Monday, January 5, 2015

Reflecting on 2014

2014 was an incredibly difficult year for me. The death of my beloved Mum in April was my worst nightmare come true. The memories of the weeks leading up to her death remain painfully raw with emotion. An incredibly special family time but so so hard for us all. We are so proud that she was able to pass in her much loved family home and in comfort. Giving her this was possibly the hardest thing we have or will ever have to do. It is important to remember the years I knew her as a vibrant, healthy woman rather than rehash those months. She is so much more than that time.

My Mum was the most wonderful person; without a doubt the person who knew me, really knew me through and through. Our relationship was fantastic, we were close. She battled her illness with grace, positivity and such braveness. Losing her felt like losing a large part of my identity and I have since spent much time figuring out how to be me without her.

I am so proud of how my Dad, sister and I have coped. We have been there for each other through the deepest moments of our grief and helped each other focus on building a future without Mum. We have all found the strength to see the best in life and notice the bright moments. Slowly but surely I think we each can see a wonderful life ahead (made better for knowing and having Mum).

Realising that the pain of Mum's death will never leave me has been important. It is changing from a burning, overwhelming grief into a dull ache. Every now and then I am so blindsided by sadness and missing that I feel like it takes my breath away....then I remember her bravery...feel it and move on.

I have also recognised that although she is gone she continues to be my biggest inspiration and mentor. Thankfully twenty nine years with Mum have left me many, many strong memories and I am able to draw on these as I move forward. Passing on some of these to Mae and letting her know just how special her Nana was is very dear to my heart.

Turning thirty is a big deal for some women but it didn't feel this way for me when I celebrated in July. I felt mildly uneasy, throughout my I needed to put down roots somewhere. Now that we have our own home and garden, a little family and tentative plans for the future I feel so good. Don't get me wrong I loved my twenties. Mr. Fox and I have had some incredible journeys and fun times during them.

During a sunny week in September our beautiful girl arrived. Mae was the joy of my 2014. She is the bright shining light that pulled me through the grief. When Mae arrived I felt like I was able to properly focus on the future again. It was like it opened up again with her arrival. Mum had known about baby and so very very badly wanted to meet her. She would have loved being a grandmother so much. Mae has blue eyes and quick to smile. She is hardly ever still. I like to think she gets these from her Nana Fox.

Becoming a Mum after losing a Mum is healing and hard at the same time. I have a million questions and moments I want to share with my darling Mum. Thankfully I have been supported by our families. My Nana has been a great help. We talk often and so enjoy sharing moments of motherhood together. I find myself seeking out blogs by women who speak of raising resilient and kind children for inspiration too.

A 'Stay at Home Mum' has always been my ultimate dream job and I am very thankful that I enjoy it thus far. Being fortunate enough to fulfil this dream is amazing. Combining motherhood with crafting, gardening and keeping house is a fun challenge. It is important for Mr Fox and I that our children have one of us at home until they are at school (we are grateful that this is financially possible). We hope to raise compassionate, kind and resilient children and will work hard to nurture Mae and any future siblings with love.

I feel like I no longer have set expectations for the coming years as the past few have thrown up change after change. 'It is what it is' as I like to say. Change is inevitable and not always bad. I used to hate changed plans but now feel like I can roll with the punches. The feelings of being out of control when presented with change aren't there anymore and if they are they are fleeting. It feels really great to know that I can cope with most situations too. Challenges are good like that.

This past year has challenged me like no other year before it and with it came much personal growth.

I realise now what is important to me; family, friends, working with my hands, noticing and documenting bright moments and beauty

I found what makes me happy and unwind as I struggled to find peace within; sunshine, the seaside, gardening (especially mowing the lawns, watering the garden, picking and arranging flowers), going for a walk

I have reaffirmed what matters to me both in myself and others; honesty, integrity, positivity, creativity, motivation

As 2015 begins I feel present and fulfilled like never before. I have come to realise there is no point chasing joy as it is fleeting. It is better to embrace feelings of contentment and the deep sense of happiness that family brings.

I don't have any specific resolutions for the year but have intentions such as increasing my productivity both creatively and in the garden, embracing motherhood/family life with all it's challenges and wonderfulness, and making a few more day trips like we did when we first moved to Auckland.

2014 was one hell of ride but despite all the sadness has been the most important year of my life. It has been a year that has made me feel and reflect. I got to know me this year. Life isn't about figuring out; it's about living moment to moment with intention. 2014 has taught me that here and now is precious.