2016. The year the world wants to forget. It’s been a particularly rough year for quite a few reasons, and not just because of the ridiculous amount of ‘celebrity’ deaths that seem to have affected so many of us.
2016 started badly when Bowie went at the start of the year. I’d loved him ever since I saw Labyrinth as a girl (those tights!) and was introduced to more of his music thanks to my Dad. I even did an art project at school based on ‘Space Oddity’ – my favourite song. (We had to design a nightclub – bit weird for a bunch of 13 year old girls who, in theory, had never been in a nightclub.)
Bowie was the first in a long line of idols and big names who went, often unexpectedly, this year, topped off just this week by George Michael – another musical idol – and Carrie Fisher. What geek girl didn’t want to be Princess Leia at some point?
But, although the deaths of these famous people made me sad, especially those who were taken well before their time, there was one loss that affected me much, much more. My best friend, A, lost her Dad suddenly this summer. I had known him since A and I became friends at the age of 6 when her family moved into our road and she started in my class at school. He was such a lovely, dependable man. Devoted to his family and also to golf, he worked hard and provided so much. I have fond memories of him driving us to school in his red Sierra with its car phone! To see how his loss has devastated his family is heartbreaking, and it has certainly made me consider my own parents’ advancing age, as well as my own.
As well as this, I have had to consider mental health a lot this year. And not just mine, but another very close to me, which has thrown up its fair share of problems. Early in the year I left my job managing a preschool for a job with much less stress and responsibility. However, this also turned a lot more stressful for various reasons and I left that job in September, meaning that I am now a stay-at-home mum. I didn’t take this decision lightly; working is important to me – it sets a good example to my kids that you have to work for the good things in life, as well as giving me a break from a sometimes fraught home life and some adult conversation. However, it was taking its toll on my mental health and eventually I cracked, so something had to give. It’s not easy not working. I’ve definitely found it presents its own set of challenges. But, for now, this is me.
However, not working has meant that I have had more time for writing and blogging in particular. I have been blogging for a while over at It’s a Tink Thing, which is concerned with my daughter’s autism, but when I left work, I began this one! I’m still trying to find my feet in the blogging community, and I’m not quite sure in which direction I want to take it, but I’ve had lots of help from various sources and I hope to focus on it more this coming year. My other main focus for the year is my children. We are in the process of trying to get Small into our preferred special school (more stress!) and I need to spend more time with Big as he struggles a little with the academic side of learning.
But, for all the crap that’s happened this year, there have been plenty of good times too, and it’s those that I will try to remember. We had a fantastic time camping in the summer and a lovely holiday in Northumberland in October, and we hope to have many more good times as a family next year! Goodbye, 2016. You won’t be one we want repeating any time soon!