made some lovely friends who got me through some dark moments and I’m now out of the toxic soup of said job. One word of warning though…karma? She’s a vengeful bitch.
- My mental health – It is no secret to those who know me well, I am not the most stable of people. Events of this year and my general propensity for a head wobble have shown that while I had been well for a while, this shouldn’t be taken for granted. A couple of weeks of scary thoughts after a slow spiral of sadness and one anxiety attack later and I found myself sitting at my GP’s desk sobbing my heart out and begging for help. They say depression isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that you’ve been strong for too long – in my case I have wobbly brain chemicals. Thankfully I reached out to those best able to help and with the aid of some mood stabilising meds, a counsellor and some time I am getting my head back together. It will be a long hard slog but someone once told me, nothing worth doing is easy. I’m inclined to agree with them.
2013 is the year things will change again. I turn 30 in less than 4 months, Tom and I are moving in together, I’m running a 10k night race with my RW friends (there may be neon tutus) and in May I’m competing in my very first sprint Triathlon. Things are looking up, moving on and getting better. If this year has taught me anything, it is how strong I can be when faced with some very scary prospects. Eleanor Roosevelt put it very succinctly with her famous quote:
I hope you all have a lovely New Year with those you love, or do it spending time exactly how you want. Look after yourself, your heart and mind are precious and deserve your time and attention. Above all, make time for cake, a friend, a coffee and embrace the future – it’s coming, ready or not!