My word for 2015 has been ‘thrive’ – did I live up to it?
‘Thrive’ according to the dictionary can mean
- To grow vigourously; flourish
- To be successful or make steady progress.
At the end of last year when I pondered upon the tumultuous events of 2014 I used a quote by Maya Angelou as inspiration:
To extend upon that, I identified three main goals
- To continue to grow Hugo’s Legacy;
- To maintain my physical health;
- To improve my emotional health.
In June I looked at my progress against the intention to thrive during the first six months of the year in a work-style half year appraisal – I chose that style for a bit of fun. As that post showed, I had done ok.
My Instagram top nine pictures (in terms of ‘likes’) sum up my year pretty well. Hugo, flowers, pretty outfits.
To be honest, this post has taken a few attempts. It’s not just because writing about my achievements feels strange (it does, which is why I wrote the half-year appraisal in a third-person style). It took me until this morning to figure out why it wasn’t feeling right.
You see, I have been signed off sick from work since having a meltdown in mid-October. For a few days I literally could not get out of bed and I was full of all-encompassing anger. Standing on the Periphery was written a couple of weeks prior to this, and looking back I can see the warning signs.
My very good GP expressed surprise that the meltdown had taken so long to arrive. Since Hugo died I had been keeping myself busy, keeping myself going, not leaving myself time to dwell.
Rationally I know that approach wasn’t terribly wise, but I did what I had to do (especially in the absence of proper therapy). The result is that my emotional health is not improved. However, I have survived. I have learned a lot about myself and my limits during the past few months and will be putting these in to practice when returning to real life in the new year. Plus, I have my long-awaited therapy to start.
While I have alluded to the meltdown I haven’t talked openly about it until now, for so many reasons – not least because it is difficult to do so when you are still in the middle of it. I’d like to emphasise though that these reasons have nothing to do with being ashamed even if I continue to struggle with the concept that the issues are a result of things that happened to me and to Hugo, that I am not broken.
I’ll write about it in more detail when I feel ready.
In that context, the list of things I am very proud of this year:
- Being named on the HSJ list of Patient Leaders
- Bereavement cards in Hugo’s memory being produced
- #HugosLegacy trending on Twitter on his first birthday
- Collaborating on #MatExp and building the website
- Speaking at the Royal Society of Medicine about Hugo’s Legacy
- Being involved with the National Maternity Review
- Speaking on national live radio about Hugo’s Legacy
- Shortlisted in Inspire category BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Award
- Finalist in the MADS Best Writer and Outstanding Contribution Awards
- Going to NHS Expo with #MatExp
- Speaking at Mumsnet BlogFest – and being on the agenda with some incredible names
- Being longlisted for the Tommy’s Mum’s Voice Award
- Submitting my book to publishers
- Being a member of the London Neonatal Network clinical outcomes group and parent advisory group.
- Becoming a Huffington Post blogger
- Celebrating my blog’s second birthday
- Going self-hosted with a new look and strapline that is very ‘me’!
- Writing posts just for fun
- Doing some fabulous reviews (I am especially proud of myself for approaching the lovely companies I worked with)
- Having fun with some style posts
- My posts featuring in a wide variety of places including being Blog of the Day a few times.
Even by the very high standards I set for myself I can say I have done pretty well. I am making steady progress with Hugo’s Legacy and with #MatExp, and have had some notable successes, too.
Beyond that I am feeling like I am flourishing, that I can be myself – dry humour, bright colours, and all.
With that in mind I think this photo sums up my year: I spotted this brilliant blue wall while out for a walk with Martin and asked him to take a picture of me in front of it. I love it – I am wearing a figure-hugging dress that falls above-the-knee flashing a lot of leg; yellow shoes; fabulous shades, and bright lipstick. The wall itself is by a very busy road, and people in their cars were probably gawking…but so what? It was fun (and if I say so myself I think I look pretty hot! :-)).
My physical health is ok, especially with the appreciation of how exercise can help my emotional health. I have accepted my naturally curvy shape and a bit of healthy exercise makes me feel generally toned and confident.
So, yes, overall I have thrived in 2015.
A quote from Denzel Washington popped up on my Instagram feed – it resonated with me so I wanted to share it with you in this post. It’s one you can interpret in your own way, and for me it expresses perfectly about how my, yours, or anyone’s review of the year is about more than a list of accomplishments.
While I am immensely proud of my accomplishments, I am equally proud that through Hugo’s Legacy and #MatExp I am always giving back.
So what’s on the cards for next year? I have chosen my word for 2016 and will be revealing it tomorrow.
This Mother is keeping going. I will continue to thrive…and strive to live according to next year’s word too.