Summing up 2017; one of the most difficult of my life… hoping for a better 2018 and wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Some loose thoughts on 2017. I’ve kind of just let it all out, so there’s some non-PG language; nothing horrendous, but a few swear words. This year has been difficult and I just needed to write.
This year has tested me beyond anything I could have imagined. There have been happy moments and incredibly dark moments. I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year; I am a damn warrior. This year has thrown so much at me, health wise, life wise… yet somehow I got through it with the help of my family and friends.
I became an Aunt for the first time and I absolutely love it! I love cuddles with my nephew and watching him grow. He’s 5 months old now and is super long! I think he’s definitely going to take after his dad, my dad and me in height! His legs are so ridiculously long, I might have someone else in the family to give me a run for my money 😉
It’s lovely seeing him develop and getting more and more interested in everything. It probably won’t be fun for his mum and dad when he’s crawling and in everything, but he has been a true joy this year. And he’s cute. So there’s that too!
To most of my family, finding out there was going to be a new life was an exciting thing, but it’s a shame not everyone in the family felt the same and some even refused to acknowledge his existence until he was born.
This year has also been the year where I realised how fiercely protective and loyal I am to my family unit. I mean I always knew I was loyal, but this year has been another level.
I’d much rather just have a quiet life with my loved ones being polite, friendly, helpful and nice to everyone… but I will NOT tolerate bullshit. If you treat someone I love like crap, I will bite. I’m the kind of person you want on your side because I will constantly support you and fight for you until the end of time.
Mum has put up with crap from certain family members for decades and since I was a teenager, I’ve seen it myself and been able to make my own mind up. I still spent years putting on a fake smile and trying to be nice, but there comes a time when you realise it’s actually a good thing that you don’t fit in because you don’t want to be like them anyway.
This year Mum and I finally reached our limit after a couple of years of it all getting a lot worse. All of this has made me think about how I am so thankful my Dad met my mum and she had such an influence on him. I am grateful for how we were brought up because I turned out to be grounded, well rounded and able to fend for myself in the big wide world.
We got tired of the manipulation, the using people for your own gain, the bitchiness, the expectation that my dad has to do all the shitty jobs and is basically a servant. The ganging up on my Dad, the fake niceties when you want something, the twisting of facts to make out we’re the bad ones… The insinuation of mum doing things on purpose. Believe it or not, our sole purpose in life isn’t to piss you off. We have our own lives and you’re not that important.
I also found out in 2017 that people don’t like it when they realise that they haven’t fooled you and you can see straight through them. They run and tell your Dad like you’re 6 and not 26.
Dad knows I will always stick up for him and he thinks the following; I’m a grown up, I’m allowed an opinion and this is my blog so I can write whatever I want. If you don’t like it, don’t treat him like shit because then I’d have nothing to write about.
If you treat people with respect, then you’ll earn it. Treat people like crap and you don’t deserve respect. I am completely done with anyone who treats my family like rubbish. I’ve been pretty good at cutting people out the past couple of years, but in 2018 I am not dealing with any of it, I’ve got too much to live for to be dealing with other people’s negativity.
Since I made it known that I don’t do things because I should, or because they are expected of me, I’ve felt like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’m so looking forward to life without horrid people I’ve lost all respect for.
Life is too short to have assholes around you, surround yourself with people who make you happy, people who make you laugh until you cry, people who love you and you love back, people who respect you; it doesn’t matter that you “should” have certain people in your life because you’re related. An asshole is an asshole, blood relation or not.
Since April, this year has been terrible. The day we lost our dog daughter was the worst of my life so far. Most of the Summer was a blur of depression and not going out. I think I went about a month without going out. I just sat at home crying and missing Poppy so much. It wasn’t healthy, I know that, but I just couldn’t pull myself out of it.
I still miss her so much and I can cry at the drop of a hat when I think of her (I am as I write this) but it has become slightly easier to get through the day. I got a new job recently so I would leave the house a few times a week and it’s been my saving grace. Mr AN didn’t want me to get a job, he said we didn’t need the money and even though that’s the case, for my own sanity, I needed to get out of the house even if it’s just a few times a week.
Speaking to people, getting out and having something to focus on… it’s really helped me. My grief is still there and it’s strong as ever if I think about it, but I do feel better when I have something else to think about.
I know Poppy wouldn’t want us to be upset and she’d want us to be happy, but I just miss her so much. I miss her tantrums, the fact she hated water and baths, her playing and throwing toys around, her cuddles and feeling needed by her. There’s still an empty space on the bed where she should be.
I never used to like dogs, but I fell hard for that ball of fluff. She knew when I needed her and I knew when she needed me. Working from home made it harder because I was so used to spending all day, every day with her and then suddenly she wasn’t there.
