IT was my birthday in early December, so I always feel like December is a month peppered with moments of self-reflection in between the mince pie making and decorating.
I think it is a good thing to take stock of the year gone by, to see is there anything worth improving or anything I can change to make life easier or better, for me and for others.
I had great plans for my birthday, I had booked Santa at Leahys Farm for us all, we had never been there for Santa and I has heard great reports so I was really looking forward to it. Lately, I have taken to not sharing any plans I make with the children just in case things get cancelled, and just as well because three of the four came down with chickenpox!
I didn’t mind, the girls weren’t disappointed at the notion of missing out on anything because they knew no better, they were more concerned with itching.
We were lucky enough to get away with relatively mild doses across the board and now it feels like one more unavoidable life experience, like the driving test or the Leaving Cert, that we have made it through.
This is the first year in over ten years that I have moved from the baby stage of child-rearing to an ever so slightly more manageable stage of what feels like more akin to crowd control. We are finished with potty training, weaning, sleepless nights (although those can come back in waves when sickness strikes) and nappies. It has certainly made the year marginally less stressful and days out or trips away with the girls a lot easier.
Four of them are in school and playschool since September so I have been able to claw back some precious moments in the day to myself. Well, almost to myself, we did get a dog this year so the demands on my morning time are now dictated by walking him, but that I do not mind.
I got braces late last year so this year I have enjoyed the fruits of that labour. I had braces when I was a teenager on my top teeth but they drifted and my bottom teeth got much worse as the years went on, from pregnancy I suspect.
I had thought about doing something about them for a long time, but it’s an expensive investment in oneself so it took me a while to get around to it. I went for Clear Braces and have been so pleased with how it has worked out. I am not finished yet, I have been through two rounds of aligners now, I have another 20 or so to go, but I don’t mind because the results are just fantastic.
My skin has always caused me trouble but before this I felt there was no point investing much effort in it majorly because, between hormones and tiredness, it felt like too big a battle to tackle. This year, though, I did a combination of things like sticking to one brand for all my skincare and using some prescription products in the short term. It has all been doctor-led and it has worked, though it was a battle at times. But now I finally feel like less of a spotty teenager which is nice.
I also got Botox, ha, something I had thought about for a long time and purely out of curiosity wanted to give it a go. I adore it, it is very subtle, not for everyone, I know, but I am happy with it.
Workwise I was busy this year, I still find it crazy that after all my studies in engineering I ended up in social media. It has been a fantastic outlet for me though when my real job is being mother to the girls, which can be intense at times. My goal at some stage is to go back to college and see if I can combine my informal years of social media experience with a formal qualification. I don’t know what I want to do career wise long term, but I feel, after almost six years at home, I simply want to really challenge my brain.
All of those musings aside though, I am most grateful that we emerged from the year happy and healthy. I feel like I did a pretty good job of balancing all the world had to throw at us and making sure the four girls remained happy and positive throughout, that is my biggest and best achievement of the year, so here’s to 37!