Did I Thrive in 2015?

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:

my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to (1)

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.

My Instagram top nine pictures.

My Instagram top nine pictures.

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! :-)).

Me in front of the blue wall!

Me in front of the blue wall!

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.



Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

11 Comments on Did I Thrive in 2015?

  1. Amy @ Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
    January 7, 2016 at 11:09 pm (5 years ago)

    Leigh, I absolutely love this post and it has left me beaming. So you should write about your acheivements becasue we all absolutely LOVE to hear about them. I also think it is incredibly brave to write so openly about your breakdown and so glad for you that therapy is on the way.

    On another note you do look flipping hot in front of the blue wall! You know I love your style and could basically live in your wardrobe anyway, but seriosuly this is smokin’

    Keep shining and rocking Leigh, we love you for it!

  2. Mim
    January 1, 2016 at 5:08 am (5 years ago)

    Excuse me, you look utterly bloody fabulous in that photo – amazing! I love both your writing and physical style – you’re so honest and open and brave. I’m so glad you’re looking after your emotional wellbeing, which will of course take some time and have some bumps but I just know that you’re going to continue to thrive constantly and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings for you and what word you’ve chosen to represent the year! PS your yellow shoes – fabulous as you are! Mim x x x #TheList
    Mim recently posted…2015 Beauty FavouritesMy Profile

    • Leigh
      January 4, 2016 at 11:06 am (5 years ago)

      Haha! Thanks so much Mim your comment really made me smile. All the very best to you for 2016 xxx

  3. Hannah Budding Smiles
    December 31, 2015 at 6:31 pm (5 years ago)

    I love this post Leigh, I know that to say you’ve had a tough time is truly the understatement of the century, yet you do thrive. You are finding your path, at a pace that suits you and you’re fighting, surviving but absolutely thriving. You’re an inspiration to those who have experienced bereavement as well as those who haven’t. Your approach to life most certainly inspires and motivates me and I love you for that xxx
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…My Top 10 Favourite Toby-isms of DecemberMy Profile

    • Leigh
      January 4, 2016 at 11:05 am (5 years ago)

      Bless you lovely Hannah that’s so kind, thank you xxx

  4. Wave to Mummy
    December 31, 2015 at 12:47 am (5 years ago)

    So sorry to hear of your breakdown 🙁 You have done amazing things this year and it really does look like you have been thriving. All the best for you for 2016!

    • Leigh
      January 4, 2016 at 11:04 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks so much, all the best to you for 2016 too xxx

  5. Mrs H
    December 30, 2015 at 9:59 pm (5 years ago)

    This is such a brilliant and inspiring post, gorgeous Leigh. I am so sorry to hear about your meltdown in October. I hope you are feeling better now. You should be so proud of everything that you have achieved this year. You have done amazing things. I can’t wait to hear more about you thriving in 2016. Huge hugs Lucy xxxx

    • Leigh
      January 4, 2016 at 11:03 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you lovely Lucy xxx


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