It’s time to look behind me before I step forward into a new year. I love that we have such a definite end of one year and the start of a new year. For me it really does symbolise a fresh start with endless possibilities. Being a reflective person means I do pause and look behind me hoping to take some new lessons with me.
I find it interesting that we often look at a whole year and say what a tough year it was and how the next year can only be better. Experience tells me that each year has its challenges and its blessings. It’s also interesting that so many Christians expect a life of constant blessing and happiness and just can’t believe it when tough times or sorrow come. Other religions seem so accepting of sorrow yet for many Western Christians we feel so floored and cheated and attacked when life kicks us in the teeth. God tells us we WILL have sorrow in this life but we do have Him and He will never leave us alone to battle it alone.
So what did I do this year? Lets start with the GOOD!
I started a new job which is enormously frustrating but also rewarding. Finding a surrogate is so difficult and then to finally get to the point where you do the IVF and have it fail or worse, have the surrogate miscarry, well you can imagine the disappointment and pain all around which I am not immune to.
Then I did my sewing course. My machine remains unused and the skirt I made unworn. Oh well, I did it I guess and I really should tell myself a good I told you so Mellie!
I turned FORTY! Huge milestone for me!! I am glad I had a party and so far forty really has been brilliant. Who knew I would feel this young at 40? Twenty years ago I thought I would be old at forty!
I went to Singapore & Thailand with my mom where we met sister Nina. This 21 years after our first trip together when I had promised we would go overseas together when I turned 40. It was stunning and pure happiness. I hope to go back there in 2013 and take my family.
We took the kids the London, San Francisco and Disney which has been a life long dream too. They loved it and the travel bug has now been passed on. Seeing my brother in London was super cool too and I hope Daniel gets to go and stay with his Uncle Paulie sometime.
I made the decision to study again and actually registered so no going back. My studies will be a huge part of 2012 and I am definitely nipping a little!
I entered quite a few 10km walks and even did a 15km in the Vineyards as well. I also entered my first run and managed about 7 of the 10km with the rest walking. Granted I could hardly move for the next 3 days but I did it none the less! The previous year I did so few because I waited for people to walk with me but this year I just entered and always seem to find some willing soul at the eleventh hour.
I got to witness what a great job Frances is doing with Bosom Buddies and still enjoy visiting the hospital every second week. Seven years on and BB is going strong and it is simply because God stays faithful when we listen to His voice and don't give up.
My exciting faith! I found out there are many other Christians out there who want less rules and more Jesus and it’s OK to questions and debate and seek and read. My relation with Him has grown and I am loving the love rush, the wonder and endless possibilities. Gary bought me Crazy Love by Francis Chan and I look forward to reading it.
I taught grade 2 and 3 Sunday school this year and while I certainly don’t have a gift or real love of teaching, it seems loving children is enough so I will continue next year.
And the grand ending…doing the 5 day Whale Trail Hike with Colleen and Cathy and friends and just loving it. We are now committed hiking barbies and hope to do a few next year.
And now the BAD.
I had my heart broken by such an unexpected source that I felt crippled for months. The pain was so intense it became physical and my whole posture changed. I had thought a previous heart break from 15 years ago had sufficed in enough scar tissue to prevent being that vulnerable again but it came from another place where I was wide open and not expecting it ever, ever, ever. I have since learned that everyone screws up and some are just bigger than others. Sometimes we do incredibly stupid things and do not think of the consequences or of the other people who will get crushed in the aftermath. But time does heal and even though I still see the pain of people I love I do see things have got much better and I trust will be totally better even if changed, in time to come.
I battled with really bad back ache which was exacerbated by the emotional trauma. It’s been a lot better since I have felt better. I have to admit I think the Bowin’s technique has worked too. Next year I do Pilate's one on one with a physio.
We lost Aidan on the 26th of November and Gary and I think about him every day. He is gone, totally gone and it remains such a sad and difficult concept to grasp. It feels horribly unfair yet at the same time, we know God is sovereign and totally unsurprised by Aidan pitching up and making Jesus laugh within the first 5 seconds of meeting Him face to face. We both feel so tender towards his wife and kids and just want to love them and do whatever we can for them.
On the 19th of December I also lost my school BF’s sister Cara who battled Lupus complications for months. Cara was only 34 years old and spunky and vibrant and fun. She had been very sick for the past few months and finally her body couldn’t keep up with her spirit. Now she keeps that Cara spirit with a new healthy body and gets to talk crap with Aidan in heaven.
Their deaths have reminded me of the pure privilege and responsibility of this life I have for now. I have to live my best life as my friend Oprah states. I want to have no regrets one day. I want to be brave enough to try everything and secure enough to cope with the inevitable failure which will be part of some of my attempts. I do want to make a difference and I am hoping my studies will pan out and I will eventually qualify as a social worker and be able to give back somewhere. I am grateful for all God has blessed me with and excited for 2012. Bring it on!!!