On paper, this year could have been the worst. It certainly had its moments. Without dwelling too hard, I can conjure up a dozen reasons why this might have been the best year of my life.
I started the year on a high. Having worked through a serious slump from the death of my Dad in the summer of 2014 it took me until October to really regain control of my life. After a lot of introspection and some counselling with Angela Clark (ROPC) I was able to push forward and gain the momentum that would carry me through 2015. I'd already reached the point of wanting more from life and was feeling unstoppable by the end of the year. I remember so clearly thinking, 2015 would be the best year of my life and I documented it as such. With so much to look forward to, I couldn't wait to welcome in 2016.
In January, instead of starting where everyone else was (feeling ready to jump on the fitness wagon) I was already 10lbs lighter and ready to keep working hard to reach my goals. Practically every year of my adult life, January had been a month for making changes.. this year, however, I was already on my way.
The weight loss momentum did continue throughout the year as was sped up significantly at the latter end of February when I, for a short period of time, gave up eating.
Apparently, nothing makes you lose your appetite quicker than your husband deciding to leave you.
I say this in jest, and we all know (well, you probably don't know) but there was no correlation to my size and my relationship ending. That didn't stop a few people from sending me their pity in forms of condescending "it doesn't matter that you're fat, you'll find someone else to love you" remarks. As if that were the sole purpose of my life? I brushed that off to the kind of awkward thing blurted out when you don't know what to say to someone in their sorrow. I wouldn't have known what to say either. Maybe nothing needed to be said. In many moments, the best form of understanding was a hug - and I got plenty of those from cherished people in my life.
I tried to listen, gracefully, to the many varied and somewhat puzzling things people told me while I digested the information. I'm not going to say it wasn't horrible and a struggle - but it became quickly apparent to me that the only solution was moving forward, in the knowledge that the universe had something bigger and better planned for me.
Even that was confusing to some people. After that many years with someone, shouldn't I have been crying myself to sleep with a picture of him on my pillow?
Maybe... but I've never been conventional.
Not to say there weren't moments of real despair. Moments where I wondered if I would be able to drag myself out of the darkness and find anything positive to cling on to. For those of you who have suffered from depression you will know the pain I talk of. It's real. It's not something you brush off and walk away from easily. I can be grateful that in my toolkit I have the ability to recognise this destructive melancholic behavior and dig my way out.
Instead of following the typical "must hate my ex" strategy I chose to be grateful for all that we'd had. Instead of hating, I sent love. Not in a romantic way of course.. but in a genuine hope-you-are-happy kind of way. For the children, my thoughts and actions were to always put him in a positive light - which at times, was a struggle - but for the most part, sincere. Sometimes I hated him a bit too. After all, I'm not a fucking angel.
One of the discoveries I made this year was how many generous and kind people are in my life. I always knew I was blessed with the most amazing friendships, but rediscovering some of them was a highlight of my year. Some people, of course, made a dramatic exit and a few others slipped away quietly but everything happened just as it was meant to.
Despite the very obvious change in my life this year, it has been better, if not the best year to date and that has very little to do with anything external -and very much to do with me stepping into my personal power. This year I realised how much I had to offer. Not shallow friendship or meaningless connection but a genuine passion for living my life with purpose.
Right to the very last days, this year has been full of love and laughter.
And with an even greater level of optimism, I feel 2016 is going to be my best year yet! Not because I am giving up anything, or making pointless resolutions, but because I refuse to make excuses for myself.
I am no longer worried about the fear of rejection. Fear of not doing it perfectly. No longer will I carry that crippling doubt on my shoulders.
It has been a year of self discovery and acceptance. It has been about looking at myself and liking the person I see, flaws and all.
It has been about acknowledging the value I bring to every relationship and seeing the value in every transaction.
Stepping into 2016, I can walk my dog with my head high, smiling at every person because I want to. Because I am filled with a joy of self acceptance.
It means I move into the year acknowledging that I'm confident, I'm happy, I'm exactly what you see"
and I love myself.
Thank you for being part of my life.
Mother, creative strategist and health & happiness advocate. These are my personal ramblings..