Looking back at 2016: goal review
This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, aren’t they all though? I warn you – this is a wall of text. Stressed would be my word to describe this year, although I think it comes with the territory of being a single parent. Feeling stressed, with the added stress of not looking stressed, so you don’t stress the kids. What a Palaver.
Last Years Goals.
Last year I done a post “Goals for 2016” My plan for the year ahead. There were a few goals I had and I’ll go over them.
Firstly – twitter. I wanted to figure out how to use it. Considering you’ll find me here with 156 tweets and counting and just under 460 followers I think I’ve got it down.
Secondly – Get healthier. Well does mentally count? I’ve lost about 20 lbs. I could lose a lot more though, 20 lbs is better than nothing! I still don’t have the whole “drink more water” thing down. It’s so bland, but I know it’s something you become accustomed to you just have to keep at it. (I will, I will!)
Thirdly – Selfcare. I wanted to be selfish by keeping my skin healthy, to make time for moisturising and doing hair and makeup daily instead of – and I quote “looking like an extra from the walking dead”. I kinda sucked with this one. Moisturising is on the up, as is using my fancy liquid exfoliater serum stuff, so my face skin has improved lots. But it’s definitely far from a routine.
Fourthly – Be more Social. Ok well, I’ve went to Every thing they held at the school. Every coffee morning, every shared learning opportunity. I’ve took the kids to museums. I’ve visited people. I’ve had people over for dinner. I’ve been out and about.. Kinda. I could definitely do more and make more of an effort to do things that aren’t planned weeks in advance (I’m such a hermit and it IS difficult, thanks anxiety!) but I hope to improve more the coming year.
Fifthly – Cooking. Well this year, I went and got myself a freaking instant pot pressure cooker. (A freaking pressure cooker!) My mum doesn’t even have one I feel so old. My god this thing is the holy grail of quick cooking. It’s like home made microwave meals, it’s fab. I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve also dabbled with “bulk cooking” or meal prep as it’s more known as on instgram (Check out the #mealprep tag on there!). Which is basically batch cooking your meals for the week portioning them out and freezing or storing in a fridge, and reheating. Not the greatest, but as a single parent with very limited free time I’m more than willing to give up the freshness of a freshly cooked meal in exchange for 5 days worth of “slaving over a cookertop” time. As a bonus – I can measure all ingrediants and calories for the whole meal and divide it by number of servings for the week when I’m calorie counting. Win win! I’ve not quite got this down yet, but I’m more than confident that with a bit more effort this year I’ll be giving Mister Ramsey a run for his money.
Sixthly – (why did I write so many of these?!) Arts and crafts. I wanted to practice my own art and make crafts. I didn’t really get round to it as I was more focussed on getting a portfolio ready for college this year (which was a cesspool of shit as they messed up the course – but I do not regret missing a year)
Seventhly – (when will these end?!) Stop wasting food. Uh what? Why did I write this. I don’t recall wasting food. Perhaps a bit takeaway friendly. I’ve no idea. I do often through out yogurts and things that have not been eaten perhaps that’s what I meant. Bad ol’ me!
EIGHTHLY – (Is eighthly even a word?) Blogging. Well. What a year it’s been. I’m finally happy with my blog. It’s self hosted after way too fucking many failed attempts at doing it. I had a fabulous illustration (see the header!) created by the lovely Emma of Daydreams and ice creams (you’ll find them on Facebook) And I just love the layout. I love the theme. I love how it works. I love using wordpress on a self hosted basis. I will continue to produce more content and more frequently than I have been (my downfall!) but overall I’m happy with the progress I’ve made this year. And hopefully next year will involve me focussing on content alone rather than dreaming of better layouts and cute headers.
and FINALLY (or Ninthly for you pedants who like order 😉 ) – Declutter. Holy shit, this went in reverse this year. I’ve become more cluttered. I purchased Marie Kondos “the life changing magic of tidying” ages ago, but holy fuck I’ve not even got round to reading the whole book yet. Although I must admit what I have read has made perfect sense, I want to read the rest and do it room by room. I’ve also got “spark joy” and the miracle morning to read… maybe reading those books will be in my “fucking do this in 2017 you procrastinating maw bag” list.
What I got out of 2016.
