Four days left of 2017 and looking back over the past twelve months I have to say it’s certainly not been a uneventful year. This year has seen me accomplish something I’m extremely proud of, I made a family. I completed the lives of two very special people. 2017 also saw the birth of my little niece, an amazing trip to Australia, two trips to Tenerife and a great weekend in Glasgow. Unfortunately though that’s not all 2017 will be remembered for. It will also be remembered as the year I found out I had cancer.
I don’t know about anyone else but each year at Christmas time I have these day dreams about putting up the tree, I imagine the four of us listening to Christmas music, gathered round the tree delicately applying decorations. Paul puts the angel on the top and we share loving looks and family hugs. I wanted this more than ever this Christmas, with the cancer diagnosis making memories has become so much more important for me. It’s always in the back of your mind what if this is the last, you want to leave your kids with good memories of you. So on the last weekend of November I set out to put the tree up I had spent over an hour carefully selecting the perfect play list of Christmas music, I had a glass of shloer in hand and so the Christmas tree decorating began. Within ten minutes I was shouting at Alexa to turn the music down, paul and I were close to divorce over the lights and Daliah was attempting the world record for the most baubles hung on a single tree branch. You can spot the differences. My reality was being laid up in bed recovering from surgery watching my husband wrap presents, it was the parking ticket I got a week before Christmas.
Christmas Day also has the expectation of relaxing family time, great dinner and board games after. The reality is everyone is exhausted from spending four hours building the toy kitchen the night before, grouchy from being woke at 6am and so full after dinner they just want to sleep. What I’ve learnt from this Christmas is that no matter what happens in life, no matter how important it is to achieve your version of perfect it will rarely happen. Instead of looking for the perfect day and being disappointed when we don’t achieve it we need to look for the perfect moments in what may be a crazy stressful day. Like when I glance at my kids and for once they are playing nicely together instead of fighting, or when I sit down after stressful hours of putting the tree up and for a short few minutes we marvel as a family at a job well done. We will never have a full of day of perfection least not with children anyway, but we can get perfect moments and these will happen without planning or preparation.
Who knows what 2018 will bring for me but I’ve now learnt to have no expectation of the year ahead.