At the end of her 12 days, Rachael reflects back on a year which has been one of her best years yet personally; and how you can make it yours too.
So when I think back about this year; around the word Celebration, I have so much to celebrate.
And not, even in the face of adveristy, even with C-19. NOT that.
I have so much to celebrate this year in spite of nothing. These moments are stand alone; with or without covid. As a friend was saying to me recently, isn’t covid really same shit, different shovel? (she said it far more eloquently!)
I have had far, far worse years. Years when I nearly had nervous break-downs (2017), years I nearly died (2018). And every single one of those I had to dig deeper and reflect harder than I have done this year. I am not ignoring that for many people, 2020 would have been the year that nearly broke, them, or did break them. I see you, and I hear you; I hold a space for you in my thoughts, prayer and actions.
But for me, that simply isn’t the case. And for those of you that came out of 2020 in kinda one piece, save the life flips, I warmly invite you to review your year, not through the eyes of Covid, but through the eyes of joy and celebration!
Autism – my eight year old finally got his autism diagnosis after 18 months, and years of being given bad advice about how he may grow out of his symptoms, or his symptoms not being spotted. He is loud and proud autistic and that ain’t changing any time soon. As I say, I am stood behind him with my pompoms (and a baseball bat propped up behind me if needed; mumma bear style!); I am not a parent that says I don’t care what my child becomes. I care deeply and will support him every step of the way; knocking shit down when it needs it! I still have not had the support or help from the overstretched local resources that he needs, but you know what? F**k that! That is staying in the old year and in this New Year he is getting everything he needs to ensure he flourishes. not just does well, and our family does that the same. His sister has support, being at the other end of a very well masked spectrum, from the GP to go for diagnosis, which I am currently pursuing, with the same intention as my son. Autism in the world as it is, is not easy, but I have far more joyous, kooky moments in my life than the average mumma, and I would not swap it for all the tea in China! (and I like tea!)
Delayed Development; when I had my youngest, the two of us were so deathly ill that it took us both quite some time to get better. And her developmental delay may not appear to be a blessing on the face of it. But I have always wanted four kids; never thought I get to three after my mental health issues in 2017. So the thought of not ever having a baby in the house again was a down point. Aoife is unbelievably cute and the peadiatric team are very happy that while some of her habits remain behind, there are plenty more which she is advanced in (she did some rather odd puzzles that were aimed at 6 year olds in her assessment after she threw a hissy she had finished them all!). The only real area of concern is her speech. Which is slowly coming on and is still very adorable. Yes it sounds like I have and 18 month old in my house, rather than a 2 and a half year old, and yes she has forced me, coupled with reduced nursery spaces due to C-19, to do less work as I need to ensure she develops, and the lack of social interaction really doesn’t help speech development! And that need to focus on her, has given me a reason not to HAVE to succeed in work. It has allowed me to relax about how I simply cannot focus on work, as she is more important. This amazing two year old has forced many situations; like bonding with my husband fully at a far earlier age than the other two, and for me to step into mother hood on a whole other level. I am truly grateful for that refocus and intend to take the balance I have, forward.
Teaching; I considered becoming a teacher many times in my life, but I spent many of my younger years ‘searching’ for what I wanted to do with my life, falling into work that I was very good at in order to pay the bills. When I found what I wanted to do, the teaching side just happened. It was part of being a Master when I trained and so when I gave up my financial career I fell into teaching. Well this year, bar two weeks in the Summer and a week in Sept (which is not enough time organise a hall and time and students for teaching!) I have been physically unable to teach Reiki. I have made do and filled in with online healing courses and healing experiences which fit online, but I will not reduce my standards in order to give out less effective teaching and attunements online. People will have to wait, as is the will of the Universe. But, with the kids off school, and me not teaching others, I filled that role quite happily. I was really happy to spend so much time with my kids (don’t get me wrong, towards the end the lack of support for spreading the childcare around was getting heavy!). I have one that loves crafting and baking, so fabulous for me doing creative tasks, and another one who is a born natural learner and project creator. The natural leaning I have to pass on information IS mine; this threads through all areas of my life. I have always known it to be, but this year, THIS YEAR, I KNOW this to be true above all else parts of my personality to be a driving force which will propel me forward.
Success and Failure: My husband chose to step away from work he found not to be his life’s work, into something which resonated with him deeply. Not long before C-19 hit. And with the business issues I had, my main income falling out the window, we seriously struggled money wise in a way we had never before. But we dug deep and took, what I would have previously thought of as a hit to the chin, and claimed Universal Credit and managed to get a payment holiday on the mortgage for a few months. And you know what, we were not just okay, we were good. And when my husband decided to take a real hit to the chin and close his business and go back to doing something he was good at and pays well. And that meant that rather than two of us working around 30 hours to balance child care, it means that I really did have to go part time. Which again felt like a hit on the chin and felt like failure in all honesty. But, but, but, you know what? After my bruised Ego recovered, it was okay. And like before, more than okay infact, it was all good. Failure only showing me success in other ways.
Fear – This year has been a year of facing fear. And I don’t mean a virus. I mean business and failure that I just spoke about, I mean three children with additional needs, not one or even two. I also mean me deciding that I needed to focus on what I loved in my work, in order to do it at all. So dropping on top of what had already been taken. It meant that I needed to really heal and bring to light some deep fears around how I was seen, in order to be seen. I shared my physical ugliness and was still loved. I have shared some real emotional scarring, ugly, and am still loved. And I have to thank YOU guys again for that. I have you to thank for giving me the opportunity to have my space held, and to be seen. I have faced all of these fears, my children, failure and my own ‘ugliness’, and you know what? It wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not half as bad at all. In fact, I am good! Like the worst has happened and what was veiled is now seen, and I am pretty damn happy! The saying is that it looks a lot worse than it feels, and looking at this from the perspective I was, I was blowing everything out of proportion.
Now it could be said that I am taken all of this shit that has happened this year, and covered it in glitter. But a polished turd, as they say, is still a turd. I reframe mindsets for a living, but I trawl through the shit in order to give it a clear way forward. I all too often see people positively reframe something without either having done the emotional work, or by ignoring stuff they should not have done in order to be ‘positive’. You can’t ignore the cruddy times; you embrace them, feel them, go through them and come out the other side realising that everything is, good! Life is full of crud and toxic positivity is a pandemic of it’s own.
I am all for looking at life realistically. And when actually look at life in a balanced way, what we find is that the glass is rarely half empty. If your glass is, then get it all out. Do exactly as I have done here; write it all down and take it apart. Have a chat with someone and look for another perspective. Don’t keep it in; the second it is out you get to take it apart and view it with the perspective that it needs.
And if you don’t get that perspective, it doesn’t matter how much intention setting you do; you’ve not done the foundational work for it to be everything you need it do to be.
So, again I say, here is my Celebration of 2020. It hasn’t proved I am stronger, or cleverer, or more adaptable than I knew before. As I knew that already. What is has shown me is that life is so easy, and joyous, and full and fun and colourful and kooky and bright and brilliant than I realised. It is something I have always known and seen, but I have never felt it like I have this year.
And for that I am truly grateful!
Love as always