“Stop the world…I want to get off!!”

spinning world

Have you ever had a season, a time in your life when you want to shout ‘STOP!!’

I am in the midst of one of those seasons right now.

For the last seven years there have been so many changes. We grew from a family of two adults and two children to two adults and three children…sounds small but it has made a massive difference to how we ‘do’ life.

As a family we have moved home four times, our two eldest children in addition to this have between them moved a further seven times.

We have had one child leave home to study at university then move back again at the end of his studies then move to London, our second child then picked up the baton and is just finishing his second year in a university that is a two hours drive away.

Our youngest child has raced through not being able to walk to happily planning an imminent sleepover in minute detail. This has included writing lists and distributing to the parent who she feels is most likely to procure the desired goods in the appropriate time frame

We have had a variety of upsets with family members (some that we have known about and others that have been relayed by a third party months later) that have caused confusion and heartbreak as well as revealing our collective ‘true colours’.

Some of these upsets have been resolved with time and an earnest apology, usually echoed by all involved, others are still on going with no obvious or desirable end in sight. This has left scars.

Within my immediate family there have been many new job titles and promotions that have led to new skills being learned, luxuries being had and headaches endured.

We have watched those we love wither and die whilst simultaneously welcoming the addition of tiny feet, wet little mouths, irresistible laughter and soggy nappies.

Those that have previously appeared invincible are seeming frail and those that needed help are now the ones offering a hand of assistance.

At times we have had to watch the pennies seemingly drain from our bank account…any saving accounts we had are long gone, whilst at others we have happily sipped champagne and enjoyed dipping a toe into another lifestyle.

In short the landscape has been continually changing not with slow growth or gradual erosion but with mind spinning, unsettling madness. The landscape of 2017 is vastly different to how it looked in 2010. What made sense then would no longer make sense now.

But I am happy, I am very happy. I would never want to stop change or attempt to stand in its way. We have all experienced that ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘see you later’ are part and parcel of life.

However, as I look back it makes me even more determined to savour every moment, to make time for those I cherish, to share the endearments that are in my heart, to enjoy the journey we call life and to welcome every new season…whatever it may bring!!

New Year, New Mountains to Climb

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Optimist On Board

In Ecclesiastes 7:10 King Solomon writes Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

This last year has been widely named, on social media and in comparison to previous years, as the worst twelve months in history. Personally I disagree with this but I think we could all agree that 2016 has been an eventful year for many reasons.

For example Len Goodman is no longer on Strictly Come Dancing, the Great British Bake Off has changed channels, it was the hottest global year on record, a new word ‘Brexit’ and all it entailed emerged, more than 20 countries pledged billions for ocean conservation, Andy Murray won at Wimbledon, the threat of terrorism became widespread, Liberia was officially cleared of Ebola meaning there are now no known cases of the deadly virus left in West Africa, Tim Peake returned to earth, US politics became ‘dirty’, the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday, world hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years, Costa Rica ran solely on renewable energy for 100 days, many well known baby boomer celebrities died, the Calais jungle was destroyed, Pokemon returned and became an evangelistic tool and giant pandas were taken off the endangered species list.

If we make the focus smaller for many of us we would have experienced intense moments of sadness, frustration, anger, joy, laughter and happiness in 2016 and I’m sure we will again in 2017!

As we enter the New Year, which will undoubtedly bring exciting, sometimes scary opportunities I urge you to bear in mind these words of Nelson Mandela ‘May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears’.

Take some time to reflect on your hopes for the future, what steps need to be taken in order to realise these hopes and what fears may be holding you back.

Be specific, ask yourself these questions;

What are my aspirations for 2017? What do these aspirations look like? How will they make me feel?

To achieve these aspirations do I need to change my situation or the way I respond to it?

What time limit have I set myself? What are the first steps I have to take?

What obstacles will I need to overcome? Who do I know that could help and support me?

What impact will achieving this aspiration make to my life?

Wishing you every success as you begin your journey in to 2017!