I’ve been sitting thinking about the past year today in all its glory; highs, lows and the many inbetweeny bits. It really has been one hell of a year!
I feel I’ve learnt a lot more about myself again this year and grown stronger in many ways. CBT has helped me greatly, I’ve learnt that it is okay to put yourself first sometimes without calling it selfish and that if you want to say no to things, that’s alright too. Self preservation is much higher on my list of priorities now, I have always been a people pleaser and a guilt feeler so this has been a hard one to master and continues to be a work in progress.
Last year I felt a totally loss of independence however, this year I have managed to get some back. A random conversation planted a small seed in my mind earlier in the year, to use my creative skills to a) give me something in which to channel the energy I have and b) to maybe earn some money from it. And that in turn became ‘Sunshine Makes and Bakes’ which has been a life saver in so many ways. I have loved making and baking and it really has given me a purpose.
However, my biggest achievement of 2017 has to be the publication on my first children’s book. I didn’t think it would be out before the end of the year but it is and I haven’t quite come down from my little cloud of happiness yet! To see my words accompanied by my vision of illustrations and be able to hold it and put it amongst all the other books I love and cherish is just a dream come true. And on top of that, to see my book being read and going into people’s home is just mind-blowing! I’ve already received a few messages from total strangers who live with alopecia or have children who do, who have said how the book has helped them talk about the condition openly and how the book has brought them real happiness. That is my job done – hairless Hannah is happy!
Having said that, 2017 has been a horrendous year in terms of the loss of loved ones. Not only have we lost my dear Grandma and Auntie Pat, we have also said goodbye to several close family friends this year. It has struck me how lucky I have been in my 31 years to have known so many wonderful people and realise how much they have impacted my life. In terms of family, I have a relitively small one. Yet, my extended family is huge. Just days ago I was at a celebration of life of a family friend whom mum and dad met when they first started teaching. Regardless of the fact that Henry was 58 years older than me, he kept young and always engaged me in enthralling conversation, always paid a huge interest into my life, always made me feel special and loved – he, along with the others we have bid farewell to this year, will remain with me for the rest of my days as I carry with me and implement the lessons I have learnt from them into my daily life.
I am only making one resolution this year; take each day as it comes. I feel like looking forward too far and setting big goals only ends in failure and disappointment therefore, if I only take one day as it comes, celebrate all the little things and concentrate on taking steps forward, only good can happen…right?! I definitely am one to think New Year, New start…but in reality, when I wake up on January 1st, it’s just another day, no different to the day before. I put too much emphasis on time and dates and I must try to stop that. I will take with me the people, memories and things I want to from 2017 and leave behind the rest, it’s no good carrying that around with me when there’s so much more to gather up in 2018.
So, here’s to 2018, many more good days than bad and to health and happiness.
Happy New Year.