Looking back at 2017, I can honestly say it was one of our better years. Things still went wrong.. a lot. But we coped better, we have some amazing people around us who have helped in so many ways to make 2017 survivable.
2017 was stressful at times, looking back at our year we have had several expensive things break. Our dishwasher was first followed by the washing machine, the new washing machine, the Mr’s phone, the cooker, my phone and of course we couldn’t end the year without one more thing break.. the Mr’s new phone. Less than 90 days old. My good friend Slim and his lovely mum have helped us a lot this year through these issues and I am eternally grateful to them. Fingers crossed 2018 is a better year with less breaking and needing replacing!
2017 has also been great in so many ways! Realising we do have some fantastic friends, blogging friends talking me through the ups and downs and giving me something to giggle over and my confidence has at least grown enough to stand up for myself again. I have met so many lovely people through the blogging world who have helped me see I am not alone.
We have had some fantastic days out with Martyn (Inside Martyn’s Thoughts) who we went to the Medway English Festival and the Rochester Dickens Festival with. We also met the lovely Hannah (Cupcake Mumma), Martyn’s better half. 😉 Hannah helped Martyn put on a lovely little party for Izzy’s 3rd birthday when we couldn’t manage it ourselves. They are such genuinely lovely people and it brightened up our year.
A lot of lovely bloggers chipped in and bought Izzy a replacement pirate ship too. A visitor broke hers and she was absolutely devastated but she loves her new ship even more and plays with it just as much! I actually cried over this, it was such a lovely, thoughtful thing to do for Izzy!
I have travelled out of my area via public transport to visit Martyn. A small thing for most but a huge thing for me as I struggle to go too far from home especially alone. Especially just for me to get out for a break and a catch up. I think this has helped a lot with my confidence too, knowing I can do it even with a few small wobbles on the way. I’ve stopped feeling guilty for going out. Looking back I have realised its good for the Mr to spend more time with the girls alone. It’s great for me to have a break occasionally too, something I rarely do.
I have slowly learnt to manage my chronic pain better. Whilst I still over do it at times, it happens less now. I am learning my limits! This has helped with my mood so much, I no longer snap as easily as before. I am able to speak up when I know I need a hand, maybe not all the time but compared to before it is a big change! I still spend a lot of time dosed up curled in my corner recovering from something simple like a walk into town but I know when to admit I have to stop.
My anxiety and depression have become slightly more manageable too. I still have awful days and anxiety still eats away at me regularly but I am recognising the signs of a big meltdown and can at least let someone know I am struggling. More counselling will no doubt be needed at some point but for now I am happy I have made some progress alone. I know my anxiety is still ridiculously out of control (not helped by nurses!) but it isn’t 24/7 now maybe more 20/7. Crocheting is still calming me when I really struggle and so is blogging, hopefully over the next year I can progress some more and try to overcome the choking anxiety I feel most of the time.
Growing The Blog
Looking back the blog has grown a lot this year. Thanks to blogging we have had the chance to review some amazing products over the last few months and visited the Rainforest café to see Santa in exchange for a review which was fantastic fun for the girls. I’ve worked with some great companies on subjects that are important to me.
I wrote about the importance of handwriting in children in collaboration with Stabilo. I shared a lovely 2018 Page A Day Diary from Ryman. There are several gift guides I have worked on and lots of lovely books too. These little things remind me that I am not stupid or lazy for not working. I am still trying to do something useful. It means the girls get a few extras we otherwise couldn’t manage.
The blog has become a big part of our life and I definitely want to carry on growing it. I would love to review more events and days out with the girls too as we really enjoy it!
A lot has changed this year. Looking back through the good and the bad, I have realised I am not alone, ever. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, I just need to reach out, someone will be there. Having people to talk to this year ( I am sure some wish I would shut up at times haha!) I’ve managed to get stuff off my chest I have bottled up for years. I honestly think that has been the greatest help. I have stopped beating myself up so much and come to accept a lot of my past. Nobody is perfect and having a group of people who admit they aren’t, who listen with an open mind and just be there (even if it’s just in emoji form) has made 2017 that bit better. Thank you to everyone who has helped make 2017 survivable!
I’m hoping for a better year in 2018 with my Mr and girls with a few good friends around us. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us! Lets just hope no more appliances or phones die 😂😂