Monday, 1 January 2018


After a month long break, when I opened my laptop and sat down to blog this morning, the prospect of recapping 2017 felt a little daunting. Although 2017 was a year of highs, it was also a year of lows. The pride I feel at finally getting ourselves on the property market is still a great one, even 8 months on. My career continues to grow in an industry I love and Ava continues to flourish. When people tell me how much of a carbon copy she is of me, in both looks and personality, I can't help but feel proud. I see it when her eyes crinkle when she smiles, in a manner I used to hate about my own features. I hear it when she tells me for the millionth time how much she hates castles, in the precocious, no one else's opinion is important, occasional manner of her mother. And I feel it when she puts her warm little hand in mine and tells me she loves me. She's still my proudest achievement to date.

 I had a hard summer that was tinged with tragedy, but you have to take the good with the bad. So let's concentrate more on the happy for now shall we?

In January, I wrote about finding the balance between motherhood and a career, and my massive support of flexible working hours for parents, something that is becoming more and more prevalent in the UK. In February, I asked if we were sharing too much on social media and discussed my millionth failed attempt at leaving Facebook, I swear that thing's a cult. March saw me talk about a fun road trip I took with my pal Kirsty, and my constant battle with feelings of always wanting to be somewhere I'm not. Quite the little tortured artist sometimes, aren't I? April was quiet, another blogging break which does make me wonder if I will even still be updating by my next birthday. May saw me talking about my attitude towards relationships and dating, and although I know I am still guilty of shutting things down quickly when I feel there is a risk, I hope that I will slowly start to open up my heart a bit in 2018. June saw me talking about my feelings on getting older, July I dealt with a heartbreaking loss and said very little and then in August I came out the other side and felt ready to talk about it. In September I questioned how creative I was and discussed my passions and then just before October I talked about how I was sacking online dating for good. I still have no intentions of going back on it and have found that it hasn't made that much of a difference to how much I meet people anyway. I was still talking about relationships when I wrote my last blog post of 2017 and discussed checking up on your ex's social media. And then I went quiet. December was a busy month, but truthfully I just didn't feel like blogging.   

My resolutions this year are many. Some simple, some a little more complex. Like everyone else in the UK I am jumping on the dry January wagon. Drinking too much is something I often berate myself about, especially since I had Ava and (like most mothers in the UK), find a glass of wine in the evening more of a nightly crutch. Although I usually stick to the government recommended two nights off at the start of the week, I do find myself sinking a large glass of red most Wednesday and Thursday evenings and more at the weekend. In the year that I intend to really focus more on skincare (because crows feet) and getting my fitness levels back up (best anti-depressant out there), I would like to try and cut down on the weekly wine drinking and save it more for the weekends. And a dry January seems the obvious way to kick start it.

I had flirted with the idea of a digital detox. Although I am immersed in all things digital during my nine to five, I do spend a lot of my own time engaged in my own social media. But the truth is that I enjoy it. So why stop? I am however going to be putting my phone down more. Which means not sneakily checking Stories while I'm playing with Ava and no more absentmindedly flicking through Insta in the middle of a good drama. I all too often have to rewind or use Wiki to recap on episodes I have been too immersed in my phone to understand.  

The rest are less generic, more about me. I plan to visit every remote Scottish island my annual leave and bank balance will allow. I want to see every loch, eat every langoustine and visit as much of this beautiful god damn country as my time will allow. There's a multitude of castles I still want to see (much to Ava's derision) and a Pinterest list as long as my arm of abandoned buildings I want to explore. I will still continue to moan I am skint because I spend all my money on nights away and my weekends will always be for adventure. 2018 will be the year I do a lot more of that. That's one thing I know for sure.

I constantly question if I am kind enough. Tolerant enough. If I think and consider enough of other people's feelings. I constantly battle my own insecurities and often berate myself for walking away from people too quickly for fear of getting hurt. I know that to be a better version of myself I need to be happier with who I am, trust my choices more and know that the right person will come along at the right time.  

I can't just settle for anything. 

My daughter's watching.

This morning, when Ava snuck into bed beside me at the beautiful time of 10am (thanks to an 11pm bedtime - I don't see my parenting getting any better), she crawled into my arms and wished me a happy new year. I held her tight and wished her the same. Then I pulled her away from me, looked her in the eye and asked her if she thought 2018 was going to be a good one.

She looked straight back at me, shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't know Mummy, I have no idea".

And she's right. We have no idea. None of us do. All we can do is go into it with an open heart, with an open mind and with the constant reminder to always try and be better. To be kinder. And to make the right decisions and do what we need to do for ourselves in order to be truly happy.

Ava then looked back at me with a thoughtfulness on her face and asked me with intense wonderment:

"Wouldn't it be amazing if you could get a chocolate Advent Calendar that lasted for a whole year?"

So maybe she's not that deep after all.


wholelottarosie said...

Wishing you and your adorable girl all the best for the coming year (and I personally hope you don't take too long a break from blogging!) x

Dawn Young said...

Thank you! I hope you have a fabulous 2018! xxx