Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Year 2015: Finding My Place Again in the Snow Globe

2015. What will it bring? I actually just reread a post I write a year ago called "What does 2014 hold?" and I can honestly say that I could rewrite that post but change the names around a bit. 2015 will be a huge change for me personally, but not until October. October is the month that Mr O, the baby of the family (I need to stop calling him that - he's three for goodness sake), will turn four and then start at primary school too. In October 2015 I will have three school going children. For the first time in nearly nine years there will be no children at home during the school day (apart from lunchtime then). Just me. 

Part of me is dancing a very energetic happy dance at the thought. Part of me is a little mournful. How fast they grow. However, I have another nine months with my youngest at home before those child free hours are upon me. And I plan to make the most of them with him.

There are some other things I plan to do in 2015 too, and when I stumbled across this "Imagining the New Year" blog link up I decided to put those plans down on virtual paper. I also created a Pinterest board called the Year 2015 to keep me motivated. So here goes! Three main things to focus on in 2015.

1. Be More Comfortable in My Own Skin

The last eight years have been a collage of new motherhood, sleepless nights, pregnancies, breastfeeding, weaning, applauding firsts three times around - like crawling, talking and walking, nursery school starts, first school days, learning how to parent a highly sensitive child and parenting as a highly sensitive person and going through a huge career change. It's been an intense time.

From the moment we welcomed our first child to the world it was like a giant hand was shaking a snow globe around me - and it feels like it is only now that the snow is beginning to settle. Things feel stable around me. But I feel out of sorts. Like I have been left hanging a little off kilter in my snow globe world. I'm not quite where I should be. And this year I want to work on changing that.

I want to feel more comfortable being me again. That's both physically and mentally. More mindful eating. Eat breakfast (a small tweak that will apparently change my year). More physical movement, but something that works for me instead of another failed gym membership. A wardrobe overhaul. More sleep. More time with my husband, letting him know just how important he is. Our marriage was put on the back-burner whilst we learnt the parenting ropes. It was put low down on the priority list whilst we struggled with the ups and downs of parenthood. We have more time and the chance to change focus now.

2. Calm My Mind

I saw this gem about a woman's mind being like an internet browser with a whole host of pages open at the same time and it summed up perfectly for me how my mind is constantly busy. I'm always thinking about all the things that I 'need' to do. If the children are at school and my youngest is napping, I am always doing something - and that has been the way it has been since I became a mother. I remember a friend saying how wonderful her son's nap times were because she could read her magazines in peace and I was perplexed as to why I could never consider that to be something I could do without feeling guilty, without feeling I should be doing something else more 'worthwhile'.

A few weeks ago, in the height of the December madness, I sat down one morning, whilst all three children were in school, and I watched an episode of Downton Abbey. And I switched off. Ignored the nagging in my mind that I should be doing one of the things on my bullet journal list. Or cleaning some part of the house, which was quite frankly way overdue. I stuck two fingers up to my own thoughts, drank coffee and slobbered over watched the lovely Hugh Bonneville instead. I can count on one hand how many times I have taken this kind of time alone since my first son was born in 2007. And now I know I need to give myself permission to take time for myself. Just to do nothing. To switch off. To calm my mind. To read. To watch something. Just because.

2015 is a year I vow to invite less stress into my life. Instead, there will be more calm and I will have more patience - with myself, and with my children.

I plan to calm my mind with more creative journalling, by emptying my thoughts onto blank pages. I plan to breathe more consciously - be more mindful of my own breathing. To practice what I preach to my sons. To calm it down. To nurture my inner calm. To enjoy the little moments more instead of constantly planning for the bigger ones. A happiness jar will help with that.

I want to close some of these internet pages that are constantly open in my mind. Open one page at a time, deal with it and then close it down. More focus. Less energy wasted. Less chaos. More calm in my mind.

3. Explore My Home

A few years ago, I had a vision board and one of the items was about exploring the Netherlands. The plan was to see something new in the country I call home every month. And then two more children came along and the good intention fell by the wayside. This year, I am breathing new life into it.

Last weekend we headed to the Veluwe for a walk, instead of going to one of our usual walking destinations. My husband suggested it, and usually on the Sunday before the kids are due back at school after a holiday I would have dismissed the idea of venturing out a little further. This time I embraced the idea, let my husband lead the way and I just followed.

I'm planning a list of things I want to see in the Netherlands. I made a Dutch bucket list last year, but this is a real places to see list. What should be on it? What is a must see in the Netherlands?

And another little thing that I really want to get under my belt is driving. I wrote about this before and even made some progress taking lessons as a refresher, but then I fell down the stairs and was out of action for a while. This morning I drove a little in our car for the first time. Hopefully I'll keep building on that...... keep asking me!

So that's my 2015 plan in a nutshell.

What does 2015 hold for you? What one thing are you determined to do this year?

The List


  1. Hello there, this was a great post! Have you considered making a family vision board? We did one recently and it was really fun! Here's hoping all your dreams and goals come to fruition this year!

  2. I get made fun of at work for having so many tabs open in my browser windows. 17 right now!! My mind always feels that way, even when I'm not at work. Good luck to you in 2015. If you'd like, you can link up your resolutions over here:

  3. I agree about marriage going by the wayside while raising little ones. We had that here too... ;) But there is wonderful light at the end of the tunnel!

    Happy New Year, sounds like you will have a great one!

  4. I love the one about exploring your own home. We started doing this in 2014 and hopefully will continue into 2015. We have also been exploring around Donegal, Ireland - loving that too. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lovely post, I am glad you have more time now to focus on your marriage. I think that area suffers most when you have kids. My goal is to lose weight. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  6. Yes a calm mind is a good step to take! Then you will have clarity! Great list and I love the idea of your dutch bucket list! #TheList x

  7. Hi Amanda,
    I was just posting a 'thank you' to a group of bloggers who linked to my New Year blog and realised that Blogger ATE my comment on your lovely post! Anyway, thanks a mill for linking and I loved your post. I'll look forward to reading more about you during the year.
    Wishing you and yours a great 2015.