Life Lessons From 2018

1. Family is Everything
One year ago today we welcomed into our family a gorgeous baby boy, just look at all that gorgeousness! And in a few weeks time my other daughter will have her first baby. As time goes by and our families grow I get more of a glimpse into why families are so important and see how much joy they can bring us.

Happy Birthday Jonah!

I also stand in awe and appreciation of the many people who play such a huge part in supporting their family members through illness and other problems in life. I see many parents who bring their children to me with some serious problems and the lengths they have gone to, to help them are extraordinary. I see and hear about spouses and partners whose support and love is phenomenal during problem times and then, there are those incredible people that have to bring up families alone, sometimes without a partner and sometimes without the support of their own family. I’ve learned a lot from all of them – and I’ve learned more about what love is through them all.

2. People are Amazing
I love people, they come and open their hearts to me in the hope I can help them and I can honestly say that each time I want to do my very best. Just last year, from a young lady saddened that she hadn’t been able to get pregnant, a suicidal teenager, and a middle aged woman unable to leave her house due to anxiety and depression, to name but a few, for an hour or two I walked in their shoes, tried to understand what life was like for them and tried to do all I could to improve it for them. I have felt for them all, sympathised and loved – and been honoured to have been part of their journey.

Then there are the people who help me – family, friends, and colleagues. Where would we be without them? They have lifted me, helped me, made me laugh, and helped me see things clearer – thank you to all of you.

3. It’s Never too Late
Next year I turn 60 – now that sounds sort of scary but actually I’m more comfortable with my life now than I was when I was young. Last year I ticked lots of things off my bucket list (not that I have an actual bucket list but you know what I mean). I’ve never had any huge aspirations of having amazing holidays or experiences but last year I was able to go and learn and study about some things I’ve wanted to know about for a while – and I’ve been able to use that knowledge which is very satisfying; I’ve built my practise up so that I’m able to see and help far more people now – and that brings me such a lot of joy and satisfaction. I’ve become healthier and lost a stone in weight. In fact, when I compare myself now to the 30 year old me…. well there is no comparison really. I’ve learned to love life, relax, enjoy myself and stop worrying what other people think about me. I also find much more joy in helping others now than I used to – I think when I was younger I was mainly thinking about my own survival – but now I’m ready for the next 60 years, and feel sure I’ll enjoy it far more.

4. Not Much Can Replace Good Health
Well that sounds rather glib and I guess I already knew it, but just last year I have had people close to me diagnosed with serious illnesses, I’ve seen and helped people who are suffering so much both physically and mentally, I’ve been saddened to hear of a family friend’s infertility, I’ve cried at the loss of a friend’s baby. It’s a roller coaster life for most of us – but good health helps us to deal with it so much better, and it’s something we are inclined to take for granted when we have it. Every week I talk to people who suffer with anxiety and depression, which isn’t something I’ve experienced for myself but hundreds of people have openly explained their feelings and experiences of life through this debilitating illness and I feel grateful for my own good health. I’ve seen people who can no longer leave their house, people who are in constant pain and people who are just waiting to die. Our health is an amazing gift, one I firmly believe we should do all we can to nurture. Life doesn’t look to be very enjoyable without it, that’s for sure.

5. I’m Ready For the Future
There’s so much to look forward to and I’m ready for it. 2018 has been a good year for me, I know that not everyone can say that, but we can all look forward to a brighter 2019 – and that’s what I wish for every single one of you.