What were the highs and lows of 2013?

Having recently had a bit of a blogging low (my stats are worse this month than they were in the first month I ever blogged…oops!) I was thinking about how I could do a post to look back at this year, and then this morning the lovely @kateonthinice tagged me to join in with this one. She’d answered these questions very honestly on her own blog and invited others to do the same on their’s…perfect I thought!

And so here are my answers…

1. What was your happiest event?

Oh where to start…publishing my book, attending wonderful blogging conferences and meeting fantastic new friends, recovering from post natal depression for the third time, my youngest starting to walk (and finally sleep through the night!) So many wonderful and happy events have happened this year, many of which if you’d asked me if they were possible at the start of 2013 I would have rolled my head back and laughed out loud in sheer wonder. But for me…the happiest event of 2013 was undoubtedly our family holiday to France. It was for two blissful weeks, the weather was stunning and the holiday magical. It will stay with me forever and has given me hope that it will be the first of many family holidays and opportunities to make some lifelong memories.

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

Thankfully I have been very blessed this year and our family hasn’t been touched by sadness. I have often been saddened by what has happened to others however – I really do wish that good things happened to good people. It all seems so unfair at times.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

Do you know I can’t think of anything in particular! Maybe I’m one of those people who has had so much thrown at them over the years that I’ve learnt to always expect the unexpected?! I guess I would have to say the fact that I self published my book has to be included in here – when I wrote the poem at the beginning of the year I never dreamt it would be what it is now and I am so excited for what it holds in the future. If you’d told me last January that by the end of the year I’d be a self-published author I’d have desperately wished for that to be true. Determination can get you so very far at times.

4. Who let you down?

If I’m honest I feel like my work have let me down. I’ve been at my current school for ten years and am about to return to work in January after extended maternity leave. I’ve been off for nearly two years and am incredibly apprehensive (and reluctant) to return to work next year, and sadly no-one at work has really helped with this. I’m entitled to ten keeping in touch days yet – despite many efforts to have them – I’ve been given none. No-one can fully tell me what my role will be (I do know I’m not class based) and I’ve been told there isn’t actually anywhere for me to work. I’ve also been told, several times, that once I’m back it’ll be like I’ve never left and not to worry, but the reality is that I’m not back yet and I am worried. Colleagues haven’t been in touch as much as I thought and although I know everyone is busy (me included) I feel a bit let down and uneasy about it all. Unsurprisingly I’ve blogged about it, will be live on Friday 😉

5. Who supported you?

So many wonderful people, some of whom I’ve never even met. This year, especially at the beginning, I needed a lot of support. My best friend, who is still adopting the fake name of Cynthia on my blog, has been utterly amazing. She is a tremendous support and I genuinely do not know what on earth I would do without her, she is pure gold. My husband has also been brilliant, he bears the brunt of my irritations, frustrations and generally unreasonableness and yet he is still here and still understanding, empathetic and fantastically tolerant. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect, but he’s pretty damn close!

I am so very lucky to have so many wonderful friends in real life, and some totally amazing friends in the virtual world too. So so so so many brilliant people have supported me and my book, ‘A Monster Ate My Mum.’ I cannot mention them all by name for fear of missing someone out, but you ALL know who you are. For all of the retweets, reviews, help with self publishing, commenting on my blog posts, buying my book, spreading the word and so much more – you are all AMAZING and I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. And thank you forever to Helen Braid for the beautiful illustrations that brought the book to life.

6. Tell us what you learned.

I learned not to take everything so seriously.
I learned that accidents really can happen in the most unexpected simple of places, and to allow my children to be more adventurous instead of holding them back because of my own fears.
I’ve learnt that I am far more competitive and determined than I ever thought possible.
I’ve learnt to appreciate every little thing.
I’ve learnt not to put so much pressure on myself.
I’ve learnt that I am never going to be a size 10 again as life is too short and food is too good.

