Well, there we go, 2019 is upon us. I am pretty sure it was the millennium just last week! I know it’s a cliché but time really does seem to whizz by! 2018 was an incredible year for us as a family and on a personal level, I am so grateful for all the goodness we experienced last year. So, so, so many things to be thankful for…
The kids are back to school now and normal service can once again resume I am glad to say. Christmas was wonderful, with lots of well-earned rest, several family hikes, time spent with friends and family and of course the food and gifts! I do really enjoy all that the festive season encompasses, but if I am completely honest, I also find it all a little overwhelming. The pressure to buy, buy, buy is not my cup of tea whatsoever and this Christmas past I kept it all really simple and we had a precious time together (until the bickering began, which is inevitable really with everyone knocked out of their usual routine). Also, as much as the rest was good and much-needed following a hectic term of exams, as a family, we just don’t thrive in a confined space for long periods, we need to move our bodies and exert ourselves in order to feel fully alive! I was immensely grateful to leave behind the pjs, movies, treats and time indoors to get out for several walks up Cave Hill and in Glenarm Forest over the break as well as a New Year’s Day hike in the Mourne Mountains.
Today, back to routine beckoned and I cycled to school with the boys, then continued on for a victory cycle (we survived 2 full weeks together! Yay!) to Comber and back, complete with a flask of coffee. It felt so good to get a little bit of headspace and time to gather my thoughts and think about my goals for 2019. I do really like the beginning of a new year. For me, it’s a little bit like a brand new notebook of clean white pages just waiting to be doodled and written on! Exciting!
As much as 2018 was a super year for us in a lot of ways, an injury in March last year left me in a lot of pain and feeling very fearful of over exertion. We still managed to spend a huge amount of time walking in the mountains but I felt limited in my capacities and was unable to carry a rucksack or do anything that would put strain on my neck and shoulders. The few months immediately after the injury were really tough going at times and also were accompanied by a lot of anxiety and worry. It was a little soul destroying to feel like I was watching life from the side-lines for a while and I wondered if I would ever regain my strength. Slowly, through gentle walking and controlled strength-building exercises, by abilities are returning and so is my confidence I am pleased to say. For me, 2019, is going to be a year of continuing to grow in physical strength, of really nurturing the finer details of my movement and hopefully setting myself some sort of physical challenge later in the year (watch this space!).
As a family, our hope is to continue to spend as much of our free time as possible in our beloved Mourne Mountains, to embrace adventure and push our boundaries, to laugh more, dream more, rest more, spend more quality time together, be more connected to one another and the world around us, to explore creative passions, to live intentionally and meaningfully and to live as joyfully as we know how! That’s a lot of ‘mores’ I realize, yet this is not about acquiring more or buying more, or even about being dissatisfied with life as it is…no, many of these ‘mores’ are actually about taking a step back, allowing ourselves time to dream and play and create, to stop scrolling and be fully present and appreciative, to listen and really hear, to live and love fiercely, to say the words we sometimes hold back for fear of sounding OTT, to really pinpoint the things that make us happy and pursue them wholeheartedly. As I mentioned at the beginning, time is hurtling by so rapidly, our boys are growing taller, the years seem to go faster the bigger they get, so my endeavour for 2019 is to live well, to really live in the here and now and enjoy what the year ahead brings.
My prayer for you also is that you will have a year full of good things. That you will treat yourself well and with kindness. That you will allow yourself time to play and explore and be free and know that it’s okay to do so. That you will make a list of the things that make you happy and make space for them in your days. That you will say yes to new challenges, to relationships, to anything that will bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face. Have a happy, healthy fun-filled year friend. You deserve it.