T W O T H O U S A N D & E I G H T E E N

If I think back over the years, I can't actually pinpoint a New Year beginning where I haven't felt truly excited for what the next year would bring; bursting with positive energy, motivation and determination to set new goals and achieve them. So it has come as a bit of a surprise that the start of 2018 is the first time I've just felt 'bleugh' about it all, (and it isn't solely due to the NYE hangover holding me hostage over New Year's Day..!) It's not that I'm feeling negative about the new year in any way, it's just I suppose it's the first time where it has just felt, well, very normal, just like any other day of the year. That fizzy feeling of a clean slate, fresh start, new beginning - whatever you want to call it, has completely eluded me this time. Usually I'd be buzzing with ideas of things I'd want to do for the year ahead; hastily scribbling down numerous to do lists/ hopes/ goals/ dreams, before they were replaced with even more thoughts that would need to be documented before they escaped my brain! I'd probably be taking part in the rounding up of the previous year in pictures, reminiscing over my favourite memories and compiling them into a collage of some sort. I'd be reflecting on the year just gone with some kind of sentimental Instagram or Facebook post. This year - nada. And it's only just come to my realisation as to why I think that is...

Yesterday was an incredibly lazy day, which was well and truly called for after a few days spent away from home, filled with all the lovely but nonetheless hectic goings on that the festive season undeniably brings. Therefore Theo and I embraced a much needed home day of doing nothing but staying in pj's for the majority of the day, snacking on the remains of all the festive treats scattered around the house and generally just chilling out before the daily grind begins once more.

The point behind it being a lazy day, is that it meant I found myself spending a large proportion of my day scrolling through social media posts much more than I usually would. Social media posts which were brimming with wonderful round ups of 2017 and exciting things for 2018; incredible achievements, beautiful holidays, babies being born, engagements, weddings, promotions, travelling adventures, houses being bought... you get the gist. And while all of those things are amazing and I am fiercely, insanely proud of and pleased for each and every one of my friends who have experienced many of these things, or are about to, I guess that pesky comparing-yourself-to-others bug managed to get me right in the feels and I suddenly felt pretty disheartened about the fact I hadn't achieved anything throughout the whole of 2017.

Or had I?

Ok so maybe not as exciting as the aforementioned big achievements, but I definitely have some. The beginning of the year threw quite a few hurdles at me, in fairly quick succession of each other, but I continued to get back up and dust myself off with each incident knocking me just a little bit more and wondering when I was going to be given a break. But I did it and made it through and just kept going. I found even more inner strength, independence and perseverance than I'd previously found from the year before. I carried on for my little boy - you just don't have a choice when there's this little human relying on you to provide them with absolutely everything and he was my drive to keep on keeping on when I could have so easily crumbled.

This year has shown me what I'm capable of as a woman and a Mother and shown me that I am bloody strong.

I've continued to learn even more about myself and sometimes, that's a huge achievement in itself. The fact I'm even able to openly write this and accept I've actually done ok and give myself some credit, is a pretty big step. And if we are going down the reflective route, then I suppose it's only right to remember a few significant moments - despite a fairly rocky start, there have been some incredible times during 2017;

I was lucky enough to watch one of my oldest, closest friends get married and was honoured to have been a witness and give a reading at the ceremony..
Had an amazing time visiting Barcelona with wonderful friends, which had been my first break abroad for a few years..
Celebrated my baby Brother turning 18..
Was asked to be a Bridesmaid (for the first time ever!) for 2018..
Had some fabulous nights out, dinners, Birthday celebrations, numerous days out with Theo, festivals and UK mini breaks, all with fabulous friends...

Above all, I have been surrounded by friends and family who I couldn't be without <3

And 2018...?

I look forward to meeting FOUR new babies entering the world thanks to 4 of my closest friends..
I have the absolute honour of being a Bridesmaid for another one of my besties..
Theo will be starting SCHOOL (!!!)
All the little things in between... and who knows what else!

I'm entering this year with a positive outlook but without setting too many expectations for myself like I tend to do; I plan on just going with the flow a bit more, taking the pressure off myself to do everything all the time!

If you've felt similar thoughts this year and felt like there hasn't been anything 'big' worth celebrating or reminiscing over; please know that sometimes, it's the little things that get overlooked at the time that are even more important, to you as an individual. Every achievement, whether big or small, is worth celebrating. Not necessarily by making it public knowledge via social media -  you may not even wish to voice these personal achievements to anyone - but just acknowledging them to yourself is enough. We need to remember that social media tends to be inundated with snippets of the very best bits from people's lives and endeavour to not become caught up in what has been important or special to someone else. We all have our own special moments and memories which are personal to us, and they should be what we focus on - not everyone else's lives.

If my only achievement that comes from 2018 is that my Son continues to grow up being the wonderful little human he already is, I'll be pretty damn pleased with that!

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