It’s the time of year when reflections seem mandatory. Looking back on the year that’s about to lurch to an end, looking forward at the new one about to rise; maybe with hope, maybe with some degree of sadness or maybe full of excitement for what’s to come.
This time last year I was all about balance. I wrote about a need for us to find it in our family, and for me to find it for myself.
Since then, we’ve come full circle. Working for myself, working with friends, working in a professional space and now back in big corporate. I’m doing more hours now, but ironically it seems to impact less on my home life. That ability to leave it at the office door, and not feel like I’m obligated to pull the laptop up onto my lap until the early hours of the morning, is a huge shift for us. Weekends feel like weekends again, not simply days to work around my family, and holidays have that lusted after appeal of long days with a book and a gin. I’ve been doing it so long now, that it’s taking a bit to break the habit, but I’m relishing the challenge.
In some ways, maybe the balance thing is thrown by this new normal, or maybe we’re just finding a different way to balance it all. Juggling, always juggling, but the security and regularity that comes with a corporate job suits me and the money it delivers allows us to plan ahead for Poss; giving her opportunities we would struggle to do in another situation. Time will tell if it’s worth while.
This year has taken us to the depths of sadness for our girl, with experiences we never thought we’d face, words we never thought we’d use and thoughts I never want to have again. It bought us a new fear, one that showed us how fleeting life can be and how no matter how much we love them, sometimes people are still sad. We found out first hand how horrible children can be to each other, and what happens when that bullying is not dealt with fast and firmly.
We spent the second half of the year trying to repair the damage done from the first half of the year. We learned that smashed things can sometimes be glued, but the cracks still show. Hopefully with time they’ll smooth out, the edges that catch will dull and the gaps filled in with new memories, new friends. That instinct to protect is strong, and a new school will hopefully be the right environment for her to plant her feet and grow into the sunshine for a bit.
As if oblivious to all of this, she’s just kept growing. Tall and lanky, witty and fast, more self aware now than ever before. She’s found a love of magic, fascinated by the ability to trick us into believing a sleight of hand, and her passion for One Direction runs pretty much unchecked. After her YouTube debut earlier this year, she’s developed a fabulous ‘YouTube voice’ and now proceeds to narrate pretty much everything she does and she’s exceptionally jealous of the kids in the Xmas Jammies clip, claiming it should have been her. Her report card reflected what we suspected, she’s smart and has a lot to be proud of as the year comes to an end.
Now as we look towards the new year, I know we’re in a good place. 2013 will be written off as a hard one, a year when many lessons are learned and battles are fought (clearly I live in some sort of medieval fantasy) and no doubt 2014 will present us with it’s own challenges.
But I have a pretty awesome crew beside me; strengthened by many dumpling meetings, gin sessions, uncontrollable giggling fits and late night conversations that put the world to rights.
And I have my husband, patient with me through my inability to calculate simple maths (to the serious detriment of our bank account), my sister, who’s return has bought a satisfying level of snark back into my life and of course my Poss girl, who will continue to make my heart ache with pride and my head shake in frustration in equal measure.
2014 – bring it on.