2016 was a spectacularly awful year for so many people on so many levels. Me included. But I am one of those annoying optimistic people who always looks for the bright side no matter how dark things seem. Every day may not be good but I do believe that there is something good in every day. But even I have struggled with that mantra at times over the last few months it has to be said.
A million years ago, I used to write regular posts here on my blog about the little things that had made me smile that day or that week or even that month. Maybe it’s time that I resurrected them? I really do believe with all my heart that it is the little things that turn out to be the big things in the end, you know? Those little teeny tiny things that make us smile. They are the things that we need to hold on to.
I’ve never really been big on celebrating the new year I’ve just never quite got it. I think it’s partly because we are bombarded with that whole new year new you rubbish nowadays. Screw that. I’m mostly happy with the way I am thanks. The chiming of a clock doesn’t magically make the last twelve months disappear or suddenly make everything new again. But actually, I can’t wait to see the back of 2016 so maybe all these people who bang on to the new year being a clean slate are on to something after all? I can only hope that 2017 will be brighter for me. Having said all that, last year wasn’t all bad. In fact, there were some bloody good bits. So they are the bits that I want to hold on to.
My eldest turned eighteen in April and seeing him grow into this amazing human being means that I must have got something half right over the years. There was definitely an expectation that he would go on to university after finishing sixth form but actually, he chose to take a very different route and applied for an apprenticeship. It was a really brave step and it was the best decision he could have ever made. He is as bright as a button but hated every minute of school and he was mature enough to know that university just wasn’t for him. He’s now working his socks off training with a big law firm in Leeds and also enjoying the freedom that comes with having a bit of money in his pocket. I couldn’t be prouder of him.
August saw results day for both of my teens. I really didn’t think the whole small age gap thing through, did I? One sitting AS Levels, one sitting A Levels. You can imagine what a stressful year that was. But actually, twice the stress also meant twice the joy come results day. My daughter sat just one AS Level in English Language and was expecting to scrape a grade C at best but she went and got an A! Amazing in itself but even more amazing considering the shambles that the subject had been for her since her original teacher left for maternity leave. Anyway. My son had already secured his apprenticeship by this point but he aced his A Levels too which was just the icing on the cake. All that hard work from both of them well and truly paid off. Such a big day.
My seventeen year old still has her A Levels to come this year of course so there is still a lot of hard work ahead. Over the last few months, we have been visiting universities and colleges which has been really exciting. It’s something that I never got to do myself so it’s great being able to support her. Obviously we will support her in whatever she does but I am over the moon that she has decided to follow her heart and go down the art route. At the moment it is looking like she will take a side step next year and do an art foundation course before going on to do her degree. She has secured one place at an art college for September already and has another two interviews lined up so at this rate, the world will be her oyster.
On a personal note, I’ve learnt that work success doesn’t happen by accident, it comes from working your arse off. Sometimes risks can pay off but other times they don’t and you just have to write it off as experience. I still have to pinch myself that I have somehow carved a career out of something that was once a hobby. What is that saying about choosing a job you love so you will never have to work a day in your life? Well, yes. That. I get to make a (small) living from writing a few words and taking pictures of my dinner. I’m living the dream. Well, my dream at least.
And I thought I would save the best till last. Mr Mostly and I celebrated our twenty second anniversary in October. Now that really is something to shout about. I think the post I wrote listing twenty two things I love about him was by far my favourite of 2016. He is quite simply my everything. I never ever take for granted what we have together. Last year taught me that you never know what tomorrow might bring, the only thing we have is right now. And right now I couldn’t love that bearded man any more.
So there we have it. What started out as a full on negative Nancy post has turned into something really much brighter. I told you I was annoyingly optimistic, didn’t I? Always look for that silver lining folks. And here’s to a cheerier new year for all of us!