It’s that time again… time to review the entire year and tell you what my hopes are for the new year!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a lovely holiday period – ours was quiet which was exactly what we wanted. Since it’s the start of a new year, it’s time to reflect on 2018!
Where do I start?! It was certainly a roller coaster year, better than 2017 which felt like the worst year of my life, but it’s still had it’s ups and downs. I started the year firm in my resolve to keep being true to myself and cutting anyone negative out of my life.
Glad to report I kept it up all year and plan to do more of the same this year. I learnt that people don’t like hearing the truth last year, but I am being honest to myself and I’m not going to pretend with anyone. I just tell people like it is and I say what everyone has been thinking and saying amongst our close family.
Life is too short for pettiness and sad, tragic people with no hobbies. When you’re 50 years old and still acting like this is the school playground? I have no time. Trying to buy people and play people against each other? Not interested, I’m not going to come grovelling back saying “sorry I told you the truth!” – it is what it is, once a dick, always a dick. Surround yourself with people you love and who love and respect you back.
If I could give anyone one piece of advice it would be that, be true to you. Tell the truth, don’t be a doormat and don’t put up with any shit from anyone. You will feel so much better. Cutting certain people from my life was the absolute BEST decision of my life. I feel cleansed and free and enjoy my life so much more.
My family unit is as close as ever and I love it. We all love and support each other unconditionally, it’s tough being far away from them, but technology makes it easier and I try and go down to visit as much as I can.
The biggest thing in 2018 was that we finally got married! We’d been planning the wedding for almost 3 years and February 8th 2018 came around and there we were, stood in a beautiful wooden kota surrounded by our nearest and dearest getting married.
The ceremony was everything we wished for and the meal after was a chance for us to kick back and relax. It was the first time we’d had a family holiday in 13 years and we loved it. After the wedding, we came back to the UK to have a party for our wider family and friends. It was such fun, it turned out exactly as I hoped and was the most amazing way to celebrate.
We’re only a few weeks from our first anniversary now and I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by.
April 2018 marked one year since we lost Poppy. Not going to lie, it’s still tough and we still miss her so much; I’d give anything to have her back, but I will admit it’s got easier to get through the day. I can talk about her now and while I can still cry pretty easily, I can look through photos and remember the good times now.
In December we were reminded just how precious life is and how quickly it can turn around. A good friend of ours had a massive stroke one evening and is still unconscious in hospital. It’s heartbreaking for her husband and young sons and we all just want her to go home to her family. The week before she was just living her life, picking the boys up from school and getting caught in the rain… now she’s been in hospital for weeks and it’s going to be a very long road to recovery.
This year I FINALLY got a diagnosis for my back after 10 years of back and forth to various specialists. I mean, it’s not fantastic being told you have arthritis, but at least I know what it is and I can try and manage it. I know that long term it’s going to get progressively worse, but I’m just relieved that after so long I know what’s going on in there.
It’s strange, I’ve had a bad back for 10 years. It’s caused so much pain, but I still felt like I had to come to terms with finding out I had arthritis. It took a good few weeks and I felt confused, sad, relieved… so many emotions.
By Summer I had got to a good place and my medication was managing my condition. I was enjoying work and although I never have pain free days, I could cope and still loved going to work. I’ve had 4 flare ups in the last year, but when it’s “good”, I really try and appreciate it as I know that the next morning I might be unable to get out of bed.
Unfortunately, recently we had a change of manager at work and that started a spiral. My previous manager was so supportive, everyone at work was. I didn’t take the mick, but if I needed help then I could ask anyone. I had adjustments at work so I could continue to work without hurting my back more, then my manager left…
The temporary manager came in and immediately took my adjustments away. I struggled on for weeks trying to work without, but it was way too painful and my doctor was angry that I’d been put back so far. I loved work so much, but I can’t jeopardise my health anymore than I already did. At the end of the day, I’m the only one who goes home crying in agony because it hurts to breathe. I also only have one spine and a degenerative condition, so I have to try and prolong my ability to move and be able bodied.
I ended up handing my notice in which was the last thing I wanted to do for my mental health, but for my physical health, it was the right decision. I love all of my colleagues so much and I miss them, but it’s now been a couple of months since my back got bad and I still struggle to walk/stand/do housework. I rested over Christmas and tried to do my first workout yesterday, but immediately my back was terrible again.
It’s really hard to find the balance – if I do nothing I get stiff, if I do too much I get sciatica, nerve pain, it goes into spasm… sometimes I feel like I can’t win.
I have formally complained about the manager’s actions as he broke the law and I’m getting legal advice to see where I stand. I genuinely thought I was in my job for the long haul, it was perfect, 3 mornings a week, doable, fun, gave me focus, but when it’s having such a negative impact on my health I know I have to actually put myself first for once.
So, in 2019, I am back to full time blogging and excited to see where it takes me!
HOPES FOR THIS YEAR
There’s already huge, exciting things planned for this year which I’ll be able to tell you about very soon, but I can’t wait. 2019 is looking to be quite the adventure!
We have plans to go away to Switzerland this year, I’m looking forward to being back on my own timetable this year, if I want to go away for a weekend, I can. I’m going to be throwing myself into the blog and sharing lots of new recipes, I’m hoping I can get back to a semi good place with my back and get my medication under control again. I know it’s going to help so much not having to stand up for hours and lift things.
I feel like this year is going to be a learning curve of what I’m physically able to do still. My husband has been my absolute rock, he is so supportive. I worry that I put too much strain on him as he works full time and I try and do as much as I can around the house, but there are certain things I need help with as I can’t bend or lift. If I’m having a bad day he takes my shoes off for me, brings me coffee in bed… I couldn’t wish for a better person to be by my side in life. I’m excited to see where our second year of marriage takes us!
I think that’s about all that happened last year, I’m not one for New Years resolutions, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, surrounding myself with the right people, not taking crap from people and staying loyal to those I care about, but if you set yourself goals what are they? Let me know in the comments!
Finally, I’d just like to take a moment to thank all of you for your support in the last year, I know it has been up and down in terms of regular posting, but now I’m home full time and have come to terms with my health I’m hoping I can get back to regularly posting two recipes a week!
Hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll be back with delicious recipes next week!