What a year it’s been.
I began 2011 at the side of my dad’s hospital bed, anxiously waiting for him to receive life-saving surgery. A quadruple bypass and a 10k race later and he’s in the very best of health, thanks to the wonderful people who have looked after him and the amazing friends who have so generously supported our family throughout this year.
Urged on by those bedside conversations with my dad throughout January and February, I finished a novel, published it to Kindle in September and watched in amazement as it became a bestseller, surpassing my wildest dreams. I connected with kind and lovely Kindle readers throughout the world. And I also published my first poetry collection.
In November I turned 40 and celebrated with a few soft drinks due to the fact that Tom and I are awaiting the birth of our daughter, a sister for my three lovely ‘stepdaughters’ (why is there no better word for this special relationship?), Daisy, Betty and Lily.
On 23 December, Tom went into hospital for a procedure, having struggled since the summer with challenges to his health. It’s so good to see him feeling better now, day by day.
This year has been a crazy ride, a literal roller coaster of ups and downs. The most tremendous highs I’ve ever experienced have been tempered by the most terrifying lows.
And perhaps that’s what life really is all about. Sometimes it feels as if the universe has somehow been transpiring to roll up all these intense experiences into twelve short months, offering me so many rich opportunities, teaching me so much about myself, often yelling painfully in my ear: ‘Look! This is your life! Seize it with both hands!’
As I write this today, we’re celebrating Daisy’s 16th birthday. I first met her when she was seven years old and I feel enormously privileged to be a part of her life as she blossoms into womanhood. My lovely Tom is doing well, my dad has made a full recovery and I’m slowly letting go of my fears, breathing, letting my heart fill with gratitude for everything that I have to look forward to in 2012.
I’d like to say a big thank you to old friends and new – the people I’ve met this year on this incredible journey and the old friends who’ve helped me to keep a brave heart at even the toughest times.
A very happy 2012 from me to you. Thank you for reading this blog, sharing your writing with me on my Word Sauce courses, connecting with me on Twitter or Facebook, reading my book and telling me about it. It really is true to say that, without you, this year would have been a very different one for me and I would have missed so much of its magic.
I wish you the warmest and happiest of celebrations. Most of all, I wish you love.