Well, as 2019 draws to a close, it’s worth a little reflection. This has been such a momentous year for me – the year that I became a mother, the year I met my gorgeous daughter, and went on a steep learning curve on how to live with a toddler!
Looking back on the year chronologically, January and February were a little tough – I had had several failed adoption matches at that point, and I felt forced out of my job after the restructure so had to change jobs to fit with my childcare needs. So the beginning of the year certainly felt a little bumpy.
However looking back there were also lots of positives mixed in there – a successful and interesting trip to Afghanistan for work, and a lovely mini-break to Leicester with two of my best friends. Not to mention my amazing kitchen renovation which I still love!
Then in March, while on a work trip to Ethiopia, I was sent my daughter’s profile. It wasn’t at all what I had been looking for, and it took me by surprise but I felt immediately that something felt right, and it clicked into place. I felt hopeful and happy that it might just be the one.
In April and May I had meetings with various social workers to discuss the match, and started my new job, and turned 38. My adoption ring was also finally finished after a few trial and error attempts and I loved it!
I also had a fabulous camping trip over Easter to Wookey Hole, Cheddar Gorge and Lyme Regis which was fantastic!
Then in June I had my matching panel, which was the most amazing moment – to be told that this little girl will be my kid. My face was beaming for days with excitement and happiness.
In July really big things happened – I went on maternity leave, I met my gorgeous daughter for the first time, and despite some rather bumpy introductions she moved in with me and we started getting to know each other. The next few months were a blur of wonderful, magical, exhausting first times for everything – new teeth, new words, swimming together, learning to jump, to go up and down stairs, playing, cuddling, making each other laugh, It has been a whirlwind of a summer and autumn!
By November we were feeling much more settled as a family, and had our first birthday together when she turned two (I feel so lucky that I only missed one birthday) and have been busy visiting lots of people here and there. Then December, and Christmas, and getting ready to start nursery. Still feels like a blur, and I’m glad I’ve got a bit more time to enjoy this special time before I go back to work.
So many firsts, so many happy memories, and so many mistakes and things we have learned about each other.
2019 was also the year I finally made a bit of an effort to lose some weight, though with mixed results. In January 2019, I decided to try a meal-plan diet, where your meals are sent to you in the post, and all calorie controlled. I bought 1 month’s worth, though it took me over 2 months to eat them all as you do get rather bored after a while! Some meals were nice, while others were pretty awful. At the end of the meal plan, by about March I had lost 3 kilos, nearly half a stone, which was just what I needed to help me kick-start my diet and exercise and help me keep going. I used a meal-tracker app and tried to keep up with the gym and exercise classes as well. I was getting really good about going to the gym regularly and starting to really enjoy all my gym classes and workouts.
However since becoming a mum, I haven’t been to a single gym class and am struggling to get any exercise at all aside from running around with a toddler. I’ve spent the rest of the year putting a kilo on, then taking it off again, and fluctuating up and down by about 1.5 kilos all year.
I’m happy that I am finishing up the year roughly 3 kilos lighter than I started it, so although no additional progress was made since March, I may consider doing another meal plan for a month to try and kick-start another 3 kilo loss for 2020. Perhaps I do need the extra help to be disciplined, but I’m happy that after losing the weight I have managed to roughly maintain it across the year rather than creeping back up again. It gives me hope for next year that I can keep slogging away at it slowly!
Looking back at the year it was overwhelmingly a good year, which is a relief after feeling like I have had several bad years in a row. Though I can’t help thinking that on New Year’s Eve last year I was sitting on the deck of my brother’s house in the Blue Mountains in Australia, enjoying a cold glass of wine on a beautiful summer’s evening, and this year they are surrounded by fire and smoke, and watching nervously as the flames get visibly closer. Last year on New Year’s Eve I walked past this sign and laughed, thinking of my job situation, but this year it is not funny at all, and my thoughts are with all of those living with these devastating fires this year.