It wasn’t until about September last year that I remembered (actually, I had to look it up) what my one little word for 2016 was.
It certainly wasn’t in the way that I envisaged (is it ever in the way we imagine?), but expand I did. I broke into a million pieces during 2016, and am rebuilding day by day. Sometimes I picture my expansion like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, enhancing the broken bits of myself with gold. But, most of the time, it looks far less glamorous.
Needless to say, 2016 was a heartbreaking year for us. But I know there was definitely gold pieces amongst the broken bits.
- Ben and I travelled to Queenstown NZ together for a week in August, and we had a number of a lovely little family getaways with the boys throughout the year.
- Sam finished his three (and a bit) years of treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in November, and we celebrated as he ‘rang the bell’.
- We trained and fundraised for the amazing 800km ride through Thailand for HATW, which we completed in January 2017.
- We finished more renovations in our home, including a back deck and bifold doors, carport and driveway, and levelled the yard, welcoming in new grass and gardens.
- We welcomed our new puppy, Buddy Love, to the family.
- I was able to spend more time with one of my sisters and one of my best friends, who both live elsewhere but flew to Brisbane to support our family when Nicholas was sick.
- We were showered with love and support from our families, community and wider network.
Usually I would spend time in between Christmas and New year relaxing, reading and planning for the new year. I love filling in the new calendar and dreaming about the year ahead. But things were a bit different starting the year on a bicycle in regional areas of Thailand. Physical exhaustion from riding 800km over eight days didn’t really leave me much time for thinking, which was actually quite lovely. We returned to Australia somewhat weary, but ready to get into the swing of things.
I had decided to go back to work two days per week in our family business from the end of January when the boys returned to school (an extra day to what I had been doing last year), but when some staffing changes happened in our office, I was confronted with the decision to take over a marketing role. After some deliberation, I decided I would throw myself into it and am now working four days per week within school hours. It certainly wasn’t part of my plan for the year, but I am actually loving the role and am enjoying being in the office with our team, as well as having a little more structure to my days this year.
So here we are in, in April 2017, one quarter into the year, and I still haven’t really got a grand vision for the year. And I’m okay with that. But I did decide on my ‘one little word‘:
I think I’ve always been pretty good at ‘going with the flow’ and trying to stay focused on the joy even if the plans and details change (actually, I think I may now be a seasoned professional at this 😉). But this is the kind of flow I want to focus on in 2017:
- I would like the words to flow this year. It’s probably no secret that I have really struggled to write since losing Nicholas. But I am committing to a weekly blog post (there, I’ve said it) from this point onwards. I make no commitments to the quality of the writing (and, to be honest, I have a truck load of self-doubt on that front), but I figure just putting something out into the universe on a regular basis will be good practice and it’ll get easier over time. I also want to create a daily writing habit, whether that be journalling for my own personal benefit or contributing to a bigger writing project.
- I would like the creativity to flow this year. I know that creative play just for fun has been so good for me in my grief journey, so I’d like to continue doing that. But I also have plans to sell a few things online this year, so I’ll keep you posted when that’s underway. You may have noticed that the blog has had a bit of a facelift, which is all part of trying to be e-commerce enabled for down the track.
- I would like to encourage my emotions to flow this year. I am pretty good at putting on a mask and not letting tears flow for fear of losing control. I don’t need to have big public displays of emotion, but I do need to let myself be okay sharing my grief when the moments arise.
- I would like our family life to flow a bit better this year. I am trying to de-clutter, simplify and set up systems around our home accordingly and, as our boys are getting older (now 7 and almost-9), they are capable of being more helpful around the house (whether or not they actually are!). But it’s also about being more present with each other, so we’ve changed our screen rules this year (for me, as well as them) and I’m enjoying the change to our family flow as a result.
I know all too well that life is short and that it’s the shared experiences that matter and not the stuff, so I would like 2017 to contain as many joyful moments for our family as possible. But I also know that I need to leave enough space that we can enjoy unplanned, quality time with each other. It’s all about balance. And flow.
Do you have a word for the year?