I'm sure I probably say this every year, but Geez Louise this past year has flown by. When I first sat down to write this post my first though was "meh, it's been a relatively low key year". But then, bit by bit as I sipped on my coffee - memories came flooding back and I am now forced to eat those words. It seems it has been quite a big year after all.
Kai, my first born aka city slick, started and then finished his first year of high school. He turned thirteen and became more independent, something I have struggled with. He also became addicted to his phone and his bedroom and reciting the lyrics to every song known to man kind. Despite some of the bumps we have encountered on the way, that boy makes me proud. He is a beautiful soul and a gentleman through and through. We did good Carl.
Sam our sensitive little animal loving greenie said "anxiety? Pfft what anxiety?" He started playing rugby, smashed it like a rock star, developed a wickedly dry sense of humour and has worked with various beautiful people to bring his very own book to life. Next year I will be able to tell you more about that special book project and I truly cannot wait to see what awesome things the new year will bring for that special kid. We did really good Carl.
Flynn... oh Flynn. My free spirited hippie child. He has bumped and bashed his way through the year with the enthusiasm of a pup with three tails. He has struggled and triumphed his way through his second year at school and finishes every day with a gigantic thump as he falls into bed plum tuckered tired from living life with such gusto. Sometimes despite being only seven, he reminds me of an old man. He sits with his legs crossed and stares out the window lost in his daydreams. The world needs more dreamers like him I think. Great things were built upon dreams and I have no doubt he too will do great things one day. We outdid ourselves this time Carl.
Carl and I have somehow grown even closer over the past 12 months, something that I did not think would be possible after 22 years, and yet it seems it is. My quiet yet fiercely loyal soul mate has rallied around my family as my Dad nearly slipped away from us, not once but twice this past year. He has stood behind beside me, encouraging me as he always does with every new challenge I faced. He has loved me so freaking unconditionally and even on the days when he has pissed me off for some pathetically minor reason, I thank the universe that this man chose to spend his life with me.
Family is everything to me. Something I have been reminded of again and again this past year.
Maybe all of the health issues, the losses and the celebrations happened for a reason. Maybe they were there to bring us all together and to remind us that together is where we belong.
As for myself, I have learnt a lot this year. I have opened up and shared my most personal stories with the world through my scars series and I have healed in a way I never thought to be possible. I took courage and inspiration from my Sam and also said pfft to my anxiety and consequently went on TV a couple of times, flew to Dubai and worked my tail off to make some of those day dreams of my own become a reality.
I have been surrounded by the most incredible friends this year. Kindred spirits who the universe has connected me with for a damn good reason and man I love those friends like nothing else. I have also been blessed with new friends this year as well, precious new friendships that I cannot wait to explore more.
I didn't achieve everything I set out to this year and I have many more dreams I want to fulfill. But that's what a New Year is all about right? A shiny new page to fill. My gorgeous pal Bron posed these questions on her blog the other night and I thought it was the perfect way to finish off the year. So here goes.
1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?
Courage. yep definitely courage. Courage to speak, to feel, and to do. That word pretty much applies to not only my family, but to our world as we have faced some unimaginable events in recent times. It has been courage in the face of the tragedies, courage in the way they were dealt with, and courage in the way we have picked up and moved on, determined to not let tragedy steal our wind.
2. What did you do for the first time this year?
So much. I went in a hot air balloon and I rode a camel. But as I mentioned earlier, the biggest things for me was that I opened up in a way I never had before. Despite my fear of being judged, I spoke about some of the quiet battles I have fought in my 40 odd years to date. I shared in a way that I didn't think I would ever be able to and I was rewarded with the most incredible love and support and the gift of others opening up in return and sharing their most sacred stories with me.
3. What is one thing that happened that will have lasting consequences?
4. Was there anything you wish you’d done differently? Why? How?
There is always something I wish I had done differently. Always. I wish I had stood up for myself more, said what I really think instead of just smiling on the outside and seething on the inner. I wish I had spent more time playing and less time working. Gave more energy to loving and living and wasted less nights worrying. I wish I had said yes to more of the important things and no to the time suckers. Hindsight really is a big fat bindy in the foot isn't it?
5. Do you have a favourite moment from the year? What made it special?
Honestly, I think my most special moment happened only last week, although it was more a collection of moments rather than a single one. I was 100 percent totally in the moment with my family this Christmas. I switched off from the outside world and soaked up having all of my family together. Something that I feared at a couple of points this year, would not ever be possible again.
6. What lessons has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?
I think the biggest lesson to me actually came through the untimely death of Robyn Williams. Through him, I became more aware of those around me. I learnt that it is more than OK to ask questions, in fact it is a necessity because you never know what someone is hiding behind a smile.
7. How will the lessons from this past year change the way you approach the new year?
I will continue to be more open and more courageous. I will hold a middle finger up to fear of judgement and forge ahead anyway. I will listen more, trust my gut and I will live everyday like there is no promise of a tomorrow.
8. What do you most want to do in 2015?
I want to work smarter so I can spend more time living. Clearly this will require me to say no more often, something I am not really all that good at, but something I will continue to work on. Most importantly I want to be more present in every day and in every moment. I have come to the conclusion that it is the only way I can possible slow down time.
9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?
I've talked enough about myself, but as for the world? I want there to be less hate and more love. Less fear and more understanding. Less anger and more tolerance. I want peace. Yep it's plain and simple, I just want peace and love.
10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?
Now. My word for the New year is there is no time but the NOW.
As the sun sets on this current year, now more than ever I want to say thank you to YOU guys. Thank you for your comments, your encouragement, your love, patience and compassion. Blogging has been one of the most rewarding self indulgent things I have ever done in my time thus far, and heaven knows I may not always get it right, but I love that every new post, every new page on this space brings with it a chance to restart, reconnect and reignite my passion for sharing with you. I wish you guys the most wonderful year ahead. May your year be filled with love and peace, laughter and light. May the days ahead bring you everything you dream of.... and then some. xxx Sonia