A birthday roundup!
Today marks my twenty-ninth birthday, which also means I’m now in to my thirtieth year… yikes. Let’s not think about that, that’s a problem for this time next year.
We’re currently in Edinburgh eating room service breakfast in bed, a new tradition of ours that we started last year! We haven’t been to Edinburgh in forever and it feels wonderful to be here at Christmas. Anyone with a December birthday will know the feeling of just wanting to have a bit of peace and quiet for it!
I wanted to do my usual roundup of the year, I always love taking stock at times that these because I think birthdays and Christmas are a time for a bit of reflection, it allows us a chance to be grateful, doesn’t it?
Saying that, this year has been… a lot. Without a doubt the worst year of my life, filled with so many struggles and lows. I’ve always been pretty relaxed about my birthday (it is a few days before Christmas, after all!) but I guess this year being the last year of my twenties (and such a big year for me emotionally), I’ve been a little more reflective than usual.
It hurts so much to not receive a birthday message from my mum today, I knew that would be something I’d have to deal with on the day but it still caught me off guard this morning. I took a bit of time to think about her and how much I miss her, it was healing to dedicate some time to thinking about her in a setting where I could control it. Grief often comes in waves and totally floors me at times when I don’t expect it, but it’s something I’ve accepted as a way of life now.
I didn’t want this to be a super upsetting post so I’m going to do my best to roundup the year in positives, but I think it would be weird if I glossed over the hard parts, so here goes…
I made it through, so that’s an achievement in itself! Pat on the back for me. Sometimes I feel a bit of guilt over not sharing more of the difficult times with you all, especially when my mum first became ill two and a half years ago, and also when I was having a lot of issues with my cervical health earlier this year (which I spoke about here). It feels misleading that I post so many highlights from my life but rarely the low points, of which there have been many!
A lot of the time it’s just that I’m not ready to share what’s going on, often it’s not just my news to share (something I think we can all relate to). Sometimes, like when I had my accident in summer, I just couldn’t find the words, and I sort of had to suss it out myself before I could post about it here.
I said at the start of this year that I wanted to share more personal posts, and I think I’ve managed that. I’ve found a good balance, where people aren’t speculating about what’s happening, but I don’t feel like I’m oversharing either. I feel glad that I have a place that I can share how I feel, because I find writing so therapeutic!
I feel closer to everyone, and my circle has grown stronger and tighter. When I found myself in hospital after my operation earlier this year, my friends absolutely rallied around me, and again when I had to unexpectedly go back to New Zealand when my mum passed away. I couldn’t believe the lengths my loved ones went to to help me through such dark times. I felt truly loved and cared for in a time when I didn’t think I’d be able to ever feel like myself again. You realise who your loved ones are in a crisis, but you don’t understand what that really means until you’ve come out in one piece.
My friends have been unreal, organising everything, catsitting for us (a job and a half!), filling the fridge and cleaning the flat when we got back. And just checking in on me every single day since.
I also feel closer to my family, especially my dad and brothers who I’ve always had a good relationship with but I definitely feel like we’re more of a unit now. I know my mum would be so, so proud of us.
I feel more motivated than ever which is a great feeling. Earlier this year I felt so jaded and uninspired, I was questioning if I even wanted to keep at my job. It’s my 11th year blogging now and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing left to be covered! But after some time off when I was in New Zealand, I feel like I’ve come back with fresh eyes and a new outlook, I’m ready to tackle 2020 with a positive, inspired mindset.
For the most part, I’m thankful. If anything, this year has shown me that I am blessed with a wonderful, caring family and incredible, endlessly thoughtful friends. Not to mention a husband that would go to the ends of the earth for me (as he did recently on the long-haul flights from Glasgow to New Zealand!)
Jordan and I are also celebrating our eighth anniversary this month, we’ve been together since we were basically kids – our early days of doing long-distance between London and Glasgow feels like many lifetimes ago! We’ve adopted our cat babies, made the decision to elope to New York, bought and renovated a flat (and are in the process of renovating another) and dealt with the loss of both our mothers. Somehow we’ve come out more content than ever. We’re a good match, Jord and I!
So although things aren’t all rosy around here, which sometimes my Instagram feed would suggest!, I feel like this is a new chapter for me. Life without my mum is terrifying, and grief is exhausting and uncertain, but there’s a lot of good in my life too. I know my mum wanted nothing more than a happy life for me and my brothers, so the least I can do is honour that. So here’s to a new me; older, perhaps a little wiser, but definitely more thoughtful, understanding and hopefully, a bit happier too.
And of course, thank you for your support this year, you guys keep me going! xo.