Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Looking forward to 2014

Looking forward to 2014 requires reflection on the year that was. 2013 will forever be one of those significant years in my life. Not one of those years where the memory of it turns to mush in an oblivion of the same old tunes.

First and foremost this is a year about life and living and making the most and new possibilities and ever evolving. Ironically it took the death of a very close friend which was very painful and far too soon. When someone is given the diagnosis and prognosis it is hard to believe so that it is still a shock when it does happen. I still find it very hard to believe she is really gone and never coming back. Death seems so final, and yet there is something lasting in the memory that holds us close. That I can still talk to her in my head, and that, more importantly, she is talking back to me.

I can see her now, being tickled by what I have done and achieved this year.

The wheels have been in action for some years regarding selling our house and that completed at the end of January. Even though we sold at a loss I thought we would be rolling in it as a result of clearing our debts with the proceeds but curiously that has not been the end result which just goes to show how pathetic our income is and has been, though over the course of this year it has improved. I thought I would feel more with our debts being cleared though to be fair all that was rather overshadowed by my friend dying.

The beginning of the year saw my 50th birthday and a celebration. Not the really big event and dance I was originally planning but nevertheless a heartwarming and significant celebration of my landmark year. The beginning of the year also saw another friend and I commit to monthly outings to places one of us had never been and always wanted to go. We kept it up throughout the entire year and it has enriched my life feeling like I have done things and gone places. Unlike some years when one reflects on all the places one could have gone to but didn't, this feels like an achievement.

The early part of the year saw me making bread, something I had never done before, and here I was doing it really well. Creating and baking and putting the food of life on the table felt significant and enriching.

The spring time saw me take to running. Again, something I had never in my life managed before and certainly had no desire. Suddenly I could run for an hour and not need to stop nor be out of breath. Never mind the good feeling hormones that produces there is something in the psychology of feeling strong and who knows what else I might be capable of doing. In time the bread baking took a bit of a side step as there are just not enough hours in the day with fitting in work too. Those skills are not lost and I was thrilled to be able to whip up a Ciabatta on Christmas morning for our Antipasti starter.

Another thing that took a bit of a sideline this year was our allotment. Partly because it was so disappointing the few crops we produced for the amount of effort put in. Or perhaps it was a case of the preparation of the allotment gave me the greatest pleasure and we have lost our way a bit. Growing crops is such a learning curve and I wonder how much I really want to learn on that score.

We travelled to see old and loved friends in Germany and for the first time darling Mr Doris and I visited Berlin. A place I wanted to go since the 1980s and I was not disappointed. Driving a hire car past the landmarks of a great city felt like such an achievement.

At work I have been proving my worth and it was most satisfying in the day or so before Christmas to have my boss call me to one side and acknowledge what I do. Verbal appreciation does go a long way.

The kids are 24 and 19 years old and are way taller than me. They are also more appreciative. Not perfect or consistent by any means but a whole lot better. They are both making their own marks on the world and finding their way bit by bit which is really heartening.

My darling husband has held me close and yet enabled me to go and do all the things I've either needed or wanted to do this year. Sometimes I can see by the way he looks at me that he really appreciates me. We'll be coming up to fifteen years of being married in the year ahead which seems to me to be an anniversary worth celebrating.

I reckon 2014 will be a year of consolidation hopefully peppered with a few more new activities. One of which will be my returning to college one evening a week for sixteen weeks in order to extend my qualifications. Once again I will no doubt be the oldest girl in the beauty school and most likely older than the tutors again. Education always leads on to other things so who knows what may come of it.

Fingers crossed that my son is able to move out because he will be 20 and I do think he would benefit from the freedom of being in his own space. Yes, I know I will gain a room and we can spread out a bit which would also help a lot but it is more about what is right for him.

In 2014 I can see that our income is growing so that we are in a position to do more. I have cousins in Australia I have wanted to visit since being reunited in 2006 but I do not know if our finances are quite there yet.

There is a long run I would like to do which would entail me doing a whole lot more training. The run would take a number of days and involves running coast to coast. The idea excites me though equally I am happy to pace myself with that desire as I met someone who also took up running this year and already is out of running distances through permanent injury. I will be starting 2014 with my shoulder injury which is turning into a frozen shoulder - something that is not conducive to the busy working life that I have! Clearing that up will be significant too and blinking essential especially as I have not been running so as not to exacerbate it.

Here's to 2014 and all the unknown and yet to be discovered treasures of the year as well as consolidating all that 2013 has given.


Jay said...

Wow .. you have done a lot!

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It is a real shock to the system when we lose someone so dear. My first real experience of that (outside family) was a close family friend who had been like a second mother to me. I will never forget the sense of shock, disbelief and deep loss. She left me a ring which I treasure (and which luckily fits me perfectly) and I have a couple of letters and photos, but the memories are the greatest thing. We lost her in the early eighties, but I can still hear her voice, and her laugh.

Good for you with the running! I have also started running, but in a very small way, because Sid can no longer walk slow (he is my large tripod dog). Trouble is, I do so well for several weeks, then I twist my ankle or hurt my knee and I'm out of action again!

A very happy New Year to you, Doris! May it be as productive as the last!

Doris said...

Hello Jay and thank you for your kind words.

Thank you for sharing about your friend, That is over thirty years ago you lost her and it is encouraging to know how important she will always be to you.

I am getting my head around the idea that Sid can run better than he can walk! As for your injuries, sometimes I believe it can be from not warming up enough first - I usually do some stretches and then walk very briskly a circle or two in the car park and then start running. I believe the footwear is also important and that a lot of trainers cause injuries! I went to a place recommended tome that analysed my running style and I have standard trainers but of a reasonable quality.

Here's to us all being happily productive this 2014!