Five Things | Highlights of 2019

Holidays with the boys

I decided last year that being a solo parent really wasn't going to hold me back from taking the boys on holidays.
I didn't think I'd take them to the Isle of Man ever, let alone whilst they are still quite little but with the opportunity to do so and using one of my "f*ck its" we went. And I am so glad we did. The weather was awful and they only saw one practice race but they got to go to my happy place and the island that changed my life so much.
We were also lucky enough to be able to have a weeks holiday at Bluestone in Wales. Something I will be writing about really soon. It was amazing and a holiday I really felt like I succeeded as a solo parent.

James Arthur and Dermot Kennedy

I went to see James Arthur at the Hammersmith Apollo and it was incredible. HE was incredible. His band were incredible. I wish so much I could go back and soak it all up even more and relive it over and over.
And similarly with Dermot Kennedy. I always said I wouldn't be able to see him live because I didn't think I would be able to cope. He was just as amazing, if not better, than I could have imagined and I would jump at the chance of seeing him again.

Days Out

I made more of an effort with our days out in 2019 and one of the best had to be our afternoon in Wells with Hayley and the children. It was definitely one of those "why have we not done this before?!" moments I think. 
After the Isle of Man I also decided to go with the boys to Snetterton to watch British Super Bikes which was just amazing. We also went back another date to watch Truck Racing and car racing too. Definitely something we'll be going to see again in 2020!! 
It's been really lovely to be able to look over my phone and my Instagram and see these moments and memories.


I had some really amazing opportunities with work last year and although some was tough I am learning to sift through the tough times with the amazing times and to be able to look back and smile. Ultimately, the people I met and made friends with was a major highlight and for however long those friendships last I'll always be grateful for them.


I feel like the control I've had over my life was a big part of 2019. I felt more in control of everything in terms of how I was treated, how I allowed people to treat me and I had my slip ups but I learnt from them. It's nice to be able to look back and feel like I grew and managed to deal with certain situations.
I just hope I can continue that into 2020.



My Word for 2020

Initially my word for 2018 was 'Routine' but I realised later on that it wasn't the right fit and naturally it has changed to be 'Faith'2019 my word was 'Be' and I felt like that was such a good fit and a good word to go with for the year. Something simple, something that made sense and didn't bring any kind of pressure or feeling of failure at the end of the year. 

In October I realised already what my word for 2020 would be. I was stood at the Apollo in Hammersmith waiting for James Arthur to come on stage and three letters were illuminated at the back of the stage. Three letters that made up a simple word that I realised had followed me around for a while.The name of this tour, of his new album and song that became one of my favourites with lyrics that hit me hard.

The name of my new favourite perfume, well sort of new, one that was bought for me in 2017 that I'd almost run out of but kept the tiniest bit for a special occasion, a new bottle planned to be a treat for myself when I felt I really deserved it. 
The tv show, it sounds so ridiculous that a tv show meant so much to me but it was a release, an escape, when I was feeling quite confused and crap. And so much of that programme, although disturbing to many, just made me realise what I want from life and from someone.
And the second series coming out on Boxing Day, a perfect way to end the year binge watching it from my bed whilst I had the house to myself. A good way to take my mind off the feeling of being lonely and of not thinking about families together whilst I was by myself. 


I got it tattooed on my wrist at the end of November. A reminder of who my main focus should be. That despite moments of dislike, I am lucky to wake up everyday to be the person I am. 

"You just spread your wings and fly, your wings and fly
I knew you always would
I knew you always were
I knew there always was nothing wrong with being You"

That I can't be anyone else. 
And this year my focus needs to be me. 
On getting to know me, on living a life that makes me happy and a life that I want to live. And despite quite liking myself at the moment, I want to like myself more.
To understand myself more and who I am. 

There is a reason that word was so prominent and I can't ignore that. 
This year, the year of 'You'.



Dear 2020

Looking over my ‘Dear 2019’ post I actually felt really proud of myself.
“in 2019 I am going to make me more important. 
Looking after myself, my needs, my wants, my feelings. Make me a priority and to look after myself, no matter what the consequences are.”
“I've not had the best start to the year, but, I will not let that define how my year will be. 
It doesn't mean that this is how my year will be, and in fact has made me realise that it is down to me to guide what happens, down to me to decide on what controls my life, and down to me to react in the way best for me.”
“2019, I want you to be my year of focus on me. On happiness, being content, secure, confident and sure that everything I do is for me.”

I don’t want this to be a post on reflecting over 2019, but looking back on what I wrote last year, I confidently feel like I achieved that...or at least achieved it enough to feel satisfied.

So, going into 2020. I pretty much want to do the same again. 
I feel like this might be the first year I actually quite like myself and feel strong enough to say that there isn’t much I need to change about who I am. 
Like it might be the first year I can feel strong enough to say "Don't like me, that's on you" rather than "Don't like me? WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE YOU LIKE ME?? WHAT CAN I DO TO CHANGE?!" 
I would rather be alone than to be surrounded by or close to people who don't see the good in me, who take more than they give and don't see friendship as equal. 

I feel like I've prepared myself for 01/01 for a few weeks and my head is strong(ish) and ready to go for what I envisage. 
Already I've started a massive declutter on my house and can't wait for a work free and child free weekend this weekend to tackle the remainder of what is left from the Christmas bomb that went off. 

2015 was the year my marriage ended.
2016 and 2017 was a desperate search for men to date and for attention I was sure I wanted and needed.
2018 spent in a relationship that although had it's good moments, looking back was mentally draining and not what I deserved.
2019 saw the end of that relationship, trying to navigate dating again, giving up and trying again twice to only realise that it really isn't for me right now. 
2020 will be my year of stepping away from that and standing by my "if it's meant to happen it will happen". If someone is meant to be in my life then they will be. All I can do is be clear of what I deserve and what I can give and only let someone in my life who also deserves to be in it. If it doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen. I certainly won't spend another year chasing or looking for something that maybe isn't right for me. Even if it is tempting to chase or if it's hard to let someone go. 

I'm ready to accept and face challenges because life has them. We all hit hard times and hard moments, there's no point denying or even pretending they won't happen but with a clearer mindset and being able to focus more I hope I'm strong enough to face whatever comes my way. And if I'm not? I'll learn from it and gain strength. 

I want to make more memories. I want 2020 to be even better than 2019 when it comes to experiences and creating memories with my children, my friends but even just by myself. 
It's been great to look back at 2019 and to have memories with so many people but memories that may mean nothing to others, but mean so much to me. And I want that, but bigger. I want more of them. Because I know it's possible now and I know that it doesn't take much. 
That the smallest moments can end up as the best memories. 

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