7. Tell us what made you laugh.

The beautiful and funny things my children have said.
Hilarious conversations during nights out with wonderful friends.
@Ladyemsy who never fails to make me smile.
Spending time with my mum, there is always at least one moment when we are both rolling around in laughter together.

8. Tell us the things that made you cry.

Reading about the tragic deaths of three women who were suffering from post natal depression.
Hitting the publish button and seeing my book became reality.
Watching my friends heart break and seeing her totally broken.
Reading many moving blog posts.
Watching The Time Traveller’s Wife. (seriously, I cried for like hours!)

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud.

1.) My middle child started school and embraced every second of it. A slightly nervous child, he was so tremendously brave and just went for it. During his first ever performance at the Harvest Festival I was proud he even made it onto the stage, even though he didn’t sing a single word. And then at the Christmas show when he sung at the top of his voice…smiling throughout the entire performance! Magic!
2.) Receiving wonderful feedback for my daughter’s teachers about her attitude and determination at school has made me incredibly proud. She may be challenging at home, but at school it seems she is thriving and the positive, fantastic reports keep coming.
3.) And the there is my youngest who is just awesome. Am proud of him settling into nursery and loving it. Am proud of him becoming a wonderfully social and amusing boy. Proud for all of the things he’s yet to experience and achieve for I know he will be cheeky and loveable all the way.

10. Tell us the things that made you proud of yourself.

Um have I mentioned that I self published a book this year? Or that I beat PND for the third time? It’s not often I’m proud of myself but I really am because of those two things. It’s restored a lot of faith in myself that I never knew I had!

11. Tell the challenges you overcame.

Being a mum to three children, and with a tween as one of them, is in itself a challenge….but it’s the kind of challenge I really love!

12. Tell us the things you would like to change about your life in 2014.

Um well I’d like to write many more books, maybe one on post natal depression for those suffering, or from the viewpoint of a father who has suffered, or about supporting those with PND. I’d also love to write more children’s books too, and my InstinctiveMum book…oh and so many more. In fairness I think it’s quite obvious that I’d really like to leave teaching and write…but I know I have a VERY long way to go before this can become a reality. That doesn’t mean it can’t though….

I’ve probably forgotten to include a million and one things that happened to me this year and am slightly worried that I can only think of four reasons as to why I laughed when I know there are many more…but there has been so much that has happened and who knows, I may remember some more and keep adding to this post over the next few days!

So…it’s over to you. Any blogger can have a go at this one if they fancy reflecting back on the year that was 2013.

Thank you to @kateonthinice for tagging me in! And for all of her tremendous support xx

10 Comments on What were the highs and lows of 2013?

  1. Sally
    December 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm (4 years ago)

    What a fab Q&A! Wish I’d seen it before I wrote my round up!

    Reply
    • instinctivemum
      December 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm (4 years ago)

      It is good isn’t it?! Was just the inspiration I needed to actually get a roundup post done, sorry you didn’t see it sooner – save the idea for next year 😉

      Reply
  2. redpefferIona@redpeffer
    December 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm (4 years ago)

    Great answers. I’m really hoping the return to work goes OK for you xx

    Reply
    • instinctivemum
      January 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm (4 years ago)

      Mwah 😉

      Reply
  3. emilytealady
    December 31, 2013 at 8:03 pm (4 years ago)

    So glad I met you this year, Jen. Thank you for mentioning me. The feelings mutual! X

    Reply
    • instinctivemum
      January 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm (4 years ago)

      Mwah 🙂

      Reply
    • instinctivemum
      January 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm (4 years ago)

      Yay thank you 🙂

      Reply
  4. Helloitsgemma
    January 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Love your round up. Well done on all you’ve achieved. It was great meeting you, hope to see you again in 2014! Good luck with work.

    Reply
    • instinctivemum
      January 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm (4 years ago)

      Ah thanks Gemma! Was lovely to meet you too, hope to do so again in 2014!

      Reply

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