So the year 2011 is almost at a close; what a year it has been! A very good year of making choices, creating, loving and laughing and growing.
I thought it might be fun to do a list of 11 things to remind me of 2011, or things that I've learnt. Then at the start of 2012 I'll do a list of 12 things I'm looking forward to and thinking about the new year.
1. Almost 7 months after making the snap choice to drop out of my degree I still don't regret it. In fact I'm now stronger in my view that it was never right for the path I was going to be on so dropping out was the wise move. I still maintain that social work is a great career and lots of good can come from it. I wish all the best to my contemporaries I studied with and believe that some of them will make wonderful academics and some will make great workers.
2. I really do think I am close to striking the ideal work/life balance for our family. Sincerly I believe that me being a SAHM is the best thing we could have done for our marriage and I do love it. There are days when I feel I'm being driven slowly mad by Cbeebies and frustrated having to comment on every truck, train, bus I drive past with Adam. But at the end of the day I can look at all he does, all the words he's saying, all the towers of blocks he can build and say with confidence that I was the one who taught him that. Andrew earns the money, I look after the house and all in it.
3. The gig of the year was Volbeat at Spring and Airbrake, October 2011. It's a pretty rubbish venue - toilets are a mess, the concert room floor is always soaking with goodness knows what and the place is either freezing or boiling. I'm hoping that Volbeat return in 2013 to play a bigger venue (not 2012 please as I'll be busy next year).
4. Movie of the year was My Week with Marilyn starting the lovely Michelle Williams as the even more lovely Marilyn Monroe. Everyone loves Marilyn Monroe - don't care if you're straight or gay, male or female everyone agrees that she was beautiful.
5. I have shunned even more Hollywood crap that is on TV. The Big Bang Theory, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty are the 3 most recent to have my remote turn them off. Note to producers of BBT and UB: it is lazy to put a pair of glasses on an actress to = that she is a geek and thus ugly. Very lazy and very wrong. It was Dorothy Parker in the 1930s who said that "men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses" but it was a joke as a) she herself wore glasses and b) she was married.
I watched DH at the very beginning but found the abundance of botox off-putting as I couldn't work out who was a mother, who was a grandmother and who was a shop dummy. I saw an ad on TV earlier for the final series and almost fell off my sofa. They were all sooo skinny but dolled up all glam. Very distasteful and reminded me seriously of women in final stage of a wasting disease.
6. I love being a volunteer with Women's Aid. I've volunteered for many charities over the years, but by miles this is the greatest.
7. We enjoyed our 2 family holidays this year - first in May to visit Andrew's brother and sister-in-law at their home in Zurich. Then we went to stay in a caravan in Castlerock in July, just Andrew, Adam and myself. Zurich was very very warm and Castlerock was not warm at all!
8. Be careful what you wish for, as it might just happen! But don't neglect to bring your requests, confessions and fears before the Lord. I admit I had a bit of a wobble earlier on in December when something I'd prayed about and thought about was granted to me. Suddenly I panicked and wasn't sure if it was still what I wanted. I'm still wobbling a bit now with this, but trusting and realising that I'm not in control of everything.
9. The worst book I read this year was Nana by Zola. About 200 pages too long, had flashes of brilliance, but the rest clunked and dragged on. Andrew disagrees with me in a big way, but I'm allowed my opinion!
10. I've learnt a lot of people I wanted to be close to Adam are little more than 'benevolent strangers'. They are nice to him, smile and indulge me while I talk about how wonderful he is, but sadly they are strangers in that he doesn't know their names, he hasn't been looked after by them and has very few shared experiences. I know this and the people in question know this so it is unspoken.
This has hurt my feelings, but my heart is warmed when other people see him lots and he can say their name unprompted as it shows he is thinking of them. I guess you just can't always pick those who you want all the time.
11. Marriages aren't all about fancy trips, big nights out and spending lots of money. In the past 2 years we haven't got out together frequently as a couple. The result is that Andrew and I really do cherish the nights out we do have. When we were childless and out all the time we didn't value it. Now we have learnt that nights in together are fun, getting out rarely means we enjoy it more consciously. We've been together since 2001, so have had years and years of fancy holidays and nights out. Now is the season of bringing up a family. We can go on holidays in years to come, the world won't disappear.
See you all in 2012!!