So here we are again. New Year’s Eve. Facebook is full of people bemoaning 2016, promising great things for 2017, and wishing everybody the best. Everywhere is awash with sentiment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticising, I actually love the way that this time of year encourages people to review their lives, and decide to strive for better. To press the reset button and start over, a year older, wiser and hopefully stronger. It’s something we need, to be able to make a clean break and move on.
2016 has been a crap year for many. I am typing this while watching a humorous and irreverent review of the year. You seriously could not have predicted some of the things that happened this year, could you? There have been times where we did not know whether to laugh or cry, or we simply sat in stunned silence as events unfolded. Some of these events brought out the worst in people. We saw friends squabbling, horrendous accusations flying around social media, and between strangers in the streets. It was not a pretty sight.
We also lost so many wonderful celebrities, in such quick succession that we could hardly catch our breath. A couple of months into the New Year we suffered a much more personal loss. Barbara, my lovely mother-in-law passed away at the beginning of March. It was apparent that she had had enough, she missed her husband, and she simply slipped away, fairly quietly. We spent a few months learning about wills, and probate and lots of official stuff like that. With Nigel’s inheritance, we were able to finally start to improve our home with repairs, a new kitchen and the like. But we were quite unprepared for how much we would miss Mum.
To all intents and purposes, we had a brilliant year. We had decided on a year of experiences, not “stuff” and that’s what we did. We ate in brilliant places, we did theatre, and lots of live music. We had a fabulous holiday in Greece, we made lots of lovely memories.
We also had some quite difficult moments, and my health has been quite poor on and off during the year. We have not got to grips with a healthier lifestyle and in fact the last six weeks of 2016 have been a bit of a blur with both Nigel and I being very poorly.
Work wise I tried lots of things, and by the end of the year I had made decisions about my path forward and acted on those decisions. We also explored the possibilities of realizing a long-held dream, to relocate to the North West of the UK. That dream looks like it will become reality in 2017, and although it won’t be easy, it will be worthwhile and will create a new future for us.
The move will finally move me forward from my past. Although difficult for many, for me this year has been very cathartic and I actually feel very grown up – some might say thank god for that!
Over the years I have often found New Year’s Eve unbearable. It can be the most miserable time of the year. Expectations are high, with everyone expecting to have a good time and to find someone to kiss at midnight. I have hosted parties, visited pubs and hated the years when we have had nowhere to go, and no one else to share it with. I have also gone to bed and cried myself to sleep because something was ending. Over the last few years,we have fallen into the habit of staying in and tuning into Jools Holland but a bit of me felt as though I was missing out on something, that everyone else was out partying and having a better time than me. But not this year. Tonight I am right where I want to be, with my lovely Nigel. Hopefully Zoe will be home from work too. I am content.
Some of my friends and Facebook buddies are setting off on their own adventures next year. Another friend is starting the year planning a funeral for the love of her life and is grief stricken. Others are making their own very difficult decisions. We are all hoping for more, longing for better. Life can be fabulous and it can be difficult. It is always worthwhile. Every obstacle, every difficulty moves us along, teaches us something we need to learn. We cannot always see that at the time. Our vision is blurred by the struggle. But we have to keep moving, one step or one day at a time.
I think that what I am trying to say, is that life is a continuous process, you can press Ctrl-Alt-Delete every New Year’s Day, or more often than that if you like! But every now and then you get a free pass, you actually avoid many of the obstacles, dodge what is thrown at you, and avoid falling into deep and troublesome crevices. And along the way you can collect many rewards!
So, this New Year’s Day I am not pressing the reboot button – I am going to be moving up to the next level!
I would like to wish you and your families a Happy and Peaceful New Year. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Many of you have helped me more than you know this year. I hope I have returned the favour to some of you.
Let’s welcome 2017 in with a smile and full of optimism for what this level of the game will bring us all.