New Years resolutions ~ do you make them? If so, are you able to keep them or do they fall by the wayside pretty quickly?
I’m not a resolution maker ~ I used to be in my youth but after spending years drawing up lists of all the amazing new things I was going to do with the enthusiastic optimism that I would be able to stick to it and then becoming terribly disappointed in myself for not fulfilling them because I had put far too much onto my list with unrealistic expectations about what was achievable and/or affordable.
If resolutions were dares or fun challenges then maybe perhaps I would join in, perhaps…but then again, maybe not. Just as I was about to publish this blog I spied my friend Stacys’ blog, in which she also talks about not making resolutions but small challenges. Stacy writes a regular Friday blog for the Watford Observer and I look forward to reading it each week with my big vat of coffee in hand. It always makes me laugh, such as when she says “I’m determined to play at least one song on it, along with the panpipes that I  purchased last year, still hung over my bed head un-played. If I’m feeling deluded enough I might even go for a little Cacharpaya by Icantation for those of you old enough to remember the chart topping catchy instrumental of 1982 .” Whilst always raising a smile she also  touches on more serious topics too and this week she is calling on people to consider donating bone marrow for 6 year old Emma among many who desperately need donors to come forward. Check her blog out here.
So ~ do I make resolutions? No, instead I look at the New Year with different eyes, I compartmentalise my life into sections of each complete past year and the events held within them. So as each year closes I reflect on the events that have occurred, the lessons I have received and what new knowledge and wisdom, if any, I have extracted from them. Then I look forward to the impending New Year with a sense of anticipation for what lies ahead, for the choices I will make and fresh lessons I will learn. 
Instead of making resolutions I look at what needs to change from the past year and how I can work those changes realistically into the forthcoming one. The key is to focus on what really needs to be addressed and how best to do that, this for me is more mapping out what I can plan for this next section of my life with room for life to happen around it.
So, for 2015, what am I thinking? 
  • As always “Girls’ Health” is high up on the need to address list, with two chronically ill teenagers in the house with symptoms which fluctuate widely we are always needing to reassess their needs and what we need to seek help for on a regular basis. This is not within our control, but how we approach it is. So we are pro-active where we can be, we go to regular maintenance appointments to help ease what we can. We have check-ups via GP and regular reviews with our OT and CAMHS teams. The Consultant checks in twice a year for Tasha and three or four times for Tara. We make lists of what we would like checking and then utilise these appointments to keep on top of all the medical issues to ensure the holistic approach is maintained towards their care. The same goes for the girls mental health requirements ~ all three have their own specific issues and over 2014 our plans were put into action which means they are now all receiving the specialist help they need to address them.
  • Next on the list is “Income” my hubby Dave is self-employed which means no stability of income, I am occupied as a unpaid full-time carer although I have my online shop on the side, which provides a very limited income. Towards the latter end of 2014 work and health became linked when Dave suffered two heart attacks in early December.  Which, as you can appreciate, knocked the wind out of our sails somewhat. Currently Dave is unable to work as he is still recuperating and following the hospitals rehabilitation programme. This means we have no income coming in at the moment ~ scary times! However, strange as it may seem, we are viewing this terrible episode as having a positive effect on our lives. It has brought into focus that we need to take care of our own health as parents and not just that of our children. Stress, bad habits and sheer bad luck were at play leading to Dave having his heart troubles ~ the Consultant is of a mind that even if he hadn’t enjoyed the odd bevvy or biscuit leading up to this event that it would have still have happened. He explained that there is often no rhyme or reason to who heart attacks select and that in actual fact Dave wasn’t leading a totally debauched lifestyle and so shouldn’t beat himself up about it. We have decided that yes this was/is a dark time but let’s not let it hold us in its shadow and instead extract ourselves from its hold and find a way to overcome it, and do as the wonderful Terry Pratchett says…
  • Income leads onto “Work” and I am thrilled to now be working alongside my husband in his business, helping him organise his office and work space, typing reports and helping him with the running of his online business, as well as some hands on stuff too. The new unit is so nearly ready for us to occupy the office space, hopefully we will be in by the end of January. I will have my desk in the office and have a new laptop so I can flit between home and office (it is a ten minute drive from home) to collect work and so means I can continue to care for the girls whilst also working to help Dave. For Dave it has meant altering how he spends his working days and the type of jobs he takes on. He has to now be more conductor, organising the rest of us working beneath him and taking more of a physical back seat. This, we feel, will work really well and end up making the business more streamline and efficient. It has meant he has to relinquish the reins in some areas and have faith in those in his employ, as before he was very hands on and hated to delegate ~ so very much the silver lining in all of this.
  • This also leads on to the health focus on ourselves, so I add “Personal Health” to the list, which is something we have previously ignored as we have always prioritise the girls. The heart attacks have brought forth the need for new diet and exercise regimes, which is great. It is easily implemented whilst Dave is convalescing and we think we have the daily routine sorted for when he is able to ease back into work in a few weeks time. Already he is feeling the benefit and I must say that myself and the Hairy Trio are enjoying our daily walks with him too.

So, for me these are NOT resolutions but life tweaks to maintain a healthy life style, following the diet plan as given to us by the rehabilitation nurses and continue and build on the gentle exercises as advised by the doctors. We are also aiming mid-January to join our local patient and partner group for sufferers of heart attacks and involve ourselves in their activity, also to continue to support our girls to find stability with their mental and physical illnesses.

So as we wave hello to 2015 we are looking towards the coming year with a sense of excitement, hope, anticipation and curiosity. What surprises is life holding in store for us? I just hope that the surprises are all good ones and that we find some peace, harmony and a more settled period in our lives.

2015 is a journey yet to be travelled, an empty road leading to who knows what. As we step onto the tarmac and start to walk let’s hope that we have some fun times and adventures along the way.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and hope that for you it is a good one, memories waiting to be made and adventures to be lived.

x~X~x