As 2017 fades, we begin to think about all the possibilities that 2018 holds – continuing the Winter Solstice Festivities theme of letting go of the old and embracing the new.
One of my dearest friends used to say that she despised the New Year celebrations. The thought of having a big party to celebrate one day and making resolutions seemed pointless to her; it was just another day. I could see what she was getting at, to some extent. For many, it really is just an opportunity to drink as much as they can, whilst making the usual promises to lose weight/stop smoking/get fit – then abandoning said promises on day 3!
For the most part though, I love the idea of a fresh start. The year stretching ahead like the crisp, blank page of a book, waiting for your next chapter to be written. You can write about anything you like! Will this be the year you finally take up scuba diving/get to know your neighbours/take that road trip? It can take whatever form you like – beautiful poetry, all flowery and romantic; an epic novel, full of detail; a haiku – simple, yet elegant.
There are some who like to be always moving forward, but it also does us well to look back. We can take note of what we were grateful for, any mistakes we made, as well as all the memories that we carved.
I have so much to be grateful for over this past year. The highlight, of course, being the birth of my littlest ray – my beautiful little Jessica Rose. She was a surprise baby, but very much wanted and a delight to us all. Watching her grow and become her own little self has been a wonderful (if slightly sleep-deprived) adventure. I expect our next chapter will be full of whatever antics she gets up to in her 2nd year.
I also have my other wee rays to be thankful for. Littlest-middle, Keira, started school this year and is absolutely thriving. Her teacher described her as one of the strongest in her class, despite the fact that she is the youngest. She has been learning to cross-stitch this week and we’ve discovered that she’s a natural. I look forward to seeing what other knowledge and skills she acquires this next year.
Biggest-middle has overcome her fear of water this year at her swimming lessons. When she first started, she would only get into the water once she was wearing her armbands, had a pool noodle wrapped around her waist, a float in one hand, and the other hand clutching desperately to her instructor! Risk assessment at its best! With the help of her brilliant instructor though, she gradually began to drop the flotation aids, one by one. She is now swimming confidently, without any aids, and her instructor has told her that she will soon be moving up a class (possibly after the next block!) We’re also looking at sending her to a local dramatic arts class, to further bring out her love of performing. The next year should see my amazing wee Julia’s confidence soar!
My biggest ray also did well at his swimming lessons this year. Andrew moved up to the next class and is thriving in the deeper water. Our intention is to send him to scuba diving lessons, as he seems pretty intent on pursuing a career in marine biology (although tomorrow he could be back to his aspiration of becoming a butler!) He is full of ambition, and absorbs facts on each one as he moves through life. I’m sure the next year will be no different!
My lovely husband, Kevin, is the glue that binds us all together. He works hard to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table. After eleven and a half years of marriage, I still love him as much as ever, and I’m not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. I’m of the belief that if you love someone, say it. Some may feel it doesn’t need saying, but I really don’t get that. You shouldn’t say it because you need to, but because you want to. And I do – frequently!
We have lots of aspirations for this year, both as individuals, and as a team. We intend to grow more of our own food, as well as continue with our eco journey. There are lots of plans for family time, as well as new discoveries to be made. I’m looking forward to exploring my witchiness, and letting nature be my guide. Most importantly, I’m looking forward to just being me: mother, wife, Mags.
My pen is poised, ready to begin the next chapter, ready to write the next year as it unfolds. I’m ready to write the funny, exciting bits, as well as the more sombre moments. It’s important to include everything, since every moment, every word shapes who we are and who we will become.
What will your 2018 chapter say?