The past couple of weeks have been quite bizarre and the blog took a back seat whilst I finished work. I had intended to take from Dec 11 - 3rd Jan off but that was looking unlikely due to the fact work kept coming in, and I kept saying yes which actually just made my work load seem never ending. On top of this we were prepping for Christmas, Michael resigned from work (we couldn't tell you this till now more on this later!), Atticus ended up going in for surgery and our buyers wanted to do some last minute negotiation so by the time it came to sitting down to write I couldn't find any words as my brain felt like mush. So I thought to round off the year I would do a full yearly edit, include which of my goals/resolutions I managed to achieve and then in a blog post scheduled for Sunday I have written out my new goals for 2018.
I won't break down the year month by month because you have probably read all the other weekend edits, but highlight key moments instead. Can you believe this blog hasn't even been going for a year yet? It launched in May which makes it only 7 months old, it feels like I have always had it.
The year started off well, I was proud of what I had achieved at the end of last year; my first trip in to town, my first cinema trip, hosting Christmas and pushing my boundaries, I was looking forward to taking it in to 2017. In February I turned 30, I wrote about it here. And vlogged the day here. Michael made it very fun, and I still can't believe I spent the day in the city I had avoided at all costs for 7 years.
By May I had been in to town a few more times, tackling the cinema, shopping but hadn't managed dinner out yet. May came around and I went bowling in town with my sister and her boyfriend, it was a fun evening and I got to go to a gin bar I had seen everyone else enjoy. Mum was a little poorly and had been in and out of the doctors/hospital but they kept sending her home with painkillers and a diagnosis of a UTI or diverticulitis. I launched the blog on May 1st and was so pleased with the reaction from it that it was a very welcome distraction from my worries about mum.
8th of May - a day that will be engrained in to my brain forever. Looking back at that day now there was something a little off, Michael was with me for most of the day and as it turned out it was because mum had text him to ask when he would be home from work and with me as she needed to call. It is probably the second worst phone call you could ever receive, she had been at the hospital and the test results confirmed it was bowel cancer. She said "OK i need to go now, will you tell your sister". Lili was coming over that evening for dinner so when she arrived I asked her to come upstairs and told her. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Telling your younger sibling that your mum has cancer is just, yeah, I still have no words.
I didn't vlog again till July, but filmed little bits as the months went by, I am not sure if you can tell in the videos that I was struggling but I tried to pick up the camera a few times and just wanted to tell the world what was going on but mum didn't want other people to know yet, which I respected. In that time she started chemotherapy which didn't work, made her incredibly ill and it was becoming clear that this was going to be a lot more complicated than the doctors first thought.
The summer blurred past, thank god I vlogged it all else I don't think I would be able to tell you what I did. I knew that whilst I wanted to curl in a ball and cry away the days not only would that make me an unbearable person to live with, that wasn't going to solve anything, it wasn't going to make my mum better and it wasn't going to make me any better so instead I decided to push myself. We went to Otley for a walk, which was the furthest I had gone, then the next weekend we went even further to Harewood House, I ate in town then I decided that it was time to go down and see mum.
29th September - I decided to travel late on a Friday night and return on Sunday morning, my sister was looking after the dog so we didn't need to worry about him. Michael was at work in the day so I took it slow, had a nice long bath, planned out the journey for the umpteenth time and dreaded 8pm rolling round. I physically could not see myself on the a1. Going from my 25 minute anxiety filled countryside pootles, to hurtling down the a1 next to lorries for 2 hours just wasn't something I could see myself doing. I spent the first 30 minutes of the journey crying, and the rest just in constant anxiety but I made it and it was lovely to see my family back home for the first time since 2010. The journey back was a little bit worse until Blyth but then I calmed a little knowing I was nearly home and it was over.
The next day was a bizarre feeling. Nearly every day since Christmas 2010 ( I was meant to go home that Christmas but the snow was insane up here so all the roads were closed) I have woken up with guilt about not going to Stamford. It was weird to wake up without that feeling, I was exhausted but very proud of that milestone in my anxiety journey.