2016 is the year I learned to let go of the little shit (and I don’t mean my child) I mean, stop stressing about the house not being top notch decorated, it can be done later. The washing can be folded tomorrow. Stop stressing that your kid only ate chicken dippers and Walkers cheese and onion square crisps for the last week.. at least he’s eating something. Stop stressing that you haven’t bathed the dogs in forever, they really don’t give a shit and are actually clean, you’re just a fucking numpty and slightly OCD about it. Admittedly this came later in the year, probably the last few months. I’ve had paper and paint sitting to decorate my bedroom and been able to leave it in a cupboard. So yeah, this time last year I wouldn’t have done that I’d be up painting till the small hours, then survive on minimal sleep, but I’ve learned it’s okay.. Or more I’ve accepted it’s okay.
I’ve had a year off college, and thought a lot about the future. I’m still thinking a lot about the future. I took a year of because I wasn’t sure just where I’d go with my course – I love art, and I want to do some kind of community art thing.. But do I really need an art degree for that? Any employment would be unlikely to work around caring full time for an adult which Leon will be eventually. Are all these years of studying and working beneficial in the long run vs me being at home for Leon. Who knows what it holds? Leon is and will forever be a very dependant child, and he will grow into a dependant adult. He is strong now, and will only get stronger. I’ve only just accepted that he might not have kids, he might not live independently at all. He will always need me. He might never speak. But now, because of his recent bouts of aggression I’m wondering just whether I can provide what he needs by myself. I’ve accepted I may need respite care for him in the future, so me and Max can have a break and recharge and do normal everyday things. In the long run though, I don’t know how it’ll advance. I hope his aggression calms down, so we can get on with things and help him advance a little bit. So right now, college isn’t particularly a priority. I’d love to go back this year in June, but I don’t have time right now to blow my nose around Leon let alone produce a portfolio of work for an interview. So yeah, currently I’m not likely to be a student in the near future and that’s okay. I’ve accepted that and I’m not going to sweat it. My kids come first, always.
I’ve stopped allowing people to walk over me. I’m a very generous person, generous in the sense I’d do anything for anyone without batting an eyelid. I don’t do it so I get something in return I do it because I’m a nice person, and as much as I act like a bitch 90% the time it’s just my sarcastic personality, I’m god-awfully-fucking- lovely. But I also do the whole generous with my time thing on my terms now. I don’t allow people to guilt trip me into doing things and no most definitely means no.
I’ve stopped letting family squabbles bother me. Around July of 2015 I fell out with my grandmother, or more she fell out with me because I was upset over her not acknowledging her grandchildren’s birthday (Whilst the other grandchildren were spoiled well in advance for their birthdays my two hadn’t so much as received a card and their birthday passed!) I have a mouth, and I use it. My gran didn’t like it. My aunt and cousin have taken advantage of my gran ever since my grandpa died, it was difficult enough to witness them taking advantage of her and I mentioned this too. Us being the only family who actually do things out of goodwill rather than guilt / because we’re getting her fucking pension. So yeah, We’ve not spoke since. You know what? It’s fucking okay. I’m not willing to be around family members who don’t appreciate my kids. I witnessed favouritism when I was a child from the same woman, and I won’t allow it around my kids. My aunt and cousin are only willing to partake in any family when they benefit from it financially. My cousin dropped her very close own godmother and had to be taken to court to pay money back she borrowed. So yeah, I’m more than happy to disown them and if I never seen them again I’d be quite happy with that. I no longer feel as though I haven’t tried or as though I’m responsible for not mending the relationship as I don’t feel as though there would even be one to go back to. There’s only so much nonsense and vileness you can take from people who are supposed to be family. So yeah, this year I’ve stopped questioning my judgement and accepted that I’m 100% allowed to terminate my relationship with toxic family members without feeling guilty.
As for the kids, this year Leon got his wheelchair – what a difference! Meltdowns in busy places are much less likely to happen when he’s in it. We’ve been going to their kids club and they’ve made friends out of school. I can only hope things get better. Max is growing into a very independant and caring young man. He’s so kind and thoughtful sometimes. It’s adorable, melts my heart but then he farts in the bath and goes into hysterics over it – especially when there’s bubbles .. so it evens itself out a bit.
Overall 2016 has been a pleasure.
Here’s to 2017.
P.S If you’ve made it to the end of this, give yourself a pat on the back. What a load of tripe you have just gotten through, well done!
Happy New Year everyone,
All the best to you and yours.