I'm sitting here in my living room, the baby asleep upstairs after an epic 2-hourly wakeful night and the sun is gloriously streaming in through the bay window. Dave and Levi are out doing messages - taking rubbish to the dump, dropping stuff off at the Charity Shop from the first half of our post-Christmas clear out - and I am thinking about the year that is drawing to a close and the anticipation of the one ahead.
This year gave us Ada. Our beautiful girl who is growing like a weed, manoeuvring around the furniture, cutting teeth like a mad thing and whose first year is whizzing by so fast, proving once again to me that time stands still for no one.
Our little family has spent much of this year adjusting to the new normal of being a four. We are in equal measures overwhelmed and thankful, tired and energised, out-of-breath and peaceful. So much of this has been made even sweeter (and easier!) with my parents having moved back from Canada in the summer. I still can't believe they are here and we are able to do life close-up instead of intense bursts once a year or via facetime.
The time off I've had from work this year has given me a new appreciation for slowness - time to really consider the effort and investment I put into the different things in my life. My time is more precious now than ever with the increasing responsibilities of family life so it has been good to take stock on what things outside of that really deserve my attention; family first, life-giving friendships, the job I love and space for creative things. These are the priorities, the pillars that I've realised make for a healthy life for me. I have learned more about my own boundaries, how to say no and be OK with that too.
I'm reading the social media statuses of so many of us wishing 2016 to end; loss, tragedy, political upheaval, intolerance, uncertainty - so much disappointment. It has been a rough old year as far as collective months have gone - but I'm aware that the clock striking 12 on New Years Eve won't stop all of the above from continuing. There is much out there that is out of our control. All we really have agency over is ourselves - what we put out into the world. That's where the rubber hits the road - that's all we are able to control; how we act, react, speak, care, invest. Those things are ours to own and that's what we inject into a frightened and out of control world. Those are the things that we can be sure will make a mark. I want that mark to be more thoughtful in 2017 and beyond, don't you?
I have a small idea that I'm hoping to launch here on the blog that I reckon will help us all - me included - stay true to those things. I am working hard to bring that to you in the next few weeks so if you are up for making a more meaningful path for yourself and your loved ones in 2017, please watch this space for more details or join me by signing up below (this is a different list to my newsletter, so even if you are a newsletter subscriber you will need to sign up here if you want to hear about this specific project)!