25th October - We had our offer accepted on the house we viewed in July. It sold in September but that fell through so when they called to see if we were still interested we said yes please! Now to find a buyer. We had an open day that Sunday, found a buyer and started the process. Well, that buyer fell through mid November because she refused to get a structural survey done. So we needed to find another which we managed to do by the end of November. In November we celebrated Michaels birthday and our 7th wedding anniversary, he has been incredible through out this year. He has looked after me, made me food, made sure I was getting enough sleep, helped me through that trip to Stamford so well, he has been everything I needed and more. Bearing in mind, he has had to deal with all of the same issues I have, including his own.
And this kind of leads us up to December. Mum had radiotherapy and we had been waiting on the results, we were waiting to hear back from our buyers and Michael interviewed for a new job which we were also waiting to hear from. December has just been awful for my anxiety. Physically I have been so poorly. Stomach ulcers, lack of sleep, headaches, blurred vision. Probably all from anxiety. Buying/selling a house, family illness, a new job and Christmas all at once has been so intense and to be honest I have crumbled at many points. Throw in Atticus having to go in for surgery and by December 22nd I was crying in the aisles of M&S wishing everyone would just fuck right off.
Is it all doom and gloom? Is there anyway to turn this post from your most depressing read of 2017 in to a positive one? Kind of. Come the end of January, all of these stresses should hopefully be resolved. We finalllllly have a date for my mums surgery to remove the tumour. Michael's new job starts soon (he will be working from home with a little bit of travel to London/Manchester and further afield) and we will be moving with the next few weeks so hopefully all the house stresses will go down. So there is light at the end of the tunnel! I hate to write 2017 off as the worse year of my life as I have achieved so much personally and on a work level but at this point I really do wish it was over.
2016 Phoebe wrote these goals for 2017 and by April of this year I hadn't achieved any of them;
- Run a 5k (not achieved but I am now going to the gym 3 x a week?)
- Microdermabrasion x 5 (had done, didn't do anything for my skin, waste of money)
- Get my ears pierced again (4 times in total!)
- Get better sleep hygiene. I will tell you what, ever since Boxing Day I have slept so so well. I haven’t slept like this throughout the year, I know it helps having all work scheduled and being off but I am actually falling asleep when my head hits the pillow and waking up with my alarm, not several times in the night. Really want to hold on to this. (nope)
- Drop Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat. Yup. Dead weight, time consuming vacuous hell holes. (so is instagram but I need it, ha) (dropped all, kept instagram and twitter)
- Keep on vlogging. Gain 1000 subscribers by May. (no where near but I have kept up the vlogging!)
- Have an overnight stay somewhere. (yes! Oulton Hall!)
- Have a weekend away somewhere. (yes! Stamford)
- Eat out in the city more. (yes!!!)
- Learn to meditate. (nope)
- Read more. At least a book a month. January’s book is The Warden. (no, which I am annoyed with)
- Visit Stamford. (YEASSSSSS)
- Promote mental health where I can. (yes!)
- Volunteer/Charity work – Age or Mind in particular. (yes, more in this in next blog post)
- Go to a live music gig (it may help that I have The Weeknd tickets) (nope!)
- Push SYGM even further. We have so many exciting things planned for 2017 (yes)
10/16 isn't bad! Some of these will roll in to 2018, some won't as I set new ones. So when I look at it, I have achieved a lot of what I set out to. This blog has done really well, better than I could have hoped for and I have fun things planned for it in the coming months too.
So where are we at right now? We last spoke to our buyers on Friday 22nd who wanted to renegotiate, we were fed up so agreed to 4k less based on the survey they had back on our house. Yes there is work that needs doing but its old house type work and nothing major so to shut them up we agreed so that all the papers could be sorted that day. Everyone is back in the office on January 2nd and its now just a case of exchanging then completing. So looking to move Mid Jan. Our sofa and new bed is currently in storage but we are making the most of the boxing day sales for new house bits!
Michael starts his new job on March 1st but will be having February off, works well with the house move as he will be here to help sort stuff out. We couldn't tell anyone till his current company announced the move.
Mums surgery is on the 2nd of Jan, it will be 14 hours long. We are planning to go down before then to see her. She will be in hospital for 3 weeks, hopefully when she is recovered our house will be all set for them to come and stay.
Atticus is recovering very well, his cone annoys him but his stitches are healing quickly.
I feel like I need to end the post with some kind of encouraging message about even though things can get shit they can get better, but we aren't at the better stage yet so I would be lying to you. Come talk to me at the end of January, by then I will be a positive, glowing wonderful human.