Here is something I do on the blog every year.  It is good to look back and reflect on a whole year.  It helps to put things in perspective.  I always tag people to do a post using the same questions but anyone should feel free to join in.  Just take the questions and answer them in a way that makes sense to you and preferably although it is not a rule say that the idea for the post came from this blog.

Here is my 2013

1. What was your happiest event?

My happiest event was my trip to Orlando.  It came out of the blue and was something I had never really dared to dream about.  I do remember wanting to go when I was a child.  I never mentioned it as it was not viable.  So to find myself in my forties invited as a VIP guest and to be told I could take one of my children along for the adventure was amazing.  I miss my one-on-one time that used to apply all the time really with my oldest son so it was fabulous to have that all over again on this trip.  It was good to be taken at least semi-seriously by some talented journalists and to learn that there are real opportunities out there for the taking if and when I get my act together.  Most importantly, this trip saw my son’s mental health become stable again after the death of his grandfather.

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

I think my husband losing his job was sad in the way it has affected the family.  A lot of what we had built up over years has gone.  It was awful to feel like Remembrance had been taken away from us too.  The reality is the Royal British Legion cannot take certain things from us unless we let them.  They can take the job, the income and the security.  They cannot take away our family unit or our values.  We will remember veterans and current service personnel and we hope that one day the Poppy Appeal will not be a Legion thing but as is fair, shared across all the service charities.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

Quite a few things this year.  Crossing the Atlantic.  Going on a rollercoaster.  Annoying a Baroness.  Meeting Katie Piper.  I think the most unlikely of these was probably going on a rollercoaster.  I can’t say I enjoyed it but I did it.  This gave my son the confidence to go on quite a few so it was worth it.

4. Who let you down?

I will refer you to question 2.

Also the person who allowed me contact with a baby and then severed that contact almost immediately.  That was painful and I have learned that  some people will hurt me whether by design or lack of concern for my feelings continuously. Such people are best left to their own devices.  This year I made that decision and am a lot healthier for it.

5. Who supported you?

My husband in looking after two of the children for a week on his own whilst I went to America.  Since he was made redundant, he has struggled to cope himself so I suppose I have felt some of that back-up that usually comes from him to be missing.  It will come back strongly once we get sorted.  He is fundamentally a good man.

Auntie S.

Bloggers.  So many do this throughout the year.  I look back and remember so many encouraging tweets, offers of telephone numbers, emails and comments.  I appreciate them all.  They sustain me.

The Professor – a steady reminder that someone watches from afar and wishes me well.

Facebook friends from school and from my time in Leeds.

My half-sisters.  I must try and make meeting them one day a reality.

My children – three amazing souls who take me as I am and love me all the same.

 

6. Tell us what you learned

That truly incredible and wonderful things can happen.

That security is an illusion.

That I am sometimes more capable of things than I think.

That it is important to be clear with people on what you want and need.  It is also important to be honest about what you won’t accept.

 

7. Tell us what made you laugh

Lauren regaling me with Ann Summers stories in a London hotel room.

Kimberley’s daughter stealing my son’s shoe and running rings round him.

My son telling a film crew that his Dad was a couch potato.

My son acting the fool with another film crew to great effect.

My other son – so quick with word play and growing up fast.

My daughter – through singing with such enthusiasm and really believing she has a voice when the rest of us could tell her she really doesn’t.

Memories.

8. Tell us the things that made you cry

Insecurity and not knowing quite which way to turn

Realising a relationship was not going to happen with a new extended family member

Fears when I found a breast lump

 

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud.

My oldest son putting himself back together again as time started to heal his grief.   How he offered to give up his place on the Orlando trip to one of the other children.  How he looked after me on the America trip.   How he has forged good friendships. He started to excel at school again after his grades had crashed following my Dad’s death.

My youngest son finding he had a talent in front of the camera.  He took part in two filming events with such composure, humour and aplomb.

My daughter facing her fears and going on her first residential trip.  She took part in some very physical activities which like me is not her natural forte.  She came back changed and with a greater sense of independence.

 

 

10. Tell us the things that made you proud of yourself.

Saying yes to the America trip and going on a rollercoaster.

Tackling two major projects and pulling them off successfully.

Going to the GP and breast clinic when I found a lump rather than pretending it was not there.

Committing to doing all I can to help move my husband and the family forward.

Saying when things really are not good enough.

Digging deep and letting my daughter be away from home without her parents.

 

11. Tell the challenges you overcame

This may be a work in progress.

I will claim rollercoasters and the breast lump as scary things that I faced up to and lived to tell the tale.

12. Tell us the things you would like to change about your life in 2014,

1. To become more financially independent and to see my husband back in work.

2. To lose weight and get fitter.

3. To be more organised in the house and to introduce some good systems.

4. To do better at blogging and also to actively seek other writing and social media opportunities.

5. To write that novel and get it finished.

6. To see people more often and to build on friendships.

Over to you. Any blogger can have a go at this one if they fancy reflecting back on the year that was 2013.

Tagging some lovely bloggers

@NewMumOnline @usthreebythesea @dragonsflypoppy @knackeredhwife @AutismMumma @PollyBurns2 @ LJB41 @CupcakeMumma11 @crazywithtwins @darling_steph @Tamsin_Tweets @InstinctiveMum @Glasgow_Mummy @ goriami @redpeffer @soundinglike @smilesandphotos @gertieandginger @mrsshortiesmind @mummy_plum @mummytries @ugglymuggly @needaphone @ojosworld @oliversmadhouse @mummyglitzer @RP4ges @kimberleyjtyler

More to follow