I find it slightly easier to talk about her now in a positive light. I like to look through my photos every few days and screen grab some of her so there isn’t too big of a gap in my photos without her there. It makes me so sad that there will never be any new photos of her.
No matter how strong I try and be, I’ve realised that sometimes it’s OK to just cry. I would say I still cry a few times a week, but for shorter periods of time. If I start crying, I immediately look at pictures and videos of her and then Mr AN and I talk about something silly she did. Like the time she ate a boiled egg for the first time and every time he put it in the bowl, she’d look up at him and then pick the egg up and put it next to the bowl. Just stupid stuff, but it makes us laugh.
We still have a lot of firsts to go… this is the first Christmas without her, we have our wedding, Mother’s Day, my birthday, Easter… then it will be a year already.
There were times this year where I felt time almost stood still and the days were so long and painful. There were other times where time flew by and I don’t know where time went.
I hope 2018 is kinder to us. I can’t deal with anymore hurt right now.
Through all of this Mr AN has been a constant. I’m not going to lie, when Poppy was ill and on loads of medication and needing lots of help, it tested us. We were taking it out on each other because she wouldn’t take a pill or she was throwing a tantrum.
Since she passed we’ve got a lot closer again. I don’t like admitting that there have been any positives since Poppy went because we miss her so much, but it’s always hard when you’re dealing with illness and the fact she couldn’t even walk up the stairs near the end. He would put his back out and take it out on me, but we both knew that we would do anything for her, so carry her he did.
There were nights I was up all night with her, sleeping on the floor, desperately trying to get her to sleep and that made me grouchy and prone to getting pissed off easily.
In amongst all of this craziness, I have somehow managed to move ahead with our wedding. There’s only a few weeks left until the big day and by the time you’re reading this, I’m probably in a bit of a panic remembering lots of things I should have already done.
I am still looking forward to it a lot. I can’t wait to be a wife and getting to spend the rest of my life with Mr AN.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been happy this year, but I have still managed to find joy in things and I fully intend to enjoy my wedding as much as I can.
We’ve been together almost 7 years and I can’t imagine life without him. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we’re sarcastic, we have banter, we finish each other’s sentences, we take the piss out of each other, we laugh hard, but most of all we love each other.
It doesn’t matter what other people think about the age gap or if they don’t like him for some unknown reason, my close family love him as do I and we are happy together. Another way to look at it is the only people I care about like him, so screw everyone else really.
I think he’s brought out a lot of good in me; he’s a calming influence when someone’s done something to piss me off and I’m shouting about the audacity of it, he laughs when I get another obsession and end up buying 10 new eyeshadow palettes; he’s my biggest cheerleader in life and thinks I can do anything.
I listen when he’s talking about the idiots he has to deal with, or when he’s upset about Poppy not being here anymore, he’s learned what a close family is from seeing mine, he’s definitely got his road rage from me…! Not sure if that’s good or not lol!!
I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for us. As long as we’re together, we’ll get through them.
My close family and my friends have also made this year slightly more bearable. I feel like my family is such a strong unit and it’s us against the world. My friends have been there when I’m upset and need someone to talk to, or when I need to talk about something someone has done, or when I’ve been clumsy and am laughing at myself. They’ve given the best advice and I hope I’ve been a good listener with any problems they’ve had. My life would certainly be a duller place without my friends!
Mum and I text almost every day, mostly random funny stuff and stupid GIFs, but sometimes we’re serious and I know I can tell her anything. She’s such a big support for me and I’d be lost without her. Sometimes we just bitch about people, sometimes we talk about serious things like my depression and shit that’s been happening, sometimes we just joke about things we’d like to say/do, or send each other sparkly things we want. (We’re both obsessed with glitter and anything sparkly).
My Dad is still the kindest, funniest, hardest working person I know and he has far too much shit to deal with. He sometimes gives me stitches because I laugh so much. The older I get, the more I appreciate how hard he has worked to provide for his family ever since I was born. I think that’s why I feel so protective of him because I know what an absolutely fantastic person he is and I get really pissed when people treat him like poo and pile on more stress when he has enough to deal with.
I can’t wait for him to give me away. I thought about the trip to our venue in the sleigh the other day and I teared up. I know we are all going to be crying come February, but I couldn’t get married without either of my parents.
I’m going to be surrounded by a handful of people who mean the most to me and it’s going to be perfect. I don’t need some huge wedding full of people I won’t see again for years. I just need people I love and who love me back.
SO, that’s all my thoughts on 2017… long, maybe slightly jumbled which I apologise for… it’s been a roller coaster year and I can only hope 2018 brings more laughs and more positives.
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! I’ll be back with some recipes soon!
Stock photos from Pexels
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