Well, another year is in the can, done and dusted (or will be in another 12 hours). I can’t say I’m sad to see 2015 go. It’s been a hell of a year for so many people. While it has been a hard year, it hasn’t been all bad. So here are some things I’m grateful for:
- My family. My kids are growing up faster than I can imagine. My daughter is 10 and my son is 7 years old. They’re adorable and (mostly) good together and kind to others. My husband supports me in all our endeavours and has managed to retain his sense of humour even when the low indicator warning was flashing on mine! My parents have both had health scares in recent years but are now okay and enjoying their retirement as much as any couple could. My father-in-law, who is very aged, is very seriously ill in hospital, but retains his sense of humour, is well cared for and is not in pain.
- My job. While my job is incredibly challenging (in every conceivable respect) and occasionally frustrating, it’s tremendously rewarding and provides me with endless variety and opportunity, as well as a solid income to support the family and our adventures. I have worked hard to become a professional, but I know that hard work was only possible due to the springboard my middle-class upbringing afforded me. Not everyone is as fortunate as me and for that I am truly grateful.
- My friends. It’s only in my mid-40s that I really feel like I have a group of friends who understand me and love me for who I am. I love them too for their creativity, energy and passion. They love life, music, food and wine and that makes us very compatible!
- My imagination. Despite chronic illness wracking my brain and body for the past four to five years, my imagination has remained active. I have at least four big stories sitting in my head, percolating patiently and waiting for me to be sufficiently proficient in writing across different mediums. 2016 is going to be the year where I finish at least two screenplays and perhaps convert one or both into novellas/novels.
Next year looks like it will be a watershed year in so many ways:
- I expect I’ll be taking on a new role at work – one that will bring together all of the skills, knowledge and experience that I’ve gained over my career, but particularly over the past five years.
- We are building a house – we’ve outgrown the place we are in and have been in the planning stages of the new house for the past 12 months – we are hopeful for a January start and a June finish (although, given how long and torturous the process has been up until now, it may well be later than that). I can’t wait to move into our new home!
- I will get more writing done. My MPhil is still unresolved, but it’s out of my hands for now, so I can concentrate on writing of the fictional kind for the next few months at least.
- As per the above, I might actually graduate with a Master of Philosophy in 2016. Now that will be worth celebrating!
I am also embracing a new philosophy and mantra in 2016. My philosophy is to live in the present, but not be consumed by it. My mantra is “to be a pleasure to deal with always”. Life is too short and brutal to be unkind, sharp or short with people (including my children). I aim to be more philosophical about the bumps in life and to remain focused on the big picture. I want to instil in my children a sense of wonder, permission to imagine and experiment without fear of failure, and gratitude for the opportunities they have in life. I want them to be as kind to themselves as they are to others. And my hope for them is that they can live their lives on their own terms and contribute to making society stronger for all.
What are your hopes for 2016 and beyond?