#nurture1314 The Quest for Balance

13 good things from 2013?

1) The (then) 5yo fell off a sofa (not a good thing, obvs) and I remembered all my first aid training coolly and calmly to such an extent that the triage nurse asked “Who made this excellent sling” and the 5yo answered “My mummy, because she knows everything.” I don’t mind admitting, I glowed!

2) I took on a coaching client I met through Twitter (you know who you are) and that has developed into a really positive coaching relationship. I’m delighted by this person’s achievements and the opportunity to support them.

3) I started a new job, and I’m good at it. Not just “good enough” but actually, properly making things happen, getting stuff done, making the world a better place. (Slowly. Oh so slowly. But it’s undeniably satisfying.) Occasionally I’m appreciated for it. Who could ask for more?

4) 11yo made the move to secondary school as though it was No Biggie. She has settled so well, and even said to me “I had no idea how easy it would be to make new friends.” I was genuinely worried about how she would cope, so I can’t tell you how glad I was to hear this.

5) I went out TWICE with DH this year. We’ll gloss over the Neil Young gig, which wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hoped, but Roddy Frame was brilliant, so that’s good enough for me.

6) 13yo is 13 and doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink and hasn’t taken any drugs (yet). I’m a pragmatist about the temptations he’ll be exposed to and how often he may give in, but if you’d known my 13yo self you’d understand why I’m not sorry that he’s unlike me in this respect.

7) I met a load more Tweetmates this year. JSWEC was especially good for me to catch up with so many social work Tweeps I’d admired from afar (thanks to @jaxrafferty for the introductions) but there were other occasions too. Too many to mention. You’re all as fab as I thought you would be.

8) I’ve found the special thing that 8yo and I love to do together. I love my little snuggler so dearly, and yet have found it hard to connect with his interests. I wouldn’t have predicted that rugby would be The Thing, but our afternoons commiserating with London Irish at the MadStad have been great bonding time.

9) The Wedding in Denmark. Not exactly an achievement I can claim as my own, but the family joy was contagious in a most glorious way. Is there anything better than a wedding…?


10) Yes! The thing that’s better than a wedding is a new baby. I was an aunty again twice over this year. A baby can arrive via any route and I’ll toast it to the skies, but I can’t deny that I was powerfully moved by the story of my earth-mother sister-in-law simply “breathing her baby out” in a tranquil pool at home. There can be no better start in life.

11) We bought a trampoline for the garden. It is as brilliant fun as you would expect. And incidentally beneficial to my pelvic floor.

12) I signed up to “Do Something Different” and I’m trying to “Do Happiness”. I haven’t quite pulled it off yet. I’m in the middle of a great re-balancing. I’m glad I’ve started though.

13) My mum and dad stayed well. So many friends, colleagues and Tweetmates had parents who needed additional support and found it such a struggle. I’m not yet ready to be part of the “sandwich generation” caring for children and parents at the same time, so it was a relief as well as a pleasure to see my parents only for the fun of their company.

14 hopes for 2014:

I need to own up, I’ve got some “carry forwards”.

1) That “time for the children” thing? I haven’t yet mastered it. I need to keep trying. And try harder.

2) Gigs with DH? We managed twice in 2013. That didn’t feel like quite enough. At least, not for me. More please! Likewise puncture repair with Lovelyboss. If I could increase both those pleasures by +1 that’d be great.

3) The bookpile is guilting me. When my formal study is over, a book a month doesn’t seem like an insurmountable obstacle, does it?

4) I blogged this instead of finishing my assignment tonight, but once I get that final assignment in, I need to implement my supervision and development plan as a coach, which will be quite a task in itself. But I think that’s where much more of my future lies.

5) 13yo will start his GCSE study this year. For him to do as well as he is capable of means that I need to pay more attention to what he’s up to. 2014 is the year I WILL sign his homework diary every week.

6) 11yo is teetering on the edge of all that body-image-anxiety stuff. One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me was to very clearly not give a fuck about that stuff. I need to stay close to my girl and model for her how it’s possible to be happy in your own skin. Because I am, and I know that’s rare.

7) Aww. My 8yo. I need to do more with him. Now we’ve found one way to connect, through a shared admiration for Marland Yarde I’m sure we can find others. Of all my guys he’s the one that most needs ….something. I wish I knew what it was. I will work it out.

8) For the first time ever in 2013 I missed a parents’ evening (for 6yo) because of work. I will not let that happen in 2014.

9) My guys need bank accounts. That’s a task for the first week of the New Year.

10) Denmark. We’ll have a great reason to head out there again in 2014. Lillebror has bought his much-coveted island home, and there will be a new little niece or nephew to visit. (Did I tell you how much I love babies?)

11) My parents (jointly) will be 150 this year. That sounds like a reason to paaaaaaarty! (As if I need an excuse).

12) @drlangtry_girl and @thatiangilbert are on my “must meet” list this year. Along with @chocotzar and her “Core Group” and the JSWEC crew for #socialcarecurry And I’m sure there are more.

13) Yoga. I let my personal practice go and the physical rigidity and lack of inner peace is catching up with me. I don’t just want to be able to touch my toes again. I need to be able to get my nose to my knees. And breathe.

14) Unlike the last 20 years, I will take all my annual leave allowance. Oh yes I will.

What were your high points in 2013? What do you want for 2014?