CONFESSIONS · LIFE · THE ART OF HAPPINESS

Confessions of a Single Mother: Thank You 2017

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Well well well, it’s that time of year yet again.

How? How is it 2018 in 2 days time? And how are we at 2018? It does not feel like eighteen years ago we were celebrating the millennium. 

I am very proud. 2017 has been a pretty amazing year for me, probably one of the best years of my life in fact. <—- Oohh that is a bold statement, but I will expand…

This year I took some risks. I did some things that I would never have been able to do five years ago, and they paid off. I learnt a lot. I met some amazing people. I travelled to places I’d never been on my own. I pushed myself. I pushed myself in all areas and the rewards have been invaluable.

So here is my trophy list. All the things I am proud of myself for this year. *I highly recommend doing one of these for yourself, it’s a huge feel-good…and ego-boost. 

1.) Parenting the shit out of life. Maia is healthy and happy. I like to think I have something to do with this. I like to think I played my part. Mum, Dad and I are a team, and I am proud of all of us, because I could not be more proud of her. Maia turned four this year, and I celebrated on the inside because she is a wonderful little girl and I know we are doing something very very right.

2.) The National Youth Theatre. (pictured above) NYT made my year. There’s no other way of putting it. August 2017 was one of the best months of my life. It was four weeks of crazy, intense, BRILLIANT training, with the most awesome, talented and hilarious people I have ever met in my life. It was incredible. I am hugely proud of myself because I was so ridiculously nervous before it began. I was riddled with self-doubt. But the four weeks sort of banished that self-doubt into a small mound of dust on the floor. A whole heap of self-belief took it’s place..and has stuck. Many glorious friendships grew from this month of craziness and with them a pool of opportunities and exciting ventures. NYT is one reason I am so very excited for 2018.

3.) My Travels. I have visited Texas, Poland (twice), Croatia, Budapest, Prague and Copenhagen this year. I am particularly proud of the last three cities, as I travelled SOLO and this was a first for me. I learnt so much about myself and came to really love my own company. And in turn, LOVE MYSELF MORE. I also came to realise how much I need to use my voice on a regular basis. Turns out; I’m a talker. Who’d have thought. I realised this when I began talking to myself as I wandered down a footpath by a busy road in Prague. Perhaps I hadn’t had all that much conversation that particular day, if any at all. I talked into my scarf so no one could see my lips move. I considered getting my phone out and pretending I was on the phone. That would have been worse. I can’t recall what I so desperately needed to get out of my system, but I do remember finding the whole thing very amusing afterwards. I amused myself. By being a weirdo. It didn’t harm anyone.

4.) Accepting my body. Now this is a big one. I have spent the last two years wanting to be anything from 5 to 20 lbs lighter. TWO YEARS. Two years of being dissatisfied with a strong, healthy, pretty reliable body. One I should be grateful for. I have maintained the same weight -give or take a few lbs- this whole year and I have come to realise this is my natural size. When I was breastfeeding Maia, I was a good 20 lbs less than I am now. I loved being that size, and I’ve wasted a lot of precious time longing to be that small again. This year, I realised IT’S SIMPLY NOT REALISTIC. And that…I look absolutely fine AS I AM. This is a somewhat revolutionary thought. To simply accept myself as I am. Not in 10 lbs less. Not when my old skinny jeans fit again. Right now. It’s taken two years to get to this point. (Well if I’m honest, it’s taken far more than two..). And I am so very proud that I can honestly say; I am starting to love my imperfect, post-baby-post-breastfeeding-for-three-years, beautiful body. Yup I said beautiful.

5.) My Spiritual practice. I do believe all my efforts to stay relatively sane which involve anything and everything from daily/weekly meditation, to affirmations, to prayer to..occasionally chanting.. make a difference. I am slowly but surely building the foundations of a strong spiritual connection to the Universe..or God..I haven’t quite decided yet. All I know is that it all helps. It all helps me feel more connected on the inside, it helps me clear the mindless chatter and tune in. Meditation works people.

 

Those are the main areas.

I’m not doing resolutions this year. They don’t work for me. We are a constant working progress and I’m not going to be changing any habits overnight. However some things I have been working on over the last few years and want to continue to build on in 2018 would be: 

1.) Being a little bit kinder to myself. I think a lot of us could do with this one. I am not always very good at this. It’s come up a lot recently…people say things like “you’re very hard on yourself” and “why are you beating yourself up?”. I don’t even realise I am doing it. But I am becoming more self-aware and that means I can do something about it, stop the negative thinking in it’s tracks. Again, meditation helps.

2.) My efforts to write consistently. I want to develop some kind of routine with my writing. The last few years it’s been write-whenever-I-can-squeeze-it-in..but ideally I’d like to get up before everyone else and bash some words out first thing in the morning. That would be a dream…that’s the goal.

3.) My efforts to spend more down-time with Maia. We have days where it’s just the two of us, and we get to be silly and mess around and just be happy. But I feel like those days have been dwindling over the last few months, especially since I came back from NYT and I’ve been spending so much time preparing for exciting drama-related-ventures next year. I do feel like I can never win. But I guess that’s part of pursuing something you love, and having children. It only means I am very very fortunate to be able to do both.

4.) Ploughing through a considerable reading list. I’m happy with what I managed to get through this year, but I want to read more fiction. I already read a lot of plays but I do believe I probably over do it on the self-help front. I can’t help it. Self-help is like chocolate to me… GET INSIDE ME NOW.

And of course there will always be more to work on but for now I will leave it at that.

I cannot express how grateful I am this year. For everything and everyone. All my people.

Have a magical New Year 2018 you beauties. 

As always, 

thank you for reading